Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Careless ICM Mistakes

I just played a couple of SNGs off the back of some Spin&Gos, didn't run great but didn't tilt and played some decent poker overall.

However after playing the Spin&Gos I failed to switch mentality from chip accumulation (these tournaments are winner takes all so no ICM comes into it). So I made a couple of pretty basic (though I guess forgivable) ICM mistakes.

First mistake I called a Small Blind shove with A6o. The SB had a big stack of 7246 (after blinds) and I have 818 left with the folded Button on 876. Now I know the SB has a wide range here, but roughly speaking my risk factor is about 2.2 due to there being another short stack in the game so my pot odds translate from 1.6 to 0.7/1 so I need to be a 58% favourite and I don't have those odds even against a 100% SB shoving range with A6o unfortunately.

A little later and my situation has improved, this time I have the button with 1576 and the SB is sitting very short with 296 and the BB has 6828 (all after blinds are posted). The presence of the micro stack makes my risk factor very high against the big stack, so I need to be careful. I pick up QQ and I should just shove as I have a 10bb stack and this would be ICM correct. However - still thinking in terms of chips - I decide to min raise to try and induce something silly from the BB who obliges by shoving. I quickly call and he shows 45s, but I'm knocked out on the river - gifting my equity to the tight and rather patient SB.

My pot odds were 1.6/1 pre-flop, but my risk factor was a huge 4. So pot odds become 0.4/1 so I need 71% equity against the BB shoving range. With QQ I don't think I ever have that, even knowing he has hands like 45s in his range!

This is just a reminder that ICM decisions can be difficult and while I continue to play SNGs I need to be better in extreme situations like these.


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