Human nature and its role in poker

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What exactly is human nature and how does it play a role in the game of poker?

People are inclined to have certain characteristics and we call them personal traits. Generally speaking, we look at human behavior as the result of the psychological and social qualities that characterize mankind, especially in contrast with other living things.

Nowadays, GTO strategy became more and more popular among professional poker players, and GTO solvers are called “their right hand”. Game theory uses a strong definition of optimal play, where you’re supposed to consider every play you would ever make with any hand as part of the equilibrium.

More exactly, “GTO poker means Game Theory Optimal”. It is the strategy that will prevent your opponent from exploiting you. But there is one feature: there is no specific definition concerning what exactly GTO should be, but it will beat anyone who doesn’t follow this strategy. GTO doesn’t adapt to the opponents’ play. That implies the following:


  • You should make such a strategy that will impede your opponent to exploit you.
  • The knowledge of the GTO concepts gives you an opportunity to find the workable strategies that will help you to cope with the opponents and protect you from situations where you can be exploited by the other players.”



“Anyone can become angry —that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way —this is not easy.” Aristotle.

Well, GTO is a profitable concept that generates income regardless of how your opponent act. Despite this, it does not allow getting the maximum profit, which leads to the necessity to identify the opponents’ mistakes in order to receive additional income from situations when our rival deviates from the optimal line of play.

Here is when human adaptability becomes very important.

For example, there are many different lines of play that can be applied with a specific group of hands in your range. When making only one decision, your overall strategy can become either too passive or too aggressive in comparison to the relative strength of this range. The best approach is to play GTO with poker pros and to change your play to an exploitive one with fish.



And this is how it should remain. Nobody wants to play poker knowing that behind the nickname stands an AI or software. The magic of poker is based on human emotions, how to control them, or how to turn them into big winnings.

Human nature should remain the main concept when it comes to poker. Why are we still taking notes, analyzing hands, having coaching sessions? Because we want to improve and to become better than our opponents.

Becoming a great poker player requires inspiration. You must push yourself through darker depths, and into greater choruses of concentration than ordinary people put into just about anything. It is not about money. No poker player becomes great because of money. It is about you, it is about creating yourself—and at the same time, it has nothing to do with you, it is only poker, it is only the climb, only the mountain.

Where does creativity in poker come from? What role does creativity play? And how can we try to be more creative?

In a sense, it’s natural to be creative. When you first began playing poker, just about everything you did was creative. You experimented, you made plays you had never made before, and you were unafraid. It is only over time, as you learned what you shouldn’t do, that your creativity began to be stifled. By the time you become a fully capable and disciplined poker player, you are no longer even aware of just how restricted you are by your conditioning, at that point, you can no longer even see all of the available possibilities.


In conclusion, this is not a strategy article, not even a motivational one, but we really hope that it will help you justify to yourself all your hardwork, the hours spent studying GTO for climbing the stakes, all the downswings and tilt periods. But don’t forget one thing: even when we reach the top, poker will still be a game about life and passion. After all, it is in our human nature to have this mix of feelings. 





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