Obi-Wan Kenobi: Put Away Your PT3 and HEM HUDs

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 by Gugel in Psychology

CTS doesnt use a PokerAce or Hold Em Manager HUD.  Ansky doesnt use a HUD either.

Poker HEM / PT3 HUD

Poker HEM / PT3 HUD

But I use my HUD all the time.  Maybe they know something I dont.  And the more I think about, the more I see how relying on stats can do more harm than good.  Lets take a really simple example.

I played 100 hands with a villain.  Hes been 3betting me 15% of the time.  That basically mean for every 20 times hes on the big blind, hes 3betting me on average 3 times.  Now this particular villain feels like its about time to 3bet every 10 hands and no matter what hand he has, hes going to 3bet me.  In between those 10 hands, however, hes gonna get aces, kings, queens, AK, and other hands hes gonna 3bet for value.

If I rely on looking at my stats, all I see is that he is 3betting pretty aggressively, but not an unreasonable amount.  Ill probably overlook his extremely exploitable 3betting tendencies.  If I picked up on his strategy, however, I could 4bet him every 10th hand and if, for example, he 3bet on the 6th hand, I would know he had a monster and I could easily fold.

In short, relying on your stats makes you overlook important patterns and takes away from the physiological edge you might have on your opponent. I think Obi-Wan Kenobi put it best (with a few tweaks).

Obi-Wan Kenobi
I suggest you try it again, Luke.  This time, let go of your conscious self and act on instinct.

What he meant to say:
I suggest you try it again, Luke.  This time, let go of your HUD and act on instinct.

Luke Skywalker
With the blast shield down, I cant even see, how am I supposed to fight?

What he meant to say:
With my HUD down, I cant even see their stats, how am I supposed to play against them?

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Youre eyes can deceive you, do not trust them.

What he meant to say:
The stats can deceive you, do not trust them.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.

What he meant to say:
In my experience, there is no such thing as luck in the long run.

So give it a try.  Try to improve your psychological edge against your opponents by giving up just looking at their stats.  Afterall, at the higher levels, your opponents are going to be making very few mistakes when they are on their A-game.  Youll have to put them on tilt (or at least on their B-game) for them to start making mistakes.

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2 Responses to Obi-Wan Kenobi: Put Away Your PT3 and HEM HUDs

  1. Andrew

    12. Mar, 2009

    not using a HUD is silly. Why wouldnt you try and use every edge you can?

    I think the top players can get away with it because they are playing alot of the same players over and over.

  2. Gugel

    12. Mar, 2009

    You have less and less of an edge as you move up in stakes. It seems to me that high stakes players would need every little bit edge they can get, yet many of them dont use a HUD.

    It definitely takes some adjustment to get used to not playing with a HUD, but I think itll let you discover more exploitable tendencies (especially exploitable psychological tendencies) in your opponents that you might miss with a HUD.