What's in Your HUD with ThaSquirrel

Date: 2013-10-12
Author: Jason Glatzer

We sat down with poker player and coach ThaSquirrel to pick his mind about his use of various pieces of poker software.  ThaSquirrel has over $1 million in tracked online tournament cashes, mostly on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, according to PocketFives.  TheSquirrel also has training videos available on PocketFives Training.

PokerSoftware:  What poker software are you currently using?

ThaSquirrel:  I currently use Holdem Manager 2.

PokerSoftware:  How is your HM2 HUD configured?

ThaSquirrel:  A friend I am staking, OTwenty on PokerStars and PocketFives, helped me configure my HUD.  Here is how it is configured line by line:

Name / total hands

tot vip %

tot pfr %

tot steal %

tot 3b %

tot fold to 3b %

flop cbet %

flop fold to cbet %

bb fold to steal %

PokerSoftware:  Which stats do you find the most useful and why?

ThaSquirrel:  I think combining some of the stats provides the most information.  For example, when looking for leaks or tendencies, I can take a look at stats for flop and pre-flop differences to get a nice profile of the player.  If I only had available one stat, pre-flop raise would be best.  This is because it gives an idea about a person's opening range. Ranging your opponents is basically what poker is about.

PokerSoftware:  Can you elaborate on how the ranging of opponents using your HUD is useful?

ThaSquirrel:  A simple example is when somebody is fairly tight from early position and you get a dry flop with 2-2-7 rainbow and he continuation bets and you call.  Let's say the turn is an 8, which brings straight and flush draws.  If this opponent bets again, you can't start only putting barrel hands like 10-9 suited in his range.

In general, ranging helps me answer the question, "Does somebody only open with suited connecters or also with hands like 10-9 offsuit from the highjack?"  That will change how often he connects with draw-heavy boards, making suited hands a smaller percentage.

Ranging also helps me determine my stance on whether to continuation bet: for instance, when I’m decided my continuation betting range on boards like Q-J-6.  Against a very wide flatting range, you can continuation bet here.  However, if somebody is like 20/16, it is a bad idea.  When an opponent is a 12/9, it can become okay again because only hands like A-Q and 6-6 will really be able to stand three-barrels.

PokerSoftware: What poker software do you use for coaching?

ThaSquirrel:  I almost always use the Universal Replayer to review hand histories and Team Viewer to share my screen.  I also use PokerStove and some Excel sheets from Poker Pro Tools for building re-shoving ranges for opening percentages.  I also occasionally use Flopzilla during sessions.

PokerSoftware:  Can you tell us when you decide to use programs like PokerStove and Flopzilla during coaching sessions?

I mainly use PokerStove when discussing more basic concepts.  I feel programs like Flopzilla are also really good for beginning players to play around with because, as an example, I think many players tend to overestimate how big of a percentage pocket pairs are in somebody’s range.

Thank you for the interview.  If you are interested in improving your tournament game, ThaSquirrel is available for coaching and can be contacted through PocketFives.

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