Poker Copilot 2.42 Now Available

Poker Copilot 2.42 is now available to download.

This is an “issues” update. There are no new features, but I fixed several issues. Which gives me a perfect opportunity to link to Flight of the Conchords, the pride of my home country and “formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”, who sing about the issues. Or as we say in New Zealand, the “uh-shues”.

What’s fixed:

  • Rush Poker Tournaments are now supported by the Rush Poker HUD.
  • For some people the “Recalculate Equity Values” tool gave up before it finished.
  • Full Tilt step tournament wins are now correctly converted to a cash value.
  • The all-in equity chart in tournament mode now respects all filters.

Update Instructions:

  1. Download version 2.42 here.
  2. Open the downloaded file.
  3. Drag the Poker Copilot icon to the Applications icon.
  4. If prompted to replace an existing version, confirm that you do want to replace.

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

Brief Bursts

Quote of the Day:

everything we do, we do in bursts–brief periods of intensive activity followed by long periods of nothingness. These bursts are so essential to human nature that trying to avoid them is not only foolish, but futile as well.

So true for me with my development of Poker Copilot – and plenty of other software creators I know. The idea that one should work with the nature of bursts, rather than fight against it appeals to me.

From the Blog Comments

best*girl wrote in a comment:

does your day have 48 hours? … all the stuff you do… you scare me… (a bit -;)

Is that a compliment? I think it is a compliment. Anyway, I’m taking it as a compliment!

My secret is this: I hardly ever watch television. I try. But almost nothing on television interests me. That’s partly because I’m living in Germany, where I never fully mastered the local tongue. They dub all the interesting American and British shows, which makes watching them pain instead of pleasure. Sometimes I go longer than a week without switching on the television. Then when I do switch it on, I mostly switch it off again after fifteen minutes.

And so I do something I find interesting with all that extra time.

The Benefits of an Established Blog

Ten days ago I announced the release of PokerZebra 0.5 on this blog. There are now hundreds of results in a Google search for PokerZebra.

The search results are sites that mostly repeat my announcement of the 0.5 release. Somehow many have increased the version number to PokerZebra 1.0. This is surprisingly, because I’m pretty sure – almost 100% certain – that I haven’t done any more work on PokerZebra since releasing 0.5.

It took many months of blogging, commenting in forums, and giving away free Poker Copilot licenses to get the same level of Google coverage for Poker Copilot’s initial releases.

Pleasant Error Handling and Nasty Error Handling

Loyal Poker Copilot user Manuela was having problems getting Poker Copilot to recalculate equity values. It would work for about 11,000 hands, then act as if it was finished. Only it wasn’t.

The problem was that one hand caused a problem for Poker Copilot. The code to handle an error that occurred while recalculating equity values looked something like this:

if error occurred while calculating then
Stop calculating.
Pretend everything is okay.
end if

Well, it was a lot more complicated than that, but once I worked out the cause, it could be reduced to naive error handling.

There are three ways one can handle such problems in code:

1) Try to recover as silently as possible, don’t bug the user, and keep running. This seems user-friendly, but actually hides the underlying problem, which causes worse, hard-to-diagnose problems later on.

2) Give the user an error message, but continue when they click OK. “There was an AQ-787-34.2 error while processing your data. Please report this to the Poker Copilot team. Click OK to continue.” This just puzzles most users. Even a human-understandable error message is puzzling and perhaps disconcerting. Most users won’t report the problem. Of those who do, most will report something like, “Poker Copilot has a problem. What shall I do?” Which is useless as a bug report.

3) Crash violently, in a way that can’t be ignored. Automatically generate a crash report which the user can send with one click. Because the buggy action stops the program from continuing, and the user probably wants to continue, they’ll most likely click the “Send Crash Report” button. This forces the error to reveal itself as soon as possible. The crash report contains all the information needed to pinpoint the location in the code where the crash occurred. It also contains other useful info, such as the version of Poker Copilot, the Mac OS X version, the Java version, and the user’s Mac OS X language settings.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, the best way to have low-error software is for the software to crash completely and immediately when it encounters an unexpected problem (an “unknown unknown”). Perhaps this wasn’t so when software came on a disk you bought in a bricks-and-mortar shop, and getting updates was hard. But with always-on, high-speed Internet where software can be updated frequently, it works well.

In the next update Poker Copilot stops suddenly and creates a crash report if recalculating equity values fails.

Using Poker Copilot’s "All-in Equity" Chart

What is “Equity Value”?

Imagine in a hand of No Limit Texas Hold’em you have AhQh and your opponent has KsKc. Your opponent raises to $10 and is all-in. You call the bet, making the pot $20.*

* (Assume for this example that you and your opponent posted the blinds, all other players folded, and that there is no rake.)

According to PokerZebra the probability you will win this is hand is 32.1%. If you replayed this hand thousands of times, over the long run you would win 32.1% of the time. Your equity value is how much you would be likely to win per hand if you replayed this hand thousands of times, each time from a random deck. Therefore your equity value is 32.1% * $20 = $6.42

The formula for equity value (also known as pot equity) is:

equity value = the probability you'll win * (the total pot, after the rake is removed)

What is “Equity Value Difference”?

If you win the hand, you’ll win $20. You’ll have exceeded your equity in the pot by $20 – $6.42 = $13.58. Your Equity Value Difference is -$13.58.

If you lose the hand, you’ll be $6.42 below your equity in the pot. Your Equity Value Difference is $6.42.

The formula for Equity Value Difference is:

Equity Value Difference =  your equity value - what you won 
= (the probability you'll win * the total pot, after the rake is removed) - what you won

Remember this: when you lose an all-in hand, you’ll have a positive equity value difference. When you win an all-in hand and exceed pot equity, you’ll have a negative equity value difference. The exceptions are when you had 0% equity or 100% equity, in which case your equity value difference will be zero.

How do I read the “All-in Equity” chart?

In the short run, the “All-in Equity” chart is a crude measure of luck. Did you have some bad luck in the current session? Then your “Total Winnings” will be below your “All-in Equity Value” line. Did you get some lucky breaks? Then the “Total Winnings” line will be above the “All-in Equity Value” line.

In the long run, the “All-in Equity” chart is a measure of how good your reads are when going all-in.

If, in the long run, you mostly go all-in when you have favourable equity, then your “Total Winnings” line will be above your “All-in Equity Value” line. You are tending to correctly guess what ranges of cards your opponents have, and are making all-in bets and calls wisely, based on those guesses.

If, in the long run, you mostly go all-in when you have unfavourable equity, then your “Total Winnings” line will be below your “All-in Equity Value” line. You need to be more selective in going all-in.

A good luck/good read “All-in Equity” chart:

good luck.png

A bad luck/bad read “All-in Equity” chart:

bad luck.png

No HUD and No Data on Full Tilt?

The latest Full Tilt Poker update seems to be stubborn. It always wants to write the hand history files in the language you are using Full Tilt in, rather than in English.

I’m using Full Tilt in German at the moment. I’ve set the Hand History Options (“HandVerlauf…”) to use English. But Full Tilt really, really wants to write the hands in German. So this stops Poker Copilot from working.

Solution 1: Use Full Tilt in English

Solution 2: Let Full Tilt know. Hopefully they’ll bring out an update soon.

(This is life when you sell poker tracking software. You have not only your own bugs to deal with, but also the bugs of the poker room software.)

Poker Copilot 2.41 Now Available

Poker Copilot 2.41 is now available to download.

What’s changed:

  • There is a new “Blind Stealing” leak detector
  • There is a new “Pocket Pairs” leak detector.
  • The Hand Replayer has been spruced up.
  • You can play PokerStars in any language and still use the Poker Copilot HUD.
  • You can customise the columns shown in most of the summaries by selecting “View Options…” from the View menu. This is an alternative to right-clicking on the summary table headers.
  • The All-in Equity Value calculations and the leak detectors are now available for tournaments, as well as ring games.

What’s fixed:

  • Rush Poker Sit & Go’s are now supported by the Rush Poker HUD.
  • Changes to the bwin tournament hand history structure are supported.
  • Tournament charts show chips on y-axis in T1500 format instead of $1500.00 format
  • Full Tilt run-it-twice hands were losing the second summary in the hand history.


If you are updating from Poker Copilot 2.37 or 2.38, you’ll need to select from Poker Copilot’s menu “Tools” -> “Recalculate Equity Values” to use the All-in Equity Chart for hands you’ve already played.

Update Instructions:

  1. Download version 2.41 here.
  2. Open the downloaded file.
  3. Drag the Poker Copilot icon to the Applications icon.
  4. If prompted to replace an existing version, confirm that you do want to replace.

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

New Look Poker Copilot Hand Replayer

I’ve given the hand replayer a fresh coat of paint:

Screen shot 2010-04-22 at 12.54.41 PM.png

This is the first step in some replayer improvements.

Notice the big gap at the bottom? That’s where upcoming new Hand Replayer features will be added.

This new look will be available in the next Poker Copilot update.

PokerStars in French, Bulgarian, Latvian, …

… Greek, Estonian, Russian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Also Italian, Czech, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian. Portuguese as it is spoken in Portugal. And naturally, Polish.

These are the languages PokerStars supports. But until now, if you used Poker Copilot you needed to run PokerStars in English. The next update fixes this heinous linguistic crime. You’ll be able to run PokerStars in your native tongue, as long as the hand history files are saved in English.