Poker Players International Co-Founder Randall Kasper Reveals How the Pros Are Using BubbleProtection
As Co-Founder and Agency Leader at Poker Players International (PPI), there is no shortage of poker-related products or business plans which come across my desk. In five years and literally hundreds of business plans, only one stood out to the point where I said: ‘Not only would I use it, but I want to be fully involved, attach my personal and company name to it, invest in it, and let the whole world know about it.’ That product was Bubble Protection. I must be completely candid here – as much as I loved it as a business proposition it was truly the poker player in me that craved this product.
Armed with a Bubble Protection policy (which only YOU know you have), having made YOUR Bubble, you are now FREE ROLLING the tournament – and that applies to both your bankroll and your strategy. This is an important distinction to make and bears further elaboration. You are NOT simply looking at ROI from a bankroll preservation perspective – that would be the first level of analysis. IF you were only using only this extrinsic measure, the analysis of the value of BP would be simple. Did you make it to YOUR Bubble a higher percentage than the cost of the premium (x% vs. 12% = your ROI)?
COUPLED with the second level of analysis, FREE ROLLING on strategy, is where the intrinsic value becomes evident and significant. So, let’s look at some examples of how you might capitalize on BP Strategy.
Stage: YOUR BUBBLE (25-15% of the Field remains): Most players are beginning to sniff the money; your investment is protected. The larger stacks will begin to bully the table, but they will also be mindful of not risking too much, therefore their raises might be smaller and/or they may back down to 3-bets. Remember, their goal is to accumulate chips without confrontation, keeping their eye on the later stages and exploiting your fear of bubbling. You will also see a lot of open-shoves from medium stacks figuring they have fold equity. In either case, against a short or deep stack, Bubble Protection gives you the antidote. BP allows you to broaden your range to use or defeat one of the most powerful psychological weapons in NLHE: fold equity.
Your exact actions will be dictated by your stack size and, of course, your holding (it’s still important to ask yourself before every move – what am I trying to accomplish here?) IF you are deep, you can increase your opening raise % (say you normally raise twice per orbit at this stage you can make it 2.5 to 3 times per orbit) and your open-raise sizing can be altered to help ensure your actual goal: to take down the blinds and antes without confrontation with a mediocre holding or to induce action with a strong holding). You can also flat call a pre-flop aggressive raiser and “take a flop/lead out to take a pot” or 4-bet someone light who raises you where you might otherwise fold.
The possibilities are endless but the edge is clear and significant. Once you have reached YOUR bubble, the range of offensive and defensive tactics expands your arsenal allows you to behave differently than others at your table. It gives you the confidence to act on your reads regardless of your opponent. And those have always been basic tenets in winning poker.
In the coming weeks, we will have BP customers (including some well-known pros) give specific examples of how they were able to utilize Bubble Protection to exploit this stage through the end of their tournaments.