Let’s be honest; it is one thing to be playing in one of your local poker rooms and entirely another one if you decide to compete online. Simply put, you will surely face tougher opponents and much more serious competition online, so better be ready than sorry.
The poker world is already getting used to solvers and all of the advantages and threats it can bring, but we rarely see a discussion evolving around tracking software. It is much more than just a tool to check your results and those pretty graphs going straight up.
That is kind of surprising, considering how serious and impressive these tools are and that they might actually help your game to a similar extent as solvers. Of course, it depends on your skill level and what you do with these tools, but leaving them aside without at least giving some consideration seems short-sighted.
Today, I want to briefly mention three ways you can use poker trackers to your advantage.
Diversify your strategy
If you are wondering what these tools are actually capable of doing, I highly encourage you to check out this Poker Tracker 4 review, but I will try to summarize the main points of using it to attack other players.
First and foremost, you will have a heads-up display (HUD) while you play poker online and see how other players react in various situations.
Of course, you can and should know the basics of game theory optimal (GTO) poker, but being able to adjust your baseline strategy and exploit other players based on their mistakes will add much more money to your bankroll.
A proper HUD will give you more than a couple of numbers showing how many hands your opponents play, even though this is also valuable information. However, today’s tools will show you how your opponents are playing on different boards, how often they are check-folding on an A-high flop, how often they are giving up after check-raising, bluffing or bluff-catching stats, and much more.
Many trackers do have an option of providing custom stats, so you can easily program them in a way to see anything that you can imagine and exploit your opponents based on the info that likely only you can see.
You probably know that some sites do not allow HUDs in real-time games, but that only shows how powerful they can be when used correctly. So, while you can, take advantage of these opportunities and learn how to punish your opponents based on in-depth statistics instead of playing on autopilot.
Analyze other players
Trackers can also be used to analyze other players and build effective strategies to counter them. If you play with the same opponents over and over again, you will likely gather a sizable database of hands played against them and will be able to see exactly how they play in different situations.
This is also extremely valuable information because many players tend to stick with their strategies no matter what. If you notice at least one or two areas where they deviate from a solid game plan, you can exploit that very hard.
All you need to do is identify the player you want to analyze and then apply various filters to see how he/she is playing in the most important and common situations. Start by identifying how they play pre-flop, then examine their c-betting stats for various streets, out of position (OOP) strategy, etc.
Do not try to look at everything at once since you can miss the most important exploits, but if you break down their play into small pieces, you are very likely to catch them in one area or another.
You can also take this approach to analyze not only your direct opponents but also the best online poker players to see how they are playing and then maybe even adjust your strategy based on that.
Find and fix your mistakes
Last but not least is the ability to identify your own mistakes. I really love poker trackers because they give you so many options to filter out even the smallest details so that you can quickly find where you are bleeding money at the tables.
I am not talking about marking your hands while playing and then reviewing it in replayer, even though you should be doing that as well, but I am referring to actually analyzing your database and putting in some off-table work.
You can filter various areas by position, by your action on any given street, or what your opponents did in the hand, and then concentrate on fixing those areas one by one.
This will help you drastically improve the quality of your play and notice where you are leaving money on the table, which could be quite hard without using these excellent tools.