GTO for beginners – GTOX & DriveHUD video series

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If you’ve been curious about GTO play, but haven’t completely taken the plunge, this video series is for you! Even if you have some experience w/ GTO ranges, you’re going to learn something important to your game in this highly entertaining video series produced by the creator of GTOx, and used in conjunction with Drivehud 2. Check this out!

Video#1 – My Girlfriend Tries to Play Poker (And Fails)


The first video of the series explains how a total beginner can improve his game without any coaching, courses, or reading any poker books. We will use two tools, DriveHUD2 to find leaks in (my girlfriend) Ariel’s game and GTOx for finding better solutions to those leaks. Initially, we let Ariel play her natural game, and as she becomes familiar with the game, we will introduce more and more tools. Moving step by step is the key, as we do not want to confuse beginners by filling their screens with a lot of graphs, insights, leaks, and fixes. We will introduce both tools bit by bit so that her game improves naturally by working on a single leak each time. Next, we will design a simple baseline strategy for Ariel’s game by exploring her leaks and finding a viable solution through GTOx.


Video #2 – Basic Flop Defense | How to Learn GTO Incrementally


Our journey of taking a total noob (my girlfriend) to a proficient poker player continues. In the past, people tried to learn GTOx by memorizing whole-hand solutions, but most failed. Instead of exposing my girlfriend to GTOx at once, I have decided to acclimatize her gradually. By doing so, she will feel comfortable playing poker while focusing on the individual leaks.

We applied some basic fixes to my girlfriend’s game, and the results were positive. Ariel’s flop C percentage has improved, and we will specifically focus on the flop defense. Using DriveHUD2, I noticed that Ariel folds 54 % of the time facing a C-bet, and check-raises 2 % of the time. On the other hand, the Bot folds 45% of the time and checks to raise around 9% of the time. This is definitely a leak that needs attention. So, we will fix the leaks by filtering the hands, picking a few of them, and then running them through the GTOx. This will provide us with some insights to improve her hand decision.


Video #3 – Slow Playing Basics


In this video, we continue our experiment of transforming a beginner (my girlfriend Ariel) into a proficient poker player. After a few thousand hands, we found some amazing results. In the beginning, we let her play her natural game, and after a while, we introduced her to a very basic game plan on hand incentives.

We compared Ariel’s turn stats to Pluribus and found that her turn percentages have barely improved, and the aggression percentages are quite high. Additionally, her turn check raise percentage seems to be a leak that needs attention. To counter this imbalance, we are introducing slow playing. Slow playing is an extremely powerful tool that can induce your opponent to bluff in a situation where they may otherwise fold to a bet. It also indirectly protects the checking range and accelerates pot growth through check-raising.


Video # 4 – How to Block Bet To Win More EV


In the fourth video of the series, we continue to develop a baseline strategy using the DriveHUD2 and GTOx. We filtered around 4000 hands Ariel has played. Although she is making a few mistakes, Ariel’s overall game has started to improve. In the previous video, we focused on the preflop, flop, and then the turn. In this video, we will focus on the river. If we compare Ariel’s results to Pluribus, we find that her River Check Raise percentage is very low, along with her Probe Bet percentage and River aggression percentage. Ariel’s River C-Bet percentage is high, probably due to a simplified game plan.

We will try to increase Ariel’s aggression level by sprinkling in some bets with mid-strength hands. The technique we will be using is known as Block or preemptive betting. In simple terms, a block bet is a small bet made by the out-of-position player with a marginal hand. Moreover, block bets can derive additional EV compared to checking from multiple sources including marginally weaker hands, marginally stronger hands, and significantly weaker hands.


Video # 5 – How to Defend Vs. Aggression | Stop Being Run Over!


The fifth video of the series explains the playing style of Ariel. After analyzing some insights from DriveHUD 2, we noticed that she might be playing too tight. Ariel’s defense strategy was a bit weaker according to the stats. We devised a simpler defending strategy for Ariel where she will identify the weakest value combo in the opponent’s range if she faces a bet. All the hands in her range that are equal to, or stronger than that hand will be defended every time. The next thing will be identifying bluff catchers, calling the best, and folding the worst bluff catchers. Check out the results at the end of the video.


Video #6 Improve CBet Aggression w/One Simple Trick


This video explains how we are working to bridge the gap between complex solver solutions and novice poker players. We will focus on improving the EV by cutting through all the intricacies and opacities of the GTOx solution and by concentrating on the spots where most of the chips are won and lost. For Ariel, we formed a simple game strategy that is playing big pots with strong hands and small pots with medium hands and then throwing in some bluffs for balance. As this game plan is simple, we will add some new layers on top of her foundation, making her strategy more complex and less exploitable.

After analyzing a few hands Ariel has played, we noticed that her overall C-betting frequency is on the lower side. So to increase Ariel’s Cbet aggression, we did some adjustments to her initial game plan. Now, Ariel will Cbet with her strongest hands, with her draws and other combinations that have a backdoor flush draw. This simple yet complex strategy improved her Cbet aggression rate. See the detailed analysis in the video.


Video #7: How to Overbet and Punish Opponents


The seventh video of the series explains how we can learn to play for massive pots. We will use DriveHUD 2’s powerful R&D feature to gain insights into the most efficient way to play for huge pots. This feature allows us to break down a game into hundreds of different metrics. Our primary focus in this video is the overbet. Overbetting means a bet that is larger than the size of the pot.

Ariel’s basic game plan allowed her the maximum of 100 of the pot, and the purpose of this limitation was to reduce variance for a beginner. To maximize our EV, we have to increase the pot size with our strongest hands. Sometimes, our bet will be so huge that it will cause our opponent to fold, which otherwise, he would have called. Watch the complete video to know more about when we should use these overbets.


Video #8: How and When to Make Unnatural Bluffs


The above video addresses a hole in Ariel’s game plan for bluffing. Initially, Ariel’s strategy allowed for bluff withdrawals on the turn, but what if there are very few or no draws? To resolve this issue, we will seek the wisdom of the GTOx solver.

Firstly, we will filter some hands using DriveHUD 2, where she had an opportunity to bet on a rainbow turn. We will then see how the solver constructs its bluffs and try to replicate the strategy. Perfectly replicating GTOx’s strategy is impossible, but we came close to our aimed target. Check out the whole video for more details.


Video #9: The Most Important Skill in Poker (And How to Develop It)


The last video of the series focuses on the most important skill in poker, which is accurately constructing the range. Anyone can become a successful poker pro if they master the art of assessing the hands in the opponent’s range and his own range. We will introduce a new module in GTOx using which you can easily construct the entire range. For range construction, we analyzed a recent hand Ariel has played and then copied the hand history to the app. Then we had two options to open this solved hand history in the customary GTOx dashboard and the other option of opening it in the range constructor. Watch the full video to know the basics of range constructors and how you can master them.


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