How to select tables in semi-automatic mode?


Since Black Friday, poker, albeit at different speeds, has been consistently moving towards a higher environmental level. The diplomatic and courteous term "Ecology" hides a quite definite desire of poker networks and / or rooms to focus on hobby players as a fundamental element of the poker ecosystem, without which the normal functioning of game rooms is impossible (we do not take any terminal cases like PokerKing, where everything revolves around local rake races and almost all regular players ride in the negative, which is more than covered by awards for the first places in these very races). In recent years, the level of play of regulars has increased dramatically. The developers of poker software did not stand aside, making it more and more perfect and more convenient, including to speed up the removal of stacks from our smaller brothers.

As a result:

  • Interest in poker is not growing, as many important markets for international poker operators have been closed or special internal reservations have been created (Pokerstars eu is a minor exception, the effect of which is barely tangible);
  • The level of technical support has reached significant heights;
  • The general level of regular players is also slowly but inexorably moving up;
  • The fishes also added a little, but extremely insignificantly, so that this could be taken into account at least somewhat seriously.

At the exit, we get kilometer-long queues, where often around one mediocre recreational player, several dozen people are circling from the waiting lists, where they were registered by an automated poker software or a landing script. Our favorite poker monopolist is especially frustrating for such people, where instead of directly playing poker for a comparable time, you are engaged in such an exciting business as a continuous search for suitable opponents. Moreover, such a situation annoys not only regulars, imagine a picture from the side of a recreational player: he made a deposit and wants to play a card game, having received the expected emotions from bluffs, high calls and winnings. And on the way out - professional players cuddle him from all sides, “undress” in 15-20 hands and “see ya”. No pleasure, no desire to re-deposit.

One of the significant areas of poker room strategy has been the gradual decline in the role of poker support programs for finding weak players. The changes in the allowed software for pokerstars, which we announced and will take effect tomorrow (March 4), are one of the most tangible and turning points in history. There is no reason to assume that such changes, given the current configuration of legislation in other countries and their availability, will be reversed. It is much more likely that the tightening of the screws and depriving the players of even scanty opportunities for finding weak opponents is more likely. Therefore, it is worthwhile to prepare in advance and repeat the basic elements of manual selection.

The main ways to select in online-poker without software

1. The size of the stack

The cornerstone method for determining the essence of the opponent. Regulators know that the larger the stack, the higher the mathematical expectation, so they always sit with a full stack and automatic re-purchase. But people playing with less than 100bb stacks or without auto-buy are most likely scaly, to some extent. There are, of course, rare exceptions in the form of completely exclusive opponents playing with buy up to 98bb (or another favorite number), but even such ways to build a strategy “not like everyone else's” speak volumes about these opponents. The only danger is to mistakenly classify professional SSS players as weak players (very few, where additional purchase up to 20bb is still available) and MCC players. Here you need to connect other criteria to study the full completeness of the picture.

2. Country

Historically, representatives of some countries play poker much less skillfully than other nationalities. Here the matter may also be in the particular mentality of selected countries, however, much more often we see a simple correlation - a high standard of living in a country entails an easier attitude towards losing stacks and money. And vice versa. It is clear that both citizens of the Republic of Belarus, as well as positive Canadians, meet at the tables, however, the general trend still allows the use of such a qualification criterion as quite reliable.

3. Tags / notes for players

Secondary way to manually track players. Here everything depends on our active actions and observations. The more closely we follow what is happening at the table, the more accurately we can identify the "fishy" actions of individual individuals. Ideally, not just mark recreational players with green and regulars with red, but also catalog them depending on the specifics of the style: phone, loose-aggressive, maniac, rock, tight-aggressive. All this information will pay off many times over time, at the same time pumping your observation skill. Some poker clients provide support for the "add a player as a friend" function, which will allow you to track the factor of our online presence about a whale companion.

4. The number of tables played

Everything is simple here - weak players play few tables, regular players multi-table. Alternatively, the opponent is unlikely to be a professional player when he plays 1 cash table, 1 MTT table, 1 SNG XA table, and 1 Omaha Hi / Lo table at the same time.
We will not separate table indicators by the number of hands played per hour or the size of the pot, because this is already too optional statistics, which will not always allow us to unambiguously determine the table as desired for the game.
It is important to remember that it is highly desirable for us to be in position for the recreational player, and not vice versa. Otherwise, it will cause us more headaches than it will ultimately bring profit. Both because of the actions of the fish, and because of the constant aggression from opponents who sit in position to him or simply try to play the maximum number of pots with a weak opponent, even contrary to logic and common sense.

Selection methods at Pokerstars using auxiliary programs

The topic of selection for Pokerstars becomes especially relevant, due to the reasons mentioned above. It must be said that the good old Tablescan Turbo is still good even after the changes. At least you can still filter opponents according to your criteria. Yes, you now need to sit in the queue manually, Autowaitlist does not work as before, but at least you do not need to closely examine each table in the lobby, the scanner will do it for you.


We have no right to expect a sharp revision of the position of the poker room management in the direction of improving the conditions for selection and a sudden separation of the point of view of regular players (the appearance of Pokerstars eu, uniting all European countries in a single pool, could change the situation, but this is still very far away). The select will be toughened up or abolished altogether (the attitude to auxiliary software on the part of Pokerstars is the clearest illustration of such trends). Therefore, it remains to wish the players to tirelessly develop their game, to focus on quality over quantity, and to follow the basic recommendations for finding suitable opponents.