Beta Testers Wanted

I’m just about ready to release Poker Copilot with PokerStars support. But before I do I want to run a beta test.

If you would like to be a beta tester, you’ll need:

  • a Mac with OS X 10.4 or later
  • a willingness to spend a few hours in total playing poker on PokerStars over the next week while you have Poker Copilot running
  • to give me some general feedback and an update on problems encountered
  • to be willing to work closely with me via e-mail to solve any bugs that you encounter

Interested? Then e-mail me: steve at

An Inspiration for 1-Person Software Companies


Less than 6 weeks from launch, Balsamiq Studios reached USD 10,000 in revenue.

This is instance success most of us one-person software companies can only dream of. I suspect Peldi won’t remain a company of one for very long.

Change to FastSpring Pricing

I’m using FastSpring as my payment processor. Until recently they charged a flat 8.9% of Poker Copilot’s purchase price. However they just announced an alternative: 5.9% + $0.95.

So solving a simple equation, I deduced that if you use FastSpring and your product sells for $32 or more, you should switch to the new pricing structure.

Poker Copilot sells for $49.95, so I’m happy with the new alternative pricing structure. It will give me an extra 55 cents per sale.

Prioritising Features

While working on the first release of Poker Copilot, I frequently added “nice-to-have” features to my to-do list. I had a two-part process to decide which features from that list to implement: first, is it easy to implement? second, it is useful to me as an online poker player?

Now that a few weeks have passed since I initially released Poker Copilot, the process of prioritising features has become easier. The most requested features are what I implement next. No longer am I guessing what my users want. The most vocal of them tell me directly, either through e-mail or comments on this blog.

The top feature request is, by a enormous margin, support for PokerStars. Which is why I’m currently implementing PokerStars support. Not everything is getting easier for my Poker Copilot endeavour as time passes. But prioritisation certainly is.

BTW: PokerStars support is almost complete, a task made easier thanks to Thrynn’s generous donation of almost 50,000 hands worth of PokerStars hand history files. All that remains is comprehensive, systematic testing.

Marketing Poker Copilot

I’m a programmer, not a marketeer. Peddling Poker Copilot, however, has forced me to learn something about marketing really quick. Luckily the web is awash in information on “how to sell”, some of it even a little useful.

For now, my main marketing aim is to get people to download Poker Copilot. Downloads have come mainly from three sources:

  • from the Two Plus Two poker forums. This seems to be the biggest and best online forums for everything poker-related. I trawl the forums daily looking for the oft-recurring question, “Is there any poker tracking software for Mac OS X?” Then I politely but tersely answer, as non-spam-like as possible.
  • from people finding this blog using Google, who then click through to the main site. The Poker Copilot site itself receives few direct hits from Google, so search engine optimisation is a good candidate for stage 2 of my marketing
  • from the Apple downloads site. My download numbers are consistently dominated by referrals from Apple.

I suspect that referrals from Two Plus Two are by far the most valuable of these sources, although I have no data to support this. Just a gut feeling.

What about Google AdWords? Good question. I tried using AdWords, but Google refused my ads. They don’t accept ads for online poker sites. Although Poker Copilot is not an online poker site per se, I decided to save the appeal for later. Strangely, ads for some alleged poker bot software – the domain of scum and villainy – are carried by Google. Go figure.


Sohail wrote:

So when are you going to come out with some numbers? Come on then!

I’m running a business, and there’s competitors appearing in the “poker tracking for Mac OS X” category. So I’m going to keep it discreet. What I will reveal is this: my sales are greater than zero, and I’ve met my arbitrary – albeit realistic – goals so far.

I can give some download figures, at least. Here’s downloads per day for August (so far):

Why the big spike a few days ago? I submitted Poker Copilot 1.1 to the Apple downloads site, and it spent a couple of days on the “Most Recent” applications page.

I’m content with these results.

PokerStars support coming…

The #1 feature requst for Poker Copilot: support for PokerStars, the online poker room with the most players. I’m hoping to release Poker Copilot with PokerStars tracking by early September.

I’ve managed to get the initial PokerStars support running. There’s still some way to go, but already the as-yet-unreleased Poker Copilot 1.2 is successfully parsing PokerStars cash games.

Hidden Feature in Poker Copilot

Here’s a feature in Poker Copilot that is not immediately obvious: you can save and print the charts, as well as zoom in and zoom out. To do this, right-click or ctrl-click on any chart. You’ll see something like this:

I can’t claim credit for this. It’s a feature built into JFreeChart, the Java charting library Poker Copilot uses.

Free Text Editors I Recommend

Lately I’ve discovered two good free text editors.

For Windows, Notepad++ has become my multi-purpose text editor of choice.

For Mac OS X, I’ve quickly become dedicated to Smultron. Strange name, good product.

What will be in Poker Copilot 1.2?

That’s the question. What’s the answer?

I’m now sorting out priorities for the next version of Poker Copilot. What are the features you want to see? Now’s the chance to make suggestions. Either post a comment or e-mail me at steve at pokercopilot dot com.

The main feature on the list is PokerStars support. I’m also planning a “Position” chart or table showing your style and results by position.