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How your HUD informs your study of poker charts

How your HUD informs your study of poker charts

When you open up your HUD (Heads-Up Display) and look at your stats over a large sample, you get to see who you are as a poker player.

“There are truths in there that you can’t go around,” says Twitch superstar and BBZ student Lex Veldhuis. “It is what it is. This is the framework of your game.”

At the beginning of our BBZ & Lex Veldhuis: Database Study Session video, Lex and Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond (a.k.a. BBZ) take a look through Lex’s PokerTracker stats to find areas he can work on.

You can do this, too. What’s really beneficial about this is that these numbers can shine a light on the exact areas you need to study more using BBZ’s charts.


BB/100

BBZ starts off by looking at Lex’s win rates by position, so when you come up to open up your own HUDs for review, you should probably start there too. The ‘big blind per 100 hands’ stat (BB/100) shows how many big blinds per 100 hands you’re winning from those positions and is a real indicator of how well-formed your strategy is from each position.

BBZ and Lex Veldhuis

For example, in the video, BBZ notes that Lex’s big blind win rate is lower than it should be (he suggests the figure should be “something around the low -20s”), so right away this gives Lex something to work on. He can now hone his study of big blind calling and raising ranges using BBZ’s charts in a bid to increase that number.

But while Lex’s big blind win rate is lower than it should be, BBZ also points out that his win rate from the button is very good, which helps to absorb his lower-than-optimal big blind win rate.

“The only positions that are too low are the big blind and maybe the cutoff,” says BBZ. Lex’s cutoff stat is 21.61, but BBZ suggests a better number would be around 23-24.

“That stands out immediately to me,” says Lex. “I think cutoff versus button I have some issues with, some out of position stuff, some c-betting on boards I should check more. I also don’t think I’m trap-flatting enough from the cutoff to let the button squeeze come in.”

These are all areas Lex can work on through his study of poker charts.


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RFI

‘Raise first in’ is arguably the most important place to start when you begin to study charts. After all, the majority of the tricky situations we face in both tournaments and cash games–when boiled down–start with your pre-flop play.

Should you have defended the big blind with that hand in the first place? Is that really a hand you should have three-bet from the cutoff versus an under-the-gun open? Could you have played the hand differently pre-flop and avoided the headache you now face?

BBZ turns to Lex’s RFI stats next. He suggests Lex’s RFI from the button and cutoff are on the tight side, with the ideal numbers being around 48% for the button and 35-37% for the cutoff. However, he also points out that as Lex often late-registers for tournaments due to his Twitch stream, he finds himself shorter stacked and more often, and the shorter you are, the tighter your RFI numbers become.


TIP: Find out which statistics BBZ uses in his HUD, and which he believes are the most important, in our article:
How to use a poker HUD.


How do your RFI stats look from each position? You should be opening more hands from the button than any other position, so start with that 48% number and then aim to get the stats for earlier positions steadily decreasing from there.

The best way to do this is to study charts, study charts, then study charts some more. You don’t need to memorize the RFI ranges entirely in one go; instead, go hand by hand, spot by spot, and over time your knowledge of RFI ranges at different stack sizes will increase.


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BBZ & Lex Veldhuis: Database Study Session Pt. 1

In this first collaboration video between Twitch Poker Legend Lex Veldhuis and BBZPoker head coach Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond, the two break down Lex’s PokerTracker4 database by position in a recent hand sample to find areas for improvement.

This 50 minute video will show you some general parameters to apply to your own database in order to identify where you are leaking at each position. BBZ points out areas like:

  • Raise Small Blind Open Limp
  • 3-bet frequencies from the blinds
  • 3-bet vs. steal
  • Fold vs. steal

Explore those areas plus more in this introductory video to database analysis.

 

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Raise SB Open Limp

Another stat that BBZ looks at is Lex’s ‘raise SB open limp’, meaning how often he is attacking the small blind from the big blind when they opt to limp rather than raise.

In the video, Lex’s database shows his stat as 50.76%, which BBZ believes is too high. “You’re attacking the small blind too much from the big blind when they limp,” he says. “We do want to push it, and I’d rather have you on the too-loose side than the too-tight side, but the target should be around 44%.”

However, BBZ also notes that in Lex’s higher buy-in tournaments it becomes more difficult to push this stat and still make money as his range begins to get too weak. In other words, if you’re attacking small blind limps more than half of the time, it becomes easier for skilled opponents to form a counter-strategy against your isolation raises. You can’t always have it, right?

Some study of big blind check-backs and raises on BBZ’s charts can help get that number where it should be.

These are just three of the many stats your HUD presents you which, as Lex said, show the “framework of your game”. The insight they provide will then inform which areas of BBZ’s charts you need to study more.

So let’s hit those charts!


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