Welcome.

Take a tour. Enjoy some free sample content.

How it works

Free Video: CLP Video No. 287: Home Game Bart Reviews His Splashy At $1-$3 Deep Part 2

Free Podcast: CLP Podcast No. 54: Time Warp And Turn Value
New to Crush Live Poker?

Properly Using a Solver to Review a Hand

dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,968SubscriberProfessional
One of my goals for 2019 is to get a better understanding of all the tools and technologies available for wannabe high-stakes crushers, and really figure out how to use them to improve my game. One of the primary tools I dabbled with in 2018 was GTO+ (a poor man's Pio). I know I am not getting the most out of it, and am seeking to start a discussion with others on how to utilize these solvers to further my game.

To start, I've documented how I am currently using GTO+ to analyze a hand and make conclusions I can apply to similar situations. I took a very simple hand I played last weekend against a weak and exploitable opponent and walked step by step through the process I'm currently using. I'm interested to see what others think of my process, and potentially point out errors in the way I'm using the software, as well as the conclusions I am drawing.

The walkthrough ended up being longer than expected, so I put it into Evernote and will just paste the link here. I'll also share my GTO+ files in case others are using GTO+ and want to load them up.

I'm hoping to really learn HOW to study this year, and I figure this is as good a first step. Anybody interested in reviewing this and letting me know your thoughts?


Process Review Link: https://www.evernote.com/l/AIADIdOQjodG_4jwqak4_bxg7CkKysZobfs/

GTO+ Files:
Optimal: https://www.dropbox.com/s/r49ql4xba2382k6/01 12 19 - QJdd optimal.gto?dl=0
Exploitative: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8euhl7je2t0edqu/01 12 19 - QJdd exploitative.gto?dl=0
Tagged:

Comments

  • thnkpositive Posts: 23SubscriberProfessional
    I'd like to type a longer comment and will come back to this.
    I think you're using the software overall very well, but I would caution with this conclusion in particular.
    "Once we've potted the turn, though, we've run out of thick value on brick rivers. If villain will bluff frequently, middle-strength top pair hands are perfect bluff catchers. The strongest top pairs should still be bet for value."
    These solvers are not meant to calculate maximally exploitative lines. So if you're using them to try and guesstimate maximally exploitative lines you could quickly start suffering from garbage in garbage out.

    A couple of things that I would do
    1) use the solver to calculate the GTO strategy vs a good villain so you know what it looks like
    2) try some primitive node locking but avoid going overboard on this, because this is where the real garbage in garbage out danger lies
    3) analyze the hand for maximally exploitative lines in an old school way. Plugging in villains range estimation to the best of your ability on poker cruncher, and just calculating if you have enough equity to make the bluff catch, and also guesstimate if check calling river there or check folding or just outright betting has the higher ev.

    There's a real danger when using solvers to start to discount the value of your human intuition. Don't do it, your brain is basically a poker computer specifically designed to calculate max exploit strategies. The solver is just for fine tuning what "GTO" looks like so you can improve your intuition even more.

    Also, I would always recommend you analyze the crap out of river scenarios. It works just like golf or chess, you always start with putting and/or end games. Rivers carry the highest reward per hour spent since the pots are so big. It's also the easiest street to get right when you're calculating everything in your head at the table.
  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,968SubscriberProfessional
    @thnkpositive Thanks for taking the time for your response. I was really hoping to spark some sort of discussion, and your feedback is much appreciated.

    As for a couple of your points:
    thnkpositive said:

    I think you're using the software overall very well, but I would caution with this conclusion in particular.
    "Once we've potted the turn, though, we've run out of thick value on brick rivers. If villain will bluff frequently, middle-strength top pair hands are perfect bluff catchers. The strongest top pairs should still be bet for value."
    These solvers are not meant to calculate maximally exploitative lines. So if you're using them to try and guesstimate maximally exploitative lines you could quickly start suffering from garbage in garbage out.
    I readily admit my actual conclusion in this hand may very well be wrong. This is me attempting to interpret the output that indicates that I am checking QdJd on the river against this villain in this runout based on the conditions I gave him. Yes, I definitely run into garbage in/garbage out problems. However, the best anyone can do is guesstimate opponents range, and what he does with that range.

    Realistically, isn't this what a solver is supposed to do? I mean, I indicated what I thought villain's range would be preflop, and then what he would do with different parts of his range depending on different lines through the hand. That yielded this result. Aside from whether my assumptions on villain are correct or not, this is an optimal line against this "garbage in", correct? Or am I completely missing the boat on the point of putting in his range, node locking, etc?
    thnkpositive said:

    A couple of things that I would do
    1) use the solver to calculate the GTO strategy vs a good villain so you know what it looks like
    2) try some primitive node locking but avoid going overboard on this, because this is where the real garbage in garbage out danger lies
    3) analyze the hand for maximally exploitative lines in an old school way. Plugging in villains range estimation to the best of your ability on poker cruncher, and just calculating if you have enough equity to make the bluff catch, and also guesstimate if check calling river there or check folding or just outright betting has the higher ev.
    I agree 100% percent with these, and I started with #1. Effectively I took a three step process where I looked at a proper strategy against a villain playing a proper range, then a proper strategy against a villain playing this wide range, and then finally a proper strategy against a villain playing a wide range in an unbalanced fashion.

    I am very green with node locking, and likely made some mistakes, but we almost have to go "overboard" in node locking against a villain that is playing miles from optimal. Realistically, the better the villain, the less node locking required. Maybe this was a bad example hand to use because villain was so bad and playing so far from proper poker.
    thnkpositive said:

    There's a real danger when using solvers to start to discount the value of your human intuition. Don't do it, your brain is basically a poker computer specifically designed to calculate max exploit strategies. The solver is just for fine tuning what "GTO" looks like so you can improve your intuition even more.
    That is my ultimate goal. In essence I'm trying to doublecheck my intuition. Instinctively, I knew to bet small on the flop. This confirmed it. Instinctively, I thought I needed to continue to bet small on the turn. This showed that that is an option, but I should have also considered potting/overbetting the turn, which my intuition didn't even consider. Now the goal is to figure out why that should be considered, and in what future situations I can utilize this.

    Hopefully that makes sense. One thing I didn't do through the process is look at my current EV and Equity street by street as I made different modifications to my bet sizing and his reactions to them. I think that was a piece of information that would have been helpful as I tried to draw rough conclusions.

    Hopefully that all makes sense. Anybody else want to chime in?
  • Superfly Posts: 104Subscriber
    Hi Dana, I don’t currently have a solver or much experience using them. But I’d be very interested in learning more. Maybe we could form a CLP solver study group? Meet online once a month to run a specific hand through a solver to 1) learn how to use the software, and 2) learn how to analyze and interpret the results. Maybe one of the instructors could even host?
    @bart, @KiLee
    by 2dpbuck MrO
  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 229Pro
    Superfly said:
    Hi Dana, I don’t currently have a solver or much experience using them. But I’d be very interested in learning more. Maybe we could form a CLP solver study group? Meet online once a month to run a specific hand through a solver to 1) learn how to use the software, and 2) learn how to analyze and interpret the results. Maybe one of the instructors could even host?
    @bart, @KiLee
    It’s something to consider. Ultimately, it’s up to Bart. We will chat about it.

  • KiLeeKiLee Posts: 229Pro
    Here is a teaser-
    Solvers are very relevant in-
    HU pots
    Small, single raised pots
    More relevant as the PFR, but to a slightly lesser degree, as the PF caller
    More relevant in earlier streets
    Slightly more relevant vs reasonable villains

    They are less suitable in-
    Most multi-way pots
    When the pot is 4bet or even 3bet
    When there are postflop raises
    When the board is very scary and the villain is passive.
    When we get XRed
    On later streets
    When the V is very predictable as in tendencies and Live tells.
  • maphacks Posts: 1,976Subscriber
    short: they are quite useless in low stakes live poker^^

    also the problem is, looking at some solver outcomes here and there won't help you that much but will rather harm your live game. if you want to get a better player from "technical/GTO" standpoint, you have to put in hundreds of hours with solvers and implement the stuff by playing online where the stuff is applicable.
    I mainly play online these days and even I have quite some trouble in the first 2-3 sessions when I go at a live trip. the situations you face on a live poker table, even at higher stakes, but more so at the 5-10 level and below are so unique that most of the spots are basically unsolveable.
    sure you will get some good fundamentals once you start working with solver a lot, however, be aware that most of the stuff won't really help you too much when you play 200bbs in 4way pot vs 2 limp callers and one shorstacker^^

    I think that even preflop GTO charts are quite useless because you can flat way more live since ppl don't squeeze enough, there is usually one rec player in the pot and your postflop edge will be tremendous postflop.
    also very few solutions you can buy online are for 9max games AFAIK.
    and let me tell when you follow these charts you will end up with like vpip5 (assuming you just go with the charts and don't adapt to peoples super loose opening ranges in most live games).
  • maphacks Posts: 1,976Subscriber
    edited January 23
    PS: @OP, you should also nodelock villains response when it comes to calling your bets. I highly doubt that check/folding river even after potbetting turn, will yield the highest EV vs a typical rec. but as you can see you have to do a whole lot of nodelocking. this takes forever and the outcome is still not very reliable because you basically make a million assumptions on every street.
  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,968SubscriberProfessional
    Thanks for the response @maphacks. I definitely have a lot of respect for your posts and your thoughts.

    Realistically, what I'm trying to do is really understand what adjustments I should be making against villains who aren't playing optimally. It's great knowing that I have a villain with a super-wide range. But how do I maximize profits and/or minimize losses against these villains in certain situations. A solver is just another tool to use WHEN USED PROPERLY. I'm almost undoubtedly not using it properly, hence the point of this thread. All that being said, you make very good points.
    maphacks said:
    PS: @OP, you should also nodelock villains response when it comes to calling your bets. I highly doubt that check/folding river even after potbetting turn, will yield the highest EV vs a typical rec. but as you can see you have to do a whole lot of nodelocking. this takes forever and the outcome is still not very reliable because you basically make a million assumptions on every street.
    I thought about this river spot a lot, and it actually makes sense if we think about how I assigned the different parts of his range.
    - The only Qx that calls a flop bet are QdXd (which I block), and Q6s/Q2s (which I lose to)
    - The only Tx that calls a flop bet is TdXd, and I do not have villain calling three streets
    - Villain doesn't call three streets with 77-99, nor 6x.

    All that leaves 2x and 66 (which I lose to) and busted flush draws (which I don't think he turns into a bluff). So in that case, specifically QdJd is a check/fold on the river.

    More than anything, it seems like I should revisit the range/node-locking I did and look at different variances:
    - If I bet super-small and he heroes with Tx some percentage of the time.
    - If I check and he bluffs some of his missed flush draws.
    - If he never slowplays 2x past the turn.
    - etc.

Sign In or Register to comment.