Phil Galfond Talks Poker HUDS and Bum Hunting

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.

Poker News
23 Sep 2015
The subject of tracking software and heads-up displays in poker have been debated fiercely of late, with the industry’s chief concern being the harm they do in making the online game an unattractive environment for recreational players. After all, back in the ‘poker boom’ era players were drawn to poker because of its psychological mystique,
01 May 2012
This month, Poker Table Ratings (PTR) received a “Cease and Desist” letter from PokerStars concerned that the data mining site was contravening their Terms and Conditions. Although PokerStars allows a whole list of HUDs and tracking software to be used on their website, they do stipulate that any information collected is from the player’s own
19 Apr 2012
Bodog has been leading the fight to have Heads-Up-Displays (HUDs) and data-mining sites removed from online poker, not for the purpose of maximizing their profits but in order to bring the fun back into the game for recreational players. The use of such tools diminishes the necessity for certain skills such as a good memory
17 Apr 2012
PokerStars allows a whole range of tools and Heads-Up-Displays to be used while playing on the site, including Hold’em Manager (right), Holdem Indicator, and PokerTracker. In fact, around 100 pieces of software which can give a player an advantage over their competitors are deemed acceptable tools and services by PokerStars, with any others not on