Pinned Become a winning player at online poker - Part IV - Tools

    • Become a winning player at online poker - Part IV - Tools

      [Die deutsche Version gibt's >HIER< ]

      Online poker and live poker have their major difference of course that you are able to just go to your computer, start your poker-software and are ready to play. The really big difference to live poker is that you have tools und applications available to you at your computer, that are unique to it. In live poker it is already very difficult to precisely record your played hands, to analyze them later on. That is completely different with online poker. Everything is available on your computer, based on protocols of you played hands, so called hand-histories, we are enabled to let loose an avalanche of analys tools and programs, that helps us spot our mistakes, to learn from them and to improve on them during review. But we are also able to let programs manage certain tasks while playing that helps with letting some tasks become redudant.
      Following I will try to provide a rough categorization, at this point in time of this guide, of the different tools available to us either costfree or to buy. Certain parameters are inclined to change a lot, so things like features, pricing and other factors will keep this guide from being accurate over the years. So I will try to refrain from being to precise and instead just try to appoint a guideline of what a tool does and how it is used and give an estimation of when it might be plus EV to buy a software.


      • Tracker-software with HUD-support
        First there are programs, that specialize to provide statistical information based on our played hands via hand-histories and to display them as parameters to be analyzed. These tools are called tracking-software or trackers, they are exceeding in their complexity the task of "tracking", the storing and capturing of played hands, on a big scale. Modern tracking software allows analysation and filtering-methods, that allow us for the poker-hands that are stored in our database to look for certain situations and statistics to gather information and display it in a useable way. Not only do we own a very potent tool for review, these tools also offer real-time informational support at the tables via HUD display. In this case by providing boxes of statistical figures about our opponents based on their played hands in our database, that help us to make the best decision given the situation at hand.A tracking software is part of the basic setup for every online poker player. Later on in this guide I will present the current market leading tracking programs at the time of the creation of this guide.
      • Analyzation-software
        Next to trackers that support us while playing via HUD and in review, which are an absolute requirement to become competitive today, there is also software that specializes either on playing at the tables, or the off-the-tables work. This includes from analyzation-tools like equity calculators to complex solver-software, that allow after given input data and parameters to solve for an optimal model according to those inputs and parameters. In general the market for analyzation-tools has grown a lot in recent years. Like other technical fields, where the quality of tools and software is rapidly increasing, more and more useful tools become established and some of them are blowing the older ones clean out of the water. This is why this section will be incredibly hard to maintain to present standards and is object to a lot of changes as it ages after its creation for this guide. It is only a question of time when a new generation of better and faster analyzation software will hit the market. If you read this guide a few years after publication, this will be one of the part that will have aged the worsed in this guide in terms of being modern.
      • Auxiliary tools and graphical modifications
        Depending to the poker site of choice, there are countless programs and software oppertunities available to make playing tables more easy and efficient. This includes hotkey-tools, that save on clicks and mouse-miles and in a way uniformly make the mechanical part of play needing less effort and making it more comfortable, to visual graphic-changes of the table view, that offer to the player compared to the standard table view a more focussed view on the important and essential parts of the GUI(graphical user interface) while dimming or removing unnessary graphical content to the background of perception. To add to this there is also software that helps us manage the tables we are playing by changing and improving their layout on our screens.In general these tools are all aiding our efforts to play more tables in a certain way, what we call multi-tabling. These tools are trying to limit the players need to multi-task to a less effort requiring state, so the player can focus on actually playing instead of spending time and effort on mechanical tasks, that these tools can make redundant by taking them over.
      • Table-selection-software und session-aids
        A hybrid between analysis and aid while playing, next to the already presented tracker programs, are the so called table scanning software and seating scripts. Both these program variants function on using your tracker's database of hands to more or less automatically filter the avaiable tables on the poker site for possible oppertunities to play. I mention these tools completely free in terms of morals just for the completeness of this guide. These tools do their task more or less automated after the preferences of the user and spark a lot of discussion and controvery about their fairness and their roll in the ecology of a poker site. For this reason, poker site companies target and go after these tools more and more aggressively.

      The cat and mouse game between third-party-development and poker-sites

      All of this has created a jungle of allowed and prohibited third-party-software. In regards to the heavily automated table-selection-software there is a lot of criticism about the so called data-mining. Data-mining describes the accquisition of hands not played by the buyer and their use for analyzation of opponents involved in those hands. Data-mining on your own with the help of oberserver-mining-clients(tools that run in the background of your pc constantly oberserving tables on a pokersite and creating handhistories) is prohibited on some sites, while others not even enforce the buying of data-mined hands, making this issue also a site-to-site differently handled topic. Some sites even go so far not providing players with hand-histories until a certain amount of time has past and let the player only access them after play at the tables has ended, just to eliminate certain third-party-software live-tracking options and of course data-mining.
      It is completely besides the point to offer a precise view of the individual situation, because it is so dynamically changing, pretty much everything I write could be item to change in a couple of weeks or monthes down the road. I refrain from doing that to myself and you and just keep in mind that you have to inform yourself constantly and keep "up to date" with the regulation of third-party-tools and data-mining for your site of play.

      Following up I will go into detail about the above mentioned categories of poker tools, present the after my view in the moment most relevant programs and software and when they deem or start to become useful in the player's development. It can be that the climate of poker sites to certain tools I propose take a turn, so that I propose tools that might be barred from use in the future. That is a thing that has to be accepted. My propostions should be taken under the discretion of time and thus should either be used close in relation to the creation of this guide, or as a general introduction to poker tools further down the line.

      Online poker and the relation to its software is still in its early phases and in constant flux. It is immensely important for the player to be on top of the development. See it like being a formula 1 team that always faces changes and twists to regulation and rules and also innovations. The cars are on some level always identical, they always have four wheels, a rear-propulsion and drive on a circuit. We get two holdcards, see a flop, a turn and a river card. That will remain untouched too.
      On a different level everything changes, no car is the same over the seasons. Sometimes there are big innovations, sometimes you get slowed down by regulation and ruleset changes. It is the same with third-party-software for online poker.

      I like this comparison a lot since like a formula 1 team, we as players are at the mercy of the poker sites, the development of third-party-software and the cat and mouse game that takes place between innovation and regulation. Nobody wants to design a car with the tools of previous decades, also with a lot fondly remember and missing the powerful bolids of the 70's and 80's, maybe the most powerful cars in formula 1 history. There are also players out there who miss certain powerful third-party-software that has been barred for use.
    • Trackers

      Some years ago there were still several competing tracker programs with HUD-support available. In the meantime the market has been very much consolidated. There is only one main supplier left, that offers two unique tracker programs for sale.

      HoldemManager2 and PokerTracker4 are the current available tracker programs, both development teams now work for the business behind the HoldemManager brand.

      HoldemManager2 is the currently developed product, the work on its predecessor HoldemManager have ben seized except minor maintenance tasks. The firm behind HoldemManager also bought the company behind their main competitor PokerTracker and are now offering their current released developed project and flagship PokerTracker4 next to their own product for sale. Two different programs, different development behind them, but so to say produced under the same company roofing.

      The two programs mainly differentiate in their presentation and possible modifications. While PokerTracker4 appeals to some in terms of stability and performance, others liking its user guidance system, HoldemManager2 for other trumps the comparison through better optics and graphics and more intuitive workflow. Adding to that both programs offer different ways to expand the software with addons and modules for additional functionality.
      There is NoteCaddy, which offers extended HUD-support and automatic note-taking, there is also newly added a possibility to check your played hands via a purchaseable module with PokerSnowie's database and much more. All those additions to the basic programs cost quite a fair bit of money.

      Really needed as a beginner is only the basic model of one of those two software. The development is also cutting a deal targetted for micro-stakes player offering a stake-limited version for HoldemManager2, that can be used up to NL50. There is also the possibility to expand HoldemManager2 for a price to offer unrestricted stake access and you can also expand it for pot-limit omaha support, also with a stake limitation for micro-stake players.

      I could use my year long experience with both tools and their predecessors in order to compare them from a subjective standpoint on what program I prefer. That is the point. It would be a completely subjective view regarding my needs and how I wish my tracker to be tailored towards my personal use. That could be completely different for any other player. I propose before you buy any one of them, to make extensive use of the 30 day trial period that is offered for both programs. That way you can test for 60 days and pretty much have a free tracker for that period. At the end of both trial periods you surely will have a much better solidified opinion from your experience on what program you want to buy and use.

      Ich könnte nun meine jahrelange Erfahrung mit beiden Tools und ihren Vorgängern hier vergleichen und ein subjektives Urteil fällen welches Programm mir mehr zusagt. Das ist aber gerade der Punkt. Es wäre eine subjektive Sicht der Dinge, auf meine Bedürfnisse zugeschnitten. Eure können da ganz anders sein. Ich schlage euch daher vor bevor ihr eines der beiden Programme erwerbt sie einfach jeweils 30 Tage zu testen. Das ist bei beiden möglich und ihr solltet dies nutzen. Zum einen habt ihr so zusagend 60 Tage einen kostenlosen Tracker, zum anderen könnt ihr euch dann am Ende sicher darüber sein welches Tool euch besser gefallen hat.

      If you decide to buy, like everything in poker you always have the added value of using an affiliate making your purchase for extra value. Pokermarket is offering a reward, if you buy a tracker program through them. You find the deal offers for both programs here:

      Information and download of the programs can be found here:

      HoldemManager: Info & Download

      Pokertracker: Info & Download

      If you play at Pokerstars and you have little to no money you want to spend there is a Pokerstars limited alternative. This is in classic sense no tracker, but simply a rudimentary HUD that stores your played hands in a cloud service. It is called Jivaro.
      It is available costfree as a less feature heavy application and offers a monthly subscription based model for the full use which costs $5.99 currently.
      I personally think the costfree version pretty much has no use, be informed that even the subscription version only offers a rudimentary HUD that in no way can compete with a full tracker. I just mention it for completeness of this guide at the current time.
      For a person not willing to spend $99 for a fully functional tracker with HUD, this is a short-term cheap alternative if you want to have a HUD. It is not really fair to compare Jivaro to a full fletched tracking system, the HUD certainly does its job on Pokerstars and is maintained regularly.


      For some pages like for example the bodog/bovada-network you can't use the normal tracker programs while playing due to the restriction they have in place to make hand-histories only available after a certain time. To compensate they offer complete holdcards for the hand, so even if there was a hand not involved in a showdown you will see it later on when the handhistory is available. Something even advanced players might not have known.

      Here is an alternative to live-tracking programs via hand-history, named HoldemIndicator:
      The software allows the display of a rudimentary HUD without having to rely on hand-histories, as the necessary information are gathered from screen-capturing-methods.

      Another alternative for the same network is:

      Analyzation tools

      While it is easy and efficient for a beginner to learn fast and play profitable to own and use a tracker, you should slow down with purchasing additional analyzational tools at this step of your development. You can drop a couple of hundred dollars or euro easily for programs, that are while nice to have certainly not yet efficiently used pending the beginner's advancements in learning. A lot of tools monetize via a subscription system and either only offer long-term-subscription and much more rarely lifetime-licenses, so they are only getting attractive for efficient learning if they are used to their potential and are well integrated into the player's workflow.

      That is why I start with presenting costfree tools, that a beginner should take advantage of.

      • Range vs range capeable equity-calculators: Equilab, Pokerstove, ProPokerTools,
        Even as a new player or beginner we start to engage with equity and the EV of our hands on a bigger scale. These tools offer us calculation of Allin-Equity for two or more competing ranges. For a beginner they are detrimental in the early learning process, be it to check an Allin-Call for correctness, or to get a feel for equity-situation hand vs hand, hand vs range or even range vs range. There is a lot to lern and to experiment for a beginner until you start to see and feel equity comparisons. Even today there are regularly spots arising where I am not sure about my equity and use these or the advanced version of these tools. They stay with a player all the way to the high-stakes.
      • PokerSnowie Preflop Advisor
        This app, useable on your mobil phone or desktop pc, does nothing more or less to display certain ranges developed by the Snowie-AI for certain preflop situations. PokerSnowie is an artificial intelligence that has played billion of hands against itself or multiple versions of itself, going through all possible strategies and maximizing the EV for each hand played. So the ranges provided can be used as a vacuum guideline, meaning a game theoretically sound approach if no additional player information is available and we suggest our opponent/s is also playing "in a vacuum" due to the lack of information. You can also take these ranges to compare them with your own calculated preflop ranges, or ranges you took from another source like a book/video/website and compare them and try to evaluate what you came up with. Keep in mind that PokerSnowie only offers raise sizes of 0.5 and 1.0 potszie bets. For preflop openraising this means 2.25 and 3.5BB respectively for every position outside the blinds in a game with only one SB and one BB as deadmoney, so no straddles or antes. For a beginner these ranges are especially useful to have a starting point that makes sense from a game-theoretical approach, which a beginner of course lacks the knowledge to completely grasp and understand in order to come up with their own solid preflop ranges.Disclaimer: Important to mention is that the app at this stage is still using the ranges calculated by the AI in 2014, meaning they are not the actual ranges and are lacking a lot of iterations and improvements on the strategic changes. These results in the app result ranges deviating more or less strongly from the ranges you get in the PokerSnowie client I mention later in the guide, that is up to date with the database the AI continiously expands and evaluates. On top the app only offers a limited array of preflop scenarios.
      • Handconverters:,,, BoomPlayer
        Evaluating hand-histories and exchange about them is a foundation of learn-control. Pokermarket is offering a possibility for that here. With the above linked hand-converters you can costfree convert your hands to post them in forums or link them in a nice graphical editing for easy read and informational comprehension to other players on other mediums of communication.
      • Communication and presentation software: Skype, Teamviewer, GoogleHangouts
        Ability of being watched over the shoulder while mutually working on materials or session review? These costfree tools enable you to visual and acoustic exchange with other persons. They are used for coaching and "sweat sessions" (A player oberserves and commentates on the play of another one while the other is playing). Skype has been established as the major communication-medium between poker players. Basically every player interested in exchange with others can be found there.Teamviewer offers additional options when sharing your screen like in Skype, you have more control over what the viewing persons can do from pointing or even managing the presentation, it also offers the capability of remote-acessing a computer which for example I use when my parents at their house experience computer related problems. I just need a password and the tool running on their system and can join on the machine to check things out myself. As long as Teamviewer is used in a private setting it is cost free.
    • Now I will introduce more advanced analytical programs, that should cross your path when you are starting to move towards NL50 respectively NL100. This tools cost money, some a lot of money. Meanwhile they are not to be missed from the analytical process after reaching a certain stake level. As soon as you want to dive deeper into range construction there is no way past these tools.

      • Range analytical tools: PowerEquilab, PokerRanger, FlopZilla, Combonator
        There are more of those on the market. From pricing and distributional standpoints they are though compareable. It is like with tracking software, every program offers subjectively better perceived reasons for accquisition that can only be discovered by testing them yourself. All tools mentioned offer the usual 21 to 30 day trial period with more or less restricted access to its features and functionality. The reason for the existence of these tools is to assess and evaluate ranges in terms of board textures and following community cards, or in comparison of their handcombination distribution, they offer complete range versus range equity-analysis given board textures and board development with statistical and visualized results.This offers especially postflop the ability to plan on betting and calling ranges and in general for postflop range construction. The tools differentiate more or less, from my knowledge PowerEquilab is the only tool that currently supports the comparison of multiple ranges with full functionality. PokerRanger is used very often, the developer @eisflamme is partnered with pokermarket and you can contact him here for direct support and information: The intuitive Poker Range Tool - PokerRanger (official thread)
      • Range EV analytical tool: CardrunnersEV
        In opposite to the range equity anaytical tools CardrunnersEV, as the name clearly states, deals with EV calculation for ranges. This tools offers a strong performing calculation system for user modelled decision branches and trees. The user is creating a model with decision knots that they program calculates for frequencies, expected value and also equity. Multiple analytical options and an extremely fine detail modable system lead to be especially crisp and target-oriented while working with the tool, else you spend countless hours with the modelling of large decision trees. It is definitly a tool that companions us all the way to the high stakes and with its potency is a challenge even for highly experienced players. The usage makes sense from NL50 upwards, when you start to analyze certain spots on a deeper level.
      • Vacuum game theory: PokerSnowie
        PokerSnowie offers the possibility to work on vacuum situations with the PokerSnowie database, that was created by a KI playing billions of hands against itself and optimizing its strategy, to increase your understanding of game-theoretical basics. PokerSnowie enables you to create scenarios against a chosen amount of Snowie-villains, that play a strategy optimized for play against other Snowie opponents. This leads to analysis, that helps you developing more optimal vaccum strategy for frequences, betsizes and range construction. You can also let your own played hands be evaluated by the KI in terms of correct vacuum decisions based on the PokerSnowie database, or you can challenge a random amount of PokerSnowie opponents in a toy game(a simulated poker match) and analyze those played hands after the session regarding making the correct vacuum decisions according to the database.Lots of players use PokerSnowie especially to work on their preflop game or have a mutual basis to work on postflop ranges with other players. PokerSnowie is offering a subscription model that caters to different stake level players with different access to features in three pricing options. Some are monthly based subscriptions, the highest level of access is only available on a yearly subscription at this moment. As usual PokerSnowie offers a costfree trial period with a restricted access to its features.
      • Equilibrium solver: SimplePostflop, pioSolver, GTORangeBuilder
        How should I explain to a beginner what an equilibrium solver is? Let me try. First let us start with equilibrium. What is that? If you believe wikipedia "the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced." Ok?! Let us just acknowledge that, it sounds like balance, this overused word in poker. Somewhere around the corner I expect GTO to be hiding too!Roughly said, a solver solves. That is sophisticated lingo for finding the solution. An equilibrium solver finds the solution to the user delivered problem that balances all given factors and parameters as result. It is a machine which goal it is to find for the input problem, a solution that offers an equilibric state for both input ranges. This is a rough and pretty vague explanation of what a solver does.Sadly there is to the time of this guide only german content that explains well how a solver work and how it is efficiently used for those readers interested. Maybe this has changed in the mean time. Check out the video section to search for solver related content.Currently there are three major solver projects competing on the market. All have their distinguishing features, performance, graphical user interface and how the support and development is set up are all factors that subjectively make you like a tool less or more. Every player has other qualities and features he looks for in these programs. There are costfree versions that allow to solve for turn and river scenarios, while using flop or even preflop solving requires either a payed subscription with different cost to feature ratios, or a lifetime license model with partial access to feature in regards to the cost of the license. Either way the lifetime licenses are really expensive and a hard hit for the bankroll even at NL50. Smartly used they will become cost efficient within weeks given you play on certain stake level.SimplePostflop is partnered with pokermarket and offers better pricing and support here: EN - Simple Postflop & other Solvers

      Now as a beginner you are pretty much obliterated with all that is rolling towards you in terms of tools. Relax. There are reasons why you start out on limits, where your opponents either never heard of these tools and aids, or can like yourself not really afford to buy them at this stage of their bankroll. I just did not want to leave you in the dark of what becomes a requirement later on in your development as an online poker player, if you want to be one of the big winners. Meanwhile you are playing poker, a player that is only spending time on solver simulations and never takes knowledge to the praxis, will end up winning a lot less. Many roads lead towards rome, respectively the mid stakes.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by wafflecrunch ().

    • Auxiliary tools and graphical modifications

      It would be impossible to mention everything, that is offered as applicational aid on different poker sites, that helps with the mechanical aspect of playing at the tables. It begins with simple AutoHotkey-scripts, to complete hotkey tools, changing of the display of tables, button, chips and stacksizes. I will mention common tools, but be aware that there is much more to get out there. In the end you will have to decide what you really need in order to play with maximum efficiency at your site and look out targetting tools that offer that up to you. For one player it is enough to simplify the actions at the table, the other needs a better table-display modification and even a table-management tool that arranges the display of tables according to action or the users preference.
      I will try to present the popular programs for each sub category and "mods".

      • Hotkey-scripts and programs with table management capabilities: TableNinja2, StarsHelper, AutoHotKey-Skripte, TableDroid, StackAndTile, PartyTools, MergeKeys, TableTamer, SessionLord, TableOptimizer, PartyEZCash, MOSAICEasyOnTables
        All these tools offer hotkey support and in addition to that expanded functionality even up to table management or even table scanning(live table analyzation to support table selection processes) on certain or multiple different sites. You see the transistions between simple hotkey tools and really extensive programs with table-management support are pretty blurry and in flux. This is the reason some tools get mentioned twice or more in different sub categories according to their features. The above mentioned programs are just a partial representation of what is out there currently. It should present a starting point of the selective process for comparison. Part of those tools are even costfree, partially they are stake-dependent subscription model, some offer lifetime licenses. The prices mostly offer a reasonable cost to an NL10 player, with some tools not really able to be competitive with others in terms of cost versus features offered. It really rewards to compare here. You should pay attention on how often a tool is maintained and updated for changes to the client version of poker sites. There is not much more frustrating to be used to a tool just to have it be unusable for weeks due to the update process.
      • Table modifications for table display, cards, buttons and stacksizes:,,MergeMods, PokerGraphics, TiltBuster
        If you want to let your poker client appear in a different layout, there often starts a time and frustration intensive search and tinkering. You have the choise of "do it yourself" on the basis of costfree ressources, or you save time and trouble on work and buy a graphical package. Both has its merits and disadvantages. In the big poker communities there are a lot of players that proudly share their client modifcation with others costfree to download, all good and well until the poker site makes an update that destroys your custom layout. If you bought a layout from a professional site, that offers decent support and maintenance, the cost of the product might be well worth the reduced frustration and time. Sadly you could fall into the same pit as in the table-management section in regards to some developers having the update speed of a snail and you are committed to them.On 2p2 there is graphical content offered for free pretty much for every site and network out there you will find a thread you can click and browse to see if you like something: is for your own discretion, some hobby tinkerer produces some topsy-turfy product instead of a smooth graphical package. You pay your apprentice due, or you take a bit of the sour apple that is paying for a commercial solution from your bankroll, or you even stay away from this at all and work with the standard client the software offers to you. Your thing! Same goes for the table management section above!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by wafflecrunch ().

    • Table selection programs and session helpers

      Similar to hotkey and table management programs these tool are designed to help us with certain tasks, to keep our awareness while playing on the actual thought process, or on observing the tables for information. These programs take over analytical tasks that would cost too much of our attention capability, or that make decisions for us, when we hit certain parameters that imply we are no longer able to play to our best level of poker play. It can also be programs, that shut us out from using stuff that diverts our attention from playing or that restrict access to such things for a certain interval of time, or that limit the time a certain program can remain opened in order to improve our productivity and keep our daily todos.

      • Table selection programs: TableScanTurbo, TableScanner-Applikationen in HoldemManager und PokerTracker, PartyTools
        I have to say that I only offer a limited selection, because I don't trust the heuristics these tools use, meaning how they decide if a seat at a table is the right choice at the moment, enough for my comfort. Just when you have very limited information, these tools tend to overlook proper oppertunities, if they are not configured precise enough and if they are not configured tight enough you get flooded with bad oppertunities you would not have seat selected yourself if you would have done the task yourself. The disadvantage of completely doing the table selection process yourself is obvious, you have less focus on the play at the tables and what is happening especially for hands that you are not involved in. Here you must decide yourself if the usage of such a tool has merit for you and increases your productivity and quality of play.The tools are pretty much working the same, they scan the poker site for tables and compare them with our hand database to spot seat or table oppertunities according to set parameters and if those criterions are met, the tool reserves a seat or a waitlist spot, while keeping you at a maximum limit of played and waited on tables at your own discretion and choice, so you do not have to deal with playing too much tables to your liking.PartyTools is the only mentioned tool that is costfree from this selection. So you must question your benefit of accquiring a tool that justifies the cost.
      • Seating scripts
        The difference between so called seating scripts and table scanners is that a seating script is trying to get to the best places the fastest for the user. It appraoches the contest about the best seat on the weakest opponents with a different pace heuristically, the so called bum hunting(the search and exclusive play against the strategically weakest competition). The premisses is on getting one up on the competing software in terms of speed and charge a high price for that. Seating scripts are the spearhead of avoiding inefficient scenarios and with that also keep the user from participation in the coming up of fresh tables and games. You act more like a hunter, that lets others do the dirty job of creating a good situation around the pray and then swoop in ice cold for the spoils without any regards to the other players effort in creating this oppertunity by playing in a less lucrative situation to attract weaker parties to the game. Morally these tools are highly controversial and in the crosshairs of most poker sites, that of course want to have the maximum of possible tables run and active at any given time. I refrain from leaving any links to currently purchasable scripts. If you decide to accquire such a script, you have start and conclude the search yourselves.
      • Session control applications and tools to improve productivity and focus: Tiltbreaker, StayFocusd for Chrome,SelfControl for OSX, RescueTime, AntiSocial,FocusMe, FocusAtWill
        While TiltBreaker has explicit poker relation, it is a program that helps you with setting and enforcing a stop-loss(maximum of tolerable lost for given timeframe) that unconditionally gets you out of your session if predefined threshold parameters are reached and broken; the other linked applications and programs only oppertunities to enhance productivity and quality of work. It spans from browser extentions that for given time intervals, or while certain programs are running restrict access to attention diverting websites, to tasks and time tracking programs and programs that help you improve your focus and attention span time. It is pretty difficult to say after which guidelines you are approaching tasks in your life, meaning how organized you are. One person feels controlled by these tools and doesn't appreciate this loss of self control by external sources in their workflow, others these tools help immensely to stay on track. It is on you if you consider getting helped by these programs. They are effectively aiding tools for your mindset. We know how important mindset is as a poker player. To invest here is not wrong, but only if you are concious about why you do it.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by wafflecrunch ().

    • Gaging the right moment for accquiring a tool

      It is not about who ownes the most tools and uses them. Neither it is about having a disadvantage from not having tools. It is all about what efficiently increases our progression and development, how we accumulate more knowledge, more experience. Programs are tools. They don't reflect on how successful you will be. Only if you already have the knowledge to use a tool efficiently and conciously to your advantage to leap ahead in skill and knowledge, the investment of time and money will be worth it.
      Theoretically you don't need anything to start of, not a tracker, not an equity-calculator, you can start doing everything by hand. But when you start to forage through your played hands you will realize pretty fast how much work and annoying tasks a tracker and a costfree equity calculator are doing for you, or even a simple pot odds calculator. What is important is that you understand what these programs do, so sit down when you accquire them and engage with them intensively. Read tutorials and watch training-videos explaining the functionalities and how to operate and use the tools. Only this way you will have a firm grasp on comprehending the results and apply them according to your concepts. That is how you sharpen your tools, to work with them goal orientated and efficiently.

      After this initial period of getting around the basics of poker and how to use those beginner tools, when you are ready to take the next step and want to focus more on range construction and the game theoretical basics. Then it is time again to invest into tools that help with that, bringing work effort relief and time saving possibilities with them. But again, only invest when you know what tools you would need and understand what they are for and what they do. Else you are buying on impulse and invest money you probably will not be able to recover from proper usage of the accquisition.

      Further down the road you might be ready to want a much deeper analysis of spots and scenarios and see that also here there are tools that would help you out with that. It is time to think about tools like CardrunnersEV or solvers.

      Do not make the mistake to invest too early or too late in your progression into certain programs. Avoid impulse buys, evaluate thoroughly what the program brings to the table in terms of benifits and if you can afford the pricing.
    • A few closing sentiments

      We are now at the end of my beginner's guide to people, who want to make it in online poker. I am 100% certain that I lost a lot of beginners between the specific parts. For once because they thought, what is he writing this much, or what he writes is not contributing anything to me, or because they simply "could not be bothered" to invest this much time in a poker forum to read the oppinions and tips from a random poker player, they know nothing else about but the fact that he tends to write long postings on a poker forum.

      I for myself am pretty sceptical too about beginners being ready to invest so much reading time into a guide, that for parts with complete futility tries to cover the whole thing and rarely gets down to the concrete stuff and does not offer a strict learning plan.
      In my guide there is no hand range, no exercise, no really specific strategic concept but only clues where to learn about them. But is not empty. I wanted to create a guide that does not exist in the way it was composed, because nobody has sepnd the time yet, to approach informing a beginner about the topic of online poker. I wanted to emphasize different aspects, because most guides just exist around teaching the play itself or about the learning process and are ignoring beating around the bush to cover stuff that a beginner would then have to research themselves.
      Guides on how to play a specific hand, how to analyze a hand, are a dime and a dozen out there. Why should I try to create another one?

      Fact is that a lot of successful people never followed a completely fixed learning plan. They though always had the willingness to invest the required time to reach the top of their craft or profession and kept an open mind about everything related to their field of expertise. If you remember the specific chapters of this guide, I showed you a general process to efficient learning. But I never gave you anything on a silver platter. For me this is the correct way to introduce and familiarize a novice to a new activity field and let the novice decide themselves, if they want to continue persueing it. I sketch out a way and what to bring, but how you walk and what route you take is completely on yourself.

      So even if this guide leaves you behind with unanswered questions and overextended mentally, do not be deterred of investing time to read on the matter, irrelevant what person is writing about poker. There is always something to be learned. Everywhere could stand the answer of a question, the affirmation of an answer, or new interesting questions. Let yourself get inspired and follow your path with interest and fun. Be never satiated and pleased with the knowledge you possess!

      Your path to success might be completely different and by bringing so much from the "off the tables" aspects of online poker to your recognition, you might be able to much better engage with the following question:

      Do you really want to become a winner at online poker and are ready for it?

      Enjoy finding the answer to this very important question. :)

      I want to thank all of you for your questions and criticism that reached me. I want to say thanks that you even read this guide to this point. It validades the work I put into it and it delights me personally if I could help you. A special thanks to pokermarket and especially @mukzr for the layout and graphical support.

      I am reliefed to have finished this project, but also am proud to be able to give something back to upcoming poker players. Because I was a beginner too and without the support and help from other players I would not be where I am today. In times where online poker is not experiencing its peak period anymore, it is no more taken for granted because a lot of players are anxious about distributing their knowledge, for what they had to work themselves long and hard. I think this view is very shortsighted, because for me I believe in the following quote:

      "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." - Tom Notke

      Someone who stops sharing and helping out of anxiousness to no longer have enough for themselves, is only anxious about becoming hungry again and having to work hard once more. You can think about that, not only being poker specific but as a general approach to learning and teaching.

      If someone wants to donate as a thank you, have a look and inform yourselves about this poker-initiative:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by wafflecrunch ().