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Exploitative vs. GTO

Video by crushchessy | Dec 3, 2016

Sonny discusses the differences in GTO and exploitative play in a hand and how much more EV exploitative play is likely to get vs. a typical opponent.


phishman over 2 years ago
I really liked the vid. Thanks. I am new to online poker and GTO, but have been studying it a bit lately to get a feel for it. I am currently reading Applications of No Limit Hold Em. My approach from what I have learned so far is that GTO is a really good starting point for betting freq, bluffing freq etc... but that you need to adjust GTO to match the tendencies of your opponent- e.g. reduce bluff freq a lot versus calling stations. Do you think this is a good approach? Should I still study GTO to understand it but just apply it in the fashion that I am thinking about above or is it better to focus on studying other aspects of the game? I also play a lot of live NLHE and understand that the exploitative adjustments from GTO are even larger against poor opponents in these games too, but have found it somewhat helpful against good thinking players- any thoughts on this would be good too.

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crushchessy over 2 years ago
Hi phishman,

Glad you liked the video. It seems to me that studying GTO approaches is quite interesting, but sometimes I think that GTO approaches are just not very effective at stakes 100 NL and below where you are typically paying 6-10 bb/100 in rake depending on what site you are playing on. In a typical 100 hand sample you are going to get about one heads up flop in a 3 bet pot and about 6 heads up pots in single raise pots. These are the spots where everyone is studying GTO solutions.
The problem, however, is that the GTO strategy is primarily defensive in nature and if you model the average players strategy in Cardrunners EV and then run a GTO solution from PIOsolver against it, you are hardly winning anything because of his mistaken deviations from GTO play. In most of the sims I have run it is something like .2-.3 bb in 3b pots and even less in single raised pots. So if you become too focused on GTO play, it is quite easy to beat your opponents because of their GTO mistakes, but still end up losing to rake or just be slightly better than breakeven (unless they are making big mistakes preflop).
I think that to really pay off that 6-10 bb/100 in rake you are much better off just trying to employ extremely exploitative lines that take advantage of big mistakes your opponents are making in their range construction. I don't think it's particularly useful to worry about good opponents as at these lower stakes even the better regulars have ranges that are quite exploitable, and they are not too likely to notice the ways in which you are exploitable as those will vary according to so many different situations and board textures.
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