2021 World Series of Poker 2021 MSPT Venetian

How Much Can You TRUST Your Preflop Solutions?

Trust preflop solvers

In his latest video, Gareth James talks about the potential issues you can run into when using pre-solved preflop solutions. Preflop solutions are great if everyone has the same stack size, but how often does that happen in a tournament?

In the video he discusses this spot where the button is on 30bb, the small blind is on 30bb and Hero is in the big blind with 15bb.

A lot of players in this spot will take a look at their stack size, pull up the 15bb charts (when they’re studying, of course) and go with the solution. But the problem with this is that this chart assumes that everyone has the same stack size, and this solution is only good if the button is actually opening a 15bb range. In this case, the button won’t jam a lot of the hands given in these solutions.

Instead, we need to run an analysis or a solution where everyone has the stack sizes that they actually have.

The solutions are quite surprising since we actually see some jams from the button - 22, 33, 44, A9o, A2s, JTs and KQo - despite shoving ~30bb through the small blind.

The next step is to look at the BB response to this new opening range. Against this open, there are some similarities. All the pairs and Axo are still going for a jam, but the difference is that KK, KQo and KQs now go all-in, as do 87s, 98s, T9s and JTs. The biggest difference, though, is that all the suited Aces are now going for a jam as well.

The other major difference from the pre-solved solutions is a significant amount more calling than folding.

This video will show you that you can’t just look at your preflop solutions and know exactly what to do. Remember these solutions are based on everyone having the same stack size, which is very rare in tournaments, except maybe if you reg right from the start.

When we get later on in the tournament, there is a big range of different stack sizes, so it’s important to base your response on what you believe the player to be opening instead of relying on preflop solutions. Pre-solved preflop solutions are a great place to start, but now we can go to the next level - what do different stack sizes mean for our strategy? As you’ll see from the video, the opening range for the button is very different, so it has a knock on effect on the kind of hands we need to call or jam when we’re in the BB at 15bb.

  • Take a look at the issues with pre-solved preflop situations in the latest video from Gareth James

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