modern poker theory
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modern poker theory

Modern Poker Theory

2019, Michael Acevedo

“Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo is a groundbreaking work that brings the application of GTO (Game Theory Optimal) strategies to the forefront of poker. With a strong focus on mathematical models, the book meticulously explains how modern players can apply game theory to make unexploitable decisions at the table. It covers a wide range of concepts from preflop ranges to postflop play, making it an essential guide for anyone looking to understand and apply the latest advances in poker strategy.

  • Pros
  • In-depth GTO strategy analysis.
  • Comprehensive range construction.
  • Detailed explanations with charts and examples.
  • Relevant for all skill levels.
  • Cons
  • Requires a solid mathematical understanding.
  • May be dense for casual players.


Note globale




  • After reading “Modern Poker Theory”, you will know:
  • The latest advancements in poker strategy and game theory optimal (GTO) play.
  • How to use solvers and other modern tools to analyze and improve your game.
  • Strategies for adapting GTO principles to exploit typical player tendencies in real-world games.

“Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo is a groundbreaking work that brings the cutting-edge of poker theory to the forefront, offering players a deep dive into the complexities of modern poker strategies. Acevedo, with a background in both poker and quantitative analysis, synthesizes the latest advancements in game theory optimal (GTO) play, making it accessible and actionable for players at various skill levels.

The book is significant for its comprehensive approach to contemporary poker strategy, incorporating the use of solvers and analytical tools to explore optimal play. Acevedo’s credibility as an author comes from his extensive experience as a poker player and his ability to apply a rigorous, analytical approach to the game, offering insights that are both theoretically sound and practically applicable.

Synopsis of the Book

“Modern Poker Theory” covers a broad spectrum of topics, from fundamental pre-flop strategies to complex post-flop play and heads-up dynamics. Acevedo delves into the mathematics of poker, including equity calculations, range analysis, and the application of GTO principles across different stages of play.

The book stands out for its emphasis on using modern analytical tools, such as poker solvers, to dissect and understand the game at a deeper level. Acevedo provides readers with a framework for using these tools to analyze their play, identify leaks, and make adjustments based on GTO solutions. Additionally, “Modern Poker Theory” addresses how to deviate from GTO strategies to exploit common tendencies in opponents, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Key Points Covered in “Modern Poker Theory”

  • Game Theory Optimal (GTO) Play: Acevedo introduces the concept of GTO play, explaining its importance in modern poker and how it creates an unexploitable strategy foundation.
  • Pre-flop Strategies: Detailed analysis of GTO pre-flop strategies, including opening ranges, 3-betting, and adjustments based on table dynamics and opponent tendencies.
  • Post-flop Play: Explores complex post-flop strategies using GTO principles, focusing on bet sizing, bluffing ratios, and understanding board textures.
  • Using Solvers: A comprehensive guide on how to use poker solvers to analyze and improve your game, including practical examples and exercises.
  • Range Analysis: Techniques for constructing and analyzing ranges for both yourself and your opponents to make better decisions at every stage of the hand.
  • Equity Calculations: Explains how to calculate and use equity in various situations to determine the most profitable actions.
  • Exploitative Adjustments: While emphasizing GTO play, Acevedo discusses how to adjust your strategy to exploit specific player types and common mistakes.
  • Tournament vs. Cash Game Strategies: Discusses the differences in applying GTO and exploitative strategies in tournament play versus cash games.
  • Mental Game and Bankroll Management: Offers advice on managing the psychological aspects of poker and strategies for effective bankroll management.
  • Advanced Topics: Covers advanced topics such as multiway pots, playing from the blinds, and short-stack strategies in a GTO context.

“Modern Poker Theory” is a comprehensive resource that brings together the most advanced strategies in modern poker, offering players a detailed guide to mastering GTO play and its applications in today’s game.

Who Is This Book For?

“Modern Poker Theory” is designed to appeal to a wide range of poker players who are keen on understanding and applying the latest strategies in their game:

  • Intermediate Players: Those with a solid grasp of poker basics but looking to deepen their strategic approach will find the book’s exploration of GTO play and solver-based analysis particularly enlightening.
  • Advanced Players and Professionals: Seasoned players who want to refine their understanding of modern poker theory and stay ahead in highly competitive environments will benefit from Acevedo’s in-depth analysis and practical applications of advanced concepts.
  • Students of the Game: Players who are serious about studying poker as a skill and are committed to continuous learning and improvement will appreciate the comprehensive, detailed approach to modern poker strategies.
  • Tournament and Cash Game Players: While “Modern Poker Theory” has broad applications, players in both tournament and cash game formats will find specific strategies and adjustments tailored to each type of play.

This book assumes a certain level of poker knowledge and is best suited for players who are already familiar with the basics of poker and are looking to elevate their game through a rigorous, analytical approach.

Pros and Cons

  • Cutting-Edge Strategies: Acevedo presents the forefront of poker theory, ensuring readers have access to the most current and advanced strategies.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: From fundamental concepts to advanced techniques, the book covers a wide range of topics in depth.
  • Practical Applications: Beyond theory, “Modern Poker Theory” provides practical examples and exercises, allowing readers to apply what they’ve learned to real-game situations.
  • Analytical Tools: The guide on using solvers and other analytical tools to study and improve one’s game is invaluable for serious poker students.
  • Complexity: The advanced nature of the topics and reliance on mathematical analysis may be challenging for beginners or those less comfortable with quantitative aspects of poker.
  • Focus on GTO: Players looking exclusively for exploitative play strategies may find the emphasis on GTO play more than they’re looking for, although the book does address exploitative adjustments.

For more essential reads, check out our article on the best poker books.

Four Reasons to Buy “Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo


Stay Competitive

Equip yourself with the latest strategies and an understanding of GTO play to remain competitive in modern poker.


Deepen Your Game Analysis

Learn how to use solvers and other tools to analyze your play deeply and identify areas for improvement.


Improve Decision Making

Apply the principles of modern poker theory to make more informed, mathematically sound decisions at the table.


Bridge Theory and Practice

Gain insights into bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, enhancing both your GTO and exploitative play.

My Honest Opinion

“Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo is a seminal work that successfully bridges the gap between complex theoretical strategies and practical, actionable poker skills. Its comprehensive coverage of modern poker concepts, combined with practical examples and guidance on using analytical tools, makes it an essential resource for serious poker players. While the book’s advanced nature and focus on mathematical analysis may pose a challenge to some, its potential to transform one’s understanding and approach to the game is undeniable. For players committed to excelling in the evolving landscape of poker, “Modern Poker Theory” offers the insights and tools needed to achieve a high level of proficiency and success.

Michael Acevedo

about Michael Acevedo

Michael Acevedo is a renowned figure in the world of poker, celebrated not just for his skill at the tables but also for his significant contributions to poker theory and education. With a background in mathematics and a passion for game theory, Acevedo has dedicated himself to studying and teaching the most advanced aspects of poker strategy. His expertise is particularly focused on the application of game theory optimal (GTO) play and the use of computational tools like solvers to analyze and improve poker strategies.

Acevedo’s work, particularly “Modern Poker Theory,” is recognized for pushing the boundaries of traditional poker strategy, incorporating the latest technological advancements and theoretical insights. His ability to translate complex concepts into understandable and actionable strategies has made him a sought-after coach and author in the poker community.

Beyond his achievements at the table, Little is dedicated to teaching others how to improve their poker game. He runs a popular poker training website, produces a wealth of educational content, including videos, podcasts, and articles, and conducts live coaching sessions. His ability to break down complex strategies into understandable lessons makes him a sought-after coach for players at all levels.