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If a tournament has X number of players. What are the odds of winning the tournament?

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Assuming random hand distribution and players of equal ability, the probability of winning is 1/x. Of course other factors are involved in real poker, so it's impossible to summarize this in a simple formula.

If you are interested in the more specific question of how much cash equity you have in a tournament given the remaining players' stack sizes, you might want to look into the Independent Chip Model (ICM). It's useful as a way of determining the cash value of your current stack, and the value of your decisions, particularly later in a tournament when the money ladder is in play.

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  • In addition, the starting stacks or blinds levels (timely) may matter as well. As @Chris said, ICM should definitely be considered, in combination with the prize structure (it's flat? it's skewed to first places?). A structure that favors only 3 places may greatly reduces the winning chances since the game will turn loose/aggro in late stages, increasing the already high MTT variance. – user1165 May 15 '15 at 21:28
  • @vlzvl reduce winning chances for who? Surely not for everybody. – DanTilkin May 15 '15 at 22:37
  • @DanTilkin, probably for the short stacks, not the big ones. Flatter structures helps the smaller stacks in my opinion since less shoves are required (depending on player's style), however in opposite situations more shoves are required, if not forced. That certainly has to change the winning chance overall. – user1165 May 15 '15 at 22:54

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