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09-19-2017, 06:03 PM   #1576
statmanhal
Pooh-Bah

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,968
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by p0ker_n00b Game Theory Optimal seems to suggest that you are playing optimally. But this also means that sometimes you are exploiting and sometimes you prevent exploitation by balancing your ranges.
NO!

I think you may be confused about what a theoretical GTO strategy is. It has a very specific definition as originally proposed in the book, Mathematics of Poker. A GTO strategy is one where if you and your opponent are using it, neither has any incentive to deviate and neither are exploitable. If one does deviate, then in the long run, he will be a loser. That doesn’t mean that against certain opponents that you can’t do better by exploiting a non-GTO player but by doing so you put yourself at risk of being exploited.

Last edited by statmanhal; 09-19-2017 at 06:09 PM.

09-19-2017, 06:59 PM   #1577
p0ker_n00b

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,076
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by statmanhal NO! I think you may be confused about what a theoretical GTO strategy is. It has a very specific definition as originally proposed in the book, Mathematics of Poker. A GTO strategy is one where if you and your opponent are using it, neither has any incentive to deviate and neither are exploitable. If one does deviate, then in the long run, he will be a loser. That doesn’t mean that against certain opponents that you can’t do better by exploiting a non-GTO player but by doing so you put yourself at risk of being exploited.
*edited to add* YES i am definitely confused about what most players MEAN when they mention GTO*

Ok so this is defining it a bit better.

So you would agree that 2 perfectly GTO players cannot profit from each other and they would in theory be break even? Or would you not agree? I can't seem to comprehend how 2 players playing a perfect GTO strategy (even if we haven't discovered fully what that means) could profit from one another.

GTO seems to best in a world where your opponent is also GTO - because if your opponent is not able or willing to exploit you when you deviate from GTO then there is no incentive for you to practice GTO vs that specific villain type.

Or are you suggesting GTO is a system in which there are many true/correct/profitable solutions that can all in theory be profitable but there are clear outsider solutions that are clearly wrong/bad/not profitable? So then one GTO players might have an internally consistent but different GTO strategy from another player???

09-19-2017, 07:56 PM   #1578
Matthew Janda

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 823
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by p0ker_n00b Warning: *****Longer than I intended Thank you if you get through it****** Ok I'm really trying to understand this GTO concept. FWIW I am in the best poker coaching program and we are taught to exploit, exploit, exploit - so I definitely understand exploitative play. We are trained to ignore GTO until the point in which we need to use it. (versus villains who are competent, winning players and who are exceptional at exploitative play.) Matt was asked how to adapt GTO for micro stakes and he replies: The answer is to take the most +EV line. It is very obvious to me at least that GTO is not the most +EV line is so many situations. GTO is most clearly NOT the best at every stake because it's NOT the most +EV line. Or I should say it's clearly NOT the most +EV line against villains who are highly exploitable. Extreme examples. Villain is a huge nitty nitty nit nit and gets extremely uncomfortable with calling flop raises OOP even with TPWK hands like AT on a Ah2hJs flop. Their fold to flop raise OOP is 75%. The GTO approach is to raise your value combo's (22, JJ, AJo, A2s) and some premium flush draws (KhQh, KhTh), etc. along with some bluffs. This GTO approach assumes villain cares about being exploited themselves. Maybe they are happy living in their world of nit and continue folding TPWK. This also means that CLEARLY you can go outside of the GTO bluff strategy and begin to raise more bluffs (backdoors flushes, 3rd/4th pairs, broadway gutshots without backdoor equity, etc) because villain can be exploited hard On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have mr. WHALE STATION and they open 50% UTG and fold to flop raises 20% of the time. Here you would NEVER want to raise bluffs (one could argue you still should at a very rare frequency to let the whale who is probably one tabling not get the idea that you are only attacking them with value every time) But the main point is that you can begin to raise the flop with lower value hands like AQ or AT maybe even A9. If Player A and Player B both play perfectly GTO poker, and they play 1 million hands against each other, shouldn't the expected winnings of each player be the 0bb/100? (assuming no rake is paid) Meaning GTO is only a system to prevent you from losing money but also prevents you from winning money? It is a 0 sum system? Because if GTO is simply a preventative maintenance to counter exploitation then is assuming villain exploits and doesn't play GTO, therefore also implying that now you are being exploited because now you can't take exploitative lines because now villain is adapting to your exploitations by becoming more and more GTO. So you have 2 villains that are both exploitative villains. They want to study how to play against their opponent (A vs B and B vs A), so they move more and more into GTO play instead of moving more and more into exploitable play - So eventually in a perfect system, they both end up having 0 net profit vs each other. In other words, GTO seems to be a system that only works if the villain also plays GTO. If villain knows you fold to much to 3bets, then the correct solution for the villain is to 3bet you more. This is not GTO, correct? Because villain should just be 3 betting their normal range. I don't understand how Matt can claim GTO crushes all limits. It also confuses me that if you play GTO it assumes villain exploits. Instead of counter exploiting, like x/raising flops more often when you see they float bet IP more than average but fold a lot to cbets. If no villain is exploitable and everyone plays perfectly GTO, nobody would make money in poker. Also some villains do not purposefully exploit, because they could exploit by cbetting 80% OOP so it is an exploit vs someone who folds a lot IP, but sub optimal vs someone who calls down to river with 2nd and 3rd pairs. So I really fail to see how GTO is some game crushing theory - because in my head it seems clear to me that it is quite the opposite - it is a system which prevents being exploited and ALSO prevents you exploiting the villain, therefore making your win rate 0bb/100. Is not GTO simply a system to prevent yourself from bleeding too much versus better than average exploitative players and NOT a system that allows you maximize EV in all situations? Because it seems to me that maximizing EV is simply playing good, logical, reasoned and most importantly exploitative poker and GTO cannot give you this. Maybe some people are using "GTO" and "Taking the most +EV line through intense study of range vs range, flopzilla board texture connectivity, combo counting, a solid understanding of poker equities and what not" as the same thing. GTO does not necessarily equate to the other. Or so I argue. I do hope the book forces me to study some poker math and reason/think on new levels but the overall concept of GTO is really something I tend to find some huge issues with. If anything I wrote is answerable and made any sense, I thank anyone who can clear some of this stuff up.
Do you have either book and if so how far are you in them?

This stuff is explained in a lot of detail within both books. I'm glad to help out but I'd rather not try to explain concepts in a few paragraphs that I've spent many pages explaining in the books.

 09-19-2017, 08:32 PM #1579 p0ker_n00b adept   Join Date: Jul 2013 Posts: 1,076 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts I just bought the first book, the applications one - But before I begin to read it My brain was being zapped with different posts and answers within this thread - And now I am left believing that nobody has provided a coherent and internally consistent definition of what GTO actually IS. It almost seems like when people discuss God. Everyone has a different personal opinion about what God actually is or means to them and many people have a difficult time providing a definition for it, even though they tell you they believe or do not believe in this God, etc etc. Some say GTO is NOT exploitative play. Some say that by playing GTO you are naturally exploiting villain's (whether it's the intention of GTO system to do that or not, it's like an inherent outcome of the system) - Some say GTO is just "well reasoned and good poker" , etc By defining GTO you can also define what GTO is NOT. And are there multiple variations of a proper GTO strategy that 2 players can develop? But if you truly feel all this is defined ad nauseum in the book then I will just read the book...
09-19-2017, 09:18 PM   #1580
Matthew Janda

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 823
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by p0ker_n00b I just bought the first book, the applications one - But before I begin to read it My brain was being zapped with different posts and answers within this thread - And now I am left believing that nobody has provided a coherent and internally consistent definition of what GTO actually IS. It almost seems like when people discuss God. Everyone has a different personal opinion about what God actually is or means to them and many people have a difficult time providing a definition for it, even though they tell you they believe or do not believe in this God, etc etc. Some say GTO is NOT exploitative play. Some say that by playing GTO you are naturally exploiting villain's (whether it's the intention of GTO system to do that or not, it's like an inherent outcome of the system) - Some say GTO is just "well reasoned and good poker" , etc By defining GTO you can also define what GTO is NOT. And are there multiple variations of a proper GTO strategy that 2 players can develop? But if you truly feel all this is defined ad nauseum in the book then I will just read the book...
Yeah just read the book. Or start here and just keep reading and clicking new wikipedia links or reading sources as they pop up (this is probably going to be a harder read than any poker book though):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_equilibrium

The new book pretty much just starts out with explaining GTO conceptual stuff but if you've already got the old one just give it a go (*cough* potentially skipping the pre-flop chapter *cough*) and if there's something specific that seems wrong let us know. But a lot of stuff gets explained bits at a time since it's impossible to explain everything simultaneously, so if something seems unanswered just remember it's probably coming in later content.

Unfortunately, when you write a book it's not like coaching someone 1-on-1 poker, so you'll probably have to read a lot of stuff you already know or read some stuff you're less interested in to get to the stuff you most care about (in your case it sounds like technical explanations of what GTO is and how it works). But that information is definitely in those two books with lots of detail.

 09-19-2017, 09:36 PM #1581 p0ker_n00b adept   Join Date: Jul 2013 Posts: 1,076 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts Ok thank you, I will study the book and see if I make sense out the wikipedia link you provided. Last edited by p0ker_n00b; 09-19-2017 at 09:55 PM.
 09-19-2017, 10:52 PM #1582 p0ker_n00b adept   Join Date: Jul 2013 Posts: 1,076 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts Found this video , so my questions about whether or not GTO includes exploitative play is answered (They seem to be mutually exclusive) and also the question about if two perfectly GTO players were playing versus each other, the neither would profit - I assume that is the conclusion because GTO is defined as "a strategy in which your opponent cannot beat you" - this obviously implies that if player A is perfectly GTO and player B is perfectly GTO then neither palyer would profit and they would just lose to the rake.
 09-21-2017, 02:29 AM #1583 p0ker_n00b adept   Join Date: Jul 2013 Posts: 1,076 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts I just got the book in the mail! Your book looks about as intense as I expected. It should be a very good read. I opened up to a few random pages and I found small little math equations on each of the first 5 pages I opened up to. This is EXACTLY what I'm interested in. So to say I am eager and determined to seriously take my understanding of poker theory and math to the next level...can you recommend if your other book (the newer NL holdem for advanced players) has the same material just rewritten, is it MORE advanced and math heavy, is there NEW material? Will I be disappointed when the 2nd one arrives and find it is very much the same book with the same information because applications book is over 400 pages and seems pretty decisively exhaustive in it's approach.
09-21-2017, 12:45 PM   #1584
Matthew Janda

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 823
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by p0ker_n00b I just got the book in the mail! Your book looks about as intense as I expected. It should be a very good read. I opened up to a few random pages and I found small little math equations on each of the first 5 pages I opened up to. This is EXACTLY what I'm interested in. So to say I am eager and determined to seriously take my understanding of poker theory and math to the next level...can you recommend if your other book (the newer NL holdem for advanced players) has the same material just rewritten, is it MORE advanced and math heavy, is there NEW material? Will I be disappointed when the 2nd one arrives and find it is very much the same book with the same information because applications book is over 400 pages and seems pretty decisively exhaustive in it's approach.

09-21-2017, 09:17 PM   #1585
p0ker_n00b

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,076
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Matthew Janda As Husker just said, an optimal opponent won't exploit you. He just does his own GTO thing regardless of what you do. You could be playing a GTO opponent heads up and go all-in 1000 times in a row pre-flop, and assuming it's GTO for your given stack depth, he's still going to be folding AQ and TT to the jam.
Isn't this like saying "An optimal boxer will not counter any of your techniques or footing inside the ring. He will of course follow his own strategy of throwing 2 punches from the left, one hook from the right and side stepping in alternate fashion to whichever hand throws the punch. Because if he changes his strategy, his opponent will be able to exploit him. By not adapting to his opponent and remaining steadfast in this own strategy, this boxer cannot be beaten. He is optimal."

If my HU opponent folded 1,000 times in a row to my 1,000 consecutive jams pre flop, this is so obviously NOT optimal! This is a huge leak and he is being exploited to the ends of the world.

Why is the Terminology of GTO using within it's main concept a word "optimal" that does not actually mean optimal?

Reminds me of this...

Maybe we should change GTO to GTP (Game Theory Perfect) or GTEV (Game Theory +EV) or GTB (Game Theory Balanced)

 09-21-2017, 10:48 PM #1586 statmanhal Pooh-Bah   Join Date: Jan 2009 Posts: 3,968 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts I think I read somewhere that the originators of the term Game Theory Optimal are sorry they used the term because of the confusion it has caused. The strategy is optimal in that it is the best strategy against someone also playing GTO. Against someone not playing GTO, it is not necessarily optimal – not necessarily the best; however, aside from rake, GTO still guarantees against long term loss. In other words, you can’t beat a GTO player heads-up in the long run. Last edited by statmanhal; 09-21-2017 at 10:54 PM.
09-22-2017, 11:56 AM   #1587
ArtyMcFly
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Enchantment Under the Sea
Posts: 7,516
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

From the sticky thread, started by Will Tipton in 2012(!), in the Poker Theory forum:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by yaqh Nash equilibrium strategies are also known as optimal or game theory optimal or GTO or unexploitable. The fact that "optimal" does not simply mean "maximally exploitative" really seems to trip people up and is thus unfortunate, but that's the language the mathematicians chose, so we're stuck with it. The usage of "optimal" or "game theory optimal" to refer to the Nash Equilibrium appears to be somewhat unique to poker. It's genesis may be from the book "The Mathematics of Poker" which uses the term this way. This usage does not appear to be common among game theorists and definitely causes some confusion at times.

 10-03-2017, 08:49 AM #1588 Adebola stranger   Join Date: Oct 2017 Posts: 1 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts Apologies if this point has been brought up before (if someone could point me in the right direction if so that wouldbe much appreciated). I notice in the preflop section that the cold call IP ranges are much wider than a lot of good players recommend, and I believe pokersnowie flats much tighter than the ranges in AoNLHE. Has your view on this changed significantly since time of writing? Or do you think that in a lot of relatively soft games flatting much more hands is a good exploitative strategy? If you do think that in theory IP cold call ranges should be tighter than the ranges in AoNLHE, are there any adjustments you would make to the post-flop chapters because of this (e.g. OOP checking some boards 100%) or do you think the concepts apply as long as you consider the new range instead of the old ones? Thanks for any thoughts on the topic!
10-04-2017, 11:14 AM   #1589
Matthew Janda

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 823
Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Adebola Apologies if this point has been brought up before (if someone could point me in the right direction if so that wouldbe much appreciated). I notice in the preflop section that the cold call IP ranges are much wider than a lot of good players recommend, and I believe pokersnowie flats much tighter than the ranges in AoNLHE. Has your view on this changed significantly since time of writing? Or do you think that in a lot of relatively soft games flatting much more hands is a good exploitative strategy? If you do think that in theory IP cold call ranges should be tighter than the ranges in AoNLHE, are there any adjustments you would make to the post-flop chapters because of this (e.g. OOP checking some boards 100%) or do you think the concepts apply as long as you consider the new range instead of the old ones? Thanks for any thoughts on the topic!
I think the pre-flop section of the book aged worse than any section of the book by a pretty wide margin.

GTO pre-flop ranges likely will look very, very different from the best ranges to use in the actual games you're playing though. IN other words, if the games you're playing give you a big enough edge to beat the rake, you probably can play many hands pre-flop that in theory would be BE or -EV vs GTO opponents (especially due to the rake).

I think defending OOP and the bet-sizing information in Applications aged really well. I think there's probably a fair amount of updating I could do if I re-wrote the book, but I think for the most part it's conceptually sound and wouldn't be worth the time (or extra \$40 readers would have to pay) to get the updated book when Applications mostly got it right, mostly.

IIRC when Applications came out, the most common PM I got was how I was recommending way too much checking vs strong villains when the biggest winners CB way more often even at MSNL (and probably HSNL). So like I'd recommend CB 40% check 60% in some spots, and people that that was way too much checking. Solvers/Snowie in many of those same spots actually recommend checking 90%+.

 10-11-2017, 10:35 AM #1590 Curryboy centurion   Join Date: Sep 2007 Posts: 152 Re: Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em Review and Discussion - See 1st post for Updated Concepts Hi Matt, I'm really enjoying the book. With respect to part 5: 'whether to bet or ch in position' are there any notable adjustments you would make to the summary points you make at the end of the section with regard to deeper (300bb) live full ring NLHE games? I would say that overall pf ranges are usually wider due to higher implied odds and often many players targeting playing pots with deep weaker players and also the population is generally less aggressive esp in terms of flop ch rz. Thanks

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