Really dumb idea.
But to my defense, pretty much everybody was a terrible calling station fish back then. So I actually only had to keep a mental note on the handful of other nits like me.
In 2011 you need a HUD especially if you are playing more than a couple tables.
[2015 Note: I now have a much more comprehensive and up to date blog post on how to set up your HUD which you can find here.]
Fish are always going to be pretty straightforward to play against. Bet, bet, bet when you have it. Don't bluff them too much etc. But they are the minority in the player pool now. You need to have the right information on hand to take profitable lines against all the different regs.
And really, the best reason of all to use a HUD is for the database program that it is built on. Having detailed information on yourself and everybody that you have ever played against is the best tool that you can have to improve your game.
The best program and HUD that I have ever used is Holdem Manager. It has probably paid for itself hundreds of times over at the poker tables. It also has an unbelievable amount of information that has really helped me improve my game. I will go into many of the features within HEM that I use to study and improve in future posts. So look out for that.
But back to HUD's. I have seen countless different setups over the years. Some people like a lot of information on their screen. Some like minimal. Some like lots of flashy colors and icons. I don't think it really matters too much what approach you take. The most important thing is that the information, as displayed on your screen, makes logical sense to you and allows you to quickly and accurately make high quality poker decisions.
Here is my HUD setup:
And here is what it looks like on my screen (I removed the player name):
As you can see I am sort of in the minimalist camp. I don't like to have a whole lot of unnecessary clutter on my screen. I prefer to keep all the information inside a nice neat little box beside the player.
The most important stats for me by far are located on the first row: VPIP, PFR and aggression Factor. And the other important stat is the number of hands which I put down on the bottom right in blue. I don't use the color blue for any other stat so that it always stands out.
I rarely pay much attention to the entire second row to be honest. And the 3bet stats are reasonably useful but not so much at NL10 and below since there isn't a lot of light 3betting. Fold to 3bet is fairly useful at those stakes though since there are plenty of nits who fold to 3bets too much.
The biggest reason that I prefer to have just the basic stats on my screen is that I can simply make use of the popup (left click on the player name) if I need to know more. Same player as above:
With the popup I often look at things like PFR by position, 3bet by position, steal, aggression factor by street, raise cbet, donk bet and 4bet range (if the sample is huge). However, I don't look at this information often enough to warrant having it take up valuable real estate on my screen. So my advice would be to have only the essential stats on your display but make liberal use of the full popup when you need it.
In part 2 of this post I am going to talk about the coloring system that I use as well as how to interpret some of the information.
What does your HUD setup look like?
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