If partypoker’s 2018 $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online plays out to a winner, that player will take home an online poker record-breaking score of $2.5 million.
In fact, each of the top four players in the MILLIONS Online will become instant millionaires. That’s an amazing result especially if that player won their way through the myriad of offered satellites.
When the money bubble approached, they survived the pressure of securing what could be a career-defining score.
Then, it’s time for the final table – with a massive score already locked up, it’s time to play your best in order to perhaps complete one of the greatest feats in online poker history.
But the truth is, when there is so much money on the line and the difference between first and second place may be as much as (or more than) a million dollars. Do you really want to play it out for that much cash? Are you prepared to get all the chips in the center and potentially ‘flip’ for a seven-figure sum? Even the most elite of players will sometimes look to make a deal at the end of a tournament. Especially when their edge is small and the money left in the prize pool is huge.
We talked to some of those pros about tips for negotiating a final table deal and whether they think it’s a good idea or not.
“Understanding what ICM is important so you don’t get taken advantage of in a deal,” said World Poker Tour Champions Club member Mike Leah. Leah has been in plenty of high-pressure spots and has famously negotiated a deal or two in his time.
“There are some people that try to look for angles or maybe get the better part of a deal,” Leah continued. “You can just download an ICM app so you can correctly understand what your value is and also be organized so you can figure out what you should be getting in a deal. It just makes it very easy to make a deal if you can just show everyone exactly what their ICM is.”
For the uninitiated, ICM stands for the Independent Chip Model. It allows players, based on the amount of money left in the prize pool, to calculate the exact worth of their stack.
Not many will have been in the position of playing for such huge sums as will be on the table during the MILLIONS Online. One of those players that has is Jason Koon. Koon, who has over $22 million in lifetime live earnings, knows that it’s tough enough when you are a top-tier pro playing against other pros. But, if you are a qualifier playing for life-changing money, the option to make a deal is something to be seriously considered.
“If you’re an amateur, you should be looking to chop for sure,” Koon said. “If people will chop with you, it’s a good idea if you’re there with a couple good pros to chop it up especially if it’s a gigantic sum of money for you.”
On the other hand, Koon recognizes that if you are the one with the edge. You may never get an opportunity like the MILLIONS Online again.
“If you’re an elite professional and you’re there and a chop will get your a big score but you’re giving up a lot of expected value by not playing it out then it’s probably a mistake to chop.
“But I would just say if you’re there and the money’s huge to you and the payouts would affect what your day-to-day routine would be definitely looking to make a chop,” Koon said.
partypoker Ambassador Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich has his own strategy for negotiating a potential deal. It’s not that he is opposed to dealing. Geilich is simply looking to maintain the upper hand should the subject arise.
“Chop-wise it’s always tough when playing for lots of money but I’ve always been that guy that doesn’t ask for a chop,” Geilich said. “The more money you play for the better, in my opinion, as it’s a win-win. You’re getting a lot anyway and now when players ask for the chop…as I don’t do…it makes them think ‘Why isn’t he asking?’ or ‘Why isn’t he bothered?’. In my opinion that gives you an edge!”
Everyone’s situation is different. Should you get lucky enough to be put in a position to take a seat at the final table, deciding on whether or not you’d be up for negotiating a deal is a good idea. Have the tools on hand necessary to not get taken advantage of. Be self-aware enough to understand your edge (or lack of) and what the amount of money being played for would mean to you if you won or lost.
The partypoker $20M GTD Millions Online takes place from November 25 through December 5. There are five starting flights and a $2.5 million guaranteed first place prize.