Imagine if you sat down to a game of poker at your local club and every one of your opponents knew everything about your style of play and what you to on certain situations. Imagine if they knew how many times you fold to a 4bet when raising under the gun or how often you continuation bet on a wet board. Well that is exactly what HUDs do otherwise known as heads up display. This software basically tracks all your opponents by reading your hand history from various poker rooms. It then takes his hand history and stores it in a database on your local computer for analysis at a future date.
Once you have built up a database of hand histories from thousands of opponents you can start to get a picture of exactly how they play. Once you have enough hands on a certain players you will know exactly what their playing style is. For example you will know how often they fold in the big blind to a min raise if it has folded round to you in the small blind. In fact there was so much information you will gain by using a HUD it gives you a huge advantage over all the other players that are not using one. As such money players see this as being unfair as people either don’t want to learn how to use a HUD or they simply are a recreational player and don’t want the hassle.
Recreational players will only play a couple of tables at a time and will use no additional software to help them out. Sometimes people will play on the iPads or mobile device which have no HUDs available. This gives the recreational player even less of an advantage over a professional making the skill gap even wider and ensuring that the professionals continue to beat the amateur player over and over.
Recently sites such as party poker and poker stars have started to limit the software which can be used alongside the poker rooms and this will eventually lead to an outright banning of all HUDs and software aids. Poker stars have made it no big secret that they want to get rid of the professional poker player and concentrate on the recreational amateur who wants to play a couple of hours a day for a bit of fun. Last year they announced cutbacks in their VIP scheme which saw a lot of rakeback grinders make it impossible for them to grind out a living. By concentrating on the recreational player and creating a level playing field it means bad players won’t be going broke as fast and the site itself will end up raking more money as the players take much longer to deplete their balances. Also by cutting out the professional players it gives the amateurs a fighting chance.
In the coming years we will see further cutbacks on the VIP program and more incentives for the amateur player to pick up the game where there will be no opponents with HUDs and the amateur will be awarded with VIP offers much earlier on in their game.