What are these “solvers” of yours?

Young players explained to Doyle Brunson what solvers are, whether no-limit hold’em is dead and whether there are still unsolved games.

In a recent social media review we mentioned that the Polk-Negreanu match finally convinced Doyle Brunson of the death of No Limit Hold’em.

In my opinion, this is the end of the NLH, – stated Doyle. – I had no idea that the modern game is so effective. Only a fool would agree to play without additional information. I never thought I’d say that.

Many famous players have noted in the comments to the tweet. Some agreed with the master, while others tried to convince him.

Phil Galfond:

In the days of your youth, you were handing out cards to yourself to know the expectation.

In mine, they used calculators and trackers.

Solvers are a new tool.

Information is available to everyone, but someone will still be stronger. It has always been that way.

In any case, you have to play poker!

Daniel Negreanu:

It seems to me that the main difference today is in the set of acquired knowledge. “Natural talent” no longer matters as much as hard work.

Phil Galfond:

I disagree. Yes, the software has become better, without it there is almost no chance of breaking through. But I would still prefer outstanding talent over ordinary, even with 15x hard work.

Doyle Brunson:

Phil’s tweet brought back memories in me. Amarilo Slim and I handed out cards to each other almost every day before going to bed to sort out expectations. It usually took two hours, but it was definitely justified.

Doug Polk:

This will gradually happen with all games. It’s naive to think that this is impossible in mixes.

Poker is not a game that humans can beat a computer.

Randy Ohel:

There are no such games left at all. Go and Starcraft were huge breakthroughs in the study of AI, after which we finally realized the capabilities of the computer.

Joe Ingram:

There will always be private games and public offline micro-stakes.


I regularly play live 1/3 and 2/5. I do this for fun and socialization. I work from home and recently moved to Vegas, this is an opportunity for me to meet and chat with new people. I see no reason why micro stakes will die.

Jacob Kipfer:

I totally agree [with Doyle’s tweet]. Watching this match discouraged me from playing poker.

– Why? Joe Ingram asked.

– I am an amateur, I like to have some fun sometimes. But the way they disassembled the game on the bones with the help of their “commands” discouraged me from any desire to play. It’s probably for the best, I could never spend so much time working on a game. Also, it perfectly explains why all my deposits on Stars and GG over the past three years have disappeared instantly, haha.

Kevin Martin:

Almost nobody plays in HUNL anyway.

Cash, MTT and offline will live for a very long time.

Fyodor Holz:

It has always been that way. The world is changing, and with it the methods of working on the game, and the necessary set of skills.

Chess is a perfect example. A lot of skill is needed to achieve mastery – even with solvers.

Mike MacDonald:

In another tweet, Doyle asked to explain to him what solvers are:

I stopped playing NLH many years ago and switched to mix games. I thought (and continue now) that they require more skill. Therefore, I do not really understand all this hype.

Jason Kuhn hastened to help the veteran:

Hi Doyle! The player sets the conditions (options for bets and raises), and the computer, using its algorithms, “solves” this situation. Essentially, AI plays with itself a billion hands until neither side can exploit the other.

This is a very useful software, but most likely it will only confuse someone. Let me give you an extreme example: if you ask the bot to play only all-ins on the flop, then it will start checking much more often than with more optimally set sizing.

In summary, solvers are a useful tool, but not always intuitive to figure out. You need to understand poker well in order to correctly interpret the conclusions of the software. Poker is an extremely complex game, and anyone who says they “learned” GTO doesn’t really understand how it all works.

Amit Mahia:

This is a software in which you can disassemble distributions and get unexploited solutions for the entire range.

After all the answers, Doyle had one last hope:

Is it true that there are no solvers for lowball games?

Christopher George:

Not true, and most of your opponents have access to bespoke solvers.

Melissa Burr:

Sorry Dolly … we’ll have to work on the game the old fashioned way.

Although, frankly speaking, most likely there are solvers for both 2-7 and badugi. But I’m ready to bet that they are not yet available for games with carve-up and are not expected.

Christopher George:

You are wrong. Monker solver is available to everyone, and there is Omaha-8. Solvers for other games are also made to order.

Adam Owen also confirmed that splitting solvers already exist.

Stoyan Madanzhiev:

They are easy to do anyway. If limit games were popular, they would be solved in a year.

Andrew Barber:

I think we should come to terms with the idea that there are solvers (in some form) for all games.

Alex Weiss:

There are solvers for any game, even if the general public does not know anything about it. Almost all lowball games are simpler than PLO, for which software has been around for a long time.

When we kick the ass on the virus, I invite all the solver boys to the Bellagio, ”Doyle turned to potential rivals. – We will show you how our games are “solved”.

A few days ago, Doyle reported that he had overcome cancer again:

Thanks to everyone who wished me luck before my melanoma surgery. Today the doctor confirmed that everything went well. This is my fourth victory over cancer.

And he added that he plans to live up to 102 years:

10-2 has always brought me luck.

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