How often have you heard about a particular poker player and instantly checked out their Hendon Mob profile to see “how good they really are.” While Hendon Mob is a great tool in checking out a poker player’s background, it is not foolproof.
There are many players that have few to no stats on Hendon Mob but are great players. Also, there are players who are done a disservice by their Hendon Mob because the data either isn’t complete or doesn’t give an accurate overview of their ability.
The next time you go to Hendon Mob, keep the following in mind in order to avoid getting an inaccurate assessment of a player.
Before we begin, it should be noted that this piece is not intended to downgrade or insult the Hendon Mob site or the databases contained there. The site is a great tool and one that poker fans around the world enjoy.
Only “Reported” Results Are Featured
Realize that the results you see on one’s Hendon Mob profile are only those that have been reported by tournament directors or staff. For many smaller casinos or small tournament events, results for live events aren’t even recorded.
If you look at my personal Hendon Mob profile, you would be under the assumption that either I never play NL Hold’em events or that I suck at them. What my results don’t show are multiple final table appearances in smaller tournaments. In fact, my first four live tournament cashes were never reported.
Stats for players that began playing before the Poker Boom are completely skewed for the fact that most casinos didn’t bother to report wins outside of the local casino. There was no reason to.
Results Don’t Factor in Deals
When most casinos report poker tournament results, they only report the “official payouts.” In many cases, they don’t adjust these numbers to reflect deal making. A great example is that of the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl. According to the official results, Rainer Kempe won $5 million and Fedor Holz received $3.5 million.
What those numbers don’t tell you is that the pair cut a deal heads-up, so those numbers aren’t accurate in terms of cash received by the player. Again pointing to my own profile, my profile shows I finished 3rd in a S.H.O.E. Event in 2007 for $1,310. That was not my official payout.
With five players left, we cut a chip count deal and my share of the deal was closer to $2,000 than $1,310. Personally, I didn’t care because I was in that event for just $20, so it was a nice ROI for me.
In many cases, those that win events after cutting a deal are not getting the amount reported on Hendon Mob. In some cases, it may be significantly less.
Results are “Winnings” Only
A common mistake you will hear someone make when referring to a player’s profile is that they are “up” a particular amount in live events. When looking at anyone’s bio, keep in mind that these earnings are just for the times they cashed in an event.
These winnings don’t factor in the numerous times the player busts out short of the money. Let’s say that a person wins $20,000 in a tournament and then busts early in 10 other $1k buy-in events. Are they up $20k on the year? If you go by the bio, some would assume that.
The truth is that there are tons of players with great stats that are flat broke or need their bankroll supplemented in order to play on the circuit regularly. Just because a player has won $1 million in live tournaments doesn’t mean they are flush with cash.
The Player May Have Multiple Bios
Another situation that arises on occasion is a player that has multiple profiles. There are several factors that lead to this. First, a player with a difficult to spell name may be given a nickname and their results are reported with the nickname instead of their proper name. Sometimes the person is known by just their nickname and their results are reported as such.
One guy I used to play with in California is Eulises Sandoval, commonly known as “Taxi” because he used to drive a taxi before becoming a poker grinder. If you look up Eulises Sandoval, you see he has $314k in lifetime earnings. But if you look up Taxi Sandoval, you will find another profile with another $17k in earnings.
Databases are great but they are only as good as the data input and when the data is flawed or skewed by humans, abnormalities occur.
Hendon Mob is Only For Tournaments
Remember that Hendon Mob profiles are only good for poker tournaments. They give zero insight into a player’s cash game ability. Poker fans inaccurately base their opinions on a player based on the numbers shown on Hendon Mob, and this is a disservice to cash game pros.
Lastly, keep in mind that Hendon Mob is just one tool to use in analyzing a poker player’s ability or skill. There are too many factors in poker to assume that straight numbers will paint an accurate picture.
Hendon Mob’s database is an awesome tool used by the majority of poker fans and media but keeping the above points in mind is best when evaluating any poker player.