Secondary labeling is used to recognize specific post-flop tendencies that are important to identify rapidly during the course of play. I use the auto-rate symbols available in the HUD as shown above.
Setting Up The Autorate Symbols
If your poker tracking software allows for automatic auto-rating, define each symbol as follows:
1. Phone: Check-calls flop c-bets greater than 40% of the time.
2. Tornado: Check-raises flop c-bets greater than 25% of the time and check-folds to c-bets less than 60% of the time.
3. Mouse: Check-folds to flop c-bets greater than 60% of the time and check-raises less than 25% of the time.
If your software does not allow for auto-rating, you can assign them yourself. It is pretty easy to rate a player based on his or her stats once they begin to normalize.
Using The Auto-Rate Labels
My philosophy on auto-rating symbols is that they are best used to denote specific player tendencies that affect how you should adjust to them with the greatest frequency. Since my method has you almost always playing in position with initiative, you will want to know how players react to you on the flop as quickly as possible so that you can adjust.
The three symbols I have chosen each specify the three common tendencies players have when reacting to c-bets. Some play fit or fold and only continue when they hit the board very well. Others play back at you in one way or another by either floating and seeing what you do on the turn and/or river, or by using an aggressive check-raising strategy to exploit frequent c-bettors. I will detail adjusting to various player types in the next chapter.