Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Poker Question

I didn't play last night but I did watch a little. A friend was playing a 90 peep tourney so I sat back and watched him play for a while. I also fired up poker office to data mine the tourney because it was at a level that I play a lot and I had seen many of these players at the tables before. What I realized after watching and having the program run in the back ground is that I had the same reads on most of the players just from watching their game. I didn't know the exact percentages but I knew who the agro guys were as well as the passive ones.

I know people have data mined before and many do it all the time. Do you think this is wrong? It is not something that I've done much of and virtually all of the data I've accumulated has come from games I've played. I don't know...just a question.


JL514 said...

I don't data mine tournaments, or even look at stats for tournaments. However, I do data mine cash games sometimes. I will especially data mine for a day or two straight before starting off at a new site.

After I have 500-1000 hands on someone at a specific level, data mining doesn't help much anymore and I will tend to stop mining if I see every time I sit I know the majority of the players (this happens in rooms with low traffic, especially at certain hours like Absolute).

For rooms with high traffic, I tend to datamine for about 30+ minutes before sitting. Having 0 hands on a person is useless obviously, but there's nothing worse than making a read on a player, and being forced to rely on 20-70 hands worth of data, as there's a high chance that it won't be reliable with such a small sample.

Now I'm rambling and I'm not even sure what the question was anymore.

HighOnPoker said...

I don't datamine, but how could it ever be considered "wrong." I used to think that people that used PokerTracker/AceHUD were hurting themselves by depending too much on the technology. Then I realized that we were playing ONLINE poker, so you could not discount the importance of technology.

In general, I find it useful when I'm not paying attention. As you said, if you ARE paying attention, you don't need to see someone's VPIP to know if he is loose, but if you are multitabling, its a helpful tool.

The same could be said about datamining. Its useful to start off, but once you play a few hands, you should develop your own independent read, since some players might be tilty on any given day. Still, nothing wrong with mining as an assistive device.

SirFWALGMan said...

I have always though that HUD and Poker tracking type software IS cheating.. I think it would be tough to play 9 tables and hand write notes.. and most people would not even be able to analyze the numbers and come out with the nice information these programs give you. I have always used PT for self tracking only.

surflexus said...

I may be wrong about this but aren't most of the trackers geared to help at cash tables more so than tournaments. What I mean is does it differentiate how a player reacted based on different blind levels or does it group hands from 10/20 blinds and 400/800 blinds in to the same information regardless of stack to blind ratio.
While still giving you VP$IP and percent of raises vs. limps and such, it would be even more helpful if it measured based on stack vs. blind level as well for tournaments. Of course knowing someone only raises 4% of the time and you're considering whether to call, re-raise, or fold to them; that's excellent information.
As far as if it is cheating, I relate it to sports enhancers. Is it fair to allow a batter to wear a glove for better grip? How about a surgery to strengthen your pitching arm? How about a shot to grow more muscle? Many times there are enhancers within and outside of acceptable guidelines, but often the guidelines are unclear or without proper supervision as to make them of any use.
If you are in a gunfight in the dark and there is a rule against wearing night vision goggles and all of your opponents have them on, does your morals require you to carry on without a set of your own?

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I think using technology like pokertracker would be "cheating" in a live poker context -- i.e., if you were somehow electronically recording and classifying every play made at every cash table by every player in the borgata poker room over an entire week, for example. But I have to agree with Highonpoker up there -- how can using technology like this be unethical or "cheating" in some way when you're playing online poker? I say data mining is fine, anyone who wants it can do it for a truly nominal fee.

smokkee said...

i use ptracker/hud all the time. but, not for tournaments. changing stack sizes/blind levels force players to make moves.

i don't think there's any problem with data mining. the more info you have on a player, the better off you are. other players are probably data mining your actions. the tools are out there and cheap enuf. that's why we use them.