133 – Michael Acevedo – Humanizing GTO

Episode 133 - Michael Acevedo

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Think GTO is about playing like a robot? Michael Acevedo wants you to reconsider…

Yes, solvers have had a controversial place in poker history, but the application of them in gameplay has evolved since they arrived on the scene, and Michael wrote a whole book called Modern Poker Theory: Building an Unbeatable Strategy Based on GTO Principles.

In this episode, this mathematician shares some juicy insight into the practical, down-to-earth, HUMAN approach to GTO.

The goal should never be to play perfectly mechanically, but studying solver-based strategy and adjusting your gameplay to your opponents will give you an edge, which means more winnings at the tables over time. Listen to this episode to learn more!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[00:00:32] Welcome to this week’s episode with Michael Acevedo

  • [00:01:17] Michael’s WCOOP second-place score!
  • [00:02:13] Michael discovery of GTO and research amongst his study group

[00:05:12] What exactly is GTO?

  • [00:06:42] How can you apply GTO to your play?
  • [00:08:17] Why can’t GTO be applied perfectly when humans sit down with cards?
  • [00:10:03] Know your opponent to make the exploitative deviation…
  • [00:12:50] You are not a computer, so don’t play like it!

[00:14:00] Michael starts writing articles about GTO with his study group

  • [00:16:17] D&B Poker offer Michael a book-writing deal for Modern Poker Theory
  • [00:18:08] Modern Poker Theory is a huge hit amongst poker players!

[00:20:26] Learning GTO—where can you start?

  • [00:23:14] Recognize where you can adjust your starting hand chart…
  • [00:26:17] Why do little changes in play cause big EV adjustment?

[00:29:29] Where can you learn more about Michael and get his book?

[00:31:53] Wrap-up—thanks for catching this week’s episode!

3 Key Points

  1. Applying GTO to your gameplay isn’t about playing mechanically or robotically. In fact, it’s very much about understanding your human opponents and gaining an edge over their play by making deviations from the mathematically ‘correct’ option.
  2. We talk about it a lot here—there’s no such thing as a mistake-free game. GTO isn’t about rote memorization or expecting yourself to play perfectly. It’s all about giving yourself a strategy to sit down with at the tables and not find yourself wondering what move to make!
  3. Small adjustments can have a huge impact on your EV—in a positive or negative way. Using a solver can help you figure out where your biggest leaks are so that you can make yourself as exploit-proof as possible!


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About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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