5 Reasons You Should Learn GTO
Learning GTO Poker is no longer something that only matters to advanced players. Even if you’re relatively new to the game, it’s important that you learn the fundamentals of GTO poker.
I’ve heard players say things like: “GTO doesn’t apply to my game. I just focus on exploiting my opponents.” These players don’t get it. Neither did I at first. It’s not about “playing perfectly”. Rather it is about approximating the equilibrium point such that you can MAXIMALLY EXPLOIT your opponents!
I’ll elaborate on this plus some other reasons why you should learn GTO poker sooner rather than later.
1) Maximally Exploit your Opponents with GTO Poker
Let’s first explain what I mean by equilibrium point. We’ll use a simple river example.
What would you do if I only bet the river with the nuts? You would never call (unless you had the same hand).
If I did this for a while and you started folding all the time, then I’d probably start bluffing a bunch. And then what would you do? Well you would start to call with more hands once you noticed I was betting more often.
If we played together long enough, this might go back and forth until we settled into a point of balance. When two players reach this spot, where neither one can improve his strategy any more to gain an edge, it is called the Nash Equilibrium.
With modern GTO poker tools, you can actually solve for this situation given hand ranges and the board cards. But what is really powerful is that if you put in how your opponent is likely to play, you can also solve for the best way to exploit him!
While it’s not realistic to run these tools while you’re playing, the more you practice and analyze similar situations, the better you get at figuring out how to exploit various player types.
2) Finding Strategies to Exploit the Field
By “field” here, I mean all the players at your level that play in your game. As I just said, the more time you spend running these scenarios, the more you’re going to discover. There are some spots where pretty much everybody plays a certain way. And that way is FAR from the GTO solution. In fact, usually the further you get from the GTO play, the more money there is to be made through exploitation.
Discovering one of these particular spots is like finding a money tree! You can apply some creative strategies that buck the trends that everyone else is following in order to gain a massive edge. And you can continue to print money as long as you don’t “tip your hand” and reveal what you’re doing.
3) Playing Unknown Players
Another big reason to learn how to approximate the GTO solution to a hand is that it will help you make the best decisions versus unknown players. This is especially useful in games where you don’t have a lot of stats or can’t use a hud (e.g. live play).
Let’s say you bet the flop and turn with top pair and a bad card lands on the river completing the flush. You check and an unknown opponent bets. Maybe you’re the conservative type and figure you’ll fold this time and keep an eye on him going forward. Or maybe you’re the curious type and choose to call to see if he’s bluffing this time so you’ll know for the future.
Neither of these are very sophisticated strategies. If you lean too much toward folding in these spots, over time you’re allowing yourself to get exploited (even if he’s not trying to!) If you call too much, the same is true. The best strategy is to learn how to estimate the balanced solution and play that way.
You don’t have to be a math wizard. There are in fact some general guidelines that can help you get close. I’ll cover these in my upcoming webinar on GTO Poker.
4) When you Don’t know What Else to Do
This same idea can apply even when you DO know your opponent, but are just unsure of how to exploit him. This even applies to playing against fish!
Consider this scenario. There’s a “recreational player” you see all the time. Pre-flop he plays far too many hands. Post-flop he can make some questionable plays, but he’s not a total maniac. A particular hand comes up where both of you have effective stacks of 125 big blinds. He raises and you 3-bet with AK. You continuation bet this flop A22, and he raises all-in. What do you do?
While you know he’s a fish that sometimes gets out of line, you’ve never seen him over-jam like this. You’re risking a lot by calling, but then again he’s a fish and could be spazz-jamming a flush draw. You’re just not sure what to do.
GTO to the rescue! When you can’t decide, the best thing to do is fall back on a GTO strategy. Use the bet size and pot to determine what frequency you should be calling, and then estimate how far down your range you go. Again, I’ll be walking through examples of how to do this in my GTO class.
5) Playing Strong Players
To me, this is part of poker I enjoy the most: going head to head with one of the best players in your game. You put your skills fully to the test.
Your best option versus a player like this is usually the GTO option. If you try to exploit him in some particular way, then it’s possible he may adjust and re-exploit you back! Again GTO means you’re both playing in such a way as that neither of you can change your strategy to further exploit your opponent. And these days this usually means that whoever is better at approximating the equilibrium point with their play, is going to come out ahead in the long run.
Intro to GTO – Exploit to the Max
2 hour video + bonus material
I teach you how GTO works and how to start using it to find the most profitable exploitative strategies. Also, I include special bonus material which includes a template and spreadsheet of the results of hours and hours of analysis I’ve done using the most cutting-edge GTO tools currently on the market. It also includes an extra video that teaches you how to use the template.