When we analyze hands we have several types of replies.
A common one is firing up a solver and saying what the solver would do in this spot with this hand. I have some issues with this. The solution is run with 2 big assumptions. One is the range makeup of both players. The other one is available betsizes. The solver Kanu7 uses does select it's own optimal betsize but I don't really see that solver being used often.
On top of that we tend to focus on the specific hand, often missing out on why the solver is choosing for this specific strategy. Digging too deep and missing concepts.
Another way to look at hands is exploitative. Because despite a solver giving us a solution, does our opponent even respond the same way? It's as good impossible to play like a solver so we try to estimate and simplify. But our opponents, especially at lower stakes, have leaks. And we might have better strategies available to us to generate more EV against these players. But again this is based on assumptions.
When I see stats in peoples hand histories it's often a small sample. Even I fall victim to it and stats become small for specific stats really fast. Recently I made an exploitative play based on an UTG RFI of 18% and a fold to 3-bet of 57%. I had 13k hands on the player. That's ~2200 UTG hands. He opens 18% of those so 396 hands. And then he has to get 3-bet for that stat to kick in. The sample size became small really fast.
So how do we make exploitative plays outside of looking at a spot and wondering if ranges have a lot of possible natural bluffs or not? I mainly think of Population Analysis but there's no data readily available.
Which brings me to strategy. Maybe our strategy of trying to balance as much as possible for microstakes is just not that great. I mainly think about live players when I say this. I see some play and some hand histories and wonder "How are they winning players?". I mainly get my sample from popular vloggers.
And the one thing I can come up with is that they are good at playing their current holding for it's maximum immediate EV and not it's long term.
What do I mean with this. When you play a hand you have several options. When you balance you play for the long term EV of a hand. Because if you don't then you are opening yourself up for being exploited. If instead you play this exact hand in this exact moment for the maximum EV right now, not caring about ranges or becoming exploitable then you are playing for maximum immediate EV. I think Xing Yang has a video on this where he explains it better than I do.
So when would we be able to apply this? When we don't expect to play with these players often. This can be due to larger player pool or lots of turnover off players. Or when we don't expect these players to make the proper adjustments. Both of these hold true for microstakes.
I hope this will bring some discussion and other people can give me their insight on this.