How Using Online Poker Tracking Software Helps Improve Your Poker Game
October 25, 2012 1 Comment
Every poker player has flaws in their poker game whether they want to admit it or not.
Most players will never discover these flaws in their game, and will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again until they consciously choose to fix them. Fixing a flaw is known in the poker community as “plugging a leak.” Much like a plumber must plug a leak in a pipe for the system to work correctly, every aspiring poker player must plug leaks in their poker game in order for their poker business to be as profitable as possible.
Poker has evolved throughout the years. With the rise of online poker, new technology has given online poker players the ability to study their game in ways live players have never had the luxury to. Hand history tracking software and HUDs (Heads-Up Displays) such as PokerTracker have given online players a new way to “plug leaks” in their game.
What PokerTracker does is give you the ability to study and analyze EVERY single hand you play while online. Whether it be in tournaments, or cash games, PokerTracker will take the hand history file your online poker software saves on your computer, and organize all of the information into a neat package for you to analyze.
The hand history re-player has been one of the essential parts of developing my poker game and mindset. The re-player will give you a visual of exactly how a specific hand was played pre-flop, on the flop, turn, and river. You will get to see each opponents stack sizes and positions at the table in the hand as well. As an added luxury, PokerTracker takes every hand you have played with each specific opponent and gives you every single statistic imaginable on them including, but not limited to: VPIP% (Voluntarily Put Money in Pot %), PFR% (Pre-Flop Raise %), 3-bet frequencies, fold to c-bet (continuation bet) frequency, and a variety of other extremely valuable statistics. Each of these statistics helps you pin an opponent on a specific hand range. How you go about playing the hand is completely up to you and your skill level.
I can gauge an idea of how competent an opponent is based strictly on their VPIP and PFR %. I can judge how tight/aggressive they play, and also narrow down their hand ranges for opening pots pre-flop. For example, if an opponent has a VPIP of 45% and a PFR of 5%, I identify this player as a complete fish, and will want to isolate him and play a lot of pots in position against them. The fact that they open limp pre-flop almost 50% of their hands, yet only raise 5% of them gives me the impression they have absolutely no idea what they are doing, and are probably a novice poker player which I am going to exploit to the best of my ability.
The HUD that is included with the PokerTracker software displays all of these VPIP, PFR, and various other statistics right on my table while I am playing. While this may seem like cheating, it is completely legal, and many top professionals in the online games don’t play without one. Technically, you could be tracking all of these stats in you head, but the software makes that a fuck load of a lot easier by taking your hand histories and organizing every statistic on every hand you have ever played and displaying it to you right in front of your face in a neat little package. Quite powerful stuff!
You also get to look at your own statistics, and get a feeling for how other opponents are perceiving your play. This is called your table image and you HAVE to know that other players are watching what you are doing to adjust your strategy accordingly hand by hand. My table image is ultimately what earns me all of the profit I make from poker. I know what other players are thinking of me and I exploit those tendencies for profit in the long-run.
Using PokerTracker’s software has ultimately made me a stronger, solid player in the long-run. I have been able to develop reads on specific opponents that have always given me problems, and I have figured out how people are going to start playing against my super-aggressive image that I portray on every table I sit down at.
If you are an aspiring poker player, and would like to go over hand histories on specific hands you have played, use our contact page to get in touch with me and I will gladly analyze your play, and give you advice based on my experience of playing over 2,000,000 hands of online poker, free of charge.
What do you have to lose?
I want to share all of my poker knowledge with all that are willing to sit down with me and learn.
Good Luck at The Tables!