What's in Your HUD with Walter Wright (JLizard)

Date: 2012-10-04
Author: Jason Glatzer

Thank you to Walter "Jlizard" Wright for taking time for this interview. JLizard is a six-time PocketFives Triple Crown winner and an instructor at PocketFives Training. We grilled him on his use of a Heads-Up Display (HUD) and his thoughts on poker software in general.

PokerSoftware: Do you use any poker software programs currently or have you used them in the past? If so, which ones?

Walter Wright: I currently use Holdem Manager 2. I have used the previous version of that as well as PokerTracker. I prefer HEM2, but there are some advantages to both of them.

PokerSoftware: Which types of programs are bad for the industry or unethical?

Walter Wright: I really have not seen any that I feel are unethical, even the ones that collect data from tracking sites and have data about a player's wins and losses. I think that is really valuable data when it comes to making reads on players. As long as everyone has the same access to the same information, I think it's fine. Some of the sites are not 100% accurate anyway, and using that information takes some insight in itself. That said, I have never used anything like that when I play.

PokerSoftware: What are your thoughts on tracking sites like Official Poker Rankings, Sharkscope, and PokerTableRatings?

Walter Wright: As long as it's available to everyone equally, I have no problem with it. In a perfect world, I would prefer if they didn't exist so I would not have to spend so much time looking everyone up.

PokerSoftware: What types of programs would you like to see available in the future?

Walter Wright: I can't think of anything that is not out there already. I guess I would like something that allowed me to think my plays so I would not have to use a mouse, but that's probably a ways off in the future.

PokerSoftware: Which do you prefer: playing poker with a mouse, using auto hotkeys, or using a USB controller like the Xbox 360?

Walter Wright: I'm pretty old school and like to use a mouse and a keypad. The hotkeys can get me in "robot mode" with my bets, so I don't like them. I know a few players who use USB controllers, but that would take some getting used to for me. I can't see myself ever going in that direction.

PokerSoftware: Overall, what do you think about the pricing of poker software?

Walter Wright: For a pro, the cost is nominal compared to the potential gain. For some of the casual players, I'm sure the price is too high, but I guess that's a good thing for now. It keeps the recreational players recreational.

PokerSoftware: How important is your HUD in your daily game play?

Walter Wright: If you're playing a lot of tables, I think a HUD is very important. If I'm just four- to six-tabling, I don't think it's as important. Nothing can beat paying attention to your tables. Game flow can override stats in a lot of situations.

PokerSoftware: Which HUD stats do you believe should be displayed by default?

Walter Wright: I think the ones that should be displayed by default are PFR/VPIP/3bet/AF. Honestly, the less that's on the screen, the better. Too many stats can get distracting and are hard on my eyes. If I need more in-depth information, there are always popup stats to go to.

PokerSoftware: Which HUD stats are undervalued and overvalued?

Walter Wright: It goes both ways. Poker is such a dynamic game. Some players are really loose or really tight, so the stats usually matter a lot in those spots. When a player is somewhere in the middle, it becomes a gray area. You can't always go by the stats in tournament poker, which is what I play, since the situation will usually push the choice one way or the other. Using stats well takes a lot of practice.

PokerSoftware: Are there any improvements that would be useful for HUDs overall?

Walter Wright: I'm sure I haven't explored HEM2 well enough, but I think being able to sorting the data based on the blind level more easily would help a lot. I'm not super savvy with the software, but having 1,000 hands on a player doesn't really help late in an MTT if you have only played with that player in the early stages of MTTs, for example.

I know I can change my overall settings to just show the last 60 hands, but that takes a little time. If there were a quicker way to sort the information in real-time, even in the middle of a hand, it would certainly be nice. There are so many players who are tight in the beginning and middle of MTTs and really loosen up at the end, so you almost have to throw some of the stats out the window in that spot. I think that goes for pre-flop stats more than post-flop stats.

If you are interested in lessons with JLizard, please contact him at JLizardTraining@gmail.com.

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