ICM Factor

2021 blog Feb 01, 2021

LPP members can watch the accompanying video alongside this blogpost here.

What Is ICM Factor?

ICM Factor is a concept I created in order to efficiently and easily explain how much ICM will factor into a given situation.

What Makes Up ICM Factor?

ICM Factor can be applied to any aspect of a tournament that may be impacted by ICM. The following concepts are what you will have to consider:

-What stage of the tournament you are in
-How big of a field you are playing and the amount paid
-What the payout structure is
-How much above or below average stack you are
-How much is your stack utility impacted, and how often. This can be explained as: Does your opponent/s cover you, if so by how much? If you cover them, then by how much and are they actively applying pressure?
-How close to the money bubble you are
-How many buy-ins a mincash is
-How close to the final table you are
-What the stack sizes are at the final table, and how each impacts ICM

The more each of these matter in your given decisions the more ICM Factor you will have.

How to Value ICM Factor?

ICM Factor is a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being the lowest. This is all an arbitrary way to view it, but it should give you a good idea on how to apply this concept to real world situations.

0 – 1: ICM has little impact on your decisions at this level. It usually occurs in the earliest stages of tournament or earliest stage of in the money. You also need to cover your opponent significantly. You should have a top
stack and no risk to stack utility.
1 – 2: ICM will have a little impact on your decisions. Usually occurs in earliest stages of tournament or early stages of in the money. You might not cover your opponent, you usually are well above average (if you're in mid or late stages) and little to no risk to stack utility.
3 – 4: ICM has some impact on your decisions. Usually occurs in mid stages of tournament and are nearing the money, or late stages of the tournament and are deeper in the money. You might not cover your opponent, and you are likely around average stack or above average if on or near the bubble or FT.
Likely have some risk to stack utility.
5 - 6: ICM has a decent impact on every decision you make. Usually occurs very close to the money, or in the very late stages or even final table. You likely will be put into a situation where you risk most of your stack utility.
7 - 8: ICM has a very significant impact on every decision. Will be either on or near the money bubble or on or near the final table. You will likely be risking most or all of your stack utility.
9: ICM drastically impacts every aspect of the hand. You will be either on the direct bubble, short handed on a final table, or nearing the bubble in a satellite. You will be risking all of your stack utility.
10: ICM completely controls every decision your make. You will be on the direct bubble and you are covered, or will be on a final table with a large chip leader and some tiny stacks left that you significantly cover.

I hope this piece helps give you an easier way to think about ICM in any given situation you are in. Understanding how ICM can impact you in a specific hand will make profitable decisions much more clear from a tournament perspective and help you better maximize the situations you are in.

Thank you for being a member of learnpropoker.com, we really appreciate it! Best of luck at the tables!


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