BankrollMob Poker News


A Primer on ICM by 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche

Tags: 888poker, Dominik Nitsche, ICM, Independent Chip Model, poker strategy.
Posted on 01 February 2021 by "T".

In the world of poker, the term ICM is short for Independent Chip Model, and who better to walk us through to this topic than an accomplished poker pro himself, Dominik Nitsche!

An ambassador of 888poker, Dominik Nitsche currently has almost $19 million in lifetime earnings plus four WSOP bracelets. He has happily shared some of his thoughts regarding ICM.

ICM - What is it?

Nitsche says, "Simply put it's a model that helps us make better tournament decisions by assigning a $ value to everyone's stack." In cash games, it's very easy to understand that the most important thing that matters is accumulating more chips.

"In tournaments that's far from the truth."

The idea is pretty simple, says Nitsche. Don't play like you are in a cash game.

"It's about passing up those marginal spots and overall trying not to bust. Busting tournaments is what really hurts you."

That is because if you're out, you're out! You have no chance of winning any money. However in a tournament, as long as you're still in, you always have a chance.

Do you have to be a Math Genius?

Many people make the assumption that to be able to fully understand ICM, you need to be a math whizz to impressively process lots of numbers in your head. Nitsche says that's not true.

"It's all about practice. Like with everything it's practice that makes perfect and since the math is best figured out away from the tables you don't need to be a genius! No one is running precise ICM calculations on the fly!"

It's considered a crucial concept in poker, and it becomes even more so around the bubble. It doesn't matter much at all early on in the tournaments, but during the bubble, your short stack could potentially morph into a guaranteed min-cash in a jiffy!


ICM on the Final Table

When it comes to it, Nitsche says final tables are "all about ICM", but warns that it is not perfect.

"It's the best model we have, but at final tables it gets tricky because ICM isn't perfect. According to ICM, tons of professionals make crazy mistakes on final tables. Sometimes there can be reasons to slightly deviate but usually, it's best to follow ICM guidelines and not go crazy! ICM really influences all decisions. At a final table I simply don't play my usual ‘win all the chips style' and rather focus on playing the tournament."

Final Table Example

Below is a scenario that requires some ICM knowledge.

Nitsche says, "There are two short stacks at the final table, and you are second place in chips to a chip leader who has just shoved on you. This is a situation where you do not want to bust. Yet I always see inexperienced players call off too loose."

So what is the right move - should you call? Nitsche answered it depends on the payout structure and stack sizes, but gives one final piece of advice: "People call all ins too happily. That's the definition of ICM suicide."

Learn More about ICM

What to do to improve your knowledge of ICM? Nitsche recommends checking out

"They have a free calculator that can convert final table stacks to ICM $ value. I would recommend running a couple stack size and payout distributions to get a feel for how much each stack is worth. Once you've mastered this you can start by practicing icm push/fold on icmizer."





« Poker News   /   Comment on this news »

Related Articles:

25 comments on "A Primer on ICM by 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche"

 dule-vu01/02/2021 11:28:28 GMT
I didnt sleep a lot last night,so dont know what exactly is here about,in this news!we have play who have earning of 19 million dollars and now he give short advices or I am wrong?I did tried to read everything,but all I see that he give advice how to play,what do to on final table.when to raise,when to fold and so on!if I am wrong,somebody can correct me and write to me whats behind this!
 Linketinus02/02/2021 00:40:04 GMT
Thubs up for nitsche
 geseco1202/02/2021 04:32:06 GMT
What the professional Dominik Nitsche tells us about the ICM is very important, I think we should take it into account, since we would lose a lot of money if we do not know how to apply it in the tournaments we play, I think we should understand how much our chips are worth at each moment of the tournament, where that will help us make better decisions that are profitable for us.
 CALICUL02/02/2021 17:31:04 GMT
Dominik Nitsche says very well when he speaks about poker tournaments. The practice is very good and many things happen. Opportunity to reach at final tables is very small, and if you succeed will have to take advantage of a place as high as possible.
 geseco1203/02/2021 04:45:49 GMT
You are right, the chances of reaching a final table are small, but that is why it is important to know and apply the ICM, because you will realize how much money you are losing if you do not apply that in a poker tournament, since in the long run it can be expensive.
 CALICUL03/02/2021 18:16:32 GMT
Who plays a lot count up to the deposits made by him and after that will have results. It's easier in that way. I haven't lost money with poker. I have a profit but it's not big. Instead of sports betting. There is a small deficit. Dominik Nitsche is a millionaire with his games and only he knows his calculations.
 antonis32104/02/2021 01:35:57 GMT
ICM really is very important , and must be atken into consideration a lot . I want to get to know to all the concepts around ICM , make better decisions , tilt that leads to easy flips decisions show how important patience is for tourneys , or else you lose great value on the long run . To wait for the other smaller stacks to bust first and avoid risky all ins for the sake of this purpose , it's a safe task .
 geseco1204/02/2021 05:20:28 GMT
Before playing they should first know the game in detail, it seems a lie, that small details will make you win more money, otherwise you would lose in the long term, sometimes many players do not practice this knowledge, every time in a tournament you approach the final table it is more expensive to play some hands that we should not play.
 dule-vu04/02/2021 16:18:49 GMT
when you have this kind of poker history,you can say whatever you want or to write anything that you want,because nobody cant say that you are not right with all this winnings!you had winnings on lot of live tournaments,you got 19 millions of dollars and any advice will look normal when such a pro say it!
 CALICUL04/02/2021 18:58:51 GMT
I don't know if Dominik Nitsche will play poker for the rest of his life, but is not old enough to be a candidate for poker hall of fame. He is a truly professional player because those wins prove it. We can always listen to advice from him because we have something to gain.
 antonis32104/02/2021 21:46:53 GMT
knowing many things about ICM , helps you making better decisions on the bubble , the FT , you don't waste chips recklessly when their price is really high , when the opportunity comes and you're deep and you go for thousands of $$$$ first prize you need to be ready and you'll beready , by knoing a lot about ICM and the ranges you should shove or call every time .
 geseco1205/02/2021 06:02:53 GMT
Let these tips from the poker professional put it into practice for the majority of this forum, learn a lot about this game, so that in the end you will benefit, I think we should study a lot and learn from the great references of poker such as this player Dominik Nitsche
 CALICUL05/02/2021 19:55:14 GMT
Some people do not know how to count money and to play. They are very disorganized, because they hope to hit in one day a beautiful tournament to win. Who knows poker, calculates his bankroll and after that play according to possibilities, to enlarge it.
 geseco1206/02/2021 07:18:04 GMT
These information that in a way are related to the game, many of the players do not take them the greatest importance, I think this is key if you want to grow in poker, advice from professionals is key to success in this game take note and never forget it.
 CALICUL06/02/2021 20:16:11 GMT
We can always calculate how to play to resist more, until you hit smaller or bigger. It's harder but if you play chaotically it's not good at all. That would mean losing forever and become a lost player. We must have a responsibility to be able for achieve something.
 antonis32107/02/2021 17:51:47 GMT
The truth is that poker is more and more demanding nowadays in terms of skills , and have a good knowledge of ICM , helps with the best decisions on shove-folds or the ranges you'll play against specific players or at a specific table . Ofcourse there are many tools out there to buy and use , and get your gama to the next level ,which is an important factor nowadays ,either you evolve and stay with the curve , or you fall behind and become a loser player , simple as that .
 dule-vu07/02/2021 18:29:18 GMT
I can imagine how it was before and how harder was for players to learn poker,because you didnt have sites,forums,blogs and other things to improve your game and to see how other pro's play their games!now you can see their advices for big poker sites,theri games on you tube,instagram,facebook!everything is just different!
 CALICUL07/02/2021 21:42:15 GMT
Dominik Nitsche maybe he learned at the casino, or bought a texas hold'em poker game. This is not important because smart people study quickly certain situations where money can come out faster. There were a multitude of game variants, even before the advent of the Internet.
 geseco1208/02/2021 14:38:28 GMT
Now we have everything at hand, it is easier to find information, everything is on the internet, so there was not much competition and the level was low, now with the technology we have, the competition is tougher, the level of the players has increased They all want to win, so they study hard.
 CALICUL08/02/2021 22:32:28 GMT
I calculated my games when i started playing for real money. I did very well, but i didn't make money. It was a period where i had the biggest disappointments at the beginning of ''my career'' with poker. We must be stable with our games.
 CALICUL03/09/2021 20:20:34 GMT
A young player who won a lot of money. He has a long time from now to be able to make even more money. He has a huge talent and he can be much more ambitious. Such a professional will achieve a lot and his concentration could take more bracelets.
 CALICUL10/10/2021 09:41:18 GMT
A very good player who can offer good advices but for me it doesn't work well at cash tables, because i have the impression that some rivals see my cards. I play low stakes and it is very doubtful what is happening. I lose a lot of pots that i would normally win in tournaments, but in cash is not the case because i have the impression that i play with professionals, bots or players who catch the cards they need very often. It is not correct and here comes the suspicion...
 CALICUL31/10/2021 19:00:03 GMT
a player with a brain which is exaggerated strong in thinking. Nearly 20,000,000 of dollars is impressive, and u think in Asia he could make a lot more money, if he followed in ''Tom Dwan's footsteps''. There a lot of money is running and it can reach at one hundred millions...
 CALICUL21/11/2021 21:09:08 GMT
a very good player who also plays in small rooms like Unibet. There he won a huge amount this year for the players there. Almost 70,000 euros for 1st place in a tournament. It has a very good game and his talent is very high.
 CALICUL10/12/2021 10:54:19 GMT
a player with 4 bracelets could not be so unlucky that he failed to win millions in poker. Some end up losing if they earn so much, but others deserve respect because they manage to accumulate those bans and use them for their personal lives. This is very good and most of them dream of having a solid career, but unfortunately not everyone has this luck.

Write a comment:

You must be logged in, to comment on news...

Disclosure: BankrollMob may earn a commission based on the advertisement material on this site. #AD

  Please Play Responsibly