We don’t just want you to play our tournaments, we want you to have a real shot at winning them. While simply rooting for you might help a little bit, we are all excellent at sweating in a coin flip, the best way to do this is to help you work on your game.
The biggest trend in live tournament strategy these days is Game Theory Optimal Play or GTO. Experts spend hours with computer programs and spreadsheets that help them learn the perfect play in any given situation. These plays are assuming that your opponent also plays perfectly, so they aren’t the most profitable way to play in every situation, but they can be very helpful in establishing a baseline.
You can think of GTO play as your armor. You wouldn’t go into battle without it, but it won’t really help you kill your opponents as quickly as a sword. That sword is what we call “exploitive” play. Exploitive play means that you take your opponents mistakes into account and attack them. The better your opponents are, the closer you should be to unexploitable GTO play.
Think of it like a game of tic-tac-toe. If your opponent is smart, then you should play perfectly and split every game with them. But if your opponent always takes the lower left corner when it is open, you could use this tendency to exploit them by playing in a way that is exploitive of that tendency. this means that you are playing in a way that an expert player could exploit, but that will beat your weak opponent.
In order to recognize the ways that your opponents are exploitable and find their mistakes, you must first know what GTO play looks like. then your armor will be solid and you will know when your opponents have a hole in their own armor that you can exploit.
If you want to learn more about GTO play and how it works, we highly recommend this article on Game Theory Optimal Play.