There are a number of ways that you can use online poker statistics to your advantage, including analyzing your game, finding mistakes that your toughest opponents are making, and learning the ways to exploit others using your HUD (heads-up display). I highly recommend implementing all of the above. Let’s start from the latter of the three ways and discover the extent to which doing so can help you can improve your results.
Exploit opponents using your HUD
Most poker players are aware of advantages a great HUD can give you. That said, I see notice that many players nonetheless don’t extract full value from their HUD. Here’s my approach:
You need to make your HUD color-coded
You ought to divide your heads-up display into three separate sections for all the stats. For example, I have a system where I give a specific range to all of the stats, which I assume to be normal. If the stat falls in that particular range, I mark it as orange. If it is too high, I opt it to display it in red and if too low – in green. This is how it looks in practice.
My color-coded system instantly lets me spot any mistakes that my opponents make so that I can immediately know how to adjust my strategy. For instance, it alerts me when to 3-bet light because my opponent is folding too much. I also know when to c-bet more than normal or to barrel an opponent on multiple streets.
Simply put, I know how to maximize my winnings against all kinds of players. The color-coded HUD system just allows me to not have to waste time that can instead use for other purposes, such as attacking my opponents’ weaknesses.
User vs. Hero statistics
If you are using Holdem Manager 2, utilizing this feature is a MUST. To be honest, this is the most important reason I am sticking with HM2 as my HUD rather than other tracking software.
These stats will show how your opponent plays specifically against you. The majority of good players adjust their strategies vs. different opponents, so if you have built up a database of many hands against a particular opponent or, alternatively, have discovered a few particular players that are difficult to defeat, this is a must-have feature. It will enable you to figure out how to counter their strategies in the most efficient ways and adjust your game to specific opponents.
Just so you don’t think I’m exaggerating its importance, this feature alone has saved me thousands of dollars over time and has helped me not only adjust my game vs. good opponents, but also better understand my own game and how I should be playing in many troubling spots.
Do not get overwhelmed with too many stats
You do not want to have an enormous HUD just to see everything at once. Instead, put the majority of detailed stats into pop-ups. To be honest, my main HUD is quite big, but I only put most relevant stats, which I am using all the time when making decisions, directly to it. Everything else goes to pop-up, and I highly recommend you following the same path. It keeps your table neat, and you can concentrate your attention on what is crucial – making right decisions.
Analyze your own game
Whether you play using U.S. poker apps or from elsewhere around the world on a laptop, analyzing your online poker hand database is one of the most efficient ways to improve your game. A word to the wise; however, this is not as easy as you might think.
Basically, you have two options – to pay for a professional review or to do it yourself. There’s also the third option of asking a friend to help you out, but you ought to be sure that the friend you ask is a better player than you. If so, it’s worth exercising that option.
Most of the time, however, you’ll have to pick one of the two main options. A professional analysis will of course help you, but it also could be costly. If you’re looking to save some money, you can try to conduct your own statistical analysis.
This method will, of course, take a quite bit of time but it has the potential to deliver great long-term results. Thus, I would say it is probably the most important part of your game; so take it seriously. I suggest dividing all you statistics into two parts and analyzing pre-flop and post-flop data separately.
Every poker player should know how to examine their database and find mistakes. There are many ways to do that and many statistics you need to take in consideration. If you need a helping hand, I suggest reading my more detailed article on the most important poker stats to analyze.
Analyze your opponents and exploit their weaknesses
Much like you can gain valuable insight from analyzing your own game, it goes without saying that you can learn a ton from analyzing your opponents’ mistakes. Obviously, you will not be able to go over data about every single player you play against, but there is no need to do that.
The fact is that relatively few players engage in proper opponent analysis, so you’ll already be ahead of many of them if you do so.
I suggest filtering out hands and analyzing the hands from just your toughest opponents and finding mistakes in their games. As mentioned earlier, you will be able to spot quite a few of their leaks while playing if you are using reasonably good HUD. However, a full-on data analysis will reveal LOTS more.
For instance, you will be able to check how they play in troublesome spots, whether or not they commit big mistakes pre-flop or can be taken better advantage of post-flop. Perhaps they bluff too often on the river (or not enough)? You can even filter out hands where your toughest opponents make it to showdown and analyze how they play their draws, when they slowplay, etc.
All of the above information will help you tremendously in building a winning strategy for countering specific opponents. So, be sure to take notes on best players in your games when analyzing them and be ready to do some damage when you encounter them in your next session.
This is just one of many ways you can improve your game; I’ve got plenty more poker tips on my site. You’re also welcome to check out the MyPokerCoaching YouTube channel for more information. Keep on learning and improving your game and we will talk soon!