MTT ICM calculator

by Q.

ICM calculations for MTT before final table are now possible in ICMIZER. Learn how to perform ICM calculations in multi table tournaments with our ICM calculator.

The basic idea behind this is that in order to make ICM calculation we need exactly same data that is required to perform normal 1 table ICM calculation plus we need stacks on other tables. Stacks on other tables influence relation of our table stacks to average stack, to big stack, and in some cases when there are short stacks on other tables, short stacks on our table actually become medium stack out of remaining players, which can influence push/fold decision.

In order to give players an easy way to assign ranges on other tables ICMIZER now has a designated window which shows up when you move switch from STT to MTT position.

It has two view modes: minimized and expanded.

Minimized MTT stacks window

minimized MTT stacks window in ICMIZER

In minimized mode you can set

  • Number of remaining players in tournament (for example 18 players remaining out of large MTT on 2 tables)
  • Average stack and total chips sum – those stats are directly connected through # of remaining players. Simple formula is # of players * avg. stack = total chips sum. If you have information about average stack, which is usually available in tournament, you can enter avg. stack and # of remaining players, and have sum assigned automatically. If you set sum explicitly, for example 270000 in PokerStars 180 man MTT SNG, avg. stack is calculated automatically.

Using this simple minimized form and just those 3 values is enough to perform a MTT ICM calculation. Given provided information ICMIZER automatically generates stacks on other tables creating a number of short, medium and big stacks. Due to MTT nature exact stack distribution rarely has a big impact on your decision, due to averaging effect and lower possibility of some extreme ICM case, which are often on SNG bubble.

Maximized MTT stacks window

maximized MTT stacks window in ICMIZER

If you want to have more control over stacks on other tables you need to expand this control. You will see other tables with stacks of players, which were automatically generated.

There are 2 options how you can change randomly generated stacks

  1. Random mode – in this case you don’t input stacks manually, but instead you drag a special desired stack distribution slider and ICMIZER uses a sophisticated algorithm to generate stacks according to that distribution. This slider has 2 thumbs, which leaves 3 segments which represent short, medium and big stacks. By dragging them you regenerate stacks, and they are displayed on tables. You can also see a short legend which describes actual result of this generation in the lower part of maximized MTT window.

    Notice that it is not always possible to generate stacks according to any distribution due to realistic mathematical limitations. For example, if in a poker tournament all chips are basically on your table, and other table has very few of them, it is virtually impossible to generate a lot of big stacks on other table. If your table is filled with shorties however, and there are just 2 tables, it will be hard to distribute entire chip pool, when we try to make a lot of short stacks on other table. That’s why this is called desired stack distribution, and too see actual you can check stacks on the tables, or legend in the lower part of MTT window

  2. Manual mode – in this mode you set up all stacks manually. This will probably only make sense when there are 2 tables remaining, because if there are more than 2 table, actual stacks become less relevant, and that stack distribution we described in random mode becomes more important, so you can be easily satisfied with randomly generated stacks for situations where there are 3+ tables. Also in most cases information about exact stacks on other tables in unavailable. So we recommend using random mode in most cases, as information about average stack and remaining players is always available, and can be figured out even after tournament is over.

Once stacks on other tables are set, you can minimize window and assign stacks, bets and ranges on your table as you normally do in 1 table SNG ICM calculations. Just hit [Calculate] button as usual and you will get ICM calculation for MTT.

Performing MTT ICM calculation in ICMIZER

Another important thing to note is that MinDiff% in MTT generally has to be set very low. For a large MTT 0.01% of TOTAL PRIZE POOL is a very big chunk of money, so we recommend you values close to 0% MinDiff% for MTT hand analysis or ICM $EV output so you can see how much actual $ each move is worth. Figures in dollars can be easier to relate to than some percent of total prize pool.

Usually MTT players rely on ChipEV in their decisions. In all cases however ChipEV will be more optimistic about going all-in and gambling, than ICM calculations. This is especially true on MTT bubble, where ChipEV can recommend a rather wide call, while ICM based decision will provide a very tight call range, as busting on bubble is about money, not about chips.

We hope that ICM MTT calculations will help you improve your MTT play with short effective stack on the bubble and overall.