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Modern Poker Theory Nearing Completion

01/11/2018 by Byron Jacobs
Book Excerpts
D&B MAGAZINE
Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

At D&B we get excited about all our books. We love to put out high-quality productions that have the best poker information available in book form. However, we think that the upcoming Modern Poker Theory by Michael Acevedo will be something quite special and undoubtedly become a classic.

Michael is the ideal person to write this book and he is doing a fantastic job. As part of his work for the pocarr site, Michael works extensively with poker solvers and has generated a huge amount of data that “solves” many typical MTT and cash situations. Michael has been scything through this data and transforming it into basic principles that will give the reader a clear understanding of GTO (Game Theory Optimal) principles.

However as Michael explains in the book the whole point of understanding GTO play is not to make yourself unexploitable (although you will…). It is to understand when the strategies of your opponents do not conform to GTO play and to know the counter-strategies that will exploit them.

Any serious or semi-serious poker player would benefit from this book. It can be pre-ordered here Modern Poker Theory.

Here is a typical extract from the book.

Bet Sizing

After extensive testing with solvers, my general assessment is that RFI bet size won’t have a really large impact on your bottom line as long as you are using somewhat reasonable bet sizes and play reasonable ranges for that bet size. The bigger the bet size the less hands you can play profitably so, if you decide to open to 3x you are forced to play a tighter range than if you decide to open for a minraise otherwise you will lose money with the bottom of your range.

The sweet spot for RFI bet size seems to be somewhere between 2x and 2.5x from BN to UTG and 2.5x to 3.5x in BvB battles.

I recommend minraising when stack depths are in the rejam region (less than 25 bbs) for two main reasons:

Raise folding from a short stack is very expensive and you don’t want to overcommit yourself. For example, if you raise to 3x from UTG with 10bbs and the BB goes all-in, you will need to call 7bb to play for a 14.6bbs pot, getting better than 2:1 pot odds you will be committed to call off, but if you minraise you would have to call 8bb for a 13.6bb pot, getting 1.7:1 pot odds which will allow you to have a raise folding range.

One of the main weapons players have when facing open raises with shallow stacks is to rejam all-in, and vs bigger raise sizings the villains will get a better price on their rejams. For example, if you are on the CO and open to 2.5x with 20bbs effective stacks, the BB has to risk 19bbs to win 5.125bb, his bet needs to work Screen Shot 2018 11 01 at 12.29.11 of the time, if instead you open to 2x, his bet needs to work Screen Shot 2018 11 01 at 12.36.32

3betting bet size will depend on the players position and stack depth as shown in the next table:

MPT table for extract

As stack depths 30-35bb and bigger the threat of getting rejammed is a lot lower because of the higher risk/reward ratio so, we can increase our raise size to 2.3bb and not worry too much about giving the villains a better price on their rejams, by increasing our raise size we cut the villains implied odds, making it tougher for them to peel with the weaker hands in their range. With 100bb+ RFI size can be 2.3-2.5x, I’ve seen some regs going bigger than that but I haven’t found any substantial evidence that going any bigger will yield a higher EV.

In general, you want to have bigger bet sizes when deep stacked and when out of position. If the 3bet size requires you to invest over 1/3 of your stack you will be pot committed unless your hand is absolute trash, but again I wouldn’t recommend investing over 1/3 of your stack with a terrible hand. In that case you are better off going all-in instead and reduce your opponent strategic options to call all-in or fold only.

With less than 40bbs all 4bets are all-in only because if we chose non all-in 4bets we would either be pot committed or would have to use really small bet sizes which will give the villains too good of a price to take the flop and realize equity.

With 50bb to 100bbs we start to see Non all-in 4bets to 2.25x-2.5x when IP and 2.5-3x when OOP and All 5bets are always all-in.

In modern Online MTTs we still see smaller bet sizes than recommended, this is mostly because people still overfold to small bet sizes, but as the games evolve we are starting to see bigger bet sizing because players now understand that calling and realizing equity is always an option and this is the reason why the old silly click-back 5-bets and 6-bets are now pretty much extinct.