Matt Glassman says:
March 12, 2014 at 11:34 am
Yes, that seems quite right. I’m totally on board with the idea that studying GTO strategy can give you a deeper understand of the game and has many applications even if you don’t intend to try to achieve a GTO strategy.
But there’s a tension in Ed’s book that I don’t think is saved by that fact. The GTO strategy, by definition, is a unilateral strategy that requires no observation of opponents. Any deviation from it, based on an opponent observation, inherently becomes a reads-based strategy. So when Ed says things (quite correctly) like “don’t bother 3-barrelling a nit 70% after he calls the turn,” that is explicitly turning away from the GTO strategy and toward a reads-strategy. Now, I think that’s the right thing to do. But it (somewhat) undercuts the fundamental point of the book, which is that you can throw the reads and everything else out the window and just get your frequencies perfect and play like a human PokerSnowie. If all this sums to something like “you should deviate from GTO when an exploitative strategy is obviously better, but before you do that you need to understand the GTO strategy,” I’m totally cool with that. We’ve never had a book lay out the GTO strategy and how to arrive it at so clearly and concisely. But we shouldn’t pretend that the GTO strategy is the EV maximizing one right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Poker’s 1% is a fantastic book, and I think it may do for GTO strategy searching what Harrington on Hold’em did for tournaments. But I’m not convinced that chasing a GTO strategy dominates — or even beats — a read-based strategy across the vast majority of poker games currently running in the world.