2) How To Decide If a Play is Profitable Enough
The second of the two questions we ask ourselves when making decisions is a bit more complicated to answer, but could save you a lot of headache over time. In tournament poker, knowing when you should take a marginal spot and when you should pass on it and wait is incredibly important.
Typically when you are short stacked (10bb or less) you can take most +EV spots without a second thought, as long as ICM isn’t a massive factor. As stacks get deeper however, the amount of expected value (EV) you need to make a play increases. This means as you gain more chips in a tournament, you should be less willing to part with them in situations where you only have a slightly +EV play.
In order to understand the logic behind a play being profitable enough you need to study away from the tables using tools like Hold’em Resource Calculator or ICMizer to see the EVs of certain plays. It should be obvious that a lot of these +0.5bb bluffs or hero calls in 50bb pots are pretty stupid to take in tournament poker, given how much you’re risking for so little gain.