Monday, July 03, 2006
Opponent Profiling & The World Cup
Hand History databases and Opponent Profiling have been a part of online poker for some time now, but just today it was revealed that the power of databases played a crucial role in a seemingly less likely arena. Berlin's Olympiastadion, to be specific...
German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann saved two Argentine penalties in the deciding penalty shoot-out, and dived the right way for the other three. How did he do it? Thorough preparation.
The Guardian (UK) quotes:
"His manager at Schalke...Huub Stevens...is responsible for a personal database of 13,000 penalty kicks. Lehmann used this archive against Inter and, prior to the Argentina game, he telephoned Stevens."
"The 36-year-old goalkeeper already had the benefit of the German FA's database...and collated the information about who takes Argentina's penalties and how they take them...For Argentina's second penalty-taker, Roberto Ayala, it said: "Ayala - look at shooting foot, left low." Sure enough, Ayala placed the ball low to Lehmann's left and it was advantage Germany."
Friday, June 23, 2006
Welcome to Hand History Exchange
Hand History Exchange (HHE) is a new resource for online poker players. The ability of players on almost all major online poker sites to collect, store and analyse hand history information is a facet of the online game that allows the informed and dedicated player to gain a significant advantage over their opponents and translate that into additional winnings.
Already services have come into being that collect hand histories and then provide the data to a fee-paying player to use in table selection and during the course of the game. Hand History Exchange offers an alternative to these services for which no payment is required. Instead, it is intended as a community of data miners prepared to put data in, in order to get more useful data out. There are two main community hosting(?) services provided by the operators of HHE--the Hand History Exchange classified adverts system, and the HHE Collection.
Hand History Exchange
The Hand History Exchange, from which the site takes its name, is a searchable database of structured classified adverts. The system is intended to be used by users who do not wish to make their history data available to everyone, but instead make specified hands available to users on a case-by-case basis, depending on the data that is offered to them in return.
It is envisioned that this service will be of use to players who change poker sites frequently or shift from one limit or type of poker game to another. For instance, player A may have spent the last two months playing $1/$2 No Limit Hold 'Em at Party Poker, and in that time have built up a large database of hands which they made use of along with a database program and HUD over that profitable 2 months. Now, an exciting deal for new sign-ups at a new Prima Network site has caught player A's attention, but before they make the move to Prima they would like some information on the 'sharks' and 'fish' playing on that network. Hand History Exchange offers a solution for Player A, who can offer their Party hands to a responder who can supply them with a similar number of Prima hands.
Player B may use the Hand History Exchange service in a slightly different way. Player B is happy with their affiliate deal at Victor Chandler Poker, a Tribeca Network skin,
and does not feel the need to move sites. However, with the aid of a popular poker database program has made sufficient profit at their current level of $2/4 Limit Hold 'Em that they now feel able to move up to the next highest stakes on offer. They can offer to swap their $2/$4 Tribeca hands for another user's $3/$6 hands.
The HHE Collection
The HHE Collection is intended, with the aid of Hand History Exchange users, to develop into a free rival for centralized subscription-based opponent profiling services. In short, HHE users provide the collection with a little, on a semi-regular basis, in order to gain access to a lot of hand history data from a variety of games, limits and poker sites. The precise structure of access to the collection is as much up to you, the users, as the hub of the collection will be the same as that of the Hand History Exchange community as a whole, i.e. the Hand History Exchange Forum.
Access to hand history files will be granted through privileges assigned to your forum user account upon the provision to the service of numbers of hand histories specified in the HHE Collection Rules (coming soon) . For more information on the amount of data required to access each forum 'level', refer frequently to these Rules, as aspects of them are expected to change frequently during the early stages of operation of the HHE Collection as relative levels of interest are gauged.
It is highly recommended that you read these rules if you are interested in this aspect of Hand History Exchange but, to provide a short summary here and now, the following requirements must be met in order for you to access any part of the Collection:
- Register with the HHE Forum.
You need to do this as it is your forum username that is granted the access privileges to the HHE Collection forums in which the files are stored
- Upload some hand histories using the Upload form.
- Await the change to your Forum privileges that will correspond to the amount and value to the collection of the hand history data provided.Generally newer hand histories are considered to be of greater value than older ones
- Enter the HHE Collection Forums that you now have access to and download hand histories that you find there.
What if I don't have any Hand Histories?
As described so far, the way in which the Hand History Exchange services work would seem to exclude those players who do not have significant amounts of hand histories already available to them. Fortunately, help is available to obtain some data to trade with other users or with the site (through uploading to the HHE Collection).
Having read this far, I can safely assume that whether or not you have an account at online poker site(s) you have some degree of interest in finding out more about
the advantage that hand history data can provide you as a poker player. I suggest that you read on, starting with my next article on the subject of data mining, or in other words the collection of poker hand history data.
Here you will find about the sites that enable (some intentionally, some not) the collection of data on observed hands (those in which the user is not actually taking part in the hand, but has the table open on their computer). Making use of the tools linked to in the Data Collection Tools Table is a great route to the collection of a lot of hand histories in a short space of time without having to risk your bankroll by playing lots of hands against opponents on whom you have little or no playing style information.
Look out for future articles on Hand History Exchange, in which I will describe in more detail the types of 'playing style information' you can get through analysis of the hand history data you have, and how this data can augment both your table selection and your actual poker play!