re: Poker & The art of making deals
ICM chop will always slightly favor the big stack.
This is because it assigns you an equal chance of winning each pay spot. So if you have 30% of the chips in play an ICM chop assigns you 30% of 1st, 30% of 2nd, 30% of 3rd.....and so on and so forth all the way down to 30% of last place.
In reality, it is much less likely that the big stack will get one of the last places; so an ICM chop is always good for the big stack.
so....if you are the big stack or 1 of the 2 big stacks....consider graciously accepting an offer to ICM chop...it will be hard to do much better for yourself than this.
If you are one of the shorter stacks now you have some options. If you think your skill level and mental alertness is good vs. the field go ahead and play as the cards will turn out to be more fair in the end, than an ICM chop for a short stack.
it's funny though...it is usually the opposite when the deal is really going down. It is usually the short stacks who desperately want to make the deal happen, and the big stacks who don't wanna budge.
The other things I will consider are relative table positions.
Where am I relative to the big stacks and short stacks?
Where am I relative to the most talented players?
The more dangerous players are to my left, the more willing I am to make a deal.
the other consideration is structure. When the average stack has an M=5 or less...I am ALWAYS willing to consider an equity chop. Because you work so hard laying good solid poker to get to that point, and then the structure degrades and you leave the majority of the prizepool on the table to be distributed via a preflop all-in war; it basically goes to whoever catches cards in the next 2 orbits or so...