A Breakthrough in Poker Copilot Performance

I’ve been struggling in my attempts to make the Player Summary in Poker Copilot go fast. So today, I set about rethinking the problem, and I think I’ve hit on a solution.

I asked myself, what are you most likely using the Player Summary for. My best guess: to look up info on players you are currently facing. So then, why show players you haven’t encountered for six months?

So here’s what I’m proposing for a coming Poker Copilot update: By default, the Player Summary will only show players you’ve encountered in the last 30 days. Here’s a shot of how it may be controlled:

Screen shot 2010-01-25 at 5.58.51 PM.png

By default that checkbox will be checked.

If you faced philivey a few days ago, then he will show in this screen, and all his hands matching the current filter will be shown, even the data older than the last 30 days.

I think this is a nice compromise: a speed-up for the most common case, but a quick override when you really want to see more data.

Modified HUD for Full Tilt Rush Tables?

Loyal Poker Copilot customer Erle made this suggestion:

I have a suggestion for full tilt’s new rush tables. Could you make a modified HUD? Basically about the dimensions of the mucked cards window. It would show the players you’ve encountered in the last hour. And at least 4 stats in a horizontal list.

Even though you’re moved to different tables I’m seeing a lot of the same players. And there are starting to be regulars, so I’m sure I have stats on these guys. It would be great if this Hud only showed their Rush Stats. And there are only a few rush tables so that wouldn’t be that bad, right? 🙂

What do you think?

Why No Absolute Poker Tournament Support in Poker Copilot?

Tournament hand histories produced by Absolute Poker for Mac OS X are missing a line that tells us what the flop was. This makes it hard to determine automatically where the preflop betting stops and the flop betting starts. It also means that in hands where everybody folds to someone who bets on the flop, there is no indication at all of what the flop was.

UltimateBet for Mac OS X also has this problem with tournament hand histories, which makes me suspect the problem lies in the Cereus Network’s Mac software. I reported this problem to UltimateBet a couple of months ago.

In ring game hands, the *** FLOP *** line is always present. In Tournament hands, it seems to be always missing.

Here’s an example hand history from a Absolute Poker tournament I played in (and donked out of) today:

Stage #8459747 Tourney ID 4988340 Holdem Single Tournament No Limit 10 - 2010-01-25 04:55:59 (ET)
Table: 34093525 (Real Money) Seat #7 is the dealer
Seat 1 - DIRTYD15 (1,500 in chips)
Seat 2 - STEVOSKI222 (1,500 in chips)
Seat 3 - SEANCFITTS (1,500 in chips)
Seat 4 - MITSKEVICH (1,500 in chips)
Seat 5 - PAMBOYC (1,500 in chips)
Seat 6 - CUSE_1 (1,500 in chips)
Seat 7 - STERIO 48 (1,500 in chips)
Seat 8 - HUMBOLDTLIVE (1,500 in chips)
Seat 9 - ELITETEKBRAD (1,500 in chips)
HUMBOLDTLIVE - Posts small blind 5
ELITETEKBRAD - Posts big blind 10
Dealt to STEVOSKI222 [9d 5c]
DIRTYD15 - Folds
STEVOSKI222 - Folds
SEANCFITTS - Raises 20 to 20
CUSE_1 - Raises 75 to 75
STERIO 48 - Folds
CUSE_1 - Checks
*** TURN *** [Qh 7c 8h] [Ad]
CUSE_1 - Bets 145
SEANCFITTS - Calls 145
*** RIVER *** [Qh 7c 8h Ad] [9h]
CUSE_1 - Bets 332
SEANCFITTS - Calls 332
*** SHOW DOWN ***
CUSE_1 - Shows [Qd Qc] (Three of a kind, queens)
CUSE_1 Collects 1,329 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot(1,329)
Board [Qh 7c 8h Ad 9h]
Seat 1: DIRTYD15Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: STEVOSKI222Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 3: SEANCFITTSHI: [Mucked] [Ks Qs]
Seat 5: PAMBOYCFolded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: CUSE_1won Total (1,329) HI:(1,329) with Three of a kind, queens [Qd Qc - B:Qh,P:Qd,P:Qc,B:Ad,B:9h]
Seat 7: STERIO 48(dealer) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 8: HUMBOLDTLIVE(small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 9: ELITETEKBRAD(big blind) Folded on the RIVER

Between these two lines:


should be the flop, as follows:

*** FLOP *** [Qh 7c 8h]

If you would like to see tournament support in Poker Copilot for Absolute Poker and UltimateBet please report this issue to either or both poker rooms.

Another Experimental Poker Copilot Release

Yesterday’s experimental Poker Copilot update had a problem: it crashed if you had the “Mucked Cards” window open. I’ve now rectified this.

This release needs to blow away your Poker Copilot database and load your hand history files again.

Update Instructions:

1. Download Update 2.27.

2. Open the downloaded file.

3. Drag the Poker Copilot icon to the Applications icon. If prompted to replace an existing version, confirm that you do want to replace.

Now you’re done and ready to hit the tables.

Update on "Mac Poker Software" experiment

Less than two weeks into my experiment with search engine optimisation (SEO), here’s the progress:

* Google now returns pages from http://macpokersoftware.com/ in search results.

* In the US version of Google, it ranks on the 9th page of results. It’s a start, but it is 8 pages too far down.

* Google Webmaster Tools gives me some helpful information. For example, here’s the most common keywords that Google identified on the site:

Screen shot 2010-01-24 at 1.33.37 PM.png

I’m using Google Analytics to track traffic. There’s a steady flow of visitors, mostly via this blog, but some are coming from search results:

Screen shot 2010-01-24 at 1.38.06 PM.png

Thought of the Day

From Tim Harford of the Financial Times, plugging John Kay’s Obliquity:

…in a complex world one cannot simply identify a goal and plan your route towards it. Success must be groped towards gradually and with much correction of error.

Anyone running a small business learns this pretty quickly.

Not a Poker Copilot Update

Well it sorta, kinda is. But not an official update.

Some people are keen to get using the much faster Poker Copilot screen updates already, as well as the starred hands. So here’s a trade-off.

What you get:

  • the “starred hands” feature.
  • Absolute Poker support.
  • much faster screens (except Hand Summary and Players Summary – I’m still working on those ones).
  • minor UI tweaks

What you need to know:

  • this release may have some errors and stability problems.
  • By default “Recent Hands” will show only 1,000 hands. In the Performance panel in the Preferences you can change this up to 10,000.
  • this release needs to blow away your Poker Copilot database and load your hand history files again.

If you are adventurous enough to give this a try, I’d love to hear of any problems you encounter.

Update Instructions:

1. Download Update 2.26.

2. Open the downloaded file.

3. Drag the Poker Copilot icon to the Applications icon. If prompted to replace an existing version, confirm that you do want to replace.

Now you’re done and ready to hit the tables.

The Next Poker Copilot Update will be Faster

How much faster? That depends on which Poker Copilot feature you are using. Here’s some time trials for importing 560,000 hands:

Screen shot 2010-01-21 at 8.58.15 PM.png

A 20% improvement. But as loyal Poker Copilot customer Keith X recently stated in a blog comment, “Import time is almost meaningless to me, once the DB is set up I never have to worry about it. So I’d suggest you always make the import time vs. HUD / stats refresh time tradeoff in favor of the actual playing elements.” I agree with Keith X. So let’s look at how long the stats take to update. The following chart is for 560,000 hands, of which roughly 460,000 are ring game hands and 100,000 are tournament hands. All times are in seconds:

Screen shot 2010-01-21 at 9.03.50 PM.png

Every category except “Ring Game Players Summary” shows improvement. In some cases the improvement is remarkable: only 1/1000th of the time previously needed, so that it doesn’t get even a smidgin of a bar in the chart. In other cases, the improvement is more modest.

Here’s the data in tabular form:

Screen shot 2010-01-21 at 8.57.22 PM.png

I hope to make every screen much faster than before. I’m still struggling a bit with Hands Summaries and Players Summaries and I want to get it right before I do the next update.

Outsourcing Testing

Andy Brice wrote an excellent post on outsourcing software testing. One line dear to my heart:

It isn’t sufficient to do all your own testing on software you wrote, no matter how hard you try.

Andy, like me, runs a one-person software company. He used two software testing companies, one in India and one in Ukraine, both of which charge $15/hour.

I’m tempted to use one of the companies Andy tried. The problem I foresee, however, is that testing Poker Copilot requires a lot of knowledge about poker and the definition of the statistics. Even trickier is that testing the Head-up Display requires playing online poker.

I’ll have to give this one some more thought.