Joined: Oct '09
Age: 58 (M)
From the "cheating" post, I gather there is some confusion about the HUDs and their use/cheating factor. So here´s a quick breakdown for those who don´t know:
There are basically 2 types of HUDs (some more, but not important)
Holdem Manager Poker Tracker
These are HUD´s / programs that collect information from the tables you have played at. They are accepted by most major Poker sites. Only information from the tables you play is collected and then an analysis is possible.
Sharkscope ..and some others, that have HUGE Databases on ALL Poker players, results, etc etc. You can sign up to them and get info an 100.000´s of players who you´ve never played against before. They also often have HUD´s where this information is used at the tables you decide to play on, so you already know everything there is to know about someone you´ve never played.
These last ones are "illegal" to most Poker sites, but people are very often still using them "undetected" This is DEFINITELY cheating, and can get you banned. Even signing up to their sites and using the database information is cheating, but not much can be done about that.
HEM and PT are mostly useful Multi-Tabling. In my view (and that of the major Poker sites), the difference between Live play and online is that you can actually Multi-Table, so the use of these two is accepted as a part (difference from Live) of "Online" Poker.
I personnaly have HEM, but never use it up until now because I only play a few games at a time (up to 3-4 tables max)
Here is the "catch": Against Good Poker players, a HUD is fairly useless, and I´ll explain why.
A "good" player will "switch up" his game. A "bad" player will either play tight or aggressive. He has a "pattern" to his game.
The HUD will tell you a lot about a player´s tendencies (3-bets, stealing, aggression, etc) With a good player, he switches his game constantly, and these numbers will mean little, outside of certain stats that tell you he is a "good" player. And that you should already know sitting at the table with him/her.
The most successful results I have had, are the games where I switch gears constantly. Raising a2x bb with AA, next time raising 4x with AA, next time "limping" with AA... Limping with 78s UTG, Raising 3x UTG with 78s next time... Playing ANY 2 cards from ANY position in a lot of different ways will make the HUD stats fairly useless, because you could be holding anything from anywhere. Playing tight for 30min, they will "peg" you as tight. Switching to aggro for 20 min., they will be surprised, and assume you are holding premium hands. (bluffing becomes easy all of a sudden) It´s all a question of "creating confusion", and opening opportunities for "trapping" or "bluffing".
The only thing his HUD will tell him, is that you are a "good" player, if you do this well and your "statistics" are those of a "statistically" good player. Makes the HUD fairly useless, because you can know all this just playing this person without a HUD.
This way you can also "manipulate" the players who you are sure are depending on their HUD stats if they have not played against you often or at all.
I´ve done it in SnG´s, and I´ve done it in Tournaments.
In the end, there is a lot of discussion on various forums as to the "usefullness" of a HUD in Tournament play. The only consensus is that Multi-tabling, you will have a general advantage "statisticall2, because you get a "general" image quite quickly as to what you can do or not against someone. By playing an A-game on only a few tables against these players, you can beat them.
All I can think of right now, anyone want to add some stuff or dispute something, feel free to enlighten me....
Joined: Oct '09
Age: 58 (M)
Posted by jc1337: The question is, how do you know someone is playing with a HUD. Because if he's not you can get screwed alot of times ^^
Nice post though.
Good point, and not the easiest thing to know. But... on sites like FT, you can see how many tables a player is on at the same time. When I played SnG´s there, I would check the 8-12 tablers. You can see after a short while, that they are using a "pattern" against certain players. They steal blinds from the weak players who fold, and do it less or not with those who re-raise. Someone playing 10 tables or more at the same time can NOT have noticed this at every table from every player. ... a "pattern" emerges... You "know" they are using a HUD. And then you can take advantage of that. Someone multi-tabling 10 tournaments can show the same "pattern", and I will never believe that through all the confusion of all those tables, he has "pegged" everyone´s play based on "observing". He would have to be a Poker "Kasparov", and there aren´t very many of those...
It´s possible..but not very likely. Just watch for the "pattern" play in those cases.
PS: Oustside of that, if he´s using a "pattern", the player can be beat anyways. Trap ´em and take his stack!
I should have added that this is what I believe based on low-stakes players. High-stakes players have a wholly different approach to how they use their HUD´s and the information they gather from them, as far as I can tell right now. There is a completely different level of sophistication involved there.
Joined: Mar '09
Age: 44 (F)
I have never used a program like that but i know that lots of players have problems with data given away by such programs. If im not mistaken there are sites that you can play without your screen name.
Joined: Apr '09
Age: 41 (M)
I have never used any of this, but i have a few friends who bought a license from Poker Tracker and, specially one of my friends (who plays mostly $11 buy-in tourneys and $0.5/$1 ring) said it was a very important "weapon" for his game. Playing what i consider higher levels, it sure is important to have info about oponents, and he said this tool helps him on taking lots of decisions on how to play against certain oponents. One can always google some players ranking on the net, avoyding what can be considered cheating by some online rooms, but if its legal, i guess its a good tool for amateur/experienced players.