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HUDs in Touraments

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HUDs in Touraments

I've been thinking a lot about the role a HUD has in tournament poker. After my first video was posted, someone asked me what each of my HUD stats were. I was pretty sure I knew what each stat was, but I did have to go back into my HEM to verify. The fact that I wasn't sure tells you that I don't use all of the displayed statistics frequently. This is something I've known, with some degree of consciousness, for some time. I know the HUD conversation has been had time and again. But so has so the gun conversation back home in the good ol U S of A, but lo and behold, it's time to have it again. My question, are HUDs the assault rifles of our modern poker culture? Totally kidding.

My general approach to using a HUD is to get a broad sense of what category an opponent fits into. We're talking just the sheer basics, like how often is he raising compared to limping, how often is he 3betting and folding to 3bets. Beyond that, and most notably in postflop situations, I rarely reference my HUD at all. I just feel like drawing on years of experience on playing hands trumps whatever 200 hand sample I'll have on my opponent. I realize this is a critical weakness of my game, as having all the information one can is crucial for success with the state of the modern tournament game becoming more and more difficult.

I also have long held a thought that players tend to overrate the significance of the HUD stats they see, which I suppose is my primary reason for not having formed better habits in analyzing and using HUD information. This preamble brings me to my question, which is how valuable are HUD statistics? How much reliance should be have on them, and how much stock should we put in the numbers we see? I realize this is very general and maybe a little too broad to even approach.

For a specific example, I remember watching a training video at one point a few months ago, and the instructor was constantly referencing his HUD during decisions. In fact, it was often times the deciding factor, or principle influence in his ultimate decision in a hand. At one point in the early stage of a 6m tournament, he raised the cutoff and was flatted OTB. He was checking his stats to see how often the player flatted OTB preflop, and using that as a basis for constructing his range. In this case, the instructor only had 7 hands on the villain from this situation! There are 220 unique hand possibilities in HoldEm, and this guy had had 7 of them. This statistic is utterly useless. My feeling was that one would be substantially better off using a common poker analytic thought process. Things like, "based on his position he could have this" "based on our stack depths he could have that" "based on recent history, he's more likely to have this". How do you guys approach these spots? When do you draw the line with using a HUD?

I suppose ultimately it's going to come down to a combination of both, but I wanted to stir the pot and see what people's thoughts were about this. It's very possible I'm costing myself a lot of money with my current approach, and if that's the case, I need to make improvements.

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