There is no doubt that online poker is certainly getting tougher, but it has to reach a point where it cannot get any harder! Everything must reach its own finite level, there are far more vehicles on the road now than twenty years ago but this increase cannot go on forever seeing as there are so many people in the country.
There will always be players who will come into the game who will either not have the time or inclination to use serious software. I guess that poker players will always fall into two distinct camps... serious players and recreational players and recreational players on the whole can barely be bothered to learn to play properly let alone use sophisticated seemingly complex software.
I must get asked at least once a month about this and the main question is “do I think that money can still be made online without using software”. The answer is a resounding yes but it all depends on how high up you play and how often. There will always be money to be made at the lower levels simply because this is where the greater proportion of recreational players will be.
As you move up then this number drops off and is why moving up a limit is something that isn’t to be taken lightly and isn’t something that you necessarily do just because your bankroll can stomach it. The difference in game dynamic will probably mean that you may well have to adjust your style.
But you don’t necessarily need tracking software at the highstakes games either, Phil Ivey doesn’t use them and he makes millions on FTP. But at stakes with large player pools then they are essential for both classifying large numbers of players and for also helping you in the ever more critical area of game selection.
I get to road test a lot of poker software for reviews for various magazines and this week I have been trying out a piece of software called Poker Crusher. This software already has an established database of millions of players and categorizes them and provides you will most of the relevant data that the other main sniffers do but without having to datamine.
It’s a great piece of software but as are most of the others but the question is do you need them? I have been criticised on this forum for once revealing how I used hit and run tactics in HUNLHE cash games. What I think that a couple of people missed was that this isn’t a “below the belt” tactic in online poker. It may be bad form to do this in live play and I would never do this in a live setting as long as I lived. But live poker and online poker are not the same thing and technology has moved them even further apart recently.
The people who claim that this is a disgusting tactic are probably online players only and cannot see the dividing line between the two poker environments. These are probably also players who are using tracking software and have hand histories and data possibly stretching over several thousand hands on some poor sod who isn’t even aware of the fact.
I am sorry but you cannot have it both ways and players who use sniffers and other such pieces of software are fair game for hit and run tactics in my opinion. Switching sites frequently so that you are playing more of a level game is also another good way of keeping your earn rate without using a sniffer but that can get a little tiresome after a while.
I think that playing micro-stakes and low-stakes anything will still make you money without using software of any description. In fact I have been trialling my new system at multi-tabling NL50 on Cake Poker over the past few months and have been making around $25/hour without playing all that well I might add.
This isn’t a hard level but it does prove my point. So you definitely can make money without using sniffers, you just have to plot a strategy to get around big brother.
Carl “The Dean” Sampson can also be found playing free poker