How to apply ICM

    • Jonesy1987
      Jonesy1987
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2
      So my friend introduced me to ICM, however.. I'm not 100% sure how I'm meant to be using this. With the trainer its a case of Fold or Push, but does ICM only come into play when you hit below a certain bb?

      I mean you wouldn't just be a player who sits and shoves all game rather than trying to play right?
  • 3 replies
    • santostr
      santostr
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.08.2009 Posts: 663
      ICM itself doesn't tell when to push or fold. It tells the equity ($) of your chips.
      Based on that you can estimate profitable ranges to push or to call. That's what ICM Trainner does.

      Before you hit the push of fold ICM still aplies. The main concept is that chips you loose are more valuable than chips you win. That's why we play so tight.


      In the begining of a 9 man SnG that pays top 3, you have 11.11% equity.

      If you loose 500 chips to someone else, the stack x equity looks like this:

      Chips - Equity
      1000 - 7.68% - | -3.43% equity
      1500 - 11.14% - | +0.03% equity, with the same stack.
      2000 - 14.34% - | +3.23
    • Jonesy1987
      Jonesy1987
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2
      Yeah, I read some theory regarding how much equity chips gained, but my friend confused me on his explanation of how you used it.

      But you've cleared up some shady areas in my head of play
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by santostr
      ICM itself doesn't tell when to push or fold. It tells the equity ($) of your chips.
      Based on that you can estimate profitable ranges to push or to call. That's what ICM Trainner does.

      Before you hit the push of fold ICM still aplies. The main concept is that chips you loose are more valuable than chips you win.
      I agree completely with the above, but not with this:


      That's why we play so tight.
      Your example supports my contention that you do not need to be tight early in the tournament, particularly when playing small pots.


      In the begining of a 9 man SnG that pays top 3, you have 11.11% equity.

      If you loose 500 chips to someone else, the stack x equity looks like this:

      Chips - Equity
      1000 - 7.68% - | -3.43% equity
      1500 - 11.14% - | +0.03% equity, with the same stack.
      2000 - 14.34% - | +3.23
      So, if there is no dead money, and you play a 1000 chip pot with someone, you risk 3.43 for a reward of 3.23, which means you want to have 3.43/(3.43+3.23) = 51.5% equity for this to be profitable. That is only 1.5% more than you would need with no risk aversion, and 1.5% is not large. The risk premium is even smaller than 1.5% if you are thinking about playing a smaller pot.

      Where the risk aversion is high, and where we really need equity models like the ICM, is in situations close to the bubble where we are playing larger pots.

      Bubble Example

      $10 50-30-20 SNG

      CO: 4000
      BTN: 3500
      SB: 3500
      BB: 2500

      blinds: 250/500

      Preflop:
      CO pushes, BTN folds, SB folds, BB ???

      We are in the big blind. What equity do we need against the CO's range to call? Here is some of the output from my program ICM Explorer, which you can download for free.

      Fold: 2000 chips, 0.1754, SD: $16.08
      Win: 5250 chips, 0.3294
      Lose: 0 chips, 0
      Tie: 2625 chips, 0.2119

      Equity needed: 53.26%
      Chip odds: 38.1%
      Risk premium: 15.17%

      Even though we are getting about 5:3 pot odds, we need to be a clear favorite over the CO's range to call in order for the call to be profitable according to the ICM. Suppose we have 50% equity against the CO's range with no ties.

      Outcomes from folding:
      1st: 14.81%
      2nd: 17.92%
      3rd: 23.79%
      4th: 43.47%
      Equity: 17.54% of the prize pool = $15.79

      Outcomes from calling:
      1st: 19.44%
      2nd: 15.4%
      3rd: 10.64%
      4th: 54.52%
      Equity: 16.47% of the prize pool = $14.83

      So, calling would gain chips on average, and it would give you a larger share of first place. However, it would decrease your share of the second and third place prizes, and it would cost you almost $1 on average, about 9% of a buy-in. If your ROI is 5%, calling here would cost you the profits of almost two tournaments.

      The ICM helps you to determine which gambles are good despite the risk aversion, and which ones should be avoided even though they would gain chips.

      ----

      ICM Trainer concentrates on push/fold decisions against opponents who make expert decisions based on the ICM. It is a great tool which will give you a large advantage over most of your opponents. However, recognize that not all decisions are push/fold, and most of your opponents are not experts.