Professional poker player Samer “Braminc” Khuri began his poker career as a single table tournament player on Full Tilt Poker and soon became one of the top players in the high stakes nine and six man single table tournaments at this online poker room.
After the US federal government cracked down on Full Tilt Poker on Black Friday, Khuri was one of the several US professional poker players to migrate to poker friendly areas. Khuri went to Lebanon to continue playing single table poker tournaments, this time on PokerStars.
Khuri has won thousands and thousands of dollars playing single table tournaments, and recently he gave an exclusive interview to Card Player, where he shared single table tournament strategies.
Especially speaking about the Independent Chip Model (ICM), Khuri said: “It is a way of assigning a value of chips at any stage in a tournament. The reason this is even necessary is because chips are not directly related to a dollar value during the course of a tournament the same way they are in a cash game. Because the formula is so complicated for calculating the value of your chips, some genius math guys created the independent chip model and some calculators that we can use to calculate the actual dollar value of our chip stack. It’s a way for measuring the value of our stack.” Stating that the term is greatly overused, he said that many people do not quite understand the true meaning of ICM.
When asked how ICM affects a player game in the early and late stages of a single table tournament, he said that it means that players will have to play a tighter game than they would play in a cash game. Stating that payout structures can greatly alter strategies, he suggested that those playing heavy payout structures must adopt a very aggressive style of play.
Voicing his opinion that the highest ICM games are closest to being solved, he said that this simply means that highest ICM games have very flat payout structures. In such tournaments, players must adopt a very tight style of gaming and make steals whenever they see an opportunity. This style, however, leaves very little opportunity for creativity, he added.
Khuri also spoke about ICM Tax, calling it a “user friendly way of describing what ICM is” and adding that it “basically says that doubling up your stack is worth less than losing your whole stack.”