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4526 points

Interesting! How much RAM do you need to crunch a 5C 100bb preflop solve with this software? How much RAM to load a solve into the program for study?

Dec. 6, 2021 | 6:22 p.m.

Was thinking about how you set up 100bb spots. Like HU SRP UTG vs BB. Do you have a standard sizing template for solving that on a given board type, or do you experiment on each board to see what sizes are preferred?

March 11, 2021 | 5:04 p.m.


I enjoyed this video a lot. Refreshing with "new breed" videos from a PLO coach who has used solver training all the way since small stakes. Care to show your standard trees/sizings for solving the usual HU spots? 3-handed as well, if you solve those on a regular basis (yes, yes, I'm greedy). ;-)

March 11, 2021 | 2:04 a.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Holiday Threadtacular

Ty for the Holiday Threadtacular. :-) Do you use Monker to study multiway postflop play? If so, any tips about how to do it efficiently?

Dec. 16, 2019 | 11:57 p.m.

+1 on the 4-table cap for improved game quality, and that's what I've voted for.

If we need to go to somewhat extreme measures to give the fish a more fun and sustainable gambling experience, I'm totally on board with that. I personally think that a moderate-volume/high-winrate approach is the way to go these days, so a 4-table cap suits me just fine.

It looks like Phil & co is getting this right and I can't wait to see the result. :-)

Aug. 2, 2018 | 6:41 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Doug Polk vs JNandez


July 24, 2018 | 12:40 a.m.


I've sat and watched guys get dealt 4 sets in 10 hands, collect about
$75 from the table in 10 minutes, and then leave. That's a superuser.

June 28, 2018 | 11:23 p.m.

Love the seating/buy-in rules, bravo! :-)

Question about the seating procedure:

Let's say you'd like to play some fun-but-rarely-played game, Stud 8 and whatnot. The client tells you there are no running tables and you'd then probably pick some other game and move on.

How does the client work when it comes to giving people a chance to play their favorite non-standard games? Can you put yourself on a waiting list for some mixed game X and get an offer once enough players are waiting?

May 24, 2018 | 6:21 p.m.

Also interested. Anyone familiar with the PLO games in Vienna? (Concord Card Casino in particular) Are the games good, how's the rake, and so on.

May 15, 2018 | 3:48 p.m.

Didn't see this until now. Very interesting model you put up there. Kudos.

May 8, 2018 | 3 p.m.

May 3, 2018 | 2:24 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on GTO play decreases EV

The equities are 50-50, but the nutted range can make money by betting, the bluff catcher range can't. Pot equity and EV are not the same, and can be very different.

The AA/QQ range can guarantee itself EV = $75 by betting optimally. This is an equity realization of EV/equity_split = $75/$50 = 150%. The EV boost comes from having some nut hands that can get paid off by worse + some worthless hands to bluff with.

The best the KK range can hope for is that AA/QQ always bluffs, or never bluffs, in which case KK can achieve $50 by exploiting these flawed strategies.

Feb. 5, 2018 | 10:32 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on GTO play decreases EV

In this case, the EV for both Hero and Villain is 0 (Both will win half of the pot).

This is incorrect. When Villain bets the optimal range, Hero is indifferent with KK and it doesn't matter whether he calls or folds, so to keep math simple, we can assume he folds. This means Villain effectively wins the whole pot every time he bets, which is 3 times out of 4. The 1/4 of the time he doesn't bet, hero checks back KK and wins the pot.

GTO EV (Villain) = 3/4 pot = $75
GTO EV (Hero) = 1/4 pot = $25

The player with the strongest range will capture more EV.

By the definition of an optimal strategy, when Villain deviates from GTO by overbluffing, he can not gain EV when Hero stays on the optimal calling strategy. And your EV equation for Villain overbluffing also gets the same result (you calculated wrong):

Villain EV when villain bets all combos:
1/2100 + 1/2(1/2200 - 1/2100) = 125 (wrong: it sums up to $50 + (1/2)($50) = $75)

Hero can also choose to call 100% to exploit the overbluffing. In that case Villain's EV is:

0.5($200) + 0.5(-$100) = $50

And Hero gains $25 from the exploit.

Feb. 3, 2018 | 5:19 p.m.

That's excellent, the charts really become rich in info with that extra dimension. I had the same idea, but didn't know how to do it, so would love to know. :-)

Jan. 17, 2018 | 12:07 a.m.

Great video, guys!

I've done a little range breakdown for KQ9r using Pio's PLO Calc tool with MonkerSolver preflop ranges from a full 100bb 6-max simulation (high stakes rake). PLO Calc is a good range tool that reads Monker's output and complements Monker very well:

Preflop equity

We're a favorite pre flop with our 11%'ish flatting range.

Flop range breakdown

(Gyazo link for full-sized image)

We're a solid 54% equity favorite on the flop, and we're having a significant advantage in the nut department (combo wise we're 14% vs 11% for the straights and 16% vs 8% for sets).

Jan. 4, 2018 | 1:04 a.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Specifically Poker

What can cause such rage? Nick accidentally kissed him on the mouth in a dark club and didn't apologize for the misunderstanding?

Oct. 18, 2017 | 11:39 a.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Party poker HUDs?

Yup, that's how it works.

Oct. 12, 2017 | 3:33 a.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Party poker HUDs?

Did they make changes? Afaik you are free to use HUD, but can only get session stats on your opponents.

Oct. 11, 2017 | 8:11 p.m.

Flop aggregation reports is a no. I asked about it, but I don't expect any flop aggregation functionality any time soon. That would be very useful, though.

Speed is determined by your accuracy settings. It's not faster for very accurate HU pre flop solving, but you can do very fast solves with reduced accuracy that give pretty decent results. I've compared some reduced accuracy levels with benchmark Pio solutions, and I was impressed.

You can node lock.

Oct. 11, 2017 | 12:03 a.m.

In February 2017 MonkerSolver was released and PLO solving became a reality for everyone (and not just owners of the fabled "Dream Machine").

Having the tools doesn't make anyone an expert, though, and for a game that is so computationally demanding as PLO it's important to stay relevant and not waste a lot of time on unimplementable perfection. It's easy to mistake information for knowledge, but if three years of NLHE solving have taught us anything, it's that access to optimal strategies does not translate directly into boosted win rate.

A couple of months ago Corey asked me if I wanted to read his book and review it here in exchange for a free copy, and I gladly accepted the proposition. I had just started dabbling with MonkerSolver myself, and I was curious to see how it was applied to PLO.

Since then I have used the program a lot, and I have decided to take up PLO again. Because I do believe PLO will be very profitable in the years to come for anyone who commits to improving their strategies with solvers. Studying this book had a lot to do with my decision, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

Review of "PLO 3B Pots Game Theory and Practice"
The book aims to get you started on a practical path right away. Its sole topic is low SPR scenarios (e.g. 3B pots) in PLO and how to break down their strategies into something that you can understand and actually implement. These scenarios are both frequent, important for the win rate, and they lend themselves to solver study since shallow stack scenarios are the easiest ones to compute solutions for.

This approach of treating a narrow topic in depth makes the book ideal for anyone who wishes to get started with PLO solving, but lacks a method for how to interpret results and transform them into actual strategy. What you will learn is a framework for analyzing PLO solutions and extracting practical knowledge from them. Knowledge that will translate directly into strategy that you can implement.

Since the scope of the book is narrow and it makes no attempt to cover everything about PLO strategy, the discussion is focused and easy to follow. Then it's up to you to apply what you learn to other areas of the game later. I really liked this, because in my experience (I've done massive amounts of NLHE pre flop solving), hands-on experience going deep in a specific area provides much more insight than a general theoretical overview. Once you have trained a good general method by analyzing one part of the game very well, applying the method to other areas will be easy.

One of the eternal problems of studying PLO systematically has been the presentation of ranges, since we don't have anything like the 13x13 Hold'em grid for visual aids. Cory has solved this problem with strategy charts that lets us visualize PLO postflop strategy in an elegant way:

Like so:

And like so:

The first part of the book introduces the method and the framework for attacking PLO with solvers in a practical and relevant fashion. Range construction is the central topic. The second part consists of 16 detailed hand analyses. Understanding these example hands well and reproducing some of the examples (or applying the method to some of your own hands) as you go along will get you up to speed with practical PLO solving very fast.

Before you start with the book I recommend you buy MonkerSolver and get it up and running. The book doesn't provide much technical software advice (but it is my understanding that this will be covered in an optional video package accompanying the book) but the program has a 2+2 thread and there's also a very active Skype Group going.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to tap into the enormous potential of PLO solvers without losing sight of the most important thing for a poker player: We play the game to get our opponents' money, and our study methods should reflect that. We want to be practical and relevant as much as possible, and we'll not waste time on unimplementable perfection.

Oct. 10, 2017 | 11:38 p.m.

The programs use different algorithms, but they give the same HU results (as they should) when accuracy is set high. HU spots are the only ones we can compare between them, since Pio doesn't do multiway.

Here's a pre flop solution comparison I posted on 2+2: The strategies are identical:


Pros for MonkerSolver are versatility (HU + multiway + pre flop + post flop for three games, Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha8) and a very reasonable price.

One thing that can be a con for some is that the algorithm does not tell us how exploitable we are (Pio tells us, and we typically choose to stop at some threshold where we are exploitable for only a small fraction of pot like 0.25%).

So with Monker, you run it until strategies are converged (as in, no longer changing significantly), and you will have to trust that the strategies it produces are strong. Since it produces the same HU strategies as Pio, I'm fine with taking a leap of faith for the multiway case (and PLO, where we don't have anything to compare Monker to yet).

Oct. 10, 2017 | 9:12 p.m.

You're welcome! ;-)

Oct. 8, 2017 | 7:04 p.m.

Power tools for Mac:

Odds Oracle (old school, but has its uses)
PokerJuice (for PLO)
MonkerSolver (should work fine on a laptop for HU solving)

Oct. 5, 2017 | 4:19 p.m.

Sept. 24, 2017 | 9:03 p.m.

Sept. 21, 2017 | 8:30 p.m.

I'm working a lot with MonkerSolver at the moment and I want somebody to discuss with, dammit. So I've started a MonkerSolver Skype group for those who use the program and for those who are curious about what it can do:

The MonkerSolver Hangout

Nothing formal, and not a study group, just a place for discussing technicalities and multiway strategy.

Sept. 21, 2017 | 2:36 p.m.

If you want to exploit the pool hard, you have to make yourself exploitable in the process. If your line is very profitable, and the pool doesn't counter you hard, keep doing it. Those that go after you on the river can be marked as special cases and handled separately.

Sept. 16, 2017 | 7:50 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on Snowie Preflop ranges

Hey guys. I just found the Snowie Preflop ranges, and I want to know if anybody had success with learning from Snowie's preflop tendencies? I can see, Snowie doesn't like opening SC's from EP as an example.

What does the Snowie EP range look like?

Sept. 13, 2017 | 5:28 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on river shove too thin?

When we are overbetting with a medium strength hand in a 3-way pot, I don't think we'll get looked up by worse often enough.

Sept. 11, 2017 | 3:43 p.m.

Comment | ZenFish commented on river shove too thin?

Are you bluffing or shoving for value?

Sept. 11, 2017 | 1:53 p.m.

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