You may recall how the University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group developed a program -- or, really, a series of programs -- called Polaris, which they pitted against Phil Laak and Ali Eslami in a series of duplicate poker matches last summer. My understanding is that the Poker Academy software uses the CPRG’s research, thus creating what is apparently a pretty powerful training program. Once I get it up and running and learn about the ins & outs, I’ll try to write something about it here.
Meanwhile, a couple of months ago I was sent another, more modest program to review, something called Texas Calculatem. I tried it out and found some of the features interesting, though decided ultimately I probably wasn’t going to be using it when I play. To be frank, I have gotten to the point where I don’t even like to run PokerTracker/PokerAce HUD when I’m playing, simply because I feel I remain better engaged with what’s happening at the table without the added distraction. (Still, I know a lot of folks do get a lot out of seeing those insta-stats when playing.)
Texas Calculatem is primarily a poker odds calculator. I could be wrong, but I believe it is mostly intended to be used in fixed limit HE. When you are dealt a hand, you are told immediately how it ranks relative to other starting hands. For example, when I was dealt QJ-offsuit, I learned its hand rank was 87.8%; when I was dealt 72-offsuit, I learned its hand rank was 0.7%; and so forth. If the hand appears in one of Sklansky’s hand groupings, you get a little note up top telling you which. So for my QJ-offsuit hand, the program told me I had a “Sklansky 5” hand.
After the flop (and thereafter), you get indications of how many outs you might have, what the odds are you’ll draw one of those outs, and a suggestion regarding how to proceed (“Check or Fold,” “Check or Call One Small Bet,” etc.). Yr basic poker odds, then, though it does not calculate pot odds. If you want a pot odds calculator, you have to get another program, called CalculatemPro.
Like I say, not really something I’m going to be using very much. I am recalling, however, when I first started playing online how I would prop these little notecards with Sklansky hand groupings & odds/outs next to the screen. I suppose a program like Texas Calculatem fulfills that function, in a way, and maybe even helps tutor the novice a bit in how to recognize hand strengths.
A few different things planned this week, including some more about Absolute/Kahnawake, a poker movie review, and perhaps something about the 2008 National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC (coming up at the end of Feb.). Hell, I might even have to tell you all about a Razz hand I played (in H.O.R.S.E.).
For now, though, I’m gonna go watch some football. See ya tomorrow.
Labels: *on the street