Late Game – ICM
ICM is a mathematical model to capture the nature of tournament poker. It allows a player to evaluate his chip stack and make intelligent decisions based on payouts. Please see my article ICM for a basic introduction. I will continue this article describing the implications of ICM.
Late Game – Adjustments
There are 2 general adjustments you have to make:
- Call less
- Shove smart
This is tricky, every time you get all in, the actual winners are all players that are not in the hand, they are likely to move up one money spot.
The general rule is that the more chips you have the closer you can call according to chip EV. The less chips you have the less you can call.
Important, if the average stack is very low, it is often is better to openshove a weak hand than call with a mediocre one. Consider all the dead money in the pot!
This is where the crux is, there will be spots where your opponents simply cant call. Put yourself into their shoes and ask yourself: How happy would I be to get my chips in here? If the answer is very unhappy, there is a good chance you have an any two cards shove if there are only few opponents left to shove trough. This is even more true the more chips you have and the less chips your opponents have.
Late Game – The minraise game
Ideally you always keep a stack that will allow you to minraise in certain spots. This will allow you to pick up blinds without much risk while at the same time induce with big hands. Just be very careful what ranges you use. You can find a more thorough discussion of this topic in the Mid Game strategy.
Late Game – Short stacks in blinds
A word of warning, short stacks in the blinds tend to make really bad calls. Be aware of this when shoving into shorter stacks. On the flip side, there are some people that will desperately try to mincash, figure out who does what and you will be amazed of the results!
- Call less
- Shove smart
- Try to keep a stack that can minraise
- Beware of shortstacks in blinds
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