The Final Table: Part 2 the big M

A very important part of any tournament is keeping a close eye on the M factor or ratio of both you and the other players at the table

Simply put the M factor of simply M, is the ratio of your stack size compared to the number of rounds the table it would take you to go bust if you didn’t play a single hand.

M=                             Total Stack                    

      Big Blind+Small Blind+Total Antes

The term was invented and named by Mr. Quack Quack Paul Magriel, although the concept was described much earlier in Dolye’s Super System.

In short, the higher your M the better position you are in for the tournament, Dan Harrington has a rating system for the types of plays and hands you need to consider given your M position. A quick breakdown would be:

M=20+: Freedom to play aggressive or conservative as the play and opportunities dictate

M=10-20: Need to start taking more risks, hands with smaller pairs and suited connectors lose value

M=1-6: Two moves, fold or all in

M=<1: Need some luck, you have no choice here, push with anything that resembles a hand

You will need to consider your M at all times with the other discussions about the final table. Both as True M and as Effective M which is the ratio of your M depending on how many people are left at the table.

Assuming a 10 person final table, your effective M is

Effective M=M*(                Players at Table                )


So  M of 20 against a 5 person table is only half, or 10.

I will try and break down the choices that you will need to make given your M in all the following posts.

Related posts:

  1. The Final Table: Part 1 The end goal of any poker tournament is to win...

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