A Basic Guide to the Independent Chip Model in Texas Hold’em

by Earl Campbell | October 29, 2019 |

Independent Chip Modeling (ICM) in Texas Hold’em decides your value portion of the prize pool in a tournament dependent on the stack sizes of the rest of the table and the likelihood of your being able to finish the event. With these probabilities, a dollar worth can be assigned to your stack size.

ICM is typically considerably more predominant in SNGs; however, it can likewise apply when there are enormous payout jumps at a tournament’s final table. 

Most experienced SNG players are extremely acquainted with ICM and its utilization; however, even they may not comprehend the mechanics behind it or how to figure it by hand.

The requirement for ICM originates from a non-linear estimation of chips in an event.  In all SNGs that are not winner-take-all, or in heads-up action, the chips that you risk will be of a lesser incentive than the chips you could rake in.

Due to the non-linear value of tournament chips, the chips that you risk will be of a lesser value than those you stand to gain. Therefore, the most important thing to remember is that your last chip is always going to be your most valuable chip.

If you’ve fully grasped this concept then you’ll know that your chips and the leverage they provide is your biggest weapon.

For instance, in a 6-man $20 SNG, with prizes of $84 for the lead position, and $36 for second place, you begin with 1500 chips worth $20. In the event that you win, you'll complete with six times more chips than when you started, which are worth 4.2 times the money from when you started ($84).

That may not appear to be reasonable; however, the majority of the prize cash is conveyed toward the end, so on the off chance that you realize how to utilize ICM as a weapon, you will wind up with a lot of the prize pool more often than once out of every six hands.

The equation begins by computing how much value every player has in first-place cash, by taking a look at the percentage of the total amount of chips a player has in play, and multiplying that amount by the event’s first-place prize ($84). 

From that point, the equation needs to decide how much value every player has in runner up cash ($36).This is more convoluted than deciding in front of the pack value, but it is still possible to figure out each hand. 

ICM is one of the most exact approaches to examine the present estimation of your chip stack in an SNG.  But, since it's a simple math-based recipe, it misses a few intangibles that the math doesn't represent and which should influence your choices.  It doesn’t account for the chip-leader’s lead or the position of the blinds and also assumes fixed blinds.

Understanding the idea of ICM is central to achievement in SNGs. You don't should be a math pro to comprehend the concept in detail – simply monitoring the idea is the most significant stance an effective SNG player can have.

On the off chance that you can discover your very own hand history, at that point take a case of two, and work through it yourself. Play around with ICM number crunchers and study circumstances from the table. It's an extraordinary method to learn.

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