When watching instruction videos or reading online discussions, you often read about the concept of "waiting for a better spot". The player often mentions that they have an "edge over the field" and that they will pass up on marginal opportunities in order to "get their money in better" later on.
Let's assume we're in any situation where we have a decision that is just slightly +$EV (so, including ICM considerations) but have a significant "edge" over the field (whatever that means, mathematically). Assuming we don't care about the real life effects of variance, is there any mathematical value in this approach? Or is passing up on these spots just basically lighting money on fire?
I guess you could reformulate the question with a thought experiment: Imagine a situation where you're covered by villain, flipping against their range and pot odds are such that the decision (including ICM considerations) is only very slightly profitable. But for whatever magical reason you know that in the next hand, you will always make +[some arbitrary but significant amount] of chips 100% of the time.
What are the expected differences in the long term results of a player that takes this spot vs. one that doesn't? Does a player that takes this spot just make (ever so slightly) more money than a player who doesn't? Or is there some inherent value to the "tournament life" that factors into this decision? After all, the player who takes the spot will not be able to win any more money 50% of the time - on the other hand, the player will also double up 50% of the time.