In my new book GTO Jewels, we investigate the idea of blending solid hands as checks postflop. It's not difficult to take a gander at solver information, particularly in worked on models, and expect areas of strength for that ought to constantly be wagered alongside a specific proportion of feigns. Notwithstanding, S8888 Online Casino applying basic evening out advances can assist us with seeing what real adjusted play is.
Let’s look at an example where we are on the river in a perfect polarization setup. The big difference in this model is that the defender is going to have some additional air combos (whiffed draws) on a board of K♦ T♦ 6♠ J♥ 6♦.
In an earlier model, the solver suggested the aggressor should fire 100% of their value combos. But as the defender’s range gets updated with these additional air combos, it’s logical the aggressor’s range (both value hands and GTO bluffs) should get updated in kind. Here’s an example of how the levels can step between each player’s strategy.
Step 1: The defender begins to realize that the aggressor is always folding after checking the river. The defender then exploits the aggressor by always bluffing the river with busted draws, and checking behind with their bluff-catchers.
Step 2: The aggressor begins to realize that the defender is bluffing a huge amount when checked to on the river. The aggressor calculates that they can now generate a higher expected value by checking value hands on the river and inducing a bluff.
Step 3: The defender suspects that the aggressor is simply not folding anymore after checking. So the defender starts reducing their bluffs.
Step 4: The aggressor realizes that the defender is not bluffing as often when checked to, and that checking value hands no longer maximizes EV. The aggressor shifts most value hands back into the betting range. However, since the defender has shown they are capable of exploiting an undefended checking range, the aggressor continues to check a percentage of value hands. It will no longer be +EV to try and push the exploit too far, since there will be a breaking point where the defender realizes they are being exploited and lowers the EV of the aggressor by countering.
Step 5: The defender does in fact realize that the aggressor is once again folding too much after checking (although not folding quite as often as before). The defender starts to bluff the river when checked (but not quite as aggressively as before). The defender knows that the aggressor is capable of countering if the bluff-to-value ratio gets too far out of line, so the defender does their best to subtly exploit the aggressor without making it too obvious.
Step 6: The aggressor is smart enough to notice that the defender is bluffing slightly more often than correct when checked to on the river. The aggressor then subtly shifts a few more value hands into their checking range. Perhaps the defender will not notice and will continue to over-bluff when checked to.
Step 7: The defender picks up on the fact that the aggressor is not folding quite often enough for bluffing to be profitable. The defender subtly starts bluffing less often than is correct, but does not push things as far as they did previously.
Step 8: The aggressor notices the small adjustment in the defender’s bluff to value ratio and shifts a minuscule amount of value combos back to the betting range where their EV will be highest.
Step 9: The defender realizes that the aggressor is now over-folding the river by a minuscule amount after checking.
Notice how the two players iterate against each other, using smaller and smaller exploitative responses at each step. We might visualize this as displayed in the following diagram:
This is the point where there are no additional exploitative opportunities available for either player. Each player is completely balanced and cannot increase their win-rate by deviating from their current strategy.
In game theory lingo, this is referred to as a Nash Equilibrium. This term describes the game state where no player can increase their win-rate by deviating. In poker terms, a Nash equilibrium is achieved when two players are playing perfect GTO poker against each other.
Leveling & Mixing
Note that the aggressor has no choice but to mix strong hands into their river checking range. If the aggressor fails to do so, the defender has an exploitative bluffing opportunity.
However, the aggressor cannot place all of their value hands into the checking range because:
The aggressor will miss out on the additional EV that comes from value betting.
The defender can stop bluffing as an exploit.
The only way to maximize the EV of every hand is for the aggressor to have a perfect mix of bets and checks with their strong holdings. Without this perfect mix, the defender can generate an exploitative counter-strategy, which in turn lowers the EV of the aggressor’s hands.
Thus, we see that mixing is a crucial part of maximizing EV.
Balancing Against Fishy Players
In the event that our adversary isn't equipped for finding shifty counter-procedures, blended methodologies lose quite a bit of their worth. On the off chance that the EV of wagering and checking is something very similar, wagering and checking in any extent will bring about precisely the same win-rate against a non-changing rival.
Be that as it may, we frequently find the EV of different activities is more averse to be something very similar against rivals who neglect to change. Shifty poker frequently utilizes unadulterated techniques therefore and doesn't utilize blended systems as frequently as a GTO approach.
Against generally excellent players, we probably won't have the option to pull off excessively clear unadulterated technique takes advantage of. The two players in our above model attempted to take advantage of as hard as conceivable while as yet flying beneath their rival's radar.
Attempting to take advantage of our adversary too hard will really bring down our EV assuming they are prepared to do rapidly conveying the important counter-system.
Don’t Level Yourself
You will never play against a perfectly GTO human opponent. In fact, most opponents you will play against will cap out at level 2.
Understand that exploitative opportunities are the true winrate creators, and avoid trying to perfectly emulate solver output against terrible opponents. If you know a terrible opponent is highly likely to zig, then make sure you zag. Don’t zig as well just because you think a solver would approve.
This is why we wrote GTO Gems. The point isn’t to get bogged down into solver minutia, but rather to get the big-picture takeaways from a GTO strategy and implement the good ideas while ignoring the intricate ideas that create more confusion than good.
If that sounds up your alley, grab your copy from S8888 Casino today and leverage our years of solver exploration into actionable ideas you can begin using ASAP.