Posts Tagged ‘GTO strategy’

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Sometimes I feel that GTO poker strategy is almost a myth. Many players are not exactly sure what it means and, more importantly, when to implement it to achieve good results. Without going into complex explanations, I will try to define it in a very simple way.

GTO strategy shows how to balance your range and your value hands-to-bluffs ratio in a way that no one can exploit you. If you can execute GTO play most of the time, you are guaranteed to at least break even against the best players in the world.

GTO Poker Strategy

Therefore, your best bet is to learn GTO fundamentals and use those against very good or unknown players. So let’s figure out what advantages GTO play has and how you can improve your poker stats.

GTO Advantages

The reason top poker players utilize GTO play is that it carries some distinct advantages, namely:

• You’re guaranteed not to lose money

Using GTO play practically guarantees that you will not lose money even against the strongest players in your games. This is obviously a huge benefit and, if implemented correctly, could make you a very tough player. It is probably one of the greatest advantages of GTO play because not many other strategies can help you play profitably against excellent players.

• It’s great against good regulars

Game theory optimal is the best strategy to use when playing against top-level competition. First off, these opponents are not going to be making huge mistakes, so you will have very few chances to exploit them. Most of the time, irregularities in their game accrue because of the variance in their hole card distribution and, if you don’t stick to GTO strategy, you could end up making adjustments that will hurt you.

Moreover, if you drastically change your game to try and exploit someone, that makes you easily exploitable yourself. Obviously, good players will spot this very quickly and make you pay for it.

Using GTO strategy, you will be able to play even against the toughest opponents who try to exploit you. If you can balance your ranges, it’s only a matter of time until your opponents start making mistakes. Thus, it gives you a reliable way to win even against better players.

• It’s the best strategy against unknowns

Just as you are not able to exploit top regulars because they don’t make big mistakes, you are not able to exploit unknowns because you have no idea how they play. So, if you find yourself playing against new players (or at anonymous tables online), GTO is the best strategy to give you an edge over your competition.

• It’s perfect when you are not sure of the proper play to make

When you’re not sure of the right play to make in a particular situation, trying to balance your ranges is the best option and it ought to be your priority. It does not matter whether you are playing against a tough opponent or recreational player.

For example, if you’re considering betting the river as a bluff and are not sure if this is profitable because you don’t know how that player plays in this spot, simply balance your range, choose value-to-bluff ratio according to your bet size, and you are good to go. If you choose another route, you’ll have to guess what tendencies your opponent has and you can easily end up making the wrong decision. Thus, GTO play gives you a huge advantage in this spot and lets you make the most profitable play without making unreasonable assumptions about your opponent.

• Learning GTO can help you find ways to exploit your opponents

Even though GTO strategy is intended to help balance your own ranges, it allows you to exploit other players as well.When you know how a balanced range looks, it is much easier to spot deviations from it in your opponent’s game. Once you spot them, you can attack them. This alone can help you improve your game and considerably increase your win rate.

Conclusion
Now that you’ve read through all of the advantages the next step is to figure out why this approach is not always the answer, and I will cover that in my next article.

For now, remember that GTO strategy will help you make the best decision when you have no information about your opponents or are unsure how to exploit them. Stick to this strategy at the beginning and move to exploitative play only when you see massive leaks in your opponent’s play.

Texas Poker Store Nighthawk Poker TableLearn and practice GTO every time you take a seat at a poker table and your results will improve.

Send us your comments or questions!

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Poker is becoming highly competitive, and to stay ahead of your competition, you need to keep improving all the time. Just ask all-time great, Daniel Negreanu, who says he continues to work hard to keep up with the young poker studs. Obviously, you can find a lot of information on how to balance your ranges and you can learn game theory optimal (GTO) strategies to compete with tough players. However, there’s very little talk about how you can exploit your opponents to maximize results.

Do not get me wrong, understanding and learning GTO strategy is essential if you want to play in higher-stake games and grow as a player. But if your end goal is to make more money, you can surely find some spots for that.

Betting versus missed c-bet
Today, I want to talk about one of the most powerful moves you can add to your arsenal – betting versus missed continuation bet. It is probably the most underused play that can change your results dramatically. When your opponent decides not to c-bet after raising pre-flop, you have a great opportunity to steal the pot and, with very few exceptions, should do that almost all the time.The joy of winning after C-Betting

It does not matter if you are in or out of position, playing 3bet or single raised pot. In all of these cases, you can put a lot of pressure on your opponents if your first instinct is to bluff, unless you get a very unfavorable run out.

Most of the time this happens when you defend from the BB versus late position open and then you both check on the flop.?  If your opponent decided to check, he either has a weak hand, total air or he’s trapping, which is going to happen very rarely. Therefore, on most run outs you should fire a bet on the turn and continue barreling on the river as well. The only dangerous scenarios are when the board pairs or an Ace hits on the turn, because many players tend to check back A-high hands. Moreover, when the board pairs, you will get fewer folds because players are more likely to bluff catch with low pairs or even A-high hands so you can let it go.

Apart from that, you should feel free to fire a bet. If you choose to bet 2/3 of the pot, you only need to make him fold 40% of his range to make an instant profit, and that is usually the case. People just don’t have that many strong holdings in their checking range, so you can and should take advantage of that. Even if your opponent decides to call on the turn, he will end up folding most of his hands on the river. Thus, this is one of the spots where applying aggression is going to pay you huge dividends in the future.

Summing it up
As you see, it is not enough to learn Texas Holdem poker rules to make the most profitable decisions and sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Do not try to balance your ranges blindly and if you recognize mistakes in your opponent’s play – take advantage of that.Poker tables from the Texas Poker Store

In the next few upcoming articles, I will show you other profitable spots to exploit your competition at the poker tables, so stay tuned for more!

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!