Talking Strategy: Playing on the bubble

There are a number of veterans that are currently “on the bubble” (this means: If they win, they’ll remain in competition; if they lose, they have very little chance of advancing knock out portion of the tournament). I decided to sit down together and ask them a few questions whether they would be playing any differently once they’re in this situation.

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Muci Izci lost in round 10 while he was on the bubble!

Muci Izci lost in round 10 while he was on the bubble!

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[b]Do you play more aggressively when you’re on the bubble or do you try to avoid taking big risks?[/b]
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[b]Muci Izci:[/b] I generally try to avoid taking risks once I’m on the bubble.[/quote]
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Marc Oswald overcame Santiago Fabius in round 10!

Marc Oswald overcame Santiago Fabius in round 10!

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[b]I asked Marc Oswald the same question and he had an interesting take on the matter:[/b]
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[b]Marc Oswald:[/b] I try not to. I’m a rather conservative player, up to the point where it hurts my game; if I would have made some riskier moves, I could have won another game.

In round 7, my opponent Simon He was on 800 Life Points. I had 2 copies of [kycoo] and he had 2 cards in hand. I could have gone for [cowboy] to wrap things up, but risking a loss in case he had [veiler]. So I didn’t go for the risk, kept the [kycoo][s] and that’s why I lost a turn later.[/quote]
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Ali Fawaz: 'I'm ALWAYS on the bubble!'
Ali Fawaz: 'I'm ALWAYS on the bubble!'

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[b]Ali Fawaz:[/b] I’m constantly on the bubble. In Barcelona, I was on the bubble starting round 3, so I can’t really say I play in a different way then… there are next to no games where I’m not under the extra pressure.[/quote]
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Michael Ciplak is well familiar with additional pressure!
Michael Ciplak is well familiar with additional pressure!

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[b]We’ve seen Michael Ciplak in our Round 9 Feature Match where he lost to Marc Oswald. He had a lot to say:[/b]
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[b]Michael Ciplak:[/b] It definitely adds some extra pressure. Sometimes, this helps you to focus more and you make less mistakes, while at other times, it can drive you crazy and you make mistakes that are easy to avoid. I don’t enjoy the feeling, but it can really make the difference.[/quote]
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As you can see, it’s a pretty interesting topic and one of the unique aspects of competitive play. With more experience, you can make the most of your chances even if another mistake means you’re out of the tournament. So make sure to put in a lot of effort during testing so you’re prepared for these situations!
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