How important are HUDs?
While poker players often tout the benefits of HUDs at the tables, just using it won't turn you into a successful player. Steven Mcloughlin mentioned in a recent interview with Pokerlistings that many players overestimate the benefits of HUDs.
McLaughlin noted that most winning players are professionals just because they work hard on their game. He cited an encyclopedia as an example, comparing it to a HUD. The fact that you have an encyclopedia doesn't make you smarter right away, right? While agreeing with this, I also think that having the right tools at hand and knowing how to use them can significantly improve the quality of your game. So it is with an encyclopedia, which can teach you wisdom in different areas, if you spend enough time and effort on it.
Honestly, using the HUD helps me make tough decisions about how to play which hand, however, I don't let statistics override my natural thinking. The current situation at the table and the general course of the game may, to some extent, take priority over the HUD readings.
The whole power of statistics is to help you when simple observation of the course of the game is impossible, for example, during hard multi-tabling or Fast Fold poker. In many cases I do not rely on the HUD, but even without it I feel helpless in those moments when I need to understand the playing style of opponents.
It seems to me that many players tend to make guesses based on a small amount of information that can change over time. There are many reasons why the HUD can misread when it comes to analyzing an opponent before making a decision. McLaughlin also noted that an opponent may play differently from what his statistics suggest, as he may play differently at different tables based on how tight or loose his opponents are.
McLaughlin also pointed out that at times, HUD statistics can lead you down the wrong path and are often overused. Over dinner with TwoPlusTwo forum spokesman Mason Malmuth, it was about the approximate range of a player who would have had a 3-bet preflop rate of 9.6% in the past. Someone might say that it would be 9.6% of the best of his hands, however, in fact, everything can be the other way around. Upon detailed analysis of your opponent's play, they found 3-bet hands that turned out to be in a 43% range, which would make you 4-bet a little differently than if you thought his range was narrower.
The PokerListings article also states that the best use of software like Poker Tracker will only be useful for you and analyzing your own game to find and eliminate any leaks. The more time a player invests in his game, the faster he improves. Without a doubt, with the right approach, using the Poker Tracker software can take the player to the next level. Also, do not forget to devote enough time and effort to this.
McLaughlin's ideas are very interesting, given that they come from a person who is so absorbed in this industry. HUD and other poker software can serve you well if you use them wisely and with a clear head. However, you should always remember that a miracle will not happen and you will not instantly turn into a winning player.
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