What is “ITM”?
An abbreviation of “In The Money”, ITM is a term used in tournament poker to quantify the rate at which a poker player will make the money/cash in a tournament.
Benefits of ITM
Keeping tabs on your ITM poker rate means you are exercising good record keeping and on top of your cash rate. It also means you can prudently forecast how many tournaments you will cash in next month based on the number you enter. It shows you are serious about your tournament poker, keen to monitor and track your performance.
Restrictions of ITM
Calculating your ITM is great, but it is not an indication of how profitable you are. After all, you might cash most of the time but never make it past the 1st or 2nd level after cashing. This would mean you have a poor hourly and poor ROI. Tracking your ROI is far more beneficial than looking at your ITM. I recommend using both methods if you are a serious tournament poker player looking to improve.
How Do I Calculate ITM?
Very simple formula:
# Cashes/ # MTTS entered Multiplied by 100 = ITM Rate as %
E.G 10 cashes / 90 MTTs entered x 100 = 11% ITM Rate
What is a Good ITM Rate?
I think setting a target of 20-22% is challenging but realistic enough to shoot for. If you are consistently getting above this than you are doing very well. Most MTT experts accept 15 – 20% as a decent cash rate. If you are recording significantly less than this, than you need to look at the MTTS you play and the strategy you employ.
Having a good ITM poker rate is awesome but it’s important to remember that the goal when playing tournaments is to make as much money as possible. If you are adopting a nitty style that eeks you into the money a lot of the time but rarely a deep run or final table, then you need to rethink your strategy. Tournaments will always reward those who finish in the highest places. To achieve this, you have to take calculated risks, steal the blinds and build a decent stack. You need to be the player taking advantage of those that are trying to survive the next level of pay and not the one that is scared to bubble or not cash. We’re here to make money not double our buy in.
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