Holdem Manager Review
With the level of skill the majority of online players have nowadays, in order to maximize profit it's now become necessary to multi-table. The more tables you play at the same time the more money you can make per hour, this is common sense. However, the problem with playing more then one table is that you reach a point where you can no longer improve your win rate, because you will find it increasingly more difficult to get reads on your opponents as you are playing so many tables. This is where poker tracker software like Holdem Manager (HEM) have been created to assist multi-tabling grinders, giving players the ability to make better decisions and revolutionizing the way online poker is played.
Holdem Manager is poker tracker software which features two main benefits. The tool can be used as a heads-up display (HUD) which at first will seem the immediate benefit, however the tool actually offers much more then this. HEM is an analyzing tool which can be useful for identifying leaks and improving your game. HEM is a powerful tool for any cash game player's game, however its usefulness in SNG’s and MTT’s should not be overlooked.
Once you install the software on your computer it will allow you to import all poker hand history files and parses them into a database for analysis. Essentially, the tool is a database of all the poker hands that you play (whether it be a ring game, SNG, or MTT) and saves them. During online play it will import hands in real-time. With all of this recorded data at your disposal, it will enable you to track losses and profits, as well as statistics on your opponents. Instead of using spreadsheets to track your online bankroll it's much more convenient to record your bankroll with Holdem Manager. Because HEM is poker tracking software, it also has the functionality to replay any hand you have played with it’s personalized hand replayer. This is one of the best features of the software, because it makes reviewing your play more convenient and enjoyable.
The software capabilities extend far beyond this though. You can use the poker tracker software to find leaks and improve your game. No matter how good of a player you think you are, there is always room for improvement. Software like HEM will enable you to identify mistakes in your game which you probably didn't think you have and which are costing you money. Once you identify the leaks you can begin to fix them and increase your win rate. When you are multi-tabling 8-12 tables, fixing small leaks can have a huge impact on your win rate because you are playing so many tables. The tool will also help you to understand your opponent’s leaks and the best way to exploit and profit from them.
The HUD (heads-up display) is the first aspect of Holdem Manager which you will want to familiarize yourself with. This component of the software is what you use in-game. Whilst playing, the HUD will display player statistics on all of your opponents at the table, based on the hands that you have played with them. You can customize what statistics you wish to display, but some of the basic HEM stats include vpip, pfr, 3bet%, fold to 3bet%, flop cbet%, fold to cbet%, etc. There is literally hundreds of different stats you can display for your opponents, and at first it can all seem a bit confusing, which is why it would be a good idea to show only a limited number of stats at first. However, once you begin to understand and interpret the stats properly, using the heads-up display will make you feel like you have a huge competitive edge over your opponents. You can include and remove any stats you want from the heads-up display, and even create a customized HUD for different online poker rooms.
When you are not playing, the poker tracker software gives you the ability to display various reports/graphs. There are a number of different reports you can display, which include winnings by stake, showdown holdings, and winnings by position. All of these reports can be filtered by date, so for example, if you want to know what your winnings or losses are for the current month, past year, or the previous 10,000 hands, it is simple. The reporting function is awesome because it gives you a quick snapshot of where you are with your game. For example, if you find that you have a solid win rate for the previous 25,000 hands that you have played at 25nl, then you can be confident in your ability and move up in limits to say 50nl. As you would know, position is very important in hold'em, and the winnings by position reports will help fix any leaks you may have with regard to this aspect of your game. If you find that you are losing a lot of money in the small blind or big blind, it's probably an indication you should tighten up your game playing out of position. Without HEM, you wouldn't have been made aware of this leak.
Keep in mind that HEM isn’t just for limit holdem. You can also purchase a license for Omaha. It can be used on most major online poker rooms. However, even though it can be a very useful poker tool, the use of HEM should not be a replacement for basic or even advanced poker strategy to beat the game. Think of it as a supplement to your game to increase your win rate, not something you rely on to beat the game. If you don't have a solid understanding of the game, how can you expect to interpret and use the stats correctly?
All in all, when used correctly, HEM is a powerful weapon to any poker player’s arsenal. It would still be a good idea to make player notes on players who you play against regularly, but with the additional data at your fingertips you can gain some extra insight into which players are the most profitable to play against. At the end of the day, this is the primary goal in poker, identifying the fish and exploiting them.