What's in Your HUD with tedSTRETCH

Date: 2013-08-22
Author: Jason Glatzer

Brandon Merrill, affectionately known as tedSTRETCH throughout the online poker world, took a few moments out of his day to answer some of our questions about his use of poker software.

Merrill moved to Costa Rica last year to pursue his poker career and has had a very successful go at it. He recently passed $1 million in career online poker tournament cashes and is currently ranked 190th in the world according to PocketFives.

PokerSoftware: What poker-related software are you currently using?

Brandon Merrill: I use Holdem Manager, PokerTracker 4, Stack and Tile, and Table Ninja.

PokerSoftware: It is rare to see anyone running Holdem Manager and PokerTracker at the same time.

Brandon Merrill: I like the pop-ups in HM1 way better than the pop-ups in HM2 or PT4 simply because I don't have to click through post-flop streets. However, HM1 is not working on Full Tilt Poker, so I use PT4 on that site. I run them both simultaneously, but direct the imports to only go to the sites I want.

PokerSoftware: Can you tell us line by line how you have your HM1 HUD set up?

Brandon Merrill: Line 1 – Player Name / # of Big Blinds / # of Hands
Line 2 – VPIP % / PFR % / 3b% / FoldTo3b%
Line 3 – ftcbflop % / flopcbet % / flopccheckraise %

In addition to this, I use the pop-ups for street-by-street and positional statistics.

PokerSoftware: It looks like you put some thought into your HUD. Can you tell us what type of hand sample size you need in order to start relying on the post-flop statistics?

Brandon Merrill: I feel I need at least 100 hands before I can start making good assumptions on post-flop play. Obviously, more hands are a lot better and make the statistics more reliable.

PokerSoftware: Can you let us know how many tables you typically play simultaneously?

Brandon Merrill: During the week, I play on five sites. My average table count is around 12; however, during the peak of the day, I will have up to 30 running. On Sundays, I play fewer tables but across six sites.

PokerSoftware: That is an impressive number of tables. Can you tell us how the use of Stack and Tile helps you manage that many tables across that many sites?

Brandon Merrill: Stack and Tile re-sizes and organizes my tables as soon as they open. It then puts them all in a stack and pops up only tables where action is required or I am in a hand. I was able to add 10 tables easily by just using Stack and Tile versus tiling manually.

PokerSoftware: Is the software difficult to set up? Have you had any problems when running it?

Brandon Merrill: I had to mess around with it for a few hours when I first set it up because of how many sites I was playing. But once it was set up, I haven't had any issues with it at all.

PokerSoftware: What version of Table Ninja are you using and for which poker sites?

Brandon Merrill: I use the first version of Table Ninja for PartyPoker and PokerStars. I will probably upgrade to Table Ninja 2 soon. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

PokerSoftware: Table Ninja II is priced as a subscription service per month, whereas Table Ninja I is a fixed one-time fee. Which model do you prefer?

Brandon Merrill: I personally prefer the one-time fee. It is just much easier to pay one lump sum and then own the software rather than worry about whether I am going to play enough during a month to justify the incremental cost.

You can follow Merrill by adding him to Twitter under the handle @tedSTRETCH.

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