Using Notes to Solve the Versus Hero Dilemma

Date: 2012-11-01
Author: Dan Cypra

An article penned by PokerTracker in recent weeks touched on how players should interpret so-called "Versus Hero" stats. Questions like "Which players alter their play against me?" and "How do those players change their play against me?" permeate the minds of online poker players around the world. Consequently, PokerTracker dove deep into the correct way to figure out the answers to these perfectly logical questions. Read the article.

To start, PokerTracker pointed out, "In the ideal world, the kinds of player targeted with Versus Hero stats are thinking analytical players who pay attention to what is happening around them." As such, position plays an important role when it comes to interpreting stats that spit out of programs like PokerTracker. "The relative position between yourself and a thinking, analytical opponent significantly alters how often he will 3bet against you, and this presents a real problem for our typical player," PokerTracker theorized.

Are positional stats what we should pay attention to instead of generic stats like 3bet% and VPIP? Are the primary stats we use irrelevant when they're not taken into context? PokerTracker noted that sample size issues also come into play. For example, in order to be nearly certain that an opponent is playing 2% differently against you as opposed to other players at the table, "We would need a sample size of well over 20,000 hands just where the villain was on the button while the hero was in the cutoff," for example.

Again, position is paramount, especially when you're judging how an opponent plays against you. However, getting 20,000 hands of a specific situation is likely impossible. The PokerTracker team pointed out, "Most players with databases that exceed 10 million hands cannot say that this situation has occurred over a 20,000-hand sample." That's a lot of hands in a single database, yet still not enough to say with confidence that a villain is playing differently against you. Oh bother.

What's the solution? Play like you've never played before in order to accrue as many hands as possible? PokerTracker's solution is NoteTracker. What's that? "NoteTracker is an automated note taking tool that will generate notes in a player's database based on situations previously specified by the player… This provides a much clearer picture of a player's actual play by showing the real data points we have on his hand range in the specific situation that we care about."

Sure, it's not 20,000 hands, but the data you have when you use a tool like NoteTracker is about as situation-specific as you can get.

NoteTracker isn't limited to notes on opponents. Instead, you can write notes about how other people perceive you. For example, if an opponent caught you with your hand in the cookie jar, log it as a note. The more information you can cram into NoteTracker, the better off you'll be in the long-run.

PokerTracker concluded by saying, "We believe that NoteTracker is the next great leap forward for in-game analysis of your opponents' tendencies, and that Versus Hero notes are a red herring, serving only to distract from the more interesting and more useful options now available to PokerTracker users."

Check out PokerTracker today.

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