Are ProPokerHUDs worth the money? - Interview with creator Kristjan

We talk to one of the men behind ProPokerHUDs to find out why he thinks they're a must have for any serious grinder.

Today we welcome a new addition to our poker tools section. Made by professional poker players, ProPokerHUDs is a collection of powerful add-ons for PokerTracker 4 that includes statistics packages, custom heat maps and HUDs.

"Using a standard HUD means missing out on vital information"

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PokerStrategy.com: What is ProPokerHUDs about?

Kristjan: Everybody knows that the games are tougher than ever. Finding an edge is getting harder by the day, even at low stakes. This means that players need better tools both at and away from the table.

Compared to how public poker knowledge has developed over the last years, HUDs have stayed relatively unchanged. Using a standard HUD that comes with your tracking application means missing out on lots of vital information on your opponents.

However, just having masses of information is not enough - it needs to be accessible and easy to understand. Making our products intuitive and user friendly has been an extremely high priority from the start.

Members of our team have years of experience building custom HUDs for top players at all formats. ProPokerHUDs connects great players with experienced programmers in order to bring professional tools to all players.

PokerProHuds creator Kristjan
Kristjan
PokerStrategy.com: Tell us about the stat packs, what led you to pick out the particular ones on offer?

Kristjan:
Stat packs are designed for finding specific leaks in your opponents’ strategies. They can be used directly on the HUD, as well as in reports for post game analysis.

We have two stat packs available at the moment - “Flop Texture Pack” and “vs Hero/vs Villain Pack”. These are just the first of a wide range we have planned. We are constantly collecting feedback from players and closely monitoring poker forums, which gives us a good idea about what stats people require.

The Flop Texture Pack contains a selection of most relevant stats for five different flop textures. With this information, it’s simple to find exploitable ranges in your opponents strategies on different boards.

The Versus Hero/ Versus Villain stats are one of the most requested things on PT’s forums. It allows one to see how others play specifically against you, the hero, and also what you look like to your opponent, making it easy to see how other players perceive you and also when and how they adjust to your play. These stats are considered not to be possible in PokerTracker 4.

"It's important to analyse the fine details"

Action Tree
Example of an Action Tree
PokerStrategy.com: What do these HUDs and stats give that can't be presented by standard PT4/HM2 HUDs and stats?

Kristjan: One of the big differences is the way information is displayed. Our graphical interface elements like Table Vision Elements and Action Trees display complex information in a clear and concise manner. When at the table, one doesn’t have time to go through massive matrices of numbers - the data needs to be easily accessible, otherwise it is of little value.

Although tracking software comes with a selection of built in stats/HUDs, the selection is very limited. As mentioned above, with the growing competence of the player pool, it's important to analyse the fine detail in how your opponents play. Often general statistics are just blind to these nuances.

It used to be good enough just to see a players VPIP & PFR, and make judgement on them from that. Now at your average 6-max cash table, you will see 4-5 players with quite similar VPIP/PFR stats. However, on closer inspection, many of these players will have divergent strategies e.g How often in the BB do they fold or call or raise to a BTN min-raise? Without that information, you may be throwing away money by employing a suboptimal BTN opening strategy.

"We've spent hours making sure our HUDs are intuitive"

Heat Map
Example of a Heat Map
PokerStrategy.com: Please explain exactly what a heat map is, and once again, what it presents that is not already available in the standard tracking software?

Kristjan: Heat maps are our latest add-on for PokerTracker 4.Theyare popups that can be attached to any HUD profile,and provide a graphical visualization of a player’s preflop ranges in a specific situation.

The main advantage of heat maps compared to regular statistics is the fact that they show the exact showed down hands in that specific range. Color coding enables the frequency of hands in that range to be clearly illustrated.Tracking software offers this functionality for post game analysis, but we have brought it straight onto the HUD.

PokerStrategy.com: It looks like a lot of effort has been put into changing what these HUDs look like visually, in order to make it easier for the user to digest the information. Can you talk a little more about that, how these are optimised for that etc?

Kristjan:
Having hundreds of statistics on your HUD can be overwhelming. We have spent countless hours working to make our HUDs as intuitive as possible. In addition to adding descriptive tooltips and labels, the statistics are also grouped in a consistent and logical way, with the background colors emphasizing the relations between them. Not only do they look great, they look that way for a reason.

We have also brought a lot of graphical elements to the HUDs - displaying statistics in form of graphs and charts, in order to make it easier for the player to comprehend statistical information.

"Low stakes players can get started for as little as $25"

PokerStrategy.com:
Can all these add-ons be used simultaneously, or would you suggest that users should maybe pick out the one that is most relevant to their current game?

Kristjan:
For a beginner, we’d definitely recommend starting out with one product - it’s essentially like learning a new poker skill. Once you've mastered one and integrated it into your game, you can once again look around and ask yourself - what is the next thing that can help my winrate the most?

Depends on one’s experience with using HUDs. Someone who already knows their way around stats can probably get a better kickstart by getting a HUD and adding some packs to it. At the end of the day, it’s all about having the most information about your opponents weaknesses.

Another consideration would be the sample sizes one has in the database. HUDs have decent value even with small samples, while stat and heat map packs need more data to start showing something reliable.

MTT HUD
The ProPokerHUDs MTT HUD - Example of a visually pleasing and intuitive tool
PokerStrategy.com:
What would you say to the argument that all these custom HUDs could be overwhelming in terms of the information they provide? Could they also overwhelm your computer in terms of performance?

Kristjan:
The information could certainly overwhelm someone, especially if they have little experience using HUDs. That said, think back to the time you first started playing poker - wouldn’t all the theory and practice you have now overwhelmed you back then?

It’s the same with everything new - one takes the new information in gradually and slowly gets better. There is no magic here - we just provide the tools. Also, as discussed in detail earlier, we have put a lot of effort into making the products as easy to use as possible.

There are generally few performance problems with our products. As long as the hardware meets the minimum requirements proposed by PokerTracker and the databases are well maintained.

PokerStrategy.com:
I know some of our users are averse to paying $100+ for something like HUD stats when HUDs come as standard with PT4. How do you justify the pricing? Is this aimed at pros specifically?

Kristjan:
Our products are aimed at everyone who wants to work on their game and get better at online poker. In fact, one of our goals is bringing professional tools to all players. Until now, detailed custom statistics and advanced HUDs have been the luxury of the elite. Only successful high stakes players have been able to afford the services of people such as those behind ProPokerHUDs.

We offer stake restricted licenses and trimmed down versions of our products. Low stakes players can get started for as low as $25 and upgrade as their career develops.

We’re also planning to release a couple of new HUDs in the near future. The MTT Essentials HUD and Cash Essentials HUD are designed specifically for lower stakes players and the pricing will be respective.

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Comments (10)

newest first
  • UPAY4DINNER

    #1

    Another nail in the coffin for purity.
  • acerbikas

    #2

    These HUD examples are so far away from being visually pleasing...
  • UPAY4DINNER

    #3

    I find it hilarious that the interviewer asks the creator of the product if it's worth spending money on!

    He is hardly gonna say no!
  • mineriva

    #4

    @ #3 +1
  • AtrociousNightmare

    #5

    That heatmap in HUD idea is awesome but you would need an overwhelming number of hands on your opponent for that. Like, INSANE number of hands.
  • slobodarp

    #6

    yes
  • grbell

    #7

    Pokerstrategy on commission? - This appeared at the top of news a few days ago and suddenly appears again. Did not enough people buy it?
  • BYOBToBBQ

    #8

    the interface one the MTT hud is kinda ugly tho...
  • JimC6

    #9

    Huds have taken all the joy out of poker for me.
  • kingreigns

    #10

    i have the heat maps,still on the fence about if they are actually of any use