Who Can Fix BlazingStars?

The latest PokerStars update added some nice new functionality. An unfortunate side-effect is that BlazingStars, the free, open-source poker auto-hotkey program for Mac OS X broke. I’d like to do what I can to fix it but I’d be overcommitting myself. Can you help? You’ll be doing the Mac OS X poker community a favour. You’ll need to know a bit of Objective-C.

I suspect fixing the problem involves simply working out the new co-ordinates of buttons on the screen.



Backgammon in Beirut



Breaking News: Importing PokerStars Tournament Results without Hassles

Loyal Poker Copilot customer Randy informed me that PokerStars is now automatically saving tournament summaries. Thank goodness! This makes one of the most common Poker Copilot improvement requests possible.

Here’s what you need to do to activate this:

  1. In PokerStars, from the Menu select “Options” -> “Tournament Summary Options…”.
  2. Check the checkbox labelled “Save My Tournament Summaries”
  3. Change “Keep Tournament Summaries for … Days” to 365
  4. Ensure Language is set to English

Screen shot 2010-11-09 at 11.17.18 AM.png

Unfortunately Poker Copilot needs a small alteration to be able to read these files. That’s because – at least on my computer – the tournament summaries have a strange hidden character (ASCII #16) at the beginning of the first line.

The next Poker Copilot update will work with these files.


On Releasing Software Updates

Frequent updates, each containing only a couple of updates? Or infrequent updates with lots of changes? These are the choices I have for Poker Copilot updates.

Frequent Updates

Updating frequently is safer. When an update has a problem, it is easy to track down the problem. I can fully resolve issues from customer feedback before progressing. It keeps the software running well. But it puts a burden on the users of Poker Copilot. They have to update often, which can be somewhat annoying. Sometimes when you start up a piece of software you simply want to use it. Not to go through the update process first.

Frequent updates lead to a new class of support problems: not everybody updates. So I end up with customers running many different updates at once. Before I can analyse any problem I need to ascertain what update the person with the problem is using.

Infrequent Updates

Infrequent updates reduce the burden on the customer. They have to update less frequently. When they do get the chance to update, it is usually worthwhile because there are many improvements. But many changes at once in the software make new problems difficult to diagnose. The changes can magnify problems through combinations of bugs that eluded testing. This is a bad result for everybody: me as the Poker Copilot developer, and customers.


Neither situation is ideal. I’ve weighed up the advantages and disadvantages. I’m leaning towards continuing with small and frequent updates.


Poker Copilot 2.68 Now Available

Poker Copilot 2.68 is now available to download.

What’s changed:

  • There’s a new experimental feature which allows you to override the detected table size within the HUD. This is mostly of use to AbsolutePoker/UB players, because it is tricky to auto-detect whether a table is 6-max or full size. To turn on this feature, go to the Preferences and check “Allow manual table size override”.
  • Updated language bundles
  • The database startup process does an improved optimisation to keep the database running at a rollicking rate.

What’s fixed:

  • Winamax hands don’t report the timezone correctly. Poker Copilot now auto-detects this problem and fixes them.
  • Miscellaneous minor bug fixes.

Update Instructions:

  1. Download the latest version here.
  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 are done and ready to hit the tables.




Poker Copilot: Now in Beirut, Lebanon

I’ve arrived in Beirut, where Poker Copilot will be based for a while. Now that I staying in one city, things have started moving again for the next Poker Copilot update.

It’s great to be once more in a country where the web is uncensored. YouTube, FaceBook, BlogSpot: these, amongst others, were all theoretically inaccessible in neighbouring Syria. Many locals seemed to have no problem getting around these restrictions.

Are you in Beirut or passing through sometime soon? Make sure to let me know so we can have a Poker Copilot meet-up, and perhaps a friendly poker night.


Hamah, Syria: The city of water wheels

Poker Copilot News – from Syria

First: the last few days I’ve had limited access to the Internet. So many apologies if you have been waiting for an answer to an email you sent. I hope to take care of all the emails in my inbox today.

Second: why did I have limited Internet? I’m travelling slowly towards my winter destination of Beirut, Lebanon. I spent a few days in the autonomous (and very safe) Iraqi province of Kurdistan. Nice people, nice food, but lousy Internet.

Third: loyal Poker Copilot customer and blog reader Phil writes:

I miss your news! Hope you’re doing well under the lebanese sunshine!

I’m not yet in Lebanon but very close. I’m in Aleppo, Syria, a very ancient city. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Sometime in the next few days I’ll arrive in Beirut, where I’ll settle for some weeks or months. During that time I’ll aim to release some Poker Copilot updates.

On the road I’ve also found some time to work on Poker Copilot. The next update will deal with a common problem for UB/Absolute Poker players – you’ll be able to easily override the table size if Poker Copilot if it incorrectly determines the table size. This should sort out the issues where the HUD layout is sometimes incorrect.

I’ve also been working on an experimental application programming interface (API). The API will allow anyone with a bit of programming knowledge to work with the Poker Copilot data in various ways. It will even give you all the real-time data you need to create your own alternative HUD! The language-agnostic API is accessed via HTTP web services.