What's in Your HUD with Ryan Fisler (Gotskillz): Part 1

Date: 2013-01-30
Author: Jason Glatzer

Ryan “Gotskillz” Fisler took a few minutes out of his day to share his thoughts on poker software.  He has over $2 million in tournament cashes according to PocketFives.com, where he was ranked as high as 16th in the world.  Ryan plays mostly on PokerStars under "jusgivithere" and on Full Tilt Poker under "eatschips".  Now, it's onto Part 1!

PokerSoftware: What poker software do you currently use?

Gotskillz: I am currently using Holdem Manager 1.  I also regularly use PokerStove.  In the past, I used Sharkscope a lot, but that's more of a website as opposed to software.

PokerSoftware: How and when do you use PokerStove?

Gotskillz: I use PokerStove to analyze my equity in tough spots in real-time.  I will time-bank and quickly enter in the information such as my opponent's range and my hand, and use the output in making my decision.  I also use it in what I think is the more traditional way of analyzing hands after the fact.  It is also a good idea to just play around with it, enter standard spots into it, and memorize the information for those standard spots.

PokerSoftware: What do you think about tracking websites like SharkScope?  Should they be allowed?

Gotskillz: I personally don't have a problem with Sharkscope or other sites like it.  They have an opt-in feature, so you can't see ROI information unless a player has allowed it.  I can see both sides of the argument and think when players use the chat to berate others for being losers and cite these tracking sites, it's obviously terrible for the game.  However, I am personally in favor of these sites, even without the opt-in.

In a way, it can be a good thing for losing players because if they stumble upon it, it forces them to be honest with themselves about their game, as opposed to just deluding themselves into thinking they are up, as many gamblers do. There is no real way to stop this type of tracking other than going the "Anonymous" player route, such as Bodog, but that "fixes" one problem and creates others, such as having no protection from collusion.

Overall, I think online poker players should accept the fact that someone is tracking them in some way or another and if they want to even the playing field, they should be doing it as well.  If they are recreational, don't want to do that much work, get bum-hunted over and over, and lose at a faster rate, that is where I see the other side of the argument.  However, even recreational players should do what they can to win in the state of the game as it is today, or they can always go to Bodog.

PokerSoftware: You have experience with tournaments and, more recently, cash games.  Can you let us know how you use Holdem Manager for each?

Gotskillz: For MTTs, the main use of Holdem Manager, for me, is in analyzing all of the data and reports and finding leaks in my game that I can fix.  I use a HUD for MTTs, but you have to be careful with that.  One of the biggest mistakes people make in using a HUD for MTTs is in making decisions off of sample sizes that don't really mean anything.

For instance, if you have 324 hands tracked on somebody in MTT play, the stats you have on them can be really skewed based on variance.  More importantly, 50 of those hands could be from when they were 8 big blinds deep on a final table, 50 could be from the first level of a tournament, and 50 could be from the bubble of a tournament. Their ranges are going to be completely different for all of those different situations, but your HUD is not taking that into account.

There are ways to filter your HUD so that it's giving you stats only for when the player was in the same stack-size-to-blind ratio as he is now.  However, that makes the sample sizes even smaller and more useless, so unless you're a mega grinder, you won't have enough hands on anyone to use your HUD properly.

You also need to filter it so that the stats reflect the number of players on the table so when you're six-handed, you're not using the guy's nine-handed stats, which further fragments your data and makes your sample smaller.  I would just caution on becoming dependent on a HUD for MTT play unless you are filtering properly and not making decisions off of meaningless sample sizes.

For cash games, my HUD is much more prominent. Also for cash games, you can use the "Vs Player" feature in Holdem Manager to see how much you are up or down against each specific player and use that information to target players who you crush and avoid players who crush you.

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