Phil Galfond Talks Poker HUDS and Bum HuntingJanuary 24, 2012 1:25 pm
US pro Phil Galfond is one of the most successful and respected players the game has seen, having earned $7,743,981 playing cash games online under the screen names ‘OMGClayAiken’ at Full Tilt and as ‘MrSweets28’ at PokerStars.
Phil Galfond also won a WSOP bracelet in 2008 at the $5k PLO event for $817,781, so when the 27 year-old has something to say about the current state of online poker post Black-Friday, he rightfully deserves some attention.
With an emphasis on making poker a fun experience for both pros and casual players alike, Galfond raises a whole host of issues he sees need addressing in order to improve the overall state of the online game. One of the many points he raises is the negative affect tracking websites and Heads Up Displays (HUD’s) have on recreational players, to which he suggests following Bodog’s example of anonymous online poker tables or his preferred option of allowing players to often change their screen-names.
Another area he sees in need of change are the long-waiting lists which develop at tables, often leading players to join dozens of games without taking seats. Here Galfond suggests following the lead of brick and mortar card-rooms which get the action going for those waiting players at another communal table until a place becomes available at the main game.
Phil Galfond also took exception to Heads-Up players who refuse to play 90% of their would-be challengers, and also the related subject of “bum-hunting,” which he sees as having got out of control. As he explains:
“I have no problem whatsoever with people who choose only to play in great games. It’s starting to go much further than that, however. As soon as a “spot” leaves a game, zero to one hands are played. It literally instantly breaks. It’s worse when the player hasn’t even left the table, but has simply busted his stack, or clicked sit out. Everyone sits out with him, and when he reloads, everyone sits back in. How would you feel if you were playing poker for fun, just lost a $10k stack, and the 5 people at your table instantly sit out? Takes a little bit of the fun out of poker, I would think.”
In this instance, Phil Galfond suggests that those players who take this line in order to avoid any potential –EV spots like those are probably playing above their bankrolls.