Switching from a Purely Exploitative to GTO Style at Low Stakes

__main____main__ Red Chipper Posts: 11 ✭✭
Hi everyone. I started playing poker seriously about two years ago. I learned from many training sites and was pretty much a slightly winning live/slightly losing online player.

In general, it seems that the community believes that exploitative lines are the way to win the most at the lowest stakes. However, I've found that most common conceptions about GTO and how they work at the small stakes are entirely wrong. Many of the core things you learn when you start studying a solver just straight up crush low stakes players with very little thinking required.

In March I've earned $4,439 at 1/2 live in 83 hours of play, and in April I am up $7,164 in 85 hours of play.

5NL before changing styles (Purely exploitative):

50NL results after changing styles

1/2 live March

1/2 live April

I'm curious if others have made the move over to a more solver-based style and the results you saw after the transition from a purely exploitative style?


  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,008 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Not to slow your roll, but all you mean is that you are playing better now. There is no "purely exploitative" style.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 483 ✭✭✭
    And sample sizes
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,771 -
    GTO is exploitative, of the opponents best strategy.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    There's been a lot of discussion of GTO vs exploitative play. There are some points of disagreement, but there seems to be a general consensus that at the smaller stakes, exploitative is the way to go. For example, opponents generally are way too passive, so you don't need to defend vs 3bets as much. And you don't need to bluffcatch as much as GTO would tell you to. I think it would be a mistake to reason, "I'm going to call here because GTO says I need to defend with 50% of my range" at something like live 1/2. GTO is the right approach against a perfect opponent, but as Ed Miller explains, once your opponent deviates from that perfect strategy, your best play becomes a deviation from that perfect strategy as well. And your 1/2 opponents are definitely deviating.

    As for why your results have been so good with it, that's an interesting question. Sample size is my first thought. But also, maybe you're adopting GTO in some spots but not others?

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