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Possible ICM mistake?

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  • Possible ICM mistake?

    Hello this is my first post and my question is on an ICM spot late in a 50¢ tournament (yes I know some real high stakes action) 24 players left I’m 6th in chips with 28BBs. Folds to me on the button with 10♣️ 10♠️ I min raise 2BB and folds to Big blind who is chip leader with 64BB. Note the chip leader in the big blind has jammed on me the last 3 times. Again he rips it in on me and this time I called off expecting him to have a wide range. Question is this just ICM suicide? At this point in the tournament 6th in chips should I just give up my button and wait trying to take spots against other players and hopefully have a better seat at the next or final table? Or is it still ok to just get it in as a suspect favorite? I was thinking he’s pushing almost any 2 cards and against that range I’m at least 60-70% but also I think I have a skill edge against the rest of the field and the lower variance path would be play it safe and get to final table. Thanks for any comments or help I’d like to know if there’s a GTO answer for this or if the exploit is calling off with the 10s. (Because you want to know he had 55s and flopped a set I busted 24th)

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum Peter

    It doesn't matter if you're playing for $0.50 or $1,000,000.50, ICM is still important.

    Generally speaking if we are a medium stack in an ICM spot we should be looking to avoid the opponents that can bust us i.e. the big stacks, and instead focus on putting the small stacks under pressure for their tournament life instead.

    In order to give a better answer for your specific spot we need more details.

    Are we already in the money here? Or is it top 7 get paid like in a 45-man SnG? Are there any imminent pay jumps?

    Calling off here was probably fine, the only time it might have been better to avoid playing for stacks is we're on the direct bubble and only need 1 or 2 more people to go out in order to cash.


    • #3
      Thanks for the response! At this point I was deep in the money (500+ entrants) cashed for 10x buy in but of course the good pay outs don’t start till around 9th. I understand stack size in relation to who to pick on and who to avoid, this just seemed like a premium spot I know the call is profitable long term I’m just not sure if ICM dictates we avoid it.


      • #4
        Let's take a look from a mathmatical point of view.

        What are our pot odds?

        We need to call 26bb into a pot that will be 53bb (assuming the ante adds up to roughly 1bb) so we need to win: 26 / (26 + 53) = 33% to break even. In a cash game if we have anything more than 33% it's an easy call. In this tournament spot it's tougher. A tool like ICMIZER can probably give you an actual range for calling here, even with 24 players remaining, provided you know all the payouts (although I don't know this for sure as I don't actually have the program).

        Based on our current chip stack I'd want to have a large edge in this spot, and so I'd add on what's known as a "risk premium" to the required pot odds before comparing this to our actual equity. In a spot like this I'd imagine a risk premium of around 15-20% is probably okay, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually higher.

        Let's say 20% is correct, that means we need at least 53% equity total to call off. You say that the guy is shoving very wide so let's give a range of: 22+,A2s+,K8s+,Q9s+,JTs,T9s,A8o+,KJo+.

        Plug these details into Equilab (this program is free, if you don't have it you need to get it) and we can see how TT does against this range:

        Click image for larger version

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        So based on my numbers, this looks like a clear call.

        What do you think? Do you agree with his range and the premium applied?


        • #5
          I think another consideration would be is you are just 6th in chips with 24 players left. A lot can and will happen between now and the final table. You want to get into the final table as chip leader if possible so your still chipping up but picking your spots. A chip leader shoving wide is a great opportunity. You gain chips and you knock down the person above you. Yes, you run the risk of busting earlier, but your example is no different even if you AA. Would you fold AA? So I think TT is call and I would be happy to do it.