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Life on the Bubble

It is a genuine privilege for me to now be a columnist for Card Player . Throughout my 10 years as a professional poker player, and several years prior to that as a serious semipro, I have read Card Player religiously. In fact, I probably have gained more poker knowledge from the pages of this magazine over the years than from any other single source. In my columns, I will be addressing a host of issues, including live-game strategies, tournament play, being a professional poker player, and topics pertaining to the poker industry as a whole.

 

A recent trip to attend the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure , a World Poker Tour event held at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, gave me the subject matter for this my first column.

 

A total of 461 players entered this event, in which 80 places were paid, with first place being a tidy sum of $890,000, and 80th spot, $11,600; 81st place, “the bubble,” paid zip. As we neared the money, play in the tournament tightened up considerably. This is typical of major events, in which many of the participants try desperately to avoid elimination. Going out on the bubble is one of the worst feelings in poker, and the large number of players with short stacks were playing squeaky tight.

 

Armed with this knowledge, several of the players with big stacks were wielding their chips as a weapon. These bullies recognized what was happening, and used their …

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