What exactly is “M” and how is he going to help you in a poker tournament? M is a concept popularized by “Stock” Dan Harrington in his must read the Holden Poker Tournament texts “Harrington in Holdem,” although the concept has been around in for a long time. In fact, the “M” stands for Magriel, as in Paul “X-22” Magriel, who coined the term. Other players may have different terms for M for example, Mike “Crazy” Caro refers to the concept as “CPR” or cost per round.
What is “M”?
M is calculated by dividing its stack by the number of blinds and those previously required for each round. This tells you how many rounds you could play before you are blinded out of the tournament if you did not play a single hand. Why is this useful? Because it tells you how urgent your tournament situation is and therefore how quickly, or aggressively, you need to play. It is not as useful in cash poker games.
You also need to adjust the M so that there are the number of players on the table, to reflect the fact that they will blind you faster on a shorthanded table. With five players, divide your M by two; With three players split by three, and so on.
Let’s say your M is 20 or higher, for example, it is the third level of a tournament, you have a stack of 3000 with blinds of 50 and 100, 3000/150 = 20. Harrington would say that you are in the “green zone,” Which means you can play your typical cash game style. You can make games to set the image, you know how to play a wider range of hands, you should not look to get all your chips in without the best of it.