After my shock badge last week in my last blog, I've since realised I don't really know what all the stats are for in HEM and how to read them. The "Steal Stat" for instance I always assumed was someone who raised first every hand instead of just limping. While I am partially right I'm not totally right so I've since decided to work on this aspect of my game.

I'm now going to look at one stat a week, fully understand it, analyse my own play and apply the stat to others. Once I can understand the concepts I can then add the stat to my HUD and use it to my advantage.

As mentioned above, the first stat I looked at was the Steal Stat.

I won't give a review on stats every week but I will on the first stat I looked at. Stealing is an important concept in poker. In HEM a steal is a raise in the Cut Off, Button or Small Blind when there has been no limpers before. Pokerterms has it spot on:

A term used when a player raises with a hand that is normally not considered a raising hand, done with position, for the sole purpose of winning the blinds and/or antes.

Now players should raise genuinely when they have a hand but certain player types do it every or the majority of times and in poker we know we only get a playable hand only a minority of the time. For these type of players we can defend more by either flat calling or restealing. Looking at our own play when we are in the above positions if we have players to act after us who fold to a steal the majority of the time then it's easy chips for us. When players do call to us then we know they have a hand and we can proceed more cautiously or give up on the hand.

In MTTs and STTs things are never so easy. It's important to realise that blind levels and antes do change peoples play. The first time I applied this stat I had a certain player who stole every single time but folded to a resteal. This was easy chips for me and I used it to my advantage throughout the tourney. When it came to the final table and in the cash he min raised as usual from the small blind and I reshoved AJs - a genuine hand - and he called in a heartbeat with 74o and hit (don't they always!) But it was the high blinds that made him call and in fact it was the correct call on his behalf even if his min raise was totally stupid play.

In the above example, blind level can affect a players play and there are certain rock player types that steal shove every time when the blind level reaches a certain stage. This is where I can use Notecaddy badges to my advantage. I haven't (yet) created my own badge but it will be one of the first badges I will put upon a player. I can filter blind levels and shove players and I will create a badge on these player types. I can then call far wider when they do get to this stage.

I think it's important to look at this stat for various stages of a tournament. Stealing is important but do it too often and you'll get caught in the cookie jar. Don't do it enough and you are wasting opportunities.

In the coming weeks I'll look at other stats. I may not always apply them to my own HUD but I think it's important to digest my own play and adapt my own game. I'm now thinking at a few levels above the vast majority at my own level but this may not always be a good thing. The majority of times it's just a simple case of ABC play that wins.

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I had an interesting private conversation with RockerguyAA that made me think about a few fundamentals in my game. I won't divulge what it was about but it made me think about the game in a new light. While my game is pretty good at the micro stakes it's always good to throw ideas about. He's a cash player who comes at the game from a different aspect to me but fundamentally the game is still 2 cards in your hand.

I appreciated it.

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I've a free day on Full Tilt tomorrow (Sunday) and I'm $10 richer already. They recently had a Full Tilt v Pokerstars professionals game and the deal was to make a deposit on FT and make predictions on who won the 3 games between the FT and Pokerstars pro's.

I transferred $10 and picked the games which had the least amount of players. Basically I threw darts blindfolded and hit. For predicting all 3 outcomes correct, they matched my $10 and I'm in 3 x $10,000 freerolls tomorrow. Maybe not massive value but they are worth $1 buy in and any donk can get lucky.

Since it's relaunch, Full Tilt have been throwing money away and TBF I've been picking it up. I'm $50 richer and they still keep giving.

Sorry FT/ Pokerstars but keep throwing money in my direction and I'll take it.

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I haven't played much this week but I feel this week has been very productive.

Until next week, good luck at the tables.

If it were easy, everyone would do it.  -- Bonnie Damiano