Punting in poker means you lose your chips quickly within a few hands by making a series of poor decisions. Punting is often referenced when deep in poker tournaments and you have a good chance to do even better in the tournament, but you lose your stack fast with a low chance of winning. However, you can also punt in cash games by shoving all-in with extremely low equity.
A poker punt often means that you bluffed away your chips when you didn’t need to.
Example of Punting
For example, you are running deep in a multi-table tournament (MTT). You have 70 big blinds worth of chips, which is a good amount deep in a tournament, and there are 40 people left out of 1,000 people who entered the tournament.
You get dealt A2 of spades.
The flop comes KK3 and you end up trying to bluff all your chips but get called by AK and lose.
This is an example of punting in poker.
Twitch Streamer Punts
Tonkaaaap is a popular Twitch streamer and professional poker player. He has a compilation video on YouTube of his top 10 biggest punts in poker. The first few are cash, and the rest are in tournaments.
The ICM Punt in Poker
When looking at punting poker, you will often come across people discussing the ICM punt. ICM stands for the Independent Chip Model and refers to a mathematical equation used to calculate a player's overall equity in a tournament.
There are times when you have a lot of equity in the tournament, meaning a good chunk of chips, and you should be able to realize that equity by cashing in a good position within the tournament.
Therefore, if you lose your stack faster than you should and don’t get a chance to realize that equity, they call this an ICM punt.
One way to explain this is when you are at the final table of a tournament with 9 players left. You have the 2nd most amount of chips at the table and there is only one chip stack that is larger than yours. ICM would represent a certain value of cash prize for the number of chips you have.
An ICM punt in this scenario is going all-in and losing against the chip leader, the only stack that is bigger than yours, and busting out of the tournament. This is ICM punting in poker.
Does Punt Mean Bet?
Punting does not mean ‘bet' in poker. You can punt by betting a lot of your chips quickly, but in general, a punt is not referred to as a bet.