They Called It GTO

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Tackleberry begins a new series looking at common myths and misconceptions about GTO. If you're unsure of how to apply GTO concepts to your game or are somewhat skeptical of GTO and would lik more information then this is the video for you


Game theory GTO series Theory Video They Called It GTO

Comments (24)

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  • Grottesco


    Very nice video, thanks a lot!
  • Baracchinghi


    I agree. It's time to clear a lot of misconceptions. Good job man!
  • jbpatzer


    Another misconception is that you have to stop your opponent from autoprofiting. People get confused because all this GTO stuff usually treats poker as if it were a zero sum game, which it isn't. All you care about is that you maximise your profit, not what profit your opponent makes. If you look at the calculations in the video, you'll see that the 1.5bb in the pot preflop makes a big difference. It's possible for both players to be making a profit.

    Another misconception is that there is a unique GTO strategy. In multiplayer games like poker, the Nash equilibrium is not necessarily unique, and may be exploitable by a player prepared to use a different equilibrium strategy. The dynamics of this are poorly understood by game theorists as far as I can tell. There's a bit about this somewhere in my blog, but I'm going to be publishing an article about this on the website for our book some time soon.
  • Shakaflaka


    Great series, there is much confusion around GTO concepts!

    Regarding myth #2 and the autoprofit concept, it looks like your conclusion is that we should defend wider than 33% of our opening range, but that will obviously depend on our opponent's 3bet%, which you didn't mention.

    In that sense, for me the nemesis-approach is much worse than the constructive approach. I think is way better to ask ourselves how much the oppoennt is 3betting and with wich hands defending is higher Ev than folding, than just saying we have to defend x% of our range to prevent the opponent from autoprofiting.

    Another confusing concept is "balance". As I understand it, balance helps us being difficult to read against decent opponents by including different hand types in our lines (at least in our most common lines). And isn't that more important in practice than trying to achieve unexploitable frequencies?

    Also, I think it doesn't make much sense to balance our range with Ev- moves. For example, if 3betting as a bluff with a certain hand is Ev-, why should we 3bet with it? Couldn't we "balance" our 3betting range with Ev+ hands?

    Poker is not dead...
  • Boomer2k10


    Well to answer the last part of that no GTO player will intentionally make a -EV decision and doing it "for balance" is usually an excuse reserved for people who used to use the word "metagame"

    If a call's -EV it's -EV, no amount of fancy words will make that untrue
  • LemOn36


    Tackleberry from DC? Look at that the DC GTO shitstorm spit you out and made eventually a ps coach :]
  • LemOn36


    80% R for junk hands seems really optimistic. Pretty sure especially for micro players the R will be drastically lower, if not negative (e.g. people spewy postflop barreling with air) but I know you showed that to prove a point :)
  • LemOn36


    I'm looking forward to the rest.
    Especially whats your stance on how pretty much everyone choose how they fill their bluff frequencies (equity+blockers) and calldown frequencies (kicker, blockers).
    Blockers are fun that they create an asymmetry of information and should make GTO solutions even more complex.
    And I'd love tons of practical examples :) gl.
  • Kana54


    @3 Poker is a zero sum game without the rake.

    Sum of all players win/loss egal to zero.
  • Tackleberry


    Hey guys!

    @1+2: Thanks a lot! :)

    @3: Looking forward to your input.

    @4: "... but that will obviously depend on our opponent's 3bet%, which you didn't mention." => That´s not correct in theory, if we couldn´t defend against Villain´s 3bet often enough, sth. with our open-range went wrong.

    @4: "Also, I think it doesn't make much sense to balance our range with Ev- moves." => 100% correct, where did I suggest defending with -EV-hands? @5 nailed it.

    @6: :)

    @7: R can never get negative. :) Zero is the treshold ... and always keep in mind, if we have a hand with 20%, an R of 80% means, we´re taking 16% (!!) of the pot, this seems quite reasonable to me ... I mean, there´s always some bluff-potential and this is included in R!! R does not count how often we win at showdown, it counts the money going in.

    @8: The first three parts (so this and the following two) will only contain theory, but the 4th part - which I´m currently working on - will contain many examples.

    @9: Correct! And even if we take the blinds into account, autoprofit on later streets still counts ...
  • LemOn36


    How come R can't be negative?
    let's take an extreme

    A bot 3bets always bet bet shoves with air and always checks folds when he hits a flop and we know it.

    his postflop expectation will be hugely negative and every time he does see a flop he bleeds money away - and the bigger the pot the more money he loses.

    when postlfop R=0 for bluff hands vs a 4b fold only strategy, how come it can't be negative when every time we see a flop we lose money?
  • LemOn36


    it's an extreme example, but take e.g. example from last strategy battle, Q2 where Uri described a very typical bad opponent e.g. at nl5 that steals wide cbets >80% but has super high fold to check raise - he'll not only fail to realize his equity, he loses money every time he sees a flop without flopping nuts.
    Or fish that never folds postflop.
    every time they see the flop, their expectation is negative
    in terms of math on earlier street R seems the only variable affected by this
  • LemOn36


    Thanks for answering btw good stuff I'm looking forward to the examples :) I just recently started to fiddle with it as this was mentioned in Uri's coaching
  • Tackleberry


    @11: Okay, admittedly there can be a negative R in theory, if you take -EV decisions later on, but that´s not what an "optimal" player would consider. But yeah, you´re right, I missed that point. :)
  • Shakaflaka


    #10 I don't understand your point. If we open 100% from the BU and BB only 3bets AA, there is nothing wrong with our opening range, even if we fold 99% to a 3bet. But I know that an optimal player would never 3bet only with AA, but what 3bet% would be optimal?

    Optimal defending frequencies make sense only against optimal attacking frequencies imo. But since I don't know how optimal attacking frequencies look like, isn't it better to use the constructive approach, as you named it?

    Thanks for your attention and nice series!
  • Tackleberry


    @15: It´s obvious, if you were "clairvoyant", meaning you knew your opponent´s 3bet-range you could defend with any hand that has +EV against Villain´s perceived range; but since you aren´t - barring any reads - you should defend with a range that roughly prevents Villain from 3betting with complete trash and making profit ... hence I meant, if the constructive approach against an unknown (!) player told you that you should fold like 70% of your steals, the problem likely lies within your open-range. Agree?
  • jbpatzer


    @9 Yes. Of course. Let me be more precise.

    Two player zero sum games are a VERY special case, and should not be our conceptual model for poker. All equilibria of a game like that have the same payoff. This is not true of ANY other type of game. Once you have more than one equilibrium (remember that an equilibrium is a local, not a global one) with different payoffs for each player, you have to consider the dynamics of the moves from one equilibrium to another. This is not something that I see addressed anywhere in any poker GTO discussion.
  • jmackenzie


    @15:38 the value range is precisely defined not by your range given but by anything greater than -1. As by folding you lose 1bb per hand. Therefore it is "value" to lose less than that.
  • double2


    Very nice video. Looking forward for the rest of the series.
  • jbpatzer


    My article on 'GTO' is now available from

    Any feedback to my blog please.
  • Laci24


    Very nice vid!! :)
  • danutz123


    Had a '72 when I was a kid...
  • danutz123


    Jetzt, folde ich (Karten in der Hand, noch nicht geworfen) = "I am folding". Ich folde wenn es sich ist, daß meine Hand besiegt ist = "I fold when it's sure my hand is beaten".
  • danutz123


    "wenn es sicher ist"