Saturday, 5 March 2011

Software Conglomeration Post

I posted earlier this year that I was planning on doing a bunch of software reviews this year but things have changed and I've decided to write up this conglomeration of my current setup instead.

This stemmed from the fact that I was generally unhappy with my ability to find software out there that does exactly what I wanted it to do without getting something custom written up for me. My biggest issue by far was being able to get rid of bad tables and load up new ones. I wish I was an AHK pro as that would make life a lot easier. Closing tables is quite labor intensive when mass tabling considering that once you sit out next bb on a table it disappears to the bottom of the stack. Stars apparently does not see the logic in adding Sit Out and Close Next BB This Table to their play controls after it's been requested ad nauseum even though they have exactly that function to close all your tables.

I'm also currently trying out Notecaddy and I'm fairly happy with it so far. The biggest thing initially for me was the ability to take "notes" based on actions in a concise way since I basically take zero notes on my own. Up until this point my notes basically consisted of remembering how regs generally play different ranges and feeding off the game dynamic along with stats. I also can't make any sense out of taking notes like most people do by writing up what happened on xyz board with 1/2 PSB when villain was OOP and he turned a back door flush draw. That means nothing to me. Having note caddy quantify the percentage of the time this reg cbet and shutdown or that reg pot controlled a certain hand strength is much more useful to me. This is essentially my custom stat program as HEM does not have the ability to create custom stats like PT3 does. I'm still up in the air about the automatic color coding as I sometimes have to reset my colors in the Stars client and I'm not really completely sure about how I want to classify people - need to do more tweaking in this area since I only have 20% of people falling under an auto-color category.

So back to closing tables... I was obviously using the standard stuff that every grinder out there is using: Table Ninja, HEM, and a table layout manager (SaT in my case). I quite enjoyed the stacking and tiling functionality of Stack and Tile moving tables in and out of the stack based on hands where I vpip. There's also some other nice stuff out there like Placemint and a plethora of useful AHK scripts. But the ability to close specific tables efficiently was just not available.

Along comes Thois with his discontinued Table of Interest and after months and months of everyone pleading with him to sell it to them, he makes it free and unsupported. And guess what! It closes tables where I'm sitting out! Now all I have to do is Table Ninja hotkey sit out next bb target table and ToI closes it for me once that happens solving nearly all of my problems. I grabbed a simple table counter AHK off the forum, modified it to display different background colors based on how many table I have open and now I've got just about everything I need.

The only thing left on my list is something in the HUD that will tell me the quality of the table based on my own rules. Theres a lot of stuff out there that falls just short and right now I'm still relying on the old HEM table vpip/pfr averages and taking a quick look to my right.

The as of now shelved Table Retriever would have been a huge boon to opening/closing and categorizing tables based on user preferences. The beta testing on this software was very exciting in that I could automatically close tables based on number of fish or number of regs or stack sizes (my definitions of each) and their location around the table. Unfortunately it was put on hold indefinitely when Stars made the buyin structure changes and the developer decided that the vast majority of business which was supposed to come from shortstackers using it to rathole rules automatically leaving according to their own stack size and a rathole timer list would be lost. I still see a ton of value in it for automating table and seat selection for the regular grinder.

I tried out Table Scan Turbo which has a small HUD with table information. Very useful in that it has a fish on this table stat as well as a popup displaying a pretty useful table summary with player names, player type symbols and stack sizes. Not quite what I'm looking for though as a table full of bad regs might look bad when it's not. This might be worth another look as I didn't do a ton of customization.

Next I went back to the HEM HUD. Note that you can add the redundant Player Score from the HEM Scanner to the player HUD - I can see someone has a score of 5+ which indicates they're a fish according to my rules, or I could just look at their vpip/pfr which would tell me exactly the same thing. Also note that the HUD displays table vpip/pfr averages. I find it completely illogical that they have not gone ahead and added Table Score alongside table average vpip/pfr. This would actually be the most useful tool out there to gauge table quality according to my specifications. Sure Table Score is visible from the Scanner, but you can't actually close tables from there. That would be another nice feature and combined would make HEM Scanner the nuts.

So overall I'm pretty happy with my current setup and I've seen a marked improvement in my winrate now that I'm regularly table hopping in and out of 3-6 tables every 15 minutes and I feel like I'm 90% of the way towards what would be an optimal mass tabling system for me.

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