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Informational dissonances

By: dunkeltaenzr @ 10:43 (EDT) / 235 / Comment ( 3 )

Hi poker folks.



I just stumbled upon somthing I have to get off my mind, because it disturbs me a bit.

As we (hopefully ) all know, Poker is a game of incomplete information. So the more information we have, the better for us. Right? In turn this means, we want to give our enemies the least amount of information possible. That's why among other things, we muck showdown cards. It keeps our enemies guessing, what we had. Was it a bluff? Semi-Bluff? Just bad luck on the River? I bet most professional players would pay a significant amount of their earnings for a "muck-whisperer" telling them each and every mucked hand.

So I was quite surprised when I installed Holdem Manager 2 to see what the fuzz is about and since it's compliant to Poker Stars guidelines it couldn't hurt to check and suddenly saw mucked cards in the HUD data. The first time I noticed it I discarded it as a glitch. But also the post hand data showed information about mucked hands. So I kept an eye on it and for real! The Software shows mucked hands!? Which means, everyone using it not only gets the data computed by the software as value-added information to his live play, but also gains the informational advatange of knowing mucked hands? While on the other side players don't even have the information "Player uses Software X".

Which introduces a whole new level of informational bias into the game. With live insight into mucked cards not only is the potential viability of bluffs and semi-buffs significantly cut down if they were carried through to showdown, but also it introduces the new dimension of trying to anticipate "Who at my table has this information?". If I assume everybody does, this would mean a certain set of strategies becomes less viable because I risk adding to their information pools. Or even playing against their data engines to induce wrong reads by voluntarily altering my playstyle to corrupt the data gathered. Which would in turn mean losing money by playing suboptimal styles or styles outside my comfort zone (which too are suboptimal in a way...)

I'm not sure what to think about this. For now I deactivated the HUD and just use HM as a post game analysis tool (which is what I wanted to have in the first place). I'm pretty sure I'm far too inexperienced to grasp the complete deep set of implications carried by this. But I wonder why this is deemed compliant to PS, while it would get me banned from every Casino, if i sneekpeeked mucked cards.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this. Maybe from someone more experienced than me.

Thanks to anybody who cared to read this and sorry if it's possibly confusing... I'm still thinking about this so my thoughts are not as ordered as they should be.


May the outs be with you.




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