Poker Software Revealed with Matt Walker (cheaptorque)

Date: 2016-12-09
Author: Jason Glatzer

Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Matt “cheaptorque” Walker is an online poker player that recently challenged himself to run a balance up to $10,000. The poker enthusiast has been constantly moving upwards and has inspired others to create similar threads after him. To the delight of both himself and his fans, “Cheaptorque” just completed the challenge with a big win over the weekend.
Lately Walker has gotten into streaming which you can check out on his Menacepoker Twitch channel.
Walker shares with PokerSoftware about his passion for poker and of course a bit about the poker software he uses while playing, studying, and streaming his poker action.
PokerSoftware: When did you get into poker and what made you start to take it more seriously?
Cheaptorque: I played a pub poker tournament around 9 or 10 years ago and wasn't that interested in the game. A few years later, just before Black Friday, I played a game on PokerSTars and won around $700. This was a lot of money for me at the time being a full time student, renting, and looking after a dog while living off less than minimum wage at the time.  I thought it was pretty cool that I could actually turn $3.30 into approximately $700. When I moved home after Black Friday and following the Christchurch earthquakes, I started playing more and soon had dreams of making consistently decent money from something I enjoyed.
PokerSoftware: Tell us a bit about your bankroll challenge you made a thread about on PocketFives as it seems to have not only inspired yourself but others around you.
Cheaptorque: That would be cool if it has inspired others. Certainly the others that gave so much support in the thread, railed me over the last couple of months and offered advice etc., made my recent success at the tables possible. Basically around the end of September I had just finished university for the year and planned to take poker more seriously. I had a lightbulb moment after playing pretty badly for about a year and everything just started to fall into place. I was quite motivated at the time and wanted to keep a diary on one of the well-known poker forums. I decided that was where I wanted to be, so I made the thread and started with a bankroll of about $800 with the goal of turning it into $10,000. Even I didn't think this was going to really happen (laughs). After around 2.5 to 3 months and some run good, I managed to smash the 10K mark this week after final tabling the 125k Gtd Phase 2 tournament on PokerStars for just under $6000.
PokerSoftware: What poker software do you use while playing and while studying?
Cheaptorque: I use PokerTracker 4 both at the tables and to review my sessions. I also use ICMIZER, although not as much as I should, to study push fold spots after games. I switch through using HoldemResources Calculator, PokerStove, and Pro Poker Tools Odds Oracle, depending what computer I am on. I also use Sharkscope to track my results and enjoy playing around with the Poker Dope Variance Calculator. I have also played around with CREV and PIOsolver
PokerSoftware: What are the most important stats you rely on in your PokerTracker 4 HUD and why?
Cheaptorque: Predominantly VPIP, PFR, 3-bet and fold to 3bet, but also c-bet flop and fold to c-bet flop. Although it’s hard to get a big enough sample size on the last two stats in MTTs. It pays to always check the sample sizes for each stat and not just look at how many hands you have overall on a villain. VPIP and PFR help me determine how wide a person’s range is going to a flop, c-bet flop allows me to adjust my flop calling ranges exploitatively, and 3-bet and fold to 3bet helps me decide how wide I can 3bet, 4bet jam or peel on a villain preflop.
PokerSoftware: How do you use PokerTracker 4 as a study tool?
Cheaptorque: As a study tool I use it mainly for going over hand histories, but I notice it has heaps of other features which I was surprised to stumble on like a built in equity calculator and ICM quiz I also find NoteCaddy to be incredibly useful.
Also PokerTracker 4 is great for reviewing histories as all your HUD stats are there in front of you as well as the NoteCaddy notes as you review hands, and your pot odds are displayed. I also use the report function to see how I’m doing from different positions and what my own stats are.
PokerSoftware: Tell us about the different study tools you use. How do you use ICMIZER and the other tools you mentioned?
Cheaptorque: I use ICMIZER to get an understanding of how calling and shoving ranges are affected by ICM considerations in the late stages of tournaments because these spots can be very tricky and counterintuitive. I still have a lot of work to do on that front. I use HoldemResources Calculator, Odds Oracle and PokerStove to calculate my hands equity against villains ranges to see whether or not I have enough equity for example to call off given the pot odds.
PokerSoftware: In your opinion, how important is poker software into advancing your game?
Cheaptorque: I would be surprised if I could make half as much money as I currently do if I didn't have PokerTracker 4 running. I also feel doing equity calculations and post-game analysis is essential. I feel that doing this kind of work off the felt is a large part of what makes the really great players great. I have seen people playing 20+ tables at a time without a HUD and I personally couldn't disagree more with playing like this.
PokerSoftware: When and why did you get into streaming poker on Twitch?
Cheaptorque: After watching streams of guys like Tonka, I thought I could really get something going and get some donations flowing in to charities by using twitch as a platform for that. I am very big on giving ideologically. I feel privileged and lucky to have the mental and physical capacity that I do as well as to have the opportunities that I have had and continue to have. So I was playing around with some ideas to get that going and also saw it as a way for people to rail me throughout my ‘bankroll challenge'. After streaming for the Cash Game Festival Online and having an overlay made, I decided to start streaming my games more regularly. Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of work that goes in to building up a Twitch channel both with respect to planning and putting stream time in, but I plan to take some time off playing in the near future to look into planning that out and pushing forward with the plan. Also I naturally spiel and talk a lot of shit, so I think I would make for an entertaining streamer.
PokerSoftware: What software do you use for streaming and how hard is it to set up?
Cheaptorque: I use OBS for streaming and although it looks complicated its actually incredibly simple. In fact twitch has an instructions page just for OBS which details step by step instructions with pictures of each step on how to set everything up. Truly anyone can do it.
PokerSoftware: Do you think streaming helps you play Poker Better or is it just another added challenge on top of the game?
Cheaptorque: I think it depends. Some days when I am not focusing enough and thinking through my decisions, it forces me to talk through my logic on each street and make thought out decisions. However, other days if I am playing lots of tables, I prefer not to stream because it is hard to add the extra mental capacity to talk and respond to people etc. while trying to play too many tables.
PokerSoftware: Now that you finished your bankroll challenge, what is next for you?
Cheaptorque: I believe I briefly mentioned in the first post on my bankroll thread that I had dreams of joining a good staking stable with some top coaches that could take me in and really help me grow into the best player that I can be. So I am just going to keep playing and studying and trying to increase the bankroll and improve until that point and then the sky is the limit. I plan to continue updating my thread even though I am way past the 10K mark now. Although now, I will probably update it weekly instead of daily like I did for the first couple of months.

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