Poker Copilot 1.2 Released

Poker Copilot 1.2 is now released. The biggest new feature is support for PokerStars players and their hand histories.

Some other new features:

  • the HUD is more intelligent in choosing which players to show
  • a new Recent Hands screen which shows the last 25 hands you played
  • “aggression factor” in player stats

You can download the new version here.

Beta Testing Closed

I hereby officially declare the beta testing for Poker Copilot v1.2 closed.

New Screen Added: "Recent Hands"

I often want to see the hands I won or lost in the last 15 minutes or so. The online poker sites supported by Poker Copilot have excellent hand replayers, but they are too interactive for what I had in mind. I had the idea of an ever updating list showing at a glance how I fared.

On Sunday afternoon I coded it, in time for the beta release of v 1.2. Here’s a screenshot:

(The screenshot suggests that I won $2,085 in my most recent hand.
It was only tournament chips, although I did win the tournament and $4.50.)

It’s quickly become one of my favourite parts of Poker Copilot. Judging by the feedback I’m getting there’s others who find it helpful too. It’s also a great tool for finding bugs in the hand history parser.

It was much easier to code than I expected. I discovered that there are unicode characters – supported by Java – for the four suits, saving me from having to find or create suitable images. Java text labels (Swing’s JLabel) support HTML, so I use HTML to colour the cards. A monospace font gives me the alignment. The description of the hands – “Nines and Treys”, for example – are generated by Moritz Hammer’s outstanding open source poker hand evaluator. Moritz’s software is excellent in more ways than I can describe.

Everything else I needed – the iTunes-like table rendering, the statistics gathering – was already in the Poker Copilot codebase. I simply had to stitch the various pieces together.

Is "Get Satisfaction" Worthwhile?

The problem: I’m maintaining a list of requested features for Poker Copilot. These mostly come in through e-mail or discussion forums. It’s getting unwieldy and I’m running multiple e-mail conversations and forum threads discussing these features. People are requesting things others have already requested. The same bugs are reported multiple times. I’d like the list of requested features and bug reports to be public. I’d like this to be as painless as possible, for myself, and especially for my customers.

The solution (maybe?): Get Satisfaction. I’ve been considering this site for customer support. Before I take the plunge, would anybody like to offer strong opinions for or against using this service?

Poker Copilot 1.2 Beta updated

I’ve just updated the Poker Copilot 1.2 beta version available here. Things I’ve fixed:

  • split pots in PokerStars are now correctly handled.
  • the HUD now correctly works when playing 2 or more tables at once.

Feedback, as always, welcome.

A Very Excellent Beta Testing Phase

It seems I’ve found the right way to attract beta testers. Since announcing the open beta, I’ve been inundated with feedback and bug reports. The beta test has revealed a couple of regression bugs, a bug handling PokerStars hand histories, problems with handling accented characters used in non-English names, and some usability problems.

A big thank-you to everyone who has already taken active part in the beta test. I have to give a special thank-you to Pedro, who not only found an important bug, but also isolated it, determined the problem, and gave me specific steps to fix it. What more could a one-person software company ask of users?

PokerCopilot 1.2 Open Beta

After dithering around I’ve decided to make the PokerCopilot 1.2 beta an open process. Anyone can download and install the beta here. This is the version that adds, amongst other things, support for PokerStars.

The offer of free licenses for beta testers still stands. The deal is:
1) try out PokerCopilot 1.2 with PokerStars.
2) email [feedback at] with some useful feedback, especially bug reports.
3) you’ll get your free license at the close of the beta process.

Naturally, my judgement on what constitutes “useful feedback” is final, but you’ll find that I’m quite reasonable on this count.

The beta process won’t last for long.

No Help File for Poker Copilot

Poker Copilot has no user guide and no context-sensitive help. Why? Because I believe that if users need documentation then I’ve missed my goal of making Poker Copilot dead easy to use.

Seeking Mac PokerStars Players

I was far from overburdened with responses to my call for beta testers for PokerStars support for Poker Copilot.

So let me sweeten the arrangement. There is a freePoker Copilot license for each and every beta tester who is at least somewhat active in their participation.

(I thought this offer was implied anyway. Now – to use an appropriate cliche – I’m laying my cards on the table.)

Extending Poker Copilot’s Auto-Configuration

While adding PokerStars support I tried to ensure that Poker Copilot remains the easiest hand history analysis tool to configure and use. What I’m especially avoiding is the need for users to manually locate and “import” hand history files.

In light of this, I added a new start-up dialog for first-time users. It checks for the existence of both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, then reads their own preferences to locate the hand history folders. To ensure that the user knows what is happening, Poker Copilot presents the list of folders that will be imported.

Additionally it informs the user how to add folders later, perhaps containing a friend’s hand history files. The complete Poker Copilot instruction manual in a sentence, if you will.

The implementation was easy, but designing a workable, elegant, and simple solution was a challenge.