POKER

Alexandre Dreyfus Wants a HUD Free Twitch Experience

TAGs: Alex Dreyfus, Global Poker Index, Twitch

Global Poker Index CEO Alexandre Dreyfus speaks to Lee Davy about why he would like to see Heads Up Displays removed from Twitch streams before the scare away the recreational players.

Alexandre Dreyfus Wants a HUD Free Twitch ExperienceI don’t play a lot of online poker tournaments. I don’t have time. Online cash games…now that’s a different kettle of fish, however, I don’t play them either because a lot of my opponents have their computer screens decked out like a SpaceX launch controllers.

Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) offer a huge edge to those who part with the cash. They have become such an integral part of our game that there are coaches who teach online poker strategy by the numbers. I hired one back in the day, and that knowledge earned me a decent chunk of change, so I know first-hand the benefit they can bring.

The problem with HUDs is whilst someone is benefiting, there is someone else who isn’t. The people on the sharp end of the stick are generally the recreational players. Online poker rooms are moving towards a recreational player model en masse. They don’t want these people beaten with that stick.

So why not ban them?

It seems the easy way forward.

Noses will be put out of joint; people will complain, but they will also evolve and the very best will find a different way to earn all of the money. It’s not just the recreational players who are being hurt by the HUDs. In a recent interview with PokerListings, Patrik Antonius blamed his omission from the high stakes online game on the consistent use of the things.

“It’s a little sad, but it looks like the technology has advanced so much that it’s become a totally different game.”

A game that the gorgeous Fin wants no part of.

Antonius isn’t the only prominent voice in the poker community to air his concerns about HUDs recently. Global Poker Index (GPI) chief, Alex Dreyfus, recently tweeted:

It was a direct reference to the PokerStars sponsored players who are currently using Twitch as a vehicle to promote poker to more recreational players. Whilst this is a great thing for poker, Dreyfus is worried that the use of HUDs will have a detrimental effect.

I reached out to the Frenchman to learn more about the undercurrent of that tweet and this is what he had to say.

“When I am watching online poker streams on Twitch I am invariably watching Jason {Somerville}, ElkY, Jaime {Staples} and a few others. Of those mentioned only Jason plays without a HUD.

“I don’t believe that it’s a good thing to highlight the use of HUDs for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s confusing. Imagine you are watching online poker for the first time and you see all of these numbers. You will think it’s part of the poker client – part of the poker experience. Secondly, it looks like poker is purely for grinders that use tools to enhance their game.”

And why is that a problem?

“The image of a grinder using data analysis to make his decisions is not the experience we want to sell. We want to sell entertainment, and a recreational experience…HUDs don’t provide that.”

What’s the way forward?

“I’m convinced that HUDs will eventually be banned from PokerStars in order to create a better balance. It will be a strong, solid move. If it’s not the case, I believe PokerStars, and others, should actually show on the table that the player uses a HUD. It’s technically possible to do this, and it should be done to broaden the awareness of the other players at the table.”

That’s the opinion of Alex Dreyfus, what’s yours?

Should HUDs be banned?

What do you think about Alex’s suggestion that poker clients make players aware of who is using a HUD?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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