The Curious Case of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, a country in West Africa, has a population of 500,000. It’s both one of the world’s richer countries and one of the world’s poorer countries.

Rich, if you measure by GDP per capita. How rich depends on who’s figures you read. They vary between ranking Equatorial Guinea as richer than Luxembourg (very rich), and as rich as an average European Union country (pretty darn rich).

Poor, if you look at the United Nations Human Development Index. 8% of children die before their 1st birthday. 30% unemployment. Massively corrupt ruling elite who steal most of the wealth.

And now the tenuous Poker Copilot link: Stats can give a misleading impression. It’s important to look at more than one measurement. Even a wide range of stats can’t beat first-hand experience.

Poker Copilot 2 Early Access Program Update

For the curious, an updated Poker Copilot 2 early access version is available at

What’s changed:

  • it works on PowerPC Macs
  • the mini-dashboard charts are working again
  • the database is quicker. I loaded 720,000 test hands into the database this afternoon without a hiccup.
  • there’s a new window that allows you to monitor the loading of hands
  • charting by date works again and has some improvements
  • a “crash reporter” will help you automatically notify Poker Copilot headquarters with important details when things go wrong
  • small tweaks based on your feedback
  • small bug fixes also based on your feedback

Known problems:

  • The HUD is not available in this version (it’s a temporary thing!)
  • charting by hands is unavailable

You can run the EAP version without affecting Poker Copilot 1 at all.

To keep things progressing, I’m going to try moving to a weekly release cycle.

PokerStars Update meet Poker Copilot Update

I checked my e-mail on this sunny Saturday morning. Many e-mails, all saying the same thing: “I updated PokerStars and now the Poker Copilot HUD is broken.” Only for tournaments, mind you. So I delayed my planned swim and set to fix the problem.

It’s now fixed in a Poker Copilot update you can download. It’s version 1.73 and you can download it here:

Poker Copilot 2 ETA? No!

I get e-mails frequently asking when Poker Copilot 2 will be released. And I always say, “I don’t know.” Why?

1) As a one-person show, I am susceptible to unexpected delays due to sickness, computer malfunction, family tragedies, or an overwhelming and spontaneous compulsion to spend two weeks on a Spanish beach.
2) Software products get delayed. Always. Things take longer than expected. Bugs appear and eat previous schedule days. Some planned feature turns out to be unusable, difficult to implement, or unstable.

1) + 2) = If I promise a date, I’ll miss it. I don’t like breaking promises. So if I’m not certain I can keep a promise, I don’t make it.

There’s a set of features I’m including in Poker Copilot 2. Once they are done, I’ll do some dedicated testing. Once that seems stable, I’ll release a beta version for wider testing. And when that seems stable, Poker Copilot 2 will be released.

A Change of Opinion

While entering Frankfurt train station last week I had to walk through a gauntlet of smokers gathered around the main entrance. “How dare they?” I haughtily thought to myself. ” How dare they force me to endure this carcinogenic smoke in order to catch a train?” Yes, I am an arrogant, bigoted anti-smoker. I loudly complain about people smoking in my vicinity. Let people smoke but don’t expose me to the effects, I say.

But after passing through the gauntlet last week, I had a sudden change of judgement. Second-hand smoke apparently increases the risk of cancer. But how is this different to my own activities that also negatively impact on others? When I drive, I force pedestrians and cyclists to involuntarily breathe my car’s carbon monoxide exhaust. When I fly, I force people living near airports to suffer noise pollution. How do they sleep?

The only difference is that smokers can see the passive sufferers around them. But with the people I make suffer, they are out of my sight. It doesn’t mean they suffer any less.

Free Poker Copilot Upgrades

I often get asked, “if I buy Poker Copilot now, will I need to pay for an upgrade to Poker Copilot 2?”

The upgrade to Poker Copilot 2 is free if you buy version 1 now.

Anyone who buys Poker Copilot after March 2009 gets a free upgrade to Poker Copilot 2 when it gets released. Because Poker Copilot 2 will cost more that version 1, you’ll pay less than waiting for version 2. Plus you’ll benefit from having Poker Copilot help you now.

Sitting Out in a Tournament + Stats

Loyal Poker Copilot user Terence describes a common tournament situation:

Two players have been sitting out for the first 36 and 50 hands respectively. You would believe these two are so tight if you didn’t know they’d been sitting out. Their true stats turned out to be around 30% to the flop not 2% and 50% to the flop not 3%.

Can you please do something about this or at least include the option ‘count hands sitting out’ or not.

It’s a problem…officially the players are “sitting in”, paying antes and blinds, losing money, and possibly even sometimes winning. But actually the players are “away from keyboard”.

What’s your opinion in how to treat players sitting out in a tournament? Record stats or not?

Macs, Students, and Poker Copilot

A surprisingly high percentage of my Poker Copilot customers have e-mail addresses that end in .edu. This means they study or work at US universities or schools. Surprising because everybody knows students don’t buy software, right? And students can’t afford Macs, right? Which only leaves faculty, and surely there are not that many economics and maths professors playing online poker on their Macs in the evenings, right?

Therefore I find this photo revealing:

It looks like I’ve been making some false assumptions.

Making Websites Readable

Problem: If, like me, you are over 30, you probably find some websites are a strain on the eyes. Esepcially towards the end of a working day.

Solution: Go to the Readability project. Drag the “bookmarklet” link you find there to your bookmarks toolbar. Then, when you find a website hard to read, click on the bookmark. The page will be magically transformed into the most readable thing the web can offer. Most of the time. Suddenly the words will want, need, demand to be read.

For example, the blog entry you are currently reading becomes: