Solvers have revolutionized poker strategy.
As the name suggests, a ‘solver’ is a powerful piece of poker software that offers ‘optimal’ solutions to a specific, user-inputted scenario.
(We use ‘optimal’ in the sense of ‘game theory optimal’, but must be cautious using the term ‘solved’, as No Limit Hold’em is not, strictly speaking, a solved game.)
At their most basic level, solvers inform players how to play their range correctly based on the actions and bet-sizes at play. The most well-known solvers on the market are PioSOLVER, Simple Postflop and PokerJuice (for PLO only).
In the new module for Upswing Lab members, Fried Meulders and Ryan Fee present an overview of solvers and how to use them. The module includes seven videos, totaling over three hours of content.
Fried attributes much of his success in the ultra-tough 500NL Zoom games to solvers. Here is a graph of his last ~100,000 hands played:
An avid user of Simple Postflop, Fried is outspoken about how this solver in particular has helped him improve his strategy and win over $500,000 in some of the hardest games on PokerStars.
What videos are in this module?
GTO Introduction (19:46)
The opening video goes over the often-confused concept of Game Theory Optimal (hereafter, ‘GTO’) in poker. As solvers are a branch of this type of strategy, a good understanding of GTO will help you learn about how solvers work.
Fried and Fee also discuss the concept of indifference (an idea also touched on in this article on GTO play).
Solvers Introduction (23:21)
Here, solvers are defined in greater detail and their strengths and weaknesses are outlined. You’ll learn about how they function and hear about some of the differences between the solvers available on the market.
Simple Postflop Study (22:57)
Fried introduces Simple Postflop—his solver of choice. He provides a quick overview of how to use its features, then breaks down effective ways to incorporate solvers into your own study sessions.
Specific examples (4 videos)
In the following four videos, Ryan and Fried use Simple Postflop to analyze and solve the flop, turn and river spots for four different hands:
- Middle Position vs Cutoff on 9-3-2 (38:26)
- Middle Position vs Big Blind K-7-2 (33:28)
- Middle Position vs Big Blind T-8-5 (31:54)
- Button 3-bet vs Middle Position T-7-2 (38:26)
In these four videos, Ryan and Fried use Simple Postflop to analyze and solve the flop, turn and river spots for four different hands.
These hand examples are taken from Ryan’s How to Play the River module, so it’s interesting to see how the use of a solver influences and changes his strategy. Ryan and Fried break down each spot in detail, discuss the solver’s solutions and highlight when and why they might deviate from them.
After watching this module, you’ll be prepared to implement solvers into your own game.
If you aren’t a Lab member, you can gain access to this module–and 40+ others–by joining the Upswing Lab. Click here or on the image below to learn more.