Coming in the next update: FALSE filters

Currently Poker Copilot lets you filter by any statistic, but only if that statistic is true. For example, you can filter for all hands in which you had a 4-bet opportunity. But you can’t filter for hands in which you DIDN’T have a 4-bet opportunity.

The next update changes this. The Advanced filter lets you select “is true”, and “is false”:

Screen Shot 2012 04 12 at 12 49 17 PM


The filter bar indicates “is true” and “is false” with a plus or minus sign in front for the relevant statistic:

Screen Shot 2012 04 12 at 12 50 07 PM

I added this out of my own frustration. Sometimes I’m trying to pinpoint a problem and I determine that the problem DOESN’T lie in a particular “statistic is true” setting. To inverse the filter I’ve had to go manually to the database. Not any more.


Mockup of Potential Poker Copilot Dashboard Concept

Yesterday evening I spent some time brainstorming a more graphic layout for Poker Copilot’s dashboard. Here’s a draft of how I can, for example, show VPIP.

Screen Shot 2012 04 11 at 6 48 19 PM

It is aimed at first-time users of Poker Copilot who want to get an understanding not just of their statistics, but what the statistics mean in terms of playing style.

At the moment this is just an idea that’s on the list of potential improvements.


A Poker Copilot work-around for Merge Network idiosyncracies

In Merge Network tournaments, sometimes the amount of the big blind is not specified. This happens if a player goes all-in in the process of paying the blind. As of the next update, Poker Copilot uses some smarts to guess the big blind in these situations.

Here’s an excerpt of a merge network hand with this issue:

In these situations Poker Copilot now tries to determine the big blind by doubling the small blind. If the small blind is missing as well, then Poker Copilot looks at the previous hand parsed from the same hand history file and uses the blind info from that hand. This can occasionally still be wrong, as the blinds might have increased since the previous hand. Or this might be the first hand in a hand history file.

Poker Copilot has dozens of such heuristics, coping with different oddities in different poker rooms.


Poker Copilot App Updating

I spent the easter weekend improving Poker Copilot’s app-updating. I wrote of this first here. As I developed the approach, technical issues steered me towards a two-part solution.

Part 1 is a notification within Poker Copilot of the update. This gives you a 1-click “get out of my way” or “update now” option:

Screen Shot 2012 04 09 at 8 17 49 PM

Click “Update Now” and a separate application, the “Poker Copilot Updater” opens, Poker Copilot closes, and the updating happens:

Screen Shot 2012 04 09 at 8 17 54 PM

At the end, the Updater closes itself, and relaunches Poker Copilot. This should help you keep Poker Copilot up-to-date on your computer. It will also reduce some of the support emails I get which say “I thought I updated but I still have the older version”. These occur due to the confusing update process up till now.

The new updater will be in the next Poker Copilot update. However, you’ll only see it in action on the subsequent update.


Carbon Poker has its own HUD! (but only on Windows)

Wow. Yesterday, Carbon Poker announced their own HUD built into their poker client. That will certainly level the playing field somewhat. And give Carbon players an edge over other players on the Merge Network.



Improving Poker Copilot’s App Updating

I spent some time today working on a better workflow for updating Poker Copilot from your computer. Currently it is a manual process and confusing for some people.

My semi-working experiment looks like this:

Screen Shot 2012 04 07 at 3 16 13 AM

Click on “Update Now” and a progress bar appears at the bottom of the window and downloading starts:

Screen Shot 2012 04 07 at 3 16 24 AM

Many Mac apps use a nice auto-update mechanism called “Sparkle“. For technical reasons Sparkle isn’t suitable for Poker Copilot. I wish it was; it would make this much easier.

I’m not sure yet if I’m be able to be make the whole process of downloading and updating happen with a single click; especially with the ongoing changes Apple is regarding applications and security. For example, the next update of OS X, called Mountain Lion, introduces something called Gatekeeper, which will limit which apps can be installed and possibly what they can do.

I stumbled upon an alternative approach to handling Mac OS X updates by Lennart Ziburksi. Check his blog post a lucid explanation of a well-thought-out process.


I think it is novel and worth considering too. It is less intrusive, not demanding your attention on startup. I wonder if it is too discreet, causing people to ignore the update. This would be bad for Poker Copilot customers, because you really need to keep using recent updates due to the ever-changing poker rooms. My support workload would then rise.

Apple has also introduced a clean, clear, and simple update mechanism in the OS X App Store:

Screen Shot 2012 03 31 at 3 26 21 PM

I like the fully automated approach. If I could have Poker Copilot in the App Store (which I can’t), then I would get this update mechanism for free.


Poker Copilot 3.06 Now Available

Poker Copilot 3.06 is now available to download.

What’s changed:

  • Added Tournament support for PartyPoker (but no HUD yet – PartyPoker Mac is still in BETA)
  • Experimental HUD for PokerStars’ Zoom Poker. Turn it on in the “Head-up Display” menu.
  • In Hand Formatter, changing stack sizes are now shown at the beginning of each street
  • Anonymised player names in hand formatter, in accordance with online poker forum etiquette
  • Much faster startup for some people

What’s fixed:

  • Change to handle new PokerStars audit date/time format
  • Fixes for changes to PartyPoker hand history format
  • Fix for Japanese locale: Forced currency displays to used two decimal points
  • Catch player name filters that have special characters in them
  • Fix for confused state when minimizing and zooming the main window
  • Fixed detection that zoom poker is play money

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.

False Assumptions

A strange Poker Copilot bug report arrived yesterday: for one user the cents part of bets, table stakes, and statistics were not being shown. A $0.05/$0.10 table was shown as $0/$0.

Fortunately the person who reported the bug discovered the source: if your Mac was set to run in Japanese, then this happened. The reason is that the Japanese Yen doesn’t get divided into hundredths, cents, centavos, kopecks, pennies, or fens. Therefore when you get the system currency formatter it doesn’t want to show that part of the currency.

I had mistakenly assumed that all currencies are split into hundredths. This may seem an obscure localisation problem to some, but must be faced by many companies large and small.

The next update will “fix” this: I’m now forcing the currency formatter to use two decimal places. Ideally though, I need a library that will allow me to format currency X as per the custom in locale Y.


Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of currencies and here are some “exceptions” to my 2-decimal-place assumption:

3 decimal places: Kuwaiti dinar, Jordanian dinar, Bahraini dinar, Omani rial, Libyan dinar, Tunisian dinar

0 decimal places: many, including Iraqi dinar, Icelandic króna, Japanese yen, South Korean won

0.7 decimal places: Malagasy ariary, Mauritanian ouguiya. Yes, 0.7. These two countries divide their unit of currency into five subunits, so Wikipedia wonks decided to get all mathematical and describe this as 10 ^ 0.7 which is approximately 5.

Thank goodness I don’t have to handle the UK’s pre-decimal pounds/shillings/pence.