# M?

A

#### Alfoldem

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
I've seen this a few times now and curiosity has got the better of me.

To quote Jack Daniels from another thread

"No, this is horrible. Your M is 5, this is the critical zone"

What does M refer to and how is it worked out?

thanks all.

#### blankoblanco

##### plays poker on hard mode
Silver Level
M is a term that gained prominence in the poker world through Harrington on Hold 'Em, Dan Harrington's book series about tournament poker (definitely recommended reading).

Your M is essentially how many more orbits at the current blinds and antes your chip stack can survive before it would be completely blinded out. You find this by taking your current chip stack and dividing it by the amount that's in the pot before any action takes place (meaning the total of the big blind, small blind, and antes, if there are antes).

So say you're in a tournament that's 9-handed. You have a stack of 12,000 with blinds of 200/400 and antes are 50 per player. The pot starts out with 600 chips in blinds and 450 chips in antes (50 times 9), which is 1,050 chips total. Your chip stack of 12,000 divided by the 1,050 the pot begins with means you have an M of ~11.5.

A

#### Alfoldem

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
ok, thats cleared that up for me.
When im getting short on chips in a tourney i tend to think in terms of how many BB's i have left, there doesnt seem to be much of a difference between that and M or am i missing something?

#### blankoblanco

##### plays poker on hard mode
Silver Level
Well obviously your BBs and your M will be different numbers. M is generally good to use and have an understanding of when there are antes, because antes really change the amount to be won in the pot as well as how many orbits around the table you can survive, more so than you might notice at first. When there's just a big blind and a small blind, like in a cash game or the early stages of a tournament, I tend to just think in terms of how many big blinds I have

D

#### drizzt

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
wow, and I was just looking over my harrington book. Haven't read it yet, since I can't find the first volume ( just have the second, so I figure i'll wait to get the first before I start =P) I saw the M reference a lot when I was reading about heads up play, and now this makes it so much easier to absorb what he's telling me.

Let me ask for clarification: When the M is lower for you, you would need to open up your play style, not wait around for those 'premium' hands correct? So if my M is, say, 9, and my 2 opponents have M's of 4 and 3, I should play more aggressive seeing as they will have to jam asap whether the cards come or not, correct?

Sorry if It's an obvious question, just want to be sure, and see if anyone has any strategies concerning tournaments where there are only a few people left. I've read Harrington's book, but I always welcome more views. I generally do really, really well when short stacked against people my skill level, a bit higher, or less, but in the chip leader position I have some leaks I need to fix. In fact, I won a 9 person S&G after being down to 195 in hand 5 (Pocket Aces got beat =( ) and managed to win the S&G anyways. Yet sometimes I've had a commanding chip lead, and many times manage to lose due to leaks somewhere in my game (when I say lose, I mean place 2nd or 3rd, usually 2nd if Im chip leader for a while).

F

#### fishfood

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
wow, and I was just looking over my harrington book. Haven't read it yet, since I can't find the first volume ( just have the second, so I figure i'll wait to get the first before I start =P) I saw the M reference a lot when I was reading about heads up play, and now this makes it so much easier to absorb what he's telling me.

Let me ask for clarification: When the M is lower for you, you would need to open up your play style, not wait around for those 'premium' hands correct? So if my M is, say, 9, and my 2 opponents have M's of 4 and 3, I should play more aggressive seeing as they will have to jam asap whether the cards come or not, correct?

Sorry if It's an obvious question, just want to be sure, and see if anyone has any strategies concerning tournaments where there are only a few people left. I've read Harrington's book, but I always welcome more views. I generally do really, really well when short stacked against people my skill level, a bit higher, or less, but in the chip leader position I have some leaks I need to fix. In fact, I won a 9 person S&G after being down to 195 in hand 5 (Pocket Aces got beat =( ) and managed to win the S&G anyways. Yet sometimes I've had a commanding chip lead, and many times manage to lose due to leaks somewhere in my game (when I say lose, I mean place 2nd or 3rd, usually 2nd if Im chip leader for a while).

:joyman: Actually it depends on how many players are left in the tourney. I generally try to bully the middle stacks and leave the shorties alone. The shorties are much more likely to call with sub par hands but the middle stacks are trying to advance in the money so they will more readily fold against a larger stack. I believe Harrington discusses this somewhere...it has been a long while since I read his book so maybe I will re read it and brush up. Trying to steal antes and blinds from dangerously low stacks is, I believe, negative EV since many of them will call with nearly any two cards(and most of the time it is correct for them to do so) but stealing blinds and antes from middle stacks that you have covered will yield profits in the long run.

D

#### Dashir

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
Harringon's system is more accurate because it takes the antes into count. And it's also more meaningful. If you have ten orbits, but only 6 left at the table, you can lower your true M, since it represents fewer hands.

The Red zone is around 5M. The only two plays you have are allin or fold.

The Orange zone (getting desperate) is less then 10M. You need to be very aggressive.

Yellow zone (10-20M) and below means you don't have the stack to make implied odds plays because you can't get paid off. Being this low means suited connectors and even low pairs aren't as playable. And you need to be more aggressive with whatever you do play.

20+ is Green and you can play normally.