Holdem Manager 2 (HEM2) is the latest offering from the family of one of the most widely used pieces of poker software in the industry. It builds on the popularity of its predecessor, Holdem Manager, while delivering new features and statistics that increase its value for online poker players.
The feature set in HEM2 has nearly doubled from the previous version and, no matter what your level of sophistication with the poker software is, Holdem Manager 2 is definitely a valuable and indispensable tool that every online poker player should invest in.
In this review, we'll cover the new features of HEM2, review the value of the program for online poker players, and provide a high level introduction to this impressive piece of poker software.
The answer to this question is extremely simple: every single online poker player on the planet. If you've never used a hand history or heads-up display (HUD) program, you are literally years behind the competition. It's time to adapt or die because poker is all about having as much information as possible, which is exactly what Holdem Manager 2 was designed to give you.
Whether you are a cash game or a tournament player, it makes no difference at all. The product's features cater to both types of poker players as standard, so you will get the information you need either way.
There are multiple editions available depending on the stakes and types of poker games you play. For example, for people dipping their toes in the water, there's an evaluation period to try it for free for 30 days. Once that period has passed, a poker player can buy the Small Stakes Hold'em version which will work for No Limit and Limit Hold'em for only $59.99, or you can get the Pro Version (which works at all stakes) for $99.99 while the "Pro Combo 2" runs for $159.99 and unlocks both Hold'em and Omaha support. If you already own Holdem Manager v1, you are entitled to a discounted price off the new edition.
Given that there's a very low barrier to get up and running with Holdem Manager 2, there's really no excuse for a poker player to pass up the software. There are also deals out there where you can get credit that will enable you to get Holdem Manager 2 for free if you sign up for a particular poker room. You can check with the CardsChat.com forum mods to learn more about that.
If you have no clue what a hand history tracking program is, Holdem Manager 2 fits squarely in to the definition. It's a program that reads the hand histories saved on your computer and parses the information within that text file into a local database. The software then reads that database and displays useful information back to you. At the most basic level, this program will keep tabs of your overall profit/loss and give you stats on how you and your opponents are playing. At the same time, this program can display data about you and your opponents overlaid in real-time at a poker table while you play. Players refer to this as a "heads-up display" or HUD for short. This allows poker players to know who is loose, who is tight, who is aggressive, who is passive and literally dozens of more reads instantaneously, updated real-time after every hand.
Very simply put, Holdem Manager 2 will track everything you and your opponents do while playing online poker and provide you with all the information you need to improve your game and exploit your opponents.
For cash game players, HEM2 has a comprehensive set of easy-to-view charts and tons of tools available to give players statistics and results data. Cash game players can know with (literally) two mouse clicks how much they've won and lost at each stake level they play at. With so much to see, cash game players will be able to find and learn whatever they want about their game, as well as their opponents.
At the same time, tournament players are given a wealth of features as well. Holdem Manager 2 also allows tournament players to filter through tournaments to see results and vital information about specific tournaments, or overall data to inform about results, trends and more.
Other high level features include Heat Map reports, which helps players understand which hands are being played. There's also the built-in ability to run multiple graphs so that you can see your All-in EV, rakeback earnings, or run even more complicated queries to generate graphs so that you can find out your win-rate while multi-tabling.
The HUD is fully customizable, and poker players can build their own HUDs and even build multiple HUDs that display only for specific games (for example, an HUD for 6max NHLE, an HUD for Full Ring NLHE, and even a tournament HUD). All the stats within the database can be displayed, but at the same time, HUDs can easily be imported and exported so finding a solid HUD - or even having a friend send you theirs - importing it and using it takes only seconds.
Other important features to know about include detailed player analysis, which is all about utilizing situational filters on opponents to see how they play during specific scenarios, be it position, betting lines or anything else that a poker player could dream up. There's also a killer hand re-player that allows users to replay any hand with HUD stats and hole cards shown. From the re-player you even have the option to export the hand or upload it to your mobile device.
For those of you already using the first version of Holdem Manager, we've simply recapped what you probably already know. But what's new in Holdem Manager 2 that would compel you to upgrade?
The answer is plenty!
First and foremost, there are about a bazillion (admittedly a made-up number, but still it seems pretty accurate) new stats available within the database. The most important of all the new stats now included in HEM2 are the "versus" stats, which means that you'll see how a villain will play specifically against *you* and not just how they play overall. As all players are aware, good regs will adapt their games to other regulars (regs... aka YOU), and seeing their holistic stats can paint a totally different picture when compared to how they specifically play against you when you are in the hand. This information represents a revolutionary step of metadata that solid regs and pros have been craving for years.
In terms of pure wow factor for the everyday poker player, the new iPhone app is a great new feature that lets you take some of the Holdem Manager 2 experience with you wherever you go. Users will have the ability to upload hands directly from HEM2, while being able to filter, review, comment, and share via social media outlets, or even replay them from your iOS device. The HEM2 app is in the Apple App Store for free and simply requires a login and password to use.
Other new features include NoteCaddy, which auto-magically creates very helpful notes about your opponents, which can be accessible via the HUD, as well as seamless integration with popular third-party tools like SNG Wizard, TableNinja, TableScanner, LeakBuster and TiltBreaker.
If you haven't put down the money yet, give Holdem Manager 2 a try with the 30-day free trial and dive right in. Chances are you won't need thirty days to figure out that it's the single most valuable tool an online poker player can use. There's plenty of value to both cash and tournament players alike and many of the new features, if taken advantage of, warrant the discounted price of upgrading to Holdem Manager 2.