Why GTO is Not Always the Answer

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

We already covered the advantages of GTO strategy in my previous blog, but in order to get the most of this concept, you need to understand the limitations of this approach as well. Therefore, let us cover a few disadvantages that this strategy can bring to the table.

  • It does not maximize your winnings

Even though it is a very good strategy to use as your starting point, GTO play will not maximize your winnings. When you spot your opponents making mistakes, you want to do all you can to extract money from them and, therefore, deviate from GTO play.

  • It’s not optimal vs. weak players

Let’s take an extreme example. If your opponent folds to your c-bet every single time, you should be c-betting all your bluffs and trapping with your strong hands. According to GTO strategy, however, you should still be balancing your range. Obviously, if you know your opponent’s tendencies, it makes no sense to do that. You would have to take the most profitable line and bet all your bluffs even if this would not theoretically be the optimal play in general.

Weak players will be making plenty of mistakes, so your goal is to act on them. GTO strategy is not the best strategy in this case, and you will win much more with an exploitative approach.

  • Implementing GTO incorrectly will cost you money

It is very dangerous to implement GTO strategy incorrectly if you do not have enough practice. Especially if you are just starting out in poker, you should learn the basics and find some advanced poker training based on your preferred format to help you master the game.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve read through all of the advantages and disadvantages of game theory optimal strategy, the next step is actually putting the theory into practice. Remember, poker is not a solved game yet, so there’s no person out there who is perfectly employing GTO play. However, you can get very close to it by learning the fundamentals.

Understanding both GTO and the exploitative approach will greatly improve your game and give you the results you’re striving to achieve at the poker tables. So, take your time to study and always choose the best strategies based on your opponents.

 

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