Just to clarify, the Poly Count HUD only shows hard-edged polys not triangles (which is generally what is meant by poly count). You can test this with a cube. Create a cube and you'll see the poly count is 6. Triangulate the cube (Polygons > Triangulate) and you'll see the poly count change to 12. Keep this in mind as you're working with more complex models.
You can get accurate counts either by using the Triangle Count HUD from the Bonus Game tools or using this script:
This command will show you the triangle count of the selected object(s) in the command line.
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