alex vuilleumier's top 3 exploits

High Stakes Pro Reveals His 3 Top Exploits | Upswing Poker Level-Up #34



This article is a transcription of the Level-Up Podcast, hosted by Upswing VP Mike Brady with special guest Alexandre Vuilleumier. You can watch or listen to the entire episode via the links above or read on if you prefer a written version.

Mike (00:00):

You’re about to Level up your poker game with moneymaking counter strategies from a high stakes poker pro. My name is Mike Brady and I’ve got a special guest with me today. Chess International Master, Alex Vuilleumier, started playing high stakes poker in 2021 and has already racked up some amazing accomplishments including 2.2 million in live tournament earnings and a WSOP bracelet in a prestigious high roller event playing against some of the best players in the world. Thanks for joining us, Alex.

Alex (00:27):

Thank you for having me.

Mike (00:29):

This Swiss Crusher is the latest addition to the Upswing poker team and he just released two brand spanking new courses.

The first is called Precision Poker, which is Alex’s Masterclass on poker methodology. Precision Poker teaches how to build your own poker game from the bottom to the top, helping you understand the game at a deeper level. Perhaps more importantly, Alex’s methods also make poker more fun by giving you control over your own game and style.

alex vuilleumier precision poker out now

His second course is called Exploit and Conquer. It’s a three part course in which the lion’s share is focused on how to exploit 62 specific leaks that your opponents may have. Today’s podcast is a little preview of that course as Alex shares three such exploits. Just a friendly heads up before we dive in, Exploit and Conquer costs $299, but we’re throwing it in as a free bonus if you get Alex’s Precision Poker course this week, join by Friday, February 23rd to lock up that bonus. I think you’ve heard enough from me.

Let’s turn it over to the expert. I’d like to start with pre-flop. Alex, what is an effective exploit you’ve used to take advantage of weaker players before the flop?

Alex (01:39):

I would say the main idea it is just to maximize your post-flop play against the recreationals. We see in the course data shows they are losing an average 30 BB per hundred at least in cash games. So that means that anything you can do to play the most often possible against them, it is good. So you should three bet them to isolate them and to play heads up against them post flop. When they’re in the blinds and a regular is opening, you should maybe three bet only Queens plus and Ace King and all the rest you call, so that the recreationals come along. You can even over limp some semi-dubious stuff like Jack eight offsuit or stuff like this if they are in the blinds, just to be able to play more versus them.

Mike (02:28):

That makes a lot of sense. It actually aligns with something that Darren Elias talks about in his course on Upswing poker, and I was really surprised to see it. He put out some exploitative ranges in his course and one of them was how he plays against a recreational player’s limp with deep stacks and I was shocked at how wide he over limps against that recreational players limp. He was limping on the button with as weak as nine seven offsuit as I remember correctly. So that really aligns with what you’re talking about.

Alex (02:57):


Mike (02:58):

Do you make sizing adjustments when you’re facing off against a recreational player? I mean all things equal, maybe you have specific reads about how they might respond to certain sizes, but maybe a recreational player’s in the big blind. Are you juicing up your size to kind of get more value, play a bigger pot or are you sticking with a fairly normal size so they call fairly often and you get to play that post flop pot?

Alex (03:23):

Yes, actually one of the main weaknesses, and we will see that post flop of the recreational is their inelasticity. So yeah, I always open 3x and actually data shows that the bigger the pot, the bigger the mistakes, actually not only from recreationals, also from regulars. So that means that yeah, you can open for a bigger sizing. Obviously geometrically or mathematically if you’re opening for a bigger sizing you should open less, but you can go and you open the same range but for a bigger sizing and it works well.

Mike (03:58):

Yeah, that makes sense. You’re just juicing up the pot and then getting to play a bigger pot against a relatively weak player. So it sounds like the main takeaway here, try to play pots against recreational players. Don’t worry too much about leaving yourself open because obviously a lot of the things you’re talking about are exploitable themselves. That’s kind of just how exploiting works. When you try to exploit someone, you kind of leave yourself open. I guess I should ask you about that actually. How much do you consider how you are leaving yourself open to exploitation? Maybe with some regulars behind or anything like that?

Alex (04:32):

If they are following the game, obviously you should be able to, if they are three betting lighter because you call, or that means if they’re squeezing you should be able to four bet lighter as well. If they are cold four betting you should be able to five bet lighter. Actually it might seem a little bit contentious, but for me the only moment that recreationals are balanced it’s before they open anything. As soon as they took a decision, they are already imbalanced, be that they are open raising or calling or whatever. So that means that are they started first basically just by entering the pot they are already imbalanced so you have to deal with this imbalance right away.

Mike (05:15):

That makes sense. You got to counter them right from the jump. Alright, postflop time. What is an effective exploit you found yourself using against weaker players after the flop?

Alex (05:24):

We touched already about that it is to attack their inelasticity. So meaning if you have a really strong hand you can go pot or even higher. It is not that you normally maybe you use a two third sizing and suddenly you will go 80% and you feel ha ha, no, you can really exaggerate and go 100% pot or 150% or even be crazier than that. You can also check raise for a huge sizing and most of the time they will call quite light because they will call anything if it is a 2.3x check raise or if it is a 7x check raise, they will call more or less the same. And on the other side of the spectrum, you can really go very thin and very small when you have air yourself and they will over fold because they haven’t studied the extent to which you should call when there is a 10% or one BB for instance c-bet, they don’t know how to react to that.

Mike (06:24):

For those who don’t know, inelasticity or an inelastic range refers to a player who doesn’t adjust their continue range, their calling and raising range, in relation to the size. So as poker works, you probably know this if you’re listening, bigger sizes, you’re supposed to play tighter against those. A player who’s relatively inelastic is not doing that. They’re pretty much playing the same range no matter what size you bet. And we have a great article on Upswing poker about this, how to snowball your winnings against weak players. If you just Google snowball poker, something like that, you will for sure find it. But it talks about and it goes through some kind of examples, how much bigger the pot can really be and how much more value you can get with your strong hands by taking advantage of inelastic ranges with big bet sizes. And that’s exactly what Alex is talking about here. You can really get away with some borderline out of line stuff where you are super, super transparent where you’re betting big with good hands and maybe betting smaller with bluffs and semi bluffs, but it works really well against these players and kind of the prerequisite to it is they’re not the type of person who’s going to notice, right?

Alex (07:33):

Especially live, even the best players in the world, sometimes they are on the phone or they are thinking about something else. So imagine the recreationals, they forgot that you had Ace Queen in that important pot one and a half hour ago and yes it works. You can be imbalanced and they will not notice that.

Mike (07:49):

Before we get into your third and final exploit, I want to give you a chance to talk about the incredible courses that you’ve worked so hard on over the last several months. What made you want to create Precision poker and Exploit and Conquer and what do our listeners stand to gain by taking these courses?

Alex (08:06):

Well the main idea was really to share a vision. I was for 10 years a chess coach and there are so many differences between chess and poker and I wanted to make it more fun but also, I mean basically to do things differently, that means to shift the paradigm between being let’s say a passive spectator into trying to becoming a creative actor. And that is not only on the felt, it is mainly it starts from outside of the felt. It’s how you are working, how you are behaving yourself, how you are seeing what is your philosophy of poker and then how you work with all of the softwares. And we take every single software and we are trying to do the best that we can out of the software to really create our own style, our own philosophy, and to make poker more alive. I would say to make a happier version of poker, to be really ourselves and not just copying something that maybe worked two years ago or whatever.

Mike (09:06):

And in the course you leverage several different tools, some as relatively rudimentary as Flopzilla, which is a somewhat basic tool that’s been around for many years, all the way up to more advanced tools like Piosolver and stuff like that. And you really share some specific and effective exercises that players who take the course can replicate again and again to continually improve their game and it really gives them more control over their poker game as a whole and it allows them to sort of stay on the cutting edge without having to consume all the content that’s coming out. They can do the work themselves, stay on top of the game themselves and really choose what style and approach they want to take at the table and figure out what makes the most sense given the unique properties of their game. Whether it be an ante or a straddle or a loose player in the big blind, whatever it is, Alex is going to give you the tools to figure out how to best play those situations in these courses.

Alex (10:06):

Actually I am talking of one of the most important soft skills in poker. It is curiosity. When with this method we can really be led by our curiosity, not just waiting for something to happen. No, we take the things in our own hands and we just follow along. And in this way also by using words and not just symbols or math or whatever, we are really making the concepts ours and we will remember and we will cement our knowledge way better than by just watching half seriously a YouTube video, whatever.

Mike (10:40):

That makes perfect sense too because if you are going to just get the answer, that’s not going to stick with you as much as if you actually do the math, so to speak and get the answer yourself. Because when you’ve taken that path, it’s naturally going to stick with you more and it’s not going to go in one ear and out the other, like I think happens fairly often to people consuming poker content on the internet. But not when you’re listening to this podcast, right guys, because always so on the money.

Alex (11:06):

And I also wanted to say that even time-wise, you could watch hours and hours and you don’t really even follow account of it, but actually it adds up and it is tens of hours of content that you consume that I consume for instance. And okay, it has a place for it. It’s great, you have to watch content but then it might seem daunting and you don’t know where to start when you have to work with the computer, well we will see how to work with the softwares and you will see it’s not like it takes hundreds and hundreds of hours. With just maybe less hours than what you would actually be if you were just in a passive spectator state, you will accumulate way more knowledge. So even as a productivity, let’s say kind of view, it is something useful.

Mike (11:54):

Productivity and efficiency are definitely some of the underlying things in this course that I think people are going to gain. You’re going to have a lot more effective study time, a lot more productive study time and it’s going to pay dividends at the table. Alright, time for the final exploit, Alex, what’s another counter strategy you’ve found yourself using against weaker players at the table? Dealer’s choice. It could be pre-flop, post-flop, whatever you want.

Alex (12:18):

Actually I call that fold versus creativity. So basically every time, and that is also for regulars true, but less true for them, anytime they do something out of the blue unexpected or that they didn’t do before, most of the time, but like 95% plus of the time, they have it. And suddenly they are thinking, okay, about the double check raise or suddenly they over bet or something. For an over bet it is quite logical, it’s quite known. But take it like this. Every time they are creative it is because they have it.

Mike (12:53):

So it sounds like you’re saying when someone jumps out of their comfort zone randomly, it’s probably just because they have a good hand, not because they’re coming up with some creative bluff that they manufactured in a particular line.

Alex (13:05):

Exactly. Yeah. I mean sometimes it’ll happen and you will have a genius in front of you, but normally if it is a genius, that means that he’s a regular and the rest of the time it is that they have it and suddenly they want to create something.

Mike (13:21):

Precision poker is the most unique course I’ve ever seen in the poker training space and it is out right now on Upswing Poker. If you want to take control over your own game, build your own style and become a creative poker player, rather than someone just copying what everyone else is doing at the table, head over to and sign up now. Hit that like button or rate the podcast five stars. If you want to win your next tournament, it should help. Thanks for listening.