PA Principle Week 30

GTO applies in your games

Continuing on last week’s principle, I am sure there were a couple of players who read it and thought “but in my games they don’t play GTO”.

Then let me explain it in a different way.

Let’s say you 3-Bet AA in position in a Cash Game over a 100 big blind deep. The board comes 678, and you want to move all-in straight away before any scare cards roll off and your opponent gets away from his over-pair.

You check it in the solver and see that it prefers to check your hand. You think this is ridiculous, as it’s clear for you that in your game (or vs this opponent), you just want to go all-in and get called by JJ.

When we look at what the OOP would do vs a jam, however, we can see that he is snap folding JJ to a shove.

Now we have 2 options:

1. Say “you see, it doesn’t apply in my game” (most probably there is also a confirmation bias going on here) and keep doing what you are doing, neglecting the opportunity for growth.

2. Approach the solver from a point of interest, “So if my opponent does not call JJ vs a jam, then why we don’t bet smaller and prefer checking?” Now in this question there is an opportunity for growth. We understand WHY it does not want to jam in theory and are now trying to understand how a check would generate more EV than a small bet.

Curiosity is one of the most important elements that make great poker players. You don’t have to check a solver to see what it does and copy that.

Instead, you should look at the solver curious for how he would approach this situation and to understand why and how it generates EV in theory and learn from that!

See it as your smart study buddy who gives you perfect answers but is not very skilled at explaining himself.

Often you will see that under your assumptions, your more exploitative play is indeed correct, and you should never let the solver replace your intuition.

However, you should use GTO to expand your knowledge to see if you can find principles that will help improve your game and question your beliefs, leaks and blind spots.

So, are you going to improve as a player by using GTO? Or are you going to stagnate and stay stuck in your own way of thinking?
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