It all started with a little game on PKR! They got me in with a tantalising reload bonus and the free cash was just too much to resist!
So sitting there on the virtual 3D felt without my comfort blanket of a HUD and without 10 other tables fighting for my attention I set about to playing some poker.
As an aside ... It probably is the next best thing to playing live poker. In fact that is the real reason I am able to write this blog entry because I did start playing real poker.
I was able to identify the person who was playing weak tight. I was able to identify the player who was drunk. I was able to enter into chat to get a feel for a player. Most importantly I didn't rely on 3000 hands of history on a player to which had no relevance to that players current situation.
Let's just take a player of whom I have 3000 hands of history. I should have a pretty good idea of how they play ... right? Well yes as long as they play consistently the way their stats show they do.
What if I play a player who normally plays sober for 5 days a week and then plays loose drunk every Friday and Saturday night ... their stats won't show this on the HUD. In fact it will lead you to play less optimally on either side of their range because you will be playing to their average range.
Think about the fact that an average 6 man STT might last 30 - 100 hands (depending on format). Then think about the fact a player might play against his tracker stats for that SnG.
His tracker stats aren't going to reflect their change of style in play against 3000 hands of history.
What if a player is playing tilted? What if he let his girlfriend have a go on his account? What if he has recently watched a training video?
With online poker as competitive as it is today identifying just one persons current situation of play, at that point in time, might mean the difference of a break even day to a losing one ... never mind a winning day.
Then let's go one stage further ...
If you have stats on a person it will probably lead you to play the same way against them. This then makes you play predictably and anyone picking up on that will exploit you.
So ... after successfully clearing my PKR bonus, I have moved back to PartyPoker.fr, ditched the tracker and HUD and gone back to good old "read the situation" poker. What's more ... its paying off.
I am now ...
Playing less predictably
Picking up on people's weaknesses
Picking up on people's strengths
Making assessments of new players quicker
Picking up on players mood and current style of play
I am playing less tables!
Then again ...
it is far more enjoyable, less systematic and more profitable.
So if you run a tracker and you think the stats have a handle on me. Think again because the next game it's all going to be different.