The point in a tournament at which there are only slightly more players remaining than there are finishing positions that receive a prize.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: There is no precise upward boundary for the number of players that constitute the bubble, although the minimum number of players remaining during the bubble is defined by the number of places that award a prize. Rather than the precise number of players, the key characteristic defining the onset of the bubble is that short-stacked players often see survival as a higher priority than accumulating chips. Games are often played more conservatively during this stage of the tournament. Example: In a 1,000-person tournament in which the top 100 players each receive a prize, the bubble would be the time when there are close to 100 players remaining. Play might gradually become more conservative as the field shrinks from 150 remaining players and continue to highly conservative play when there are 101 remaining players, as players try to stay in the game to earn a prize.
EXAMPLE: "We were on the bubble and I had an average stack. I made it to the money when an opponent busted out."
APPLIES TO: Online and Land-based Venues
RELATED TERMS: Bust, In the Money, Out of the Money, Tournament