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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Poker Tracker

Over the weekend, PSO sent me my registration code for Poker Tracker and after playing with it for a bit, I have managed to figure out a few things. There are a couple of things I haven't quite managed to get, but if I post them here, maybe I'll get some answers by all of you out there that are smarter than me (99.9% of the breathing population). I might even bother to check the Poker Tracker Forums however as I can't get there from work, I'm probably going to resort to blog posts and emails.

Things I Have Figured Out

Auto Rating Players- Thanks to the help of Poker Tracker Guide, I have been able to input rules to auto rate players for ring games. I was fully expecting to have myself rated as a fish, or close to it, however was very pleased to see that I'm currently rated as "Neutral Aggressive Solid" which means my V$IP is between 24 and 28 (much closer to 28 than 24 at the moment), my aggression factor is above 1.5 (close to 2.0 I think) and my Went to Showdown % is less than 40. I need to get my V$IP down to below 24 to become a "Good Player". Only problem is that my last "high" percentile category (above 30%) is my .10 NL game where I have clocked in 800 hands. With so many hands played, it's going to take awhile to get that down to below 24.

Using Game Time + - After doing a little bit of reading I decided to give Game Time + a try to see how well it tied in with Poker Tracker and various Poker Sites. It worked really well with Poker Stars (although the windows didn't really line up all that well, but after 25 hands it started auto rating players which was fun to see.

I could not get Game Time + to work with either Ultimate Bet or Absolute Poker, With Absolute Poker I was able to get the program to recognize the correct room I was in, however it would never finish loading. With Ultimate Bet, I wasn't even seeing the room window in the available list. If anyone has gotten this to work with either or these sites, I would love to know what I need to do to get it working.

I have just found the Poker Tracker Guide's section on Poker Tracker External Game Time Window so I might play with that tomorrow morning to see what I can find out. Wish me luck.

**Update - I used the External Game Time Window for a bit yesterday and was rather happy with it. I think I'll be using that feature instead of Game Time +. Now I just need to pick a limit and stick with it for a bit so I can start some useful Data Mining. **

Things I Have Not Been Able to Figure Out

The Usefulness of Tournament Tracking- outside of my issues with Game Time +, the only thing that seems to elude me is the functionality of Poker Tracker's Tournament Feature. Since you can't really rate the tournament players (only the ring players) I'm not quite sure what to make of it. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts on it, please let me know.

Future Plans- Earlier when I was thinking about things Poker Tracker related I had been thinking of converting my current database (Access Based) to s PostgreSQL based mainly because I'm a tech geek and think it would be much cooler to run. That got me to thinking "Why don't I just create a new Poker Tracker Database for just cash games, then create a separate Database to play around with for Tournaments." Currently the only tournaments I have been able to enter into Poker Tracker are ones from Poker Stars, the vast majority of which were all my Play Money Tournies which I don't really want to keep anymore. The only real pain in this plan would be the manual sifting through all of my Hand History Files. I don't think this will be to much of an issue though as I'll have ample time while doing my nightly SNG's to rearrange the files into a Quasi logical folder structure.

A Problem Already- Even though I've only been using Poker Tracker for a few days, I have seen myself doing a few things that may get me into trouble. The first is folding to many hands. There are times when it's ok for the small blind to pitch in an extra partial bet to see a cheap flop, especially with a fair number of limpers and holding a pair of suited connectors. There are two specific hand's I remember laying down simply to help lower my stats, that, had I played like I wanted to, I would have won fair sized pots. I think from now on, I'll only look at the numbers at the end of my sessions as opposed to watching then throughout the table play.

The other problem I have found is that I spend more time playing games that are –EV than my normal game (.5/.10 NL) simply to try to post a profit on a certain level so I can have a pretty green number instead of an ugly red one. Currently the game is .10/.20 Limit over at Absolute Poker (or Poker Stars). I am currently down just $2.00 ($1.30 now after a quick run this morning) which I should be able to in 2 good pots, however I just have not been able to hit it, or at least wasn't able to in the couple of hours I've been trying. In an effort to at least try to tie this in with my November Challenge, I'm going to start logging hours and results. Once I hit positive numbers, I'm planning on going back to my usual .25/.50 Limit game to try to grind out a gradual Bankroll Increase. I have a feeling though that my bankroll won't increase much until my December Challenge which will substitute NL games for Limit Games.

My ultimate goal is to eventually wipe out the current blemish on Poker Tracker. I have currently lost a total of over eighty dollars playing the 1/2 limit game (mostly on Absolute Poker trying to clear my PSO bonus) and hope that someday I'll have the patience and bankroll to bring that back to even.