Hand Overview: A Shut ICM Shove-or-Fold Spot at a Ultimate Desk


Protecting reside poker tournaments for a dwelling affords me the chance to see numerous hundreds of palms performed out, a lot of which provide attention-grabbing and probably invaluable insights into how gamers — each amateurs and professionals — play the sport. On this ongoing collection, I’ll spotlight palms I’ve seen on the tournaments I’ve lined and see if we are able to glean something helpful from them.

The Scene

A couple of months again, I obtained the task to drive a couple of hours into Iowa to cowl Mid-States Poker Tour Riverside $1,100 Foremost Occasion.

Because it occurred, my good good friend Nick Pupillo would make a deep run to the ultimate desk and was nonetheless in it when six gamers remained. He’d already locked up $31,716 and was enjoying for $162K up high, so the stakes had been getting massive for everybody concerned.

Whereas Pupillo had the second-shortest stack with about 2.4 million at 60,000/120,000/20,000, he was nonetheless far forward of Renato Spahiu, nursing simply 500,000 or so and about to be within the massive blind.

Thus, Pupillo discovered himself in an attention-grabbing spot when Jovan Sudar, an energetic participant with a giant stack, opened in entrance of him.

The Motion

Spahiu folded and Sudar, second to behave, made it 275,000 to go. The subsequent participant folded and motion was on Pupillo on the button. He counted down his stack then shoved all in. The blinds folded however Sudar shortly known as.

Sudar: {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades}
Pupillo: {7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}

The board ran {5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{q-Clubs} and Pupillo collected a sixth-place payout whereas Sudar ascended to co-leading standing with eventual winner Daniel Sepiol.

Idea and Evaluation

Within the days following this hand, Pupillo and I mentioned this hand at size together with a number of buddies as we questioned if he stacked off too gentle given how quick Spahiu was in early place. It is price trying into because it appeared like an in depth choice given the ICM elements at play.

First, let’s check out the approximate stacks left within the match, in addition to what their stacks are price in {dollars} in response to a free ICM calculator:

Participant Stack Worth Present Place
Daniel Sepiol 7,700,000 $108,752 Huge blind
Jovan Sudar 5,000,000 $92,863 Hijack
Jason Crews 3,150,000 $77,843 Small blind
Kyna England 2,800,000 $74,384 Cutoff
Nick Pupillo 2,400,000 $70,099 Button
Renato Spahiu 500,000 $41,310 Below the gun

It could shock you — it actually did I — that Pupillo’s stack was price simply shy of third-place cash on this spot. That highlights the hazard of busting out subsequent when there is a distinction of virtually $40K between his stack worth and the subsequent payout.

That creates an attention-grabbing dynamic with Pupillo’s hand. Whereas he undoubtedly has a superb hand to shove for chips over a large opener — Sudar had raised as gentle as queen-three suited in late place — what is the play given that there is a particularly quick stack that may virtually actually be all in inside the subsequent orbit?

Fortunately, there are fashions we are able to flip to as a reference in these spots that may assist cope with the ICM elements and produce a really useful play based mostly on the anticipated worth of shoving and folding. One such mannequin is ICMIZER, which gives a restricted variety of free outputs. I entered the parameters of this hand to see what the mannequin considered shoving pocket sevens right here. This is what it spit out:

ICMIZER output
In line with this mannequin, shoving 77 was price -$355.

The numbers beneath every hand are the greenback figures anticipated when shoving these palms over Sudar’s open. The mannequin believes Pupillo’s shove was a shedding one costing him a median of -$355. The EV of a shove is $70,602 whereas the EV of a fold is $70,957.

In line with the mannequin, the cutoff for shoving profitably right here is kind of a bit greater as pocket tens is the weakest pair that ought to be shoved, and even that nets solely a tiny revenue of $22. The mannequin thinks he ought to be extremely selective right here, shoving solely ace-king from the offsuit palms, king-queen suited, ace-queen suited and ace-king suited together with tens-plus.

One factor to notice, nevertheless, is that the mannequin assumes Sudar is opening a GTO vary of the highest 19% of palms. That is going to be a reasonably tight vary consisting of pairs 66+, most offsuit Broadway combos, all however the weakest suited aces, A9o+ and suited palms right down to ten-nine and king-seven. It is fairly straightforward to think about Sudar was opening wider than that, which suggests the shove ought to win greater than the mannequin expects as a result of it wins the pot with out showdown extra usually.

Jovan Sudar
Sudar’s opening vary could also be wider than the mannequin expects.

Due to this fact, as we initially predicted, the choice appears very, very shut, most likely not profitable or shedding a lot both means.

Might flatting be an possibility right here? Pupillo’s stack was a bit quick to be trying to play a lot postflop, however I believe it could be higher than shoving on condition that he has place on Sudar. He is actually inviting some squeezes from the large stack within the massive blind, however he’ll be a lot much less prone to lose his complete stack, and sevens do not should be a pure set mine as they are going to win an honest quantity unimproved.

Whereas there is not a clear-cut “proper” reply on this spot, I nonetheless suppose it is attention-grabbing to have a look at the mannequin’s output and take inventory of simply how a lot a super-short stack being current at a ultimate desk modifications issues. A single open by a overlaying stack immediately reduces the “appropriate” shoving vary in Pupillo’s seat to a tiny fraction of palms, simply 4%.

That is the facility of ICM when the large cash jumps are at play, and it is one thing to be cognizant in any massive choice at a ultimate desk.

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