Your tournament life is much more important than you think.
While you still have even a single chip you hold claim to a certain amount of EV, a certain amount of money that you could walk away with right then if a chop occurred.
Let’s say for example that a player named John has 100,000 chips and you have just 10,000.
How much more valuable is John’s stack than yours?
You might guess initially that John’s stack is 10 times more valuable, because he has 10 times more chips than you.
In reality however, his stack is probably only 3-4x more valuable than yours, depending on how deep you are in the tournament. While it may be tempting to just throw away the rest of your stack, just remember that you still lay claim to much more of the prizepool than you might believe. While there is life there is hope, so fight for every last chip.
Using a tool like ICMizer (code RYESPECIAL for 20% off) will greatly increase your awareness of ICM in tournament poker, so make sure to check it out.
Drilling these situations will give you a natural feel for how ICM applies in game, and you’ll be able to make more instinctive decisions correctly in the future.