I'm a freelance writer and serious lower stakes poker player. I'm fascinated by poker's complex strategy as well as the psychology involved in this game of short-term luck and long-term certainties. Contact: onlinepokerdiary (at) gmail (dot) com

Developing Reads Without my HUD

I got through the poker articles I was writing and last weekend was graduation weekend at my college, so it's officially summertime! And that means a lot of poker.

I'll be continuing a SnG challenge where I hope to shoot for a 15% ROI over 300 games. And I'm hoping to move up in NL, give new games a try and take a shot at some bigger MTTs.

One thing I have been thinking about a lot recently is developing reads on my opponents without over-relying on my HUD statistics.

I feel like recently my reads have suffered a bit and I'm thinking I can find everything I need to know just by looking at the stats.

It's not like I don't know what I have to do; this really just boils down to being lazy.

I need to continue to put players on ranges, even when I'm not involved in the hand. (I never play more than 4 tables so this is pretty doable.)

This is a vital skill that improves with every hand you play. I know I shouldn't have other windows open when I'm playing, but recently I seem to be checking email or reading a sports article more often than I used to.

I also need to continue to pay enough attention to develop detailed notes on my opponents. Do they seem to be positionally aware? Do they ever limp-reraise? If so, with what? Do they slowplay their monsters? What do they donk with? Do they seem to tilt if they take a couple of bad beats? I'm having too many sessions where I stop and realize I haven't written a single note.

At the micros, just about every hand with a showdown should produce a note of some quality. Now that school's out for summer, I should have no excuse not to put in the extra effort that will both improve my hand reading ability and increase my potential profits.

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