Why You Can’t Rely on Poker Copilot

It’s time for one of my periodical “why you can’t rely on Poker Copilot” articles.

When I have the chance to steal the blinds, I often find myself using Poker Copilot’s “Folded big blind to steal attempt” statistic for the player on the big blind. And each time I do this, the little mathematics pedant who resides in my brain nags me, “do you have enough data?” So I do I? Probably not.

Based on a load of data I have, on 9-player ring game tables, a player has an opportunity to defend the big blind against a blind steal attempt on roughly 1.26% of all hands played. On tournaments with 9-player tables, it is slightly higher, at 1.66%. That is, after you’ve played any given player 500 times, you are most likely to have seen 6 to 8 times how this player acts when he has the opportunity to defend the big blind against a blind steal attempt.

Eight times after 500 hands. Let’s assume that our opponent, Phil, in the long run (100,000 hands), defends the big blind exactly 50% of the time. What’s the likelihood that our data would show this after 500 hands against Phil? Roughly 71% of the time it would show between 35% and 65%. That is, 29% of all players that you’ve played about 500 hands against would show either a deceptively high or deceptively low value for “Folded big blind to steal attempt“.

So what’s the advice here? Always check the denominator before making an important decision based on Poker Copilot’s statistics. If the denominator is low, then the statistic is not reliable for making important decisions.


Mac OS X Tips & Tricks

Some things I learnt today:

Proxy icons: in a document-based application (like Finder, TextEdit, Preview, Pages…), after a document has been saved, a proxy icon for the document appears in the title bar. It represent the file itself, and can be likewise manipulated:

  • click it for a few seconds and drag to another application to open it, or to the desktop/Finder if you want to copy/move it, etc…
  • ⌘-click (or control-click, or right-click) it to view the path menu, useful to open the folder or any subfolders of the file in the Finder.



In any Finder window or Open/Save dialog, you can hit Command+Shift+G to get a location bar from which you can directly type in the directory to go to. It even supports ~ for home and tab completion.


You can increase or decrease your volume by quarter increments by Pressing:

OptionShiftVolume Up/Down


While Cmd tabbing between applications, without releasing CMD, you can hit ‘Q’ to quit or ‘H’ to hide the selected application. Works great with the mouse to get rid of a whole bunch of applications quickly.

The bevel won’t go away and you can repeat this for as many applications as you like as long as you’re holding CMD.

There’s plenty more here.

    Andy Brice’s Interview with a Cracker

    Fellow independent software developer Andy Brice was able to conduct an anonymous interview with a software cracker.

    it might help if most authors realised that the person who cracked their software is more likely a bored 16 year old Chinese male than a future terrorist.


    What are the commonest mistakes software developers make related to security?

    In no particular order:

    1. Depending on commercial protection schemes for security.
    2. Directly comparing the license string entered with the correct one.
    3. Not using some sort of encryption/obfuscation (XOR isn’t *good* encryption).
    4. Using a single simplistic registration function that is easy to isolate.
    5. Displaying message boxes with helpful strings sending the cracker straight to the protection code.
    6. Not integrity checking against patching.
    7. Not updating the software once a crack is discovered in the wild.


    Worth reading, especially if you are – or want to be – an independent software developer.

    Software developers are in an eternal battle with software crackers – those who blast through the software license system to distribute “unlocked” copies of your software. For independent software developers this is no abstract topic – our personal income is directly affected by the quality of our software licensing system.

    An Alternative to XCode?

    Yesterday I fired up XCode 4 for the first time. I needed to write a small utility for Archimedes in Objective-C. It was just pure frustration. Even though XCode 4 is a big improvement on XCode 3, it is still some distance behind the state-of-the-art software development IDEs. I found myself wishing there was a viable alternative for Objective-C development.

    The JetBrains team – who bring joy to Java and C# developers every day – seem to have heard my wishes overnight. Today I received this e-mail:

    This is a short notice to inform you that we’ve just opened the Early Access Program for appCode, a new Objective-C IDE. You are welcome to download it, try and let us know what you think.

    Yes! I gave it a work-out and have concluded that already in this early stage of development that it is what XCode 4 should have been.

    This is music to my ears:

    We are very much looking forward to your feedback to help us create a tool you would enjoy using daily.


    Back in Germany

    After a few months in the middle east, I’ve returned to Germany. I’m dusting off the equipment in my home office. Have you ever turned on a computer after it has been off for six months? Every software product I start up wants to be updated. Apple updates alone were over 2 Gigabytes. It seems I’ll be spending some time getting my Poker Copilot development studio up to date.

    After solely using a 15 inch MacBook Pro while in the middle east,  it is pure bliss retuning to a 24 inch iMac with a second monitor. It is also bliss having fast, reliable Internet again.

    Now I’m back, I can hopefully start making some good progress on Archimedes.