Recreational gamers play too many small pairs and never sufficient Kx suited arms when ICM is important. Dara O’Kearney explains why.
Most gamers realise you can broaden the vary of arms you play if you find yourself later in place. It stands to cause that with much less gamers left to behave behind you, your probabilities of working into an enormous hand get smaller, so you may play extra arms profitably.
The mistake numerous gamers make once they broaden their vary in ICM heavy conditions is they’re too linear. They begin to add extra offsuit broadway, small pairs and suited connectors.
What they need to truly be doing is including extra Ax and Kx suited sort arms as a substitute.
Let’s have a look at an instance. This is a solver permitted 50BB opening vary from UTG in an ICM heavy scenario:
As you may see the suited Aces give us board protection and we don’t hassle with pairs beneath 66. The worst suited connector we’ve is JTs, however we even have K9s which some gamers would possibly assume is somewhat fishy.
How does that vary broaden after we are the Cutoff? It turns into:
I feel numerous gamers would have included arms like A2o, K8o, Q9o, 22 and 43s lengthy earlier than they’d have added a hand like Q5s to that vary. In a non-ICM scenario they’d most likely have been appropriate too.
So why does a seemingly junk hand like Q5s get the nod over a hand like A2o, 22 or 43s?
More turns and river bets
It’s not that suited high card arms are higher arms in ICM heavy conditions, it’s that they flop sufficient fairness to proceed extra typically on numerous flops. They will make a flush 1.5% of the time, a flush draw one other 10% of the time and a backdoor flush draw more often than not. They make good high pairs, often one of the best flush after we get there they usually additionally block the large arms you are worried about getting 3-bet from.
These arms provide you with extra alternatives to semi bluff on the flop and switch. That is just not the case with small pairs and small suited connectors. Yes, a small suited connector can hit a straight or a flush, however you’re in hassle while you simply make a pair and you’ll by no means make certain your flush is one of the best one. Small pairs have to surrender on most flops when going through any form of motion.
Small speculative arms put you in too many conditions the place you must fold publish flop, which is a horrible prospect when ICM is important. The smaller your stack the extra every chip is price, so when stacks are shallow and ICM is heavy, you can’t justify having to fold a lot publish flop. You are actually spewing giant quantities of fairness everytime you do.
Suited arms with a least one high card offer you board protection, the prospect to make a large flush, the prospect to make a powerful pair and maybe most necessary a pure bluff candidate you can play on a number of streets.
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