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Q&A: Understanding HUD Statistics, Recognizing Tilt and Picking-up on LIVE Actions | Episode 185


Sky Matsuhashi

on May 5, 2018

I answer 3 questions about understanding HUD stats in the Smart HUD, recognizing tilt and picking-up on LIVE actions.

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


Q1: Understanding HUD Statistics (3:25)

Hi sky

Was wondering if you could go into the stats more and what they mean in the HUD I bought. Anything would be useful. I've watched the video that came with the HUD.

Thanks in advance, Michelle


Stats: learn the definition and the formula for each

Flopzilla: use this to help you understand the statistical percentages

Percentages are just parts of a whole.  “67% Cbet” means they cbet 67 times out of every 100 opportunities.

Many stats (like VPIP and PFR) show you the percentage of the time somebody plays a hand out of the 1,326 total hand possibilities. So, VPIP of 30% means they put money in the pot with 30% of 1,326 or about 400 hands.

Stats can also show you the % of the time you take various actions. If you open the pot and face a 3bet, your actions are to fold, call or 4bet. The total of these three actions add up to 100%. You might fold 50%, call 35% and 4bet 15%.

VPIP: low is 0-15%, medium is 15-32% and high is over 32%.



Q2: Recognizing Tilt (8:50)

From David Gerardo

Q: I would like to have more tools to know when to stop a session if I'm on TILT. In “the mental game of poker” he explains very well all the different kinds of TILT, but I'm having problems in realizing and recognizing that I should stop. Also, sometimes it’s hard for me to keep positive in downswings.


How do you currently recognize when you're tilting? Do you realize you're tilting off your stack with large bluffs, 3bets, bad calls and shoves when it's happening? Or is it only after the fact when you're forced to re-buy in? Or is it the next day after you've had time to cool down? If it's after the fact, that's going to make it tougher but not impossible.

Answer these two questions:

  1. What are the 3 most likely things that lead to tilt? Maybe it's getting sucked out on, your bluffs not working, losing to a weaker player, or something else.
  2. When you tilt, what does it look like? Maybe you call down every hand, get too bluffy preflop, just button click without thinking or spew your chips with bluffs post-flop.

Once you know what sets you off and how your tilt manifests itself, you can start making plans to deal with it.

Before every session, refresh yourself on what puts you on tilt and how you act when tilting. Do this in your warm-up and make this commitment: “I will notice my rising emotions this session and if I can't get them under control, I will end my session early because I know how damaging tilt is to my bankroll and my sanity.” This is your session focus.

Take a break

When emotions start to take over, force yourself to get up and get away from the table for 5 minutes. I know you've read TMGP, so pick some of Tendler's logic statements and keep them with you. During the break, read the pertinent ones and think about them. Realize how true they are and that the thing that's putting you on tilt is part of the game. You signed up for the good, the bad and the ugly when you became a poker player and this tilting situation is just part of that. It does you no good to get angry over it and lose additional chips. Are you going to react this way every time something bad happens? If so, plan on tilting away stack after stack for the rest of your poker career.

Regarding downswings, you've got to do what you can to work through them. Don't get bummed out and just blame variance or your bad opponents or the cards or the dealers. It's always your fault. Anything bad that happens falls on you. That's why I keep studying to get better. Variance doesn't matter b/c if you say, “Yep, I'm losing due to variance” then that doesn't help in any way. If it's variance's fault (or the dealer or the poker gods or your opponents or bad luck or whatever else extrinsic you can think of), you're not motivated to improve. Look inwards and blame yourself for all bad things (poker and non-poker) that happen to you, then work to better yourself. Keep studying and look for areas of weakness to improve upon.

Q3: Picking-up on LIVE Actions (14:45)

From Paul Jewell

Q: I play LIVE 1-2 cash recreationaly. I believe I need to asses my opponent’s betting patterns and tendencies quicker than I do now.


Reading into your opponent's actions is critical and doing it quickly comes with practice and preparing before the session. This is a 4-step process you must practice as you play:

  1. Know who you're up against. Tight players, LAGs, fish, maniacs, nits, they all play differently pre and post-flop. Understanding how they play in general will allow you to read more information from the next two items.
  2. Assign a pre-flop range, then assess their post-flop decisions based on the range. If they called pre-flop and they love seeing flops, they've got an incredibly wide range that can hit lots of draws and marginal hands post-flop.  Facing a raise, are they doing so with only good made hands, or are they capable of bluffing. If they 3bet pre-flop with a tight range, then bet/bet/bet post-flop, they likely have a strong hand.
  3. Aggressive vs passive plays. Of course, betting and raising are aggressive, and calling/checking are passive. Is your opponent capable of bluffing with bets? How about raises? Lots of LIVE players at the lower stakes only raise with strong hands and draws, but not all.
  4. Bet sizing is critical. Pre-flop, look at the sizing in $, post-flop look at their sizing in terms of the pot (1/2 pot, 3/4 pot, etc.). In general, the larger the bet, the more they like their hand or they're trying to discourage action (bluffing). Make note of the sizes your opponents use with various pre-flop and post-flop hand strengths.


For being prepared, you must keep track of the players you play with in an Evernote on your phone. “Bob plays all but nut flush draws passively” and “Susie does not pot control with any TP hand and can go to the felt with it”.

When you’re on the wait list and you see Bob and Susie sitting there, read what you’ve read about them and start to formulate a plan on how you can play against them.

Also, make sure to pay attention to every showdown and make it a goal of learning something from each and adding it to your expanding Evernote. It could be as simple as “John 3bet with 76s from the BB.”

My 2018 SMARTER Goals Progress (18:50)

Goal 1: SPS Brand

Publish all 3 volumes of my Dominoes of Poker books: Volume 1 by the end of April, Volume 2 in July and Volume 3 in October.

Still meaningful?  Absolutely

Progress:   This will be released in the coming 2 weeks.  I feel bad for continually postponing it, but I’m editing like mad and making the book better and better.  I’m spending a ton of time on the 3bet section.

Goal 2: Poker Play

Move up from 25nl to 50nl by June 1st, then up to 100nl by October 1st while following a 40x Bankroll Rule.

Still meaningful?  Absolutely


  • January: +$104.36 at +4.52bb/100 hands and 9,237 hands played
  • February: -$105.11 at -5.48bb/100 hands and 7,677 hands played
  • March: +$208.48 at +6.6bb/100 hands and 12,643 hands played
  • April: -$26.81 (MTT’s +38.85) at -1.6bb/100 hands and only 6,746 hands played.
  • YTD: +$180.92 at +1.99bb/100 hands and 36,303 hands played
  • I’m woefully under-playing right now.  And May won’t improve much…
  • I know I won’t hit my goal of $2,000 by June 1st. I might be able to play more starting in mid-June after the WSOP, but it won’t be until October at the earliest that I can hit my 1st goal and move up to 50nl.

Goal 3: Physical Health

Get down to 170 lbs (from 180) and complete 3 sets of 10 muscle-ups by June 1st.

Still meaningful?  Absolutely


  • January 1st at 180.0
  • February 1st at 180.8 (a gain of .8 pounds)
  • March 1st at 178.8 (a loss of 2 pounds)
  • April 1st at 174.4 (a loss of 4.4 pounds); doing 4 sets of 10 pull-ups; leg lift swings 4 sets of <10 but improving
  • May 1st at 172.3 (a loss of 2.1 pounds from April 1st); almost able to do the muscle-up
  • Loving this challenge. I’m doing more kettle-bell routines, tons of body weight stuff and more pull-ups than ever before.  I’ll do my first muscle-up soon, but not sure if I can hit 3 sets of 10 by next month.

Challenge (23:35)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:   Watch the companion video in the show notes page to see how I analyze statistics and find ranges for low, medium and high numbers. Choose 5 stats that you want to use more often, and repeat my process for each. Record your findings in your poker journal or Excel and review them as your warm-up for each session.

Now it’s your turn to take action (like downloading my free 21-page Poker Journal here) and do something positive for your poker game.

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Sky Matsuhashi

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