An example equity calculation With SimpleICM

SimpleICM is a basic ICM calculator. Given the payout structure and the stacks of the remaining players it calculates the tournament equity for each player. It doesn’t tell you whether to push or fold or calculate your equity against an opponents hand range. There are other tools that can do that.

But it can help your understanding of ICM to start from the basic ICM calculation. This posts shows an example of using SimpleICM to perform an equity calculation and how to use that calculation to decide what action to take.


For this example we’ll use a 9-player Sit-n-go with the standard 50, 30, 20 payout structure. So the top 3 players get paid with 1st getting 50% of the prize pool, second getting 30% of the prize pool and 3rd getting 20% of the prize pool.

This is the default payout structure in SimpleICM so we don’t need to change anything on the payout tab.


There are 4 players left and we’re in the BB with AKs. The stack sizes are:

BB (Hero)3000AKs???


The blinds are 150/300. CO and BTN both fold. SB pushes all-in. What do you do?


So now we get to start plugging some numbers into SimpleICM. If we fold we will be left with 2700 chips after posting the bb and SB will have 7800. We can plug these stacks into SimpleICM to get our equity if we fold.

Equity of folding

Equity of calling and winning

Calling can be split into two events. If we call and lose then our equity is 0. If we call and win then we will have 6000 chips so we can plug these stacks into SimpleICM to get our equity.


  • If we fold our equity will be 0.2563
  • If we call and lose our equity will be 0
  • If we call and win our equity will be 0.3566

So for calling to be profitable here we need to win around 72% of the time ((0.2563/0.3566)*100).


We have to fold. As shown by the calculations above our tournament equity is very sensitive to confrontation with this stack setup at this stage of the tournament. We need our hand to be 72% favourite against our opponents range and there are very few hands that are 72% favourite against any range.

Even if we know that our opponent is pushing any two cards here we should fold since AKs is only a 67% favourite against this range. If our opponent turned his cards up and showed 72o we would have to fold since AKs is only a 69% favourite against 72o.

To find out what hands we can call with in this spot we can use PokerStove to figure out which hands are 72% favourite against our opponents range. If we put our opponent on any two cards then we can call with AA, KK, QQ, JJ and TT. TT is a 75% favourite over two random cards. 99 is a 72.1% favourite over two random cards so 99 is breakeven.

So in this spot if our opponent is shoving any two cards we can call with TT-AA and fold everything else.