Here's a tool to calculate your "M". But before calculating your M, we'll first want to know what it is and what it's for.
The M comes from Paul David Magriel, an American poker player (M for Magriel). The M unit will give us the number of table turns we have before we "blink off", i.e. run out of blinds and are eliminated from the tournament. To make the calculation, we'll need to know the current small and big blinds and antes.
How to calculate your M?
Enter the details of your specific situation. Here, we have a stack of 800 chips. We're at a full-ring table with 10 players. The blinds are 10/20 with antes at 5. Remember that antes will be deducted from our stack every hand.
So, a round of betting or, as we say, a round of orbiting, will see us play 10 hands. For these 10 hands, we'll have to pay 10 x 5 for the ante (total 50). To this 50, we must add the small and big blinds (10 + 20 = 30). So, to play 10 hands (1 round), we'll have to pay 80 chips.
If we had 80 chips, we'd have an M of 1. If we failed to play a hand, we'd be eliminated from the tournament.
In the present situation, we have 800 chips. The M calculator will add the antes to the blinds as we've seen (total 80). This figure will divide our stack (800 / 80). The result of this division will give us our M :
What's the point of knowing your M?
Knowing your M is essential for selecting your preflop hands. Depending on our M, we won't open the same hands. For example, a hand like JTs in Under The Gun (UTG) position will sometimes lie with an M of 25, for example. But if you have an M of 2, you'll be very happy to push that hand all in and hope for the best at the showdown. Simply put, the lower your M, the more hands you'll play. The higher your M, the fewer hands you'll play (especially if the M's of the players at your table are low).
It's important to keep your M in mind at all times when playing tournament poker, but it's also important to keep our opponents' Ms in mind. A player in UTG position who pushes all in with an M of 2 will often have a weak hand that we can call in BB position, for example, when we close the action. A hand like KJ in BB position will be an easy call against the UTG player's all in with an M of 2. On the other hand, a player pushing all in in UTG position with an M of 20 will almost always have a better hand than KJ. So always keep your M and your opponent's in mind.