Merged range podcast

tfaziotfazio Red Chipper Posts: 819 ✭✭✭
Matt did an excellent job presenting this concept in terms of a complete strategy. There were lots of hints as to what kind of strategy he is referring to. Once again Matt, pure poker gold. Once again as with the pain threshold concept it is a mistake to employ these concepts without a complete strategy.
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Comments

  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 790 ✭✭✭
    I agree @tfazio , this episode was packed full of interesting and thought provoking material, well worth listening to a number of times.

    There were a few things @Matt Berkey said that caught my attention.

    Model risk
    Matt makes what I think is a massively important point that impact of our incorrect assumptions can be larger than the EV we expect to gain from an exploitative play.

    Theoretically, the correct response to our opponent's errors is binary - if our opponent bluffs even slightly too much, we should always call with bluff catchers; if our opponent's don't bluff enough, we should always fold our bluff catchers (ignoring blockers for simplicity). I think Matt explains well why this is not a good approach in practice.

    I saw an interesting video once talking about using GTO play to exploit opponents, where the presenter talked about the size of deviations from a balanced strategy should be related to your confidence in your opponent's errors, so incrementally adding hands rather than taking a binary approach. This is the approach I try to employ.


    GTO is advanced bluff catching
    Matt's comments that current GTO implementation is essentially advanced bluff catching differ from what I understand from the books that survived my bonfire (specifically Janda and Tipton). In the strategies they describe, the player who can bet a balanced polarised range is essentially the winner, the bluff catcher is the loser. Consequently these strategies (which are based on Game Theory) are what I consider to be aggressive. Bluff catching is an important element, but it is not the element that is making the money - the defence is important to prevent your opponent exploiting you; the offence is where you make profits.

    Given players are all dealt a sample from the same distribution of starting hands then two GTO players playing each other should expect in the long run to have the same proportion of favourable, neutral and unfavourable boards, and be taking aggressive and defensive actions with similar frequency. Suggesting that bluff catching is inferior to aggressive action implies a belief that the general population is responding in an exploitable way to aggressive actions, which may be true but is not a shortcoming of GTO - in fact the GTO response to the overaggressiveness Matt suggests would be... to bluff catch more.

    I think it's a really good point that it's better to avoid bluff catching where possible. The other side of this however is that if your opponent is not making errors against aggression then sometimes it is an error to be the aggressor yourself.


    Knowledge vs Skills
    On the previous podcast, Matt makes the statement "With poker skill is equated to knowledge". I think of this differently - I think of the skills as the at-the-table application of the knowledge we have acquired. Therefore you can have knowledge, but have not developed the skills to apply this.

    For me, the best example is hand reading. I have knowledge of the process required, and am moderately successful in applying this in off-the-table study. I'm not yet able to apply this at the table yet - I see this as a skill I have not yet acquired.

    I think this is what @Imperator is referring to when he talks about praxis. (I can picture @Imperator sitting at a press conference saying - "Praxis ! We talking about praxis !")


    Any thought on any of this ?
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    Just a question : are merged ranged useful in 1/2$ games ? I feel it's a room advanced concept to use at this stake
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    Just a question : are merged ranged useful in 1/2$ games ? I feel it's a room advanced concept to use at this stake

    I think the stack depths matter more than the stakes.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    Red wrote: »
    Just a question : are merged ranged useful in 1/2$ games ? I feel it's a room advanced concept to use at this stake

    I think the stack depths matter more than the stakes.

    Bingo.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks

    (And sorry for the "room" typo haha; should have been "too")
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @colldav your second point, where you disagree, can be resolved as understanding that players for the most part can't employ a true GTO strategy for several reasons, among them being that one does not exist for the vast majority of situations and the even simpler reason that it is too difficult. This is what I mean when I mention "faux GTO strategies," which often enough devolve to (fairly advanced) bluffcatching, even when our work and the solvers tell us an aggressive strategy at some frequency should be part of the plan.
  • tfaziotfazio Red Chipper Posts: 819 ✭✭✭
    IMHO. @colldav without debating the specific counters you mentioned as I am not qualified to defend Matt's statements, I think what he is describing is a different way to look at the game. It involves unlearning some aspects of your understanding. A lot of what I think he is talking about is the opponents risk aversion and mistake propensity. It's not about solving the game mathematically although he describes how his lines are very close to the solvers. I think this was one of the best podcasts I have heard.
  • DabbyDabby Red Chipper Posts: 84 ✭✭
    The podcast was fantastic. I always enjoy hearing @Matt Berkey talk shop. He always has a lot of good things to say.

    One thing I tweeted at Matt, but he didn't reply (understandable), was some clarification on the following quote:
    If you get good at nothing else, get good at understanding points where stacks are threatened, and the hand qualifiers that you need to proceed forward.

    Is he essentially saying that, when the SPR is 0-3, you should have a hand worth showing down?
  • tfaziotfazio Red Chipper Posts: 819 ✭✭✭
    IMHO the first part regarding the "points where stacks are threateded" I believe he is talking about the leverage point in the hand depending on stack size and SPR as far as had qualifiers I believe he is talking about appropriate ranges for same.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dabby wrote: »
    Is he essentially saying that, when the SPR is 0-3, you should have a hand worth showing down?

    he's talking about "leverage"...
    you don't have to bet your opponent's entire stack to threaten your opponent's entire stack.

    for example:
    I raise 25 pre and get 3 callers.
    pot is now 100.
    on flop, I bet 75 and get 1 caller.
    pot is now 250.
    if V has under 500 or less... he technically shouldn't call a turn bet. (he should shove or fold)
    leverage has been met.
    If I bet 195-215 on turn - I'm basically telling V that he's going to have to go all in on the river to see if his hand is best. (to get to showdown)
    I'm threatening his entire stack with a less-than-stack-size bet.

    imho - this is what I think Matt is referring to.
  • DabbyDabby Red Chipper Posts: 84 ✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    Dabby wrote: »
    Is he essentially saying that, when the SPR is 0-3, you should have a hand worth showing down?

    he's talking about "leverage"...
    you don't have to bet your opponent's entire stack to threaten your opponent's entire stack.

    for example:
    I raise 25 pre and get 3 callers.
    pot is now 100.
    on flop, I bet 75 and get 1 caller.
    pot is now 250.
    if V has under 500 or less... he technically shouldn't call a turn bet. (he should shove or fold)
    leverage has been met.
    If I bet 195-215 on turn - I'm basically telling V that he's going to have to go all in on the river to see if his hand is best. (to get to showdown)
    I'm threatening his entire stack with a less-than-stack-size bet.

    imho - this is what I think Matt is referring to.

    This makes a lot more sense. I guess I don't see it in that sense because a lot of people in my local card room don't see it that way. I guess most of them don't really pay attention to SPR, nor really think about when they should be shoving. I haven't either, until now. I'm going to keep this in mind. Thanks for the clarification.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 790 ✭✭✭
    Disclaimer before I start: I haven't been to S4Y Academy or attended the S4Y webinars. My understanding of the approach @Matt Berkey espouses is based on what I have been able to piece together from free sources such as Red Chip podcasts and forum, and You Tube.
    tfazio wrote: »
    IMHO. @colldav without debating the specific counters you mentioned as I am not qualified to defend Matt's statements, I think what he is describing is a different way to look at the game. It involves unlearning some aspects of your understanding. A lot of what I think he is talking about is the opponents risk aversion and mistake propensity. It's not about solving the game mathematically although he describes how his lines are very close to the solvers. I think this was one of the best podcasts I have heard.

    @tfazio , I agree this was one of the best podcasts I've heard. It seems to me that what Matt is describing is completely consistent with Game Theory concepts - it goes beyond what I understand of GTO, rather than being a different way of thinking. I suspect he has looked at the common strategies and particularly the attempts at implementing GTO, and worked out a counterstrategy that encourages opponents to make errors. If this is correct, I think this truly is cutting edge stuff.

    No doubt there would be a degree of unlearning for all of us, but from what I understand of his approach it will sit on top of a solid understanding of the mathematical concepts (Game Theory in particular).
    persuadeo wrote: »
    @colldav your second point, where you disagree, can be resolved as understanding that players for the most part can't employ a true GTO strategy for several reasons, among them being that one does not exist for the vast majority of situations and the even simpler reason that it is too difficult. This is what I mean when I mention "faux GTO strategies," which often enough devolve to (fairly advanced) bluffcatching, even when our work and the solvers tell us an aggressive strategy at some frequency should be part of the plan.

    @persuadeo I can't disagree with Matt's comments about how GTO is being implemented in practice because I'm not playing against these players. My comment referred specifically to what is discussed in the literature.

    The "GTO does not exist in practice because it's too hard" argument is a pet peeve of mine. No-one is playing optimally (ie all attempts at GTO must be "faux") but they are still using Game Theory principles.

    If they are bluff catching heavily and not playing aggressively when they can then I would argue that they have completely missed the point on Game Theory, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Also, If "GTO" players are bluff catching extensively, then who is betting into them ? Either overly aggressive players (in which case bluff catching might be the most profitable play) or balanced players (who therefore are the real GTO players in this scenario).
  • YoshYosh Red Chipper Posts: 580 ✭✭✭
    @colldav, a good sign that we're off course is the desire to put "GTO" in qualifying quotation marks.

    I think Berkey nailed it right in the beginning of his response and he could have stopped there. It's a false dichotomy.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Can't remember saying every GTO effort is false. People have been using and writing about Game Theory for decades. It's the "O" that we are talking about.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @colldav

    At the end of the day, since no human can play perfect GTO, all the theory about it should be used to play exploitatively and that's what Berkey is saying here. The GTO bubble inflate because peoples are looking for magic formula. It's like that in every field of our society. Magic formula to lose weights. Magic formula to gain muscles. Magic formula to make money. Magic formula to get bonner till 100 yeas old.

    Bottom line, solvers are very powerful tools to show us where the exploits are. And one can't realize GTO if the opponent he is facing don't play GTO.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    GTO is not a strategy in my opinion. It's a style, and a defensive style in its current application.

    In the coming years we will see solvers begin to explain these plays we call "exploitative", and the advancement of a complete other side of the game tree which involves an offensive strategy.

    An extremely high level player who played in the SHRB Final Table this year spoke about how after a massive data analysis the only hand that "Showed Down" profitably was AA. He only spoke about this in passing to his friends.
    Think about what that means.
    Essentially that means we need to shift from "showdown poker" to attempting to avoid showdown all together.

    This is what myself and my group of friends have been saying for two + years now. Not to pat myself on the back, but to remind you all that it's important to be trailblazing rather than following the trends because by then it may be too late.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    So it correlate with what you were saying @Christian Soto that all hands are played as bluffs till showdown.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    So it correlate with what you were saying @Christian Soto that all hands are played as bluffs till showdown.

    Yeah of course! You think I'm just making all this up as I go? ;-)

    ... I mean sometimes I am, but that part is absolutely true and correlates.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭✭
    In practice I pretty much agree with what I heard on the podcast especially in the context of live poker, but there were a few details that I don't agree with.

    First Matt says something along the lines of our preflop assumptions will dramatically change the solvers outputs. Having spend many ours with PIO I haven't seen this effect and I have look for it. This might be the case where preflop ranges can be very wide(HUNL or BvB) but I haven't put the work in to know. When I first went down the rabit hole of PIO I was very concerned that if I was a little off on my preflop ranges the solutions I was looking at would be almost worthless. Because of this I did a lot of testing and ultimately figured out that as long as your preflop ranges are in the ballpark the grid is very useful. I think Nick Howard has said similar thing when looking at SB 3B v BTN spots.

    I think characterizing "GTO" as bluff catching miss a lot of what solvers can show us. One of the surprises I found in PIO was solutions often involved raise WAY more than the "normal" human play" I see online and live.

    Matt mentions that that "GTO" doesn't exist in multiway pots that are most situations, and in terms of live poker he of course is right but some of us still play online from time to time in which case the over whelming majority of pots are HU and in this case understanding what "GTO" play looks like is very useful imo
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    Yeah but it still not a strategy.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭✭
    GTO is not a strategy in my opinion. It's a style, and a defensive style in its current application.

    In the coming years we will see solvers begin to explain these plays we call "exploitative", and the advancement of a complete other side of the game tree which involves an offensive strategy.

    An extremely high level player who played in the SHRB Final Table this year spoke about how after a massive data analysis the only hand that "Showed Down" profitably was AA. He only spoke about this in passing to his friends.
    Think about what that means.
    Essentially that means we need to shift from "showdown poker" to attempting to avoid showdown all together.

    This is what myself and my group of friends have been saying for two + years now. Not to pat myself on the back, but to remind you all that it's important to be trailblazing rather than following the trends because by then it may be too late.

    GTO is a set of strategies for HU spots by definition. If you mean it is too complicated to implement I mostly agree. I don't get why you think it is so defensive? In many spots/ways PIO is WAY more aggressive than average "human" play.

    Lots of hands showdown profitable not just AA. This is ~1.2m DB of winning players MSNL+ and with simple filter of showdown=true you can see many hands make money at showdown(of course this DB is winning players who know how/when to take hands to SD)
    https://gyazo.com/0cd57570dc81f64ebc79725d92e13f96


  • porterporter Red Chipper Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    kenaces wrote: »
    In practice I pretty much agree with what I heard on the podcast especially in the context of live poker, but there were a few details that I don't agree with.

    First Matt says something along the lines of our preflop assumptions will dramatically change the solvers outputs. Having spend many ours with PIO I haven't seen this effect and I have look for it. This might be the case where preflop ranges can be very wide(HUNL or BvB) but I haven't put the work in to know. When I first went down the rabit hole of PIO I was very concerned that if I was a little off on my preflop ranges the solutions I was looking at would be almost worthless. Because of this I did a lot of testing and ultimately figured out that as long as your preflop ranges are in the ballpark the grid is very useful. I think Nick Howard has said similar thing when looking at SB 3B v BTN spots.
    ...

    How deep?
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭✭
    porter wrote: »
    How deep?

    interesting question

    most of what i have look at is 100bb effective - i will run a few later to see what changes happen at 250bb
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 790 ✭✭✭
    Yosh wrote: »
    @colldav, a good sign that we're off course is the desire to put "GTO" in qualifying quotation marks.

    I think Berkey nailed it right in the beginning of his response and he could have stopped there. It's a false dichotomy.

    I use the quotation marks to try to differentiate between a genuine GTO strategy (which as discussed at length on the forum is probably beyond any human, ever) and an attempt to implement a GTO strategy in practice.
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Can't remember saying every GTO effort is false. People have been using and writing about Game Theory for decades. It's the "O" that we are talking about.

    Sorry, it was my point that every GTO effort must be false if it can't be implemented in practice. I absolutely agree, the "O" is the problem and we'd be better off without it. A strategy that understands how Game Theory impacts the mathematics of poker will be superior to one that doesn't.


    I don't think everyone the term "defensive" consistently here.
    One use of the term is to describe how frequently the player bets vs checks (their "aggression"). A strategy that does not bet frequently enough can be described as defensive; this is a bluff catching strategy.

    Another use of the term when describing GTO is whether the player is playing exploitatively or not. I player can theoretically play a strategy that is GTO vs an unknown opponent which will be unexploitable. This strategy could be called defensive, but I don't think could be called a bluff catching strategy.
    So it correlate with what you were saying @Christian Soto that all hands are played as bluffs till showdown.

    Yeah of course! You think I'm just making all this up as I go? ;-)

    ... I mean sometimes I am, but that part is absolutely true and correlates.

    @Christian Soto , I struggle to get my head how playing all hands as a bluff until showdown fits into a Game Theory framework. In a strategy based on Game Theory, bluffs are 0ev. Turning all hands into bluffs seems as flawed as turning hands into bluff catchers. I need to think more on this topic, but appreciate your thoughts on why we would rather have a bluff than a bluff catcher. What assumptions are you making for this to work ?

    Thanks.
  • porterporter Red Chipper Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
    kenaces wrote: »
    porter wrote: »
    How deep?

    interesting question

    most of what i have look at is 100bb effective - i will run a few later to see what changes happen at 250bb

    Shiver me timbers! Ye went explorin but forgot yer compass. No mere landlubber can brave the deeps. But tis where all the booty lies, tis. Methinks these solvers ought not depart without warning flags of Dunning-Kruger dangers. Or, as we say at sea, a sailor's but as good as his mapmaker.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    @kenaces

    1.2m hands database is probably way smaller then what Berkey is actually speaking. If I remember correctly it was Mercier and is comparse that run that thing over a huge database.

    1.2m hands database is pretty small for that kind of thing when you think about it.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭✭
    porter wrote: »
    kenaces wrote: »
    porter wrote: »
    How deep?

    interesting question

    most of what i have look at is 100bb effective - i will run a few later to see what changes happen at 250bb

    Shiver me timbers! Ye went explorin but forgot yer compass. No mere landlubber can brave the deeps. But tis where all the booty lies, tis. Methinks these solvers ought not depart without warning flags of Dunning-Kruger dangers. Or, as we say at sea, a sailor's but as good as his mapmaker.

    LOL
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭✭
    @kenaces

    1.2m hands database is probably way smaller then what Berkey is actually speaking. If I remember correctly it was Mercier and is comparse that run that thing over a huge database.

    1.2m hands database is pretty small for that kind of thing when you think about it.

    I will bet my entire bankroll you can look at the filter I ran with any winning player's big database and see lots of hands that win at showdown. Just to clarify it wasn't berkey that made this claim it was Soto in several post above.

    Here is another example from ~740k hands of winning players at mostly 100nl and 200nl
    https://gyazo.com/077e963dc18dc6718bc530cbd9dc126d

    Put it another way - you see winning players graphs all the time and the green line(SD winnings) is always up. If what you and Soto claim is true the green line should now be down if we run filter where we remove AA - this is not the case:
    https://gyazo.com/46bb0a7e74d41c2e1b48c38e10b9bfd4

  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,659 ✭✭✭✭
    Berkey made the same claim in the webinar ;)

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