07/02/2012

The True Value of Tracking Software

Carl Sampson 'The Dean'

I want to follow on somewhat in this article by discussing what for many is the contentious issue of tracking software. However I am not going to go into areas like ethics or anything like that but I want to lean more towards the concept of how useful these tools really are. But there is the key word in a nutshell because “tools” is basically all what they are. I recall some years ago a guy who I used to know was considering buying and selling options. This is an area that I have never moved into for one simple reason... I don’t much fancy starting behind the years and years of experience of strong industry pros who would basically be my competitors.

However my friend was totally sold on the idea based on having purchased a piece of software that dragged real time data from the major markets and then beautifully placed that date into a wealth of screens, charts, graphs, moving averages etc. It was a wonderful piece of kit when you watched it in action but as I told him at the time, in no way did this software make up for ignorance in trading options and just like any other tool... it is there to be used by skilled people in their field.

Likewise with tracking software, I just feel that there are too many people placing too great of an emphasis on it and are literally paying the price. Firstly let me point out that I am not the old traditional “dinosaur” type who can barely turn on a computer. I use trackers but I am also aware of their weaknesses and they have many. It is no coincidence that many of the best online players in the world do not use them in actual game play. I think at lower levels then they are simply not needed and can be more of a hindrance than a help.

If your ABC game is solid then you will find value multi-tabling lower levels and your opponents will be less likely to adjust to your lines at these levels. However that effect diminishes as you move up but then a different problem emerges and this is that your opponents will become more game theoretically proficient and using tracking software against them decreases in value if you try to use it in the normal conventional way. But this then gets down to individual knowledge and skill when using the same tool. You can give the same tools and a piece of stone to a hundred different sculptors and how many would produce a beautiful statue?

The bottom line is that there are too many people who are either placing too much dependence on trackers or not using them creatively enough for them to present them with any meaningful edge over the field at many levels of play. To get ahead in the modern online game involves thinking outside the box and not being one of the struggling masses who are basically all doing the same thing or very similar variations of it.

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