Saturday, May 10, 2008

24-Tabling Like A Pro: Part II

Pretty much everybody who plays online poker seriously is at least aware of HUDs, if not using them already. To get a reasonable read on a high volume of tables, you NEED to be able to make your observations and decisions in a matter of seconds. Setting up an efficient personalized HUD is a key weapon in any multitabler's arsenal. I only use PAHud, but the ideas should be able to be applied to any working HUD.

Most people generally stick with the basic VPIP/PFR/AAF/#Hands default HUD statistics. If I had to pick only 4 stats, I would stick with these as well. For people who are playing ~12 tables or less, you are able to just click on the players name for a more detailed set of statistics. Mega-tablers don't have time for this. We need all of our information to be a glance away.

Now, I wouldn't recommend increasing the number of statistics you use too quickly. It is very easy to "information overload" yourself if you are not used to looking at more numbers. When adding statistics, go for 1 or 2 at a time - practice with it - and stick with it if it makes a positive difference in your game.

Valuable non-default statistics:
Each of these categories has a multitude of related statistics that you can use.
Blind Stealing/Defense%- Not only does it let you know how likely the player is to steal, when compared with the players vpip/pfr, you can quickly learn how position-conscious the player is, and size him up accordingly.
Street-by-Street Aggression/Action%- Self-explanatory.
CBetting% - There are quite a few stats involving c-bets that you can use. Both on the offensive and the defensive. Since c-betting is such a large part of holdem, these stats are great to have on hand.
Showdown% - While valuable, showdown statistics do not converge until you have a decent sample size on the individual. Even 5k+ hand samples can be very skewed, as a low % of hands actually go to showdown. This stat, however, can be a big factor in your decision to value-bet that river.

Of course there are plenty of other statistics to choose from, and quite frankly, MOST of them can be valuable. There is no "best" HUD setup, it is a tool that you need to completely customize to fit your personal play style.

This is not nearly as important as the statistics you choose, but it is a very important factor in speeding up your player-reading. The 2 seconds it takes you to process a players data can very easily be reduced to 1 second or less with a good intuitive color scheme. I'm not going into very much detail about this, because it needs to be personalized to fit your play. I will say, however, that the standard Red=LAG Green=NIT with shades in between worked very well for me.

For those of us who have been doing this a long time, some of us have millions of hands worth of data on our opponents. And as valuable as this data is, how many of your opponents do you think have been playing the exact same way for the last 6 months? The last year? Maybe some of the nitty regulars will keep the same style for this long, but most players constantly change their game. Starting a new database every 1/2year or more helps your stats to reflect your opponents more current style.

- The more stats you use, the more CPU it takes to load them. Combined with PT imports, 24 stars tables, music, and whatever else you are running, this is definitely something you want to keep in mind while playing. Alt+Ctrl+Del gives you a pretty decent idea of how bad of a resource hog it is.
- When PAHud first loads the stats of a table, it activates the table, popping it up. This can be a pain in the ass when stacking - especially when loading new tables. Be ready for some table-hunting if your HUD ever crashes.
- Generally be aware of how long it takes for stats to converge. Preflop stats converge quickly, gradually requiring more and more hands as you get to river statistics. You can't make a decision based on a player whose river AF is 0 when you only have a few hundred hands on him.

It's all about efficiency. Every stat you add contributes to your ability to read an opponent, but takes a bit more time to process. Find yourself a happy medium. Before long, your screen will look like The Matrix, but all you'll really see is "Blonde"..."Brunette"..."Red Head"... Ok I'm a nerd.

Next Section: AHK


Pud's Poker said...

Thanks for these tips. As a player who is starting to really multitable I'm finding them invaluable.

I have a pityful laptop monitor and I usually tile when playing nine but I find I tilt less when cascading because you don't really see the results of hands.I must admit I've never thought of stacking, I might give that a try soon.

When I use my HUD I have the combination stats so that everything is grouped together.I have the defaults in one group, showdown and c-betting stats in one and showdown% etc in another.

Looking forward to the AHK as I downloaded one the other day and it baffled me!

Anonymous said...

Good info on 24 tabling Belok. Out of interest, it seems a lot of the 400 and 600 NL regs are favouring the min raise, I know its a strategy you've adopted.

Personally against a few players I find 3 betting pretty light in position an extremely exploitable trick agasint these guys. There are a few players who obviously catch on to the fact that you are doing this, and will adjust their ranges, but various others find themselves defending oop which is a pretty big spew. I know Kelistaan makes bundles doing this, but do you see this as a long term profitable strategy? Interested to hear your thoughts, gl at the tables.

Goldseraph said...

Part 3 , wtf!