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To Solve or not to Solve

22/05/2018 by Byron Jacobs
Book Excerpts

We are delighted to announce that the forthcoming book The Pursuit of Poker Success by leading poker journalist Lance Bradley is now at the printers. This is a fascinating book and a must-read for anyone who is interested in how the greatest players in poker achieved their success.

Daniel Cates

PioSolver was out for no-limit and that was really what educated me the most. That taught me a lot about poker.

I was pretty fascinated with it and studied it for a while, until at least heads-up became quite ingrained. I learned a lot of things about it for heads-up that were really not obvious. And then it quickly became clear that when I started simulating ring that people were not playing anywhere near as they should. It didn’t take me too long to realize there’s a lot to learn from it.

I think that the solvers are the most effective use of the time. I used to work on it quite a bit but now not really due to the fact that most of it is internalized now. I can kind-of predict what the solver would do in most situations, because I understand the principles behind those actions. I try to experiment a bit. I guess you could say it’s like working on my game, I experiment a bit to see what works and what doesn’t, how things work.

Niall Farrell

PioSolver is the big one. It’s a game theory solver which, when used correctly, I think helps you understand why. When you run a hand through Pio it gives you percentages of what’s happening and you can see how it reacts to different textures changing and different boards. Once you start to understand why it’s doing that, you become a much better player because you can extrapolate that to certain circumstances. The ‘why’ is super-important. I feel like there’s a lot of people just blasting through hands on Pio and trying to remember what it says, rather than understanding the why.

Adrian Mateos

I spend less time with these things than most of my opponents but I want to know how the solvers think because a lot of my opponents are trying to play like a solver. So it’s really important for me to understand how they think about the game, just to play really good against these guys who try to play like a solver. I think it’s important to know how the solver plays but I don’t think it’s really important to copy the solver.

Greg Merson

I have a baseline understanding of what all the solvers do and I play against so many of these kids that all they do is solve. So I get to see the showdowns enough to understand what’s going on but I don’t own a solver, I’ve never used one.

If you enjoy the full article and think this book is for you then pre-order now and the book or ebook will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: The Pursuit of Poker Success