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Hold'em Manager 2 Review

on 11/9/15 /posted by  admin

What is it? - Hold'em Manager 2 is a poker tracking and analysis software. It records all of the hands we play and keeps track of our results. Whether you are a recreational micro-stakes player or a high-stakes pro, HM2 has all you could need from a HUD. Check out our in-depth Hold'em Manager 2 review.

HM2 Key Features

Reports – There are well over 30 different reports which show our results in varying different ways. Perhaps we want to see our results based on position, the stakes we play, the hole-cards we play, number of tables we play, the hands we make at showdown – HM2 has it all and more.

By far the most popular report is the ability to see our results displayed in graph format. It's also possible to see how much money we have made at showdown and how much we have made when showdown is not reached.
hold'em manager 2 review article
The output of each of these reports can be modified by using the hundreds of available filters. This can help us to probe our game for leaks.
HUD – This is definitely one of the main reasons why tracking software is recommend. A HUD or “heads-up display”, is used to display real time information on our opponents as we play. Perhaps our opponent folds too much to 3bets. This will be clearly visible on our HUD and we can use it to help us find ways to exploit our opponents.


Our HUD is completely configurable and we can use whichever stats we like. Underneath the main HUD there will also be a selection of popups that we can use to include more detailed information on our opponents.
Active Session Window – This was a new feature that was implemented into HM2 as an upgrade from it's predecessor HM1. The active session window is designed to be left open when playing. It shows us the graph of our current session along with a window detailing all of the hands we have played. It's now very easy to keep track of our earnings, session length, and also to quickly open hands in the replayer if we need to review them.

Replayer – Any hands that are tracked by HM2 can be viewed again in the HM2 replayer. Additional information will now be shown, such as the pot odds we get and our equity in the hand. This is a very useful tool for doing hand-history reviews.

Opponents Tab – A big part of playing winning poker is understanding our opponent's tendencies in detail. This is why HM2 has a special section purely for analysing our opponents. We can quickly access the players who are involved in our current session and run “line analysis” on them. This basically means we can filter for the line they have taken and see which hands they have showed up with in the past.



While not officially part of your HM2 purchase, it's worth knowing what is available in the form of add-ons.

Notecaddy – A very powerful software that allows us to take automated notes on our opponents and code custom stats for use on the HM2 HUD.


TableNinja 2 – A collection of scripts that makes playing online poker easier. Especially good for players who play multiple tables.

Leakbuster – An automated analysis software that goes through our database of hands and tells us what our possible leaks are.

Tablescanner – Monitors the tables available in the lobby and helps us to pick the best.

Sit 'n' Go Wizard 2 – An additional analysis power for sit 'n' goes. 

HM2 or Pokertracker4?

Perhaps you are serious about tracking software but are not sure whether you should go for HM2 or the alternative Poker Tracker 4, which is also very strong. Both of the companies have now merged but continue to offer 2 separate products. The two tracking softwares have a lot of differences and to merge them into one piece of software would be doing the poker community an injustice. Some people will prefer PT4, others will prefer HM2. Here is what you need to know.
  • HM2 can be very resource intensive. This basically means that you need a beast of a machine to get HM2 running smoothly – considerably more than the default minimum specification. I was running HM2 on a laptop with 8GB of RAM and a quad-core processor, and it was still suffering from lag spikes until I also upgraded to a SSD (solid-state-drive). An SSD is a highly recommended purchase if you want to get the most out of HM2, especially if you will be working with large databases. If you have a slower machine and can't afford to upgrade, then PT4 is your only real choice, it lags so much less.

  • HM2 is more powerful. The upside to being a huge resource drain is that HM2 simply has more analysis power than PT4. When combined also with a Notecaddy purchase, the difference in what we can do with HM2 and what we can do with PT4 is huge. If we have the machine for it, there is no comparison.

  • HM2 is more expensive. Actually, if you check the sites you will see that HM2 and PT4 have very similar prices, possibly even the same. So why do we say that HM2 is more expensive? This is because PT4 comes with many of the add-ons that you will have to pay for with HM2. For example PT4 comes with “leaktracker” software which is similar to HM2's “leakbuster” which is a separate purchase. PT4 comes with “notetracker” which is similar to HM2's “notecaddy”. So to get HM2 fully kitted out with the extra features we are looking at well over double the initial price. While this stuff comes free with PT4 the analysis power is not as strong. So it really comes down to how much money we are willing to invest. If we want the best bang for our buck then PT4 is the best choice. If we want quality and we are willing to pay extra for it, then HM2 is the best choice.

  • HM2 is a little less technical. - PT4 goes out of its way to be technically correct at the risk of causing it's users problems. The best thing to do is to consider an example. 
Most of us use the “fold-to-3bet-PF” stat on our HUD. HM2 users will happily explain that this involves a situation where someone open raises, faces a three bet and folds. But no, not if you are using PT4. This stat does not specify that it had to be the open raiser who folds! The equivalent stat in PT4 would be “fold-to-3bet-PF-AFTER-2bet”. PT4 are technically right, and HM2 are technically wrong.

But people intuitively understand what HM2 means whereas they intuitively misunderstand what PT4 means. So we get a bunch of people who are using the “Fold-to-3bet-PF” stat in PT4 without realising that it involves ANY situation where someone folds to a 3bet preflop, regardless of whether they were the open-raiser or not. The result is that it appears as if everyone is folding 80%+ to 3bets which can cause us to spew a ton of money preflop before we realise what the stat really means.

HM2 will happily tells us what our cold-call in the blinds is, while PT4 says its impossible to “cold call” in the blinds since we have already invested in the blinds.

HM2 will happily tell us what our Squeeze IP frequency is while PT4 refuses, saying there are situations where we are OOP against one player and IP against another.

In each of these examples PT4 is technically correct, but many might argue that HM2 is a little more intuitive and easy to use.


The Good: Excellent analysis power, the best on the market.

The Bad: Needs a very powerful computer and can be expensive when taking into consideration all of the add-ons.

You can purchase HM2 here on their site for the following prices
  • Small Stakes Version - $59.99
  • Hold'em Manager 2 Pro - $99.99
  • Pro Combo 2 - Hold'em + Omaha - $159.99
And PokerTracker4 is available here for the following prices
  • Hold'em Pokertracker - $99
  • Omaha Pokertracker - $99
  • Hold'em + Omaha Pokertracker Combo - $159.99

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