ICM MTSnG Discussion

    • shanesmith
      shanesmith
      Global
      Joined: 17.07.2009 Posts: 202
      Regarding ICM - i wrote a small piece about it in our 45 man study group, i dont no if my thought process is correct or wrong but i agree that the subject is very interesting, i personally disregard ICM 100% because i play turbos, dont get me wrong i,am not the greatest player in the world but i think its a individual preference.

      Many of us use ICM calculators to determine what hands are +EV to shove in what spots (and what hands aren’t).
      These ICM calculators are the key to short stack tournament poker. However, they have limitations.

      ICM is a measurement of total prize pool equity. Using it, you can compare the value of your stack if you move in and if you fold.
      The first problem we encounter is that your prize pool equity is based solely on the number of chips you have now relative to the total number of chips and players remaining. No account is taken of the players’ skill.

      The calculator doesn’t know how good you are; even we humans don’t know exactly how good anyone is.

      So, if you are one of the best players at the table, ICM is likely to underestimate the value of your stack; this will affect the best play.

      Another major limitation of ICM, and the most relevant one is that because these calculators simply compare your prize pool equity if you shove or fold immediately after the hand, they ignore future hands.


      Another way to put this point is that the real value of your stack can depend on the position of the blinds, whether you are likely to be in very bad situations soon, and so on. I n my view, when you are as short, you need to take shoves that ICM says are –EV, because folding is often even worse than ICM indicates.

      The problem is that calculating just how bad our future situations will be can be extremely difficult. Nobody can figure this out with complete accuracy; it depends on all our opponents’ tendencies.
      Usually we will not be dealt monster cards within the next orbit of play, and since our fold equity will disappear when we continue folding, we will be getting our chips all-in as huge underdogs a majority of the time.

      If you are able to fully understand what ICM is, how it works, and what the ICM calculators are telling you, then you can apply good reasoning to learn when it is appropriate to deviate from their suggestions.

      In this case, we have observed that ICM calculators are unaware that the tournament doesn’t end after the exact hand it is analyzing.
      Because the tournament must continue, folding trashy cards with a stack of 4 or 10 big blinds can be pure suicide as you will soon have literally zero fold equity and close to zero prize pool equity.

      We must do our best to estimate which EV shoves are appropriate and which aren’t. The short answer is that almost all EV shoves in the described situation are very appropriate and necessary.
  • 5 replies
    • Asaban
      Asaban
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,241
      What you are saying is absolutely correct. Future game aspects as well as your edge isn't part of the ICM calculations (although you can enter your edge in some calculators and they will adjust the ranges accordingly).

      However, from my point of view, you are reacting to it in the wrong way. Disregarding ICM entirely is a bad choice and will undoubtly lead to -EV plays frequently - especially in 45men's.

      The correct decision would be to take said factors into account and adjust the numbers accordingly. This isn't a fool-prove method and might lead to wrong estimations here and there - but in the end you should be better off then by ignoring it entirely.

      Example:
      If you need 45% equity for a chip EV call and 60% for a ICM call that is a lot. Totally ignoring the ICM factor in this hand would lead to substantial losses in the long run. Instead you should discount the needed percentage to take the future game aspect into account. Think about how big the advantage of a doubled stack would really be and substract a few percentages accordingly. Personally I adjust my ICM calculation for up to 5% to take these factors into account.

      ICM is one of the most important concepts in SNG's and very important for final table decisions in MTT's and MTSNG's. While ICM isn't a perfect system, ignoring it is a big mistake imo.

      Regards,
      Asaban
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by Asaban

      Example:
      If you need 45% equity for a chip EV call and 60% for a ICM call that is a lot. Totally ignoring the ICM factor in this hand would lead to substantial losses in the long run. Instead you should discount the needed percentage to take the future game aspect into account. Think about how big the advantage of a doubled stack would really be and substract a few percentages accordingly. Personally I adjust my ICM calculation for up to 5% to take these factors into account.
      This is interesting because I would have thought having an edge on your opponents would make it more worthwhile to hold on to your chips rather than to double up, since it is more likely that villains are going to donk away their stacks to you later on in the game.

      I've always thought that if you feel you have a big edge on villains, you can pass up spots that have positive but close to 0 $EV because of the future game $EV of playing vs tons of donks?
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,224
      Hey guys,

      To save hijacking TomSom's thread too much, I have moved this discussion into a thread of it's own.

      Regards

      Laz
    • shanesmith
      shanesmith
      Global
      Joined: 17.07.2009 Posts: 202
      What about when you have 5bb and under? surely following ICM in those particular spots is -EV, you need to take shoves that ICM says are –EV, because folding is often even worse than ICM indicates.

      In theory can a better player , by ignoring ICM, increase his $ more than we?
      Throw away all of those min cashes knowing that when he does win the "hand that he is supposed to fold", he will more than recoup all of that lost money?

      I prefere to look at FGS in turbo,s rather than use ICM, (although i dont discard it totally) with the way online poker is going by the faster structures ICM has to be ignored, would you use ICM in a 6 player hyper turbo with 10bb starting stacks? I dont think you would, if you did you would be making alot of -EV disicions, so adhering to ICM is a big mistake imo.

      shane
    • Asaban
      Asaban
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 8,241
      Future game is more important then your edge in most circumstances. Furthermore your edge is hard to put in numbers.

      It is correct that your edge will counter the future game aspect partially (another argument for not ignoring ICM). Nevertheless I discount ICM numbers more often then not in order to get more accurate ranges.

      In the end you should only do slight changes to the ICM numbers in order to play max$EV. Ignoring them is the wrong conclusion.

      EDIT: You should also consider where your edge lays. Sometimes you may have an even bigger edge while being chipleader.

      Regards,
      Asaban