GTO and AI can both result in a perfect or near perfect no limit Hold'em solution. Not easy to use at the table. Many think impossible.
ange evaluators require large amounts of time away from the table to be useful.
Developing 'instinct' by spending hundreds or thousand of hours studying away from the table is suggested by many coaches. Not many of us have the time or commitment.
Exploitation has always been a good but incomplete strategy.
None of these methods include a way to verify that you are using what you learned correctly.
Simulation is a method that can produce very good, but not mathematically precise information. More importantly, it can be used away from the table without risking real money.
If the goal is simply to improve win rate, not achieve perfection, then simulation may be the best answer.
Old joke punchline: I don't have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.
To be truly useful, simulation must include real player actions in a complete game. The simulator must be very fast and perform the duties of a dealer, controlling the table. The simulator must NOT make decisions about play. Otherwise it is just some programmers opinion.
There must be a database of files that the simulator uses to make all play decisions. Every file type must have an editor so that Ranges and Rules can be changed by the user. The simulator must play a full game, not a toy game. Every street, every position. It must be configurable for things like bet size and type of opponents.
So how would we use this simulator.
Let's start with a simple example. We run 100,000 hands with default settings. And check the win rate. Then we change the Hero's ranges on the Button preflop. If your open range was 40% change it to 45%. Rub 100,000 hands again. Did the Hero's win rate go up or down. That's basically it. In about a minute we have conducted a useful experiment. We can do the same on every street and position.
MDF is just another range that is used on all streets after the preflop round. We can edit MDF ranges and see what happens.
Simulation can be used for in depth analysis. It can actually calculate the EV of every starting hand in in seconds. The EV is not mathematically precise but it is certainly better than equity that does not include play of the game against opu opponents. If you use EV to select your preflop ranges, all that you really need to know is how the 169 possible starting hands rank.
The EV of all starting hand types can be determined through simulation. A wet / dry analysis of a board can be given a value number.
Have a theory, experiment without risking real money.
Simulation does not replace software tools that let you study AI or GTO. It does not replace the many analysis tools. What simulation can provide is a much easier way to tune and analyze your play with far reduced effort.