Oops, I Made A(n ICM) Blunder!


I'm ok with admitting that I make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of being human. Don't' worry, though, I'll refrain from quoting that 50 Cent lyric again.

On Wednesday evening I streamed some Party Poker tournaments once more on Twitch and was fairly deep in the $55 Counterpunch. There were 37 left, with 32 paid and I was in 32nd place. Now at this point I lacked a bit of concentration as I was talking through hands and responding to questions in the chat.

This is not an excuse, though.

Let's talk about that mistake...


What would you do here?

With the distractions of the chat I didn't bother to see how many players were left. Had I seen there were 37 left with 32 paid I would have thought about the hand differently.

From a chip EV perspective this is a clear 'high-five your Gran' call.

But on the bubble, ICM starts to play a huge role and we need to fold. Have a look at the graphic below to see how tight we should be calling here:


Now this is HRC's recommended calling range if our opponent is shoving the suggested equilibrium range, which he probably isn't. If he's shoving a tighter and more condensed range, i.e. tighter than equilibrium, but capped at say JJ then we can't even call AQs.

The power of ICM shouldn't be underestimated. Immediately after calling here and losing the race against 88 I told the viewers that it was a spot I wasn't completely comfortable with and might be a fold.

With the distraction, though, I failed to notice we were on the bubble. So what do I do to learn from this mistake?

Well reviewing the hand was the first thing to see if my fears were correct. Then I need to make sure I'm concentrating on the game and I'm aware of how close we are to the bubble. All of this will be really important during the upcoming WCOOP and Powerfest tournament series. For that reason, I probably won't stream much, but we'll see. Maybe I've just got to get better at streaming and playing my A-game at the same time.

It's ok to make mistakes, but you've got to learn from them.

Good luck out there!


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