This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. By continuing to browse the website, you accept such cookies. For more details and to change your settings, see our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.

# w34z3l GTO defending

• Bronze
Joined: 15.11.2012
Hi Guys,
I've been through the marvelous video series The Evolution of poker by w34z3l.

When it comes to defending ranges he lost me though.

He basically says that if I defend Game Theory Optimal my defending range is only a function of villains bet size.
So if villan bets 5 Dollars into a 7,5 dollar I need to defend 1-X where X is 5/(5+7,5). That would give 60% of my range.
But what I don't get is :
1) Doesn't it matter what range Villain start with to begin with? An extreme example: A supertight nit that only opens with AA and KK and I call (basically) to hit a set. He c-bets 2/3 . Should I really continue with 60% of my calling range pre I don't hit here? It seems totally unlogical.

2) Doesn't it matter if Villain c-bets a large or a small fraction of his hands on the flop (CBET=80% vs. CBT=29%)?

• 6 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 17.01.2011
first of all, it must be pointed out that "gto strategy" in multiplayer games is an extremely complex subject.
for example, even if poker was solved (still far from happening) and you somehow played an "optimal" strategy in a 6max cash game, other villains could still collude to play +EV against you (!)
what we use in poker are just some useful ideas from game theory.

anyway, the basic point is... when HU, if your strategy is perfect, then it doesn't matter what your opponent is doing, since any exploitative adjustment he could try to make would lead to him being open to exploitation elsewhere.
in your example, an optimal strategy would win way less against this supertight nit than an observant regular would, since gto isn't opening as much as it should to exploit the nit's 1% preflop range and it is "playing too light" postflop.
however, the nit still loses, because he's opened himself to exploitation by folding too much preflop and he's losing a ton in blinds. the "extra" value he gets from his KK+ isn't enough to offset his losses.

so, what's the heart of the matter?
we have no idea what the optimal preflop ranges are, but we can use gto concepts in order to improve our level of play against unknowns.
like, unknown 3barrels and you have a bluffcatcher, call or fold? we don't know his frequencies, so you take a look at your own range and defend top x% depending on his sizing.

if you have some idea on how the opponent plays, then instead of making massive adjustments, you only make slight adaptations to your ranges.
like, if we know that villain cbets 29%, of course we should defend tighter. why do we defend tighter? because he's cbetting a super value heavy range (presumably), so we exploit him by folding more than optimal.

however, by exploiting his low cbet frequency by overfolding, we open ourselves to being exploited.
let's say that this villain had some kind of brain damage, went crazy and now suddenly he's actually cbetting 90%. now you're the one being exploited because you're folding A TON, because you're assuming a ~30% frequency.

when you're trying to play optimal frequencies you don't care.
let's say that villain is a tricky player who changes gears often, how often do we defend? whatever, let's just defend top x% of our range based on his sizings.
• Bronze
Joined: 22.03.2011
I am not a gto-math-guru, but pretty sure that GTO calculations etc are strictly independant from vilain's range.
• Coach
Coach
Joined: 03.08.2009
Hey guys,

Nice post Tomaloc.

1) Yes it matters which range villain starts out with. GTO assumes villain has a perfect range though. To give another simple example, imagine villain only 3bets AA preflop 50bb effective. Defending based on GTO principles would be a huge waste of money, we actually just want to fold a ton in this spot. GTO is most useful vs unknowns or balanced opponents.

2) Sample principle. Once we have a read we make exploitative adjustments to our defending range. For example if a guy cbets super tight then we defend with a tight range rather than trying to defend the top X% of our range.
• Bronze
Joined: 22.03.2011
Originally posted by w34z3l
Hey guys,

Nice post Tomaloc.