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Q&A: Essential HUD Stats, Small Blind Limping and The Year of Logic | Episode 173


Sky Matsuhashi

on January 20, 2018

I answer 3 Q's about the essential HUD stats I recommend, limping in the small blind and 2018: the Year of Logic.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Q1: Must-Have HUD Stats (2:15)


Hey Sky. Hope all is well in Fresyes. I'm down in the beautiful Inland Empire pretending to work.

I was a regular grinder back in the glory days of 2002 (when I first turned 18) through 2006 and then a casual player while in law school through Black Friday.

I've played a few sites casually since then but haven't been serious about studying poker in over ten years.

I need help figuring out the HUD and what i should have on it – I've never used one before and started PT4's 30 day trial. I get the basics and what the common terms are, but not necessarily what i should have beyond PT4's standard setup.


Thanks for all you do. –Wayne


Here are the bare minimum HUD stats:

  • # of Hands with Note Editor
  • VPIP with PFR
  • Call PF 2bet with 3bet
  • RFI with Fold to 3bet and 4bet
  • Fold to Steal with BB vs SB Fold to Steal
  • Flop Cbet with Fold to Flop Cbet

For popups, just stick with the PT4 default ones for now. You can go in an edit them to make certain stats more visible (enlarge font, different colors, color code stats, etc.).

When you gain experience with PT4 and want to make custom popups, here are the ones I made for myself:

  • Cbet
  • Fold to Cbet
  • 3bet
  • RFI and Fold to 3bet
  • Steal Popup
  • Assassinato Popup (copied from Alex Fitzgerald's popup)

Q2: Should we ever over-limp in the SB? (7:45)


Is there ever a situation to just complete the SB when its folded to the LAG/LP BTN and they just limp?


There are no rules in poker.  So, I say do what you want as long as you estimate it to be a +EV play.

I think a good limping range will be just about the same as a good calling range. You call from the SB or BB because you want to see a flop with your hand, and a 3bet bluff with that hand will prolly not work. Like JTs for example. Great hand to see flops, but you don't really want to build the pot yourself from OOP with this hand. You're more than willing to call a raise with it, so you might as well call a limp (over-limp).

Before over-limping, just consider whether it's a +EV decision. Do you expect to make money here most of the time by limping with this hand? You’re going to be OOP against two other players. With a hand like JTs, it's very possible due to the decently high card strength of hitting a TP hand and all the strong drawing hands and made 2p+ hands it can hit. A hand like J6s, though, is much different. You're not so happy with anything other than 2p+ and you can't hit strong sd's with it (but the J-high fd potential is still there).

Ultimately, assess the situation you’re getting yourself into by limping behind, and if it's +EV to limp, do it. If it's likely a -EV hand, like you're x/f most flops, then don't do it.

Q3: 2018: the Year of Logic (12:00)


Hello Sky,

Happy new year to you and your family.

Do you have some poker tips for this year we certainly have to pay attention to?

Best regards and again Happy New Year, Philippe


There are two things that spring to mind for poker in 2018.

The first: I've dubbed this year “The Year of Logic”. I'm dedicated to having a logical reason for every bet I make and for everything I study and for everything I put out there on the podcast.

Logic in Playing Poker

The power of logic when playing poker really hit home with me the other day.

I was dealt QQ, I 3bet vs an open raise and the BB cold called and the initial raiser called. The callers were on the LP side (fishy).

The board came J55 flop. They checked to me, I cbet, the first player check-raised then the second player check-re-raised all-in. Logic tells me that on this flop vs two check-raises, I’m dead to Jacks full or trip 5’s. But, emotions and the fact that I wanted my overpair to be good are what caused me to make a huge blunder and call all-in here on the flop.

Logic instead of emotion would’ve made me assess the situation and the likely ranges I was up against. It would’ve allowed me to see that my opponents are passive in general, which equates to more honest when they’re raising and re-raising post-flop. Logic would’ve told me to fold this hand and save my remaining 65bb’s.

Acting on my emotions caused me to lose my stack and quit the rest of the session because of rising anger and possible tilt.

Logic in Studying Poker and the Podcast

Logic for studying poker tells me that these are the spots I need to study. I need to filter for hands where I lost big pots with TP or overpairs and study them.

And, logic for the podcast means that it I’m planning my episodes ahead of time in a way that really benefits the audience. There are some poker podcasts that hit random topics every week. I really like how my MED series of podcasts (37 episodes) created a great path to follow to help all you listeners improve your games. I will continue that in 2018.  More to come on this later.

The 2nd thing for 2018 is to make sure you subscribe to the poker newsletter from That’s Nathan Williams’ website and he’s putting out lots of articles to help you make more money in 2018 and I love what he’s putting out there.

Challenge (15:40)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Filter in your database for SB limps. You can look at “Limped First In” and “Limped With Previous Limpers” separately. What are your win rates? If it’s any worse than -50bb/100 hands, then you would’ve been better off folding every one of those SB’s. If not, you’re doing better than folding every one. Either way go through those hands and look at some of your biggest losing pots and try to figure out how you can improve your SB over-limping strategy. Also, look at the hand strengths of the limping hands. Are there any that are blatantly too weak and hard to justify coming into the pot with?

I just filtered for mine and over 35 instances of limping with previous limpers, my win rate is +137bb/100 hands. Looks like I’m over-limping well. And being the first limper over 20 hands, I’m +38bb/100 hands.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.

Support the Show

Tom Ternay picked up his own copy of my Smart HUD with 6 custom popups.  I trust he's using it to rock the competition and win more than his fare share of pots.  Get your Smart HUD here.

Jay M decided to up his skills by getting the Expert Hand Reading Webinar.  If you know Jay, stay away from his post-flop moves because he's gunning for you.  Get 'em, Jay!!!  Pick up your own copy of the webinar here.


Sky Matsuhashi

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