Should you be concerned about balance against undesirable players?
Need to you be concerned about balance against bad players?
No doubt you can see the advantage of playing an unexploitable style against challenging regulars in your games and when you move up stakes, but what about when you play in soft games? There are plenty of players who are not even considering your range let alone whether you have balanced your checking range. When an opponent has such an clear leak like calling too much or betting as well much, surely the ideal strategy is to counter exploit these players relentlessly? Do you really need to play a balanced style against these players?
The short answer is no, you do not need to have to play an unexploitable style against fish. The aim of poker is to win all the chips and you are leaving income on the table if you verify back the flop with strong hands against a calling station.
The lengthy answer is, like every little thing in poker, it depends.
Is the fish actually a fish?
1st of all, playing a counter exploit strategy against weak players indicates you have to be ready to consistently update your assumptions. Most players adapt and get much better more than time, you can’t be specific that the weak player you encountered final week is creating the very same errors now. It can be quite challenging to deal with when the player you marked with a fish tag is no longer falling for your exploits. You frequently see this if you play heads-up poker, even the quite poor players can get a sense for how you are playing against them and change their style when they have played sufficient hands against you.
It is even tougher to deal with when you are facing the prospect that your read might be wrong. In distinct because the rise of GTO poker there are a lot of moves that would have after got you labeled a fish – donk leads, small bets, check/raising backdoor draws, overbetting, c-betting with underpairs – that have confirmed to be profitable considering that the solvers came out. It sees a lot more often than ever ahead of we discover out that the player we labelled a fish was really a high stakes crusher.
With this in thoughts, if you are going to attempt a maximal exploit strategy you have to be prepared to counter adjust or revert back to a GTO style. This calls for a lot of additional mental bandwidth and numerous players, especially those who are playing lots of tables, choose to just try and play as close to GTO as achievable. In this respect game choice is a lot more important than style, as long as you are in soft games you will profit from these players’ errors eventually.
GTO is far better for your progress
One more massive consideration is that exploiting a fish leaves you open to counter exploitation against other players at the table. If a undesirable player folds to 3-bets much more than they must on the Button and you therefore three-bet a very wide range against them in the Tiny Blind, a shrewd Large Blind will recognise this and 4-bet the pair of you wide. For a maximally exploitative technique to operate, ideally you want to make certain you get the pot heads-up against the undesirable player, which is challenging to do with tough regulars at the table.
The greatest explanation, however, to steer clear of an exploitative method it will improve your overall progress. It may mean that you miss out on value at low stakes and progress slower initially, but when you create a game that is based on GTO fundamentals and you can prove you are profitable, you can actually take your game to any stake and win.
Ultimately, if you are an online player there is a practical purpose to favour a GTO style in soft games, and that is you can play much more tables. In the last few years a lot of web sites have banned HUDs which hurts your prospects multitabling as you cannot make read primarily based decisions swiftly. Playing a GTO style signifies you can ignore reads and hence play much more tables.
If your study is robust you are burning money not exploiting a leak in your opponent, but the a lot more you understand about GTO the far more you should try and incorporate it into your play against all players. Even if you lose a small quantity of value at the time, believe of it as an investment in your future game.
Dara O’Kearney’s new book Endgame Poker Approach: The ICM Book is out now.