ITM Poker: what does it mean and what is a good ITM in poker?

For players, it is a constant challenge to improve their skills and results in poker, and one of the key metrics they use to evaluate their success is the ITM, which stands for "In The Money". In this post we are going to tell you in detail what is ITM in poker and what is considered a good ITM.

What is ITM in poker

ITM is a term commonly used in the world of poker and other games to refer to a situation in which a player has made it far enough in a tournament to receive a cash prize.

In other words, when a player reaches the ITM, he has made it past the elimination stage and has secured at least a share of the prize pool. He is "in [the zone of] the money," i.e., "in the money." Poker is a game that works with concepts like this and it is important to become familiar with it.

ITM in poker has a clear meaning, but it is not used in specific games, i.e., it is applied, mainly but not exclusively, in poker tournaments, since in cash games there is no specific prize structure based on player rankings. However, in tournaments, players compete for a predetermined prize pool, and only those who reach a certain position in the tournament receive a prize.

How to calculate the ITM?

The ITM is usually calculated as a percentage of the total number of players in the tournament. For example, if a tournament has 100 participants and the prizes are awarded to the first 10 players, then the players who occupy the first 10 positions will be considered in the ITM. In this case, the ITM would be 10%.

It is important to note that the ITM is not based on the amount of chips a player has at any given time, but on his final position in the tournament.

This means that a player with a small chip stack can still reach the ITM if he manages to stay in the game long enough and reach one of the winning positions.

What is a good ITM in poker?

The question of what is considered a good ITM in poker is one of the most frequently asked questions among players, especially those who are looking to improve their performance in tournaments. The answer is not so simple, as what is considered a good ITM can vary depending on several factors.

Factors that influence a good ITM in poker

  • Type of tournament. The type of tournament you are playing in can significantly influence what is considered a good ITM. For example, in multi-table tournaments with a large number of participants, reaching the ITM can be more difficult and, therefore, an ITM of 10% can be quite impressive. In contrast, in smaller tournaments or satellites, where prizes are awarded to a larger percentage of players, an ITM of 10% may not be as outstanding.
  • Competition level. The skill level of your opponents is also an important factor. In tournaments with highly skilled players, reaching the ITM can be a significant accomplishment, even if you don't make it to the top positions. In tournaments with less experienced players, you will be expected to reach the ITM more often.
  • Personal goals. Every poker player has personal goals and objectives. Some players are content to simply make the ITM in most of their tournaments, while others aim to make the final table or even win the tournament. What is considered a good ITM will depend on your own goals and expectations.

Strategies to Improve your ITM

If you are looking to improve your ITM in poker, here are some strategies that can help you:

  • Set realistic goals. Instead of focusing on reaching the ITM in every tournament, set realistic goals based on your skill level and the difficulty of the tournament. This will help you stay motivated and not get discouraged if you don't reach the ITM every time.
  • Improve your skills. The better your game, the better your chances of making it to the ITM on a regular basis. Spend time studying strategies, learning from your mistakes and practicing.
  • Bankroll management. Proper management of your bankroll is essential. Don't risk too much in a single tournament and make sure you have enough money to keep playing.
  • Know your opponents. Observe and adapt your strategy according to the style of play of your opponents. Facing different types of players will require different approaches.
  • Keep your cool. At crucial moments in a tournament, the pressure can be intense. Learn to handle it and make rational rather than emotional decisions.

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