FreePokerDB (FPDB) Synopsis
If you are one of the many online poker players not using a Heads-Up Display (HUD), then you are quickly dipping into the minority. Unfortunately, the reason that many players do not have an HUD or track their hand histories is because they simply can't justify spending the $65 to $150 it takes to buy a program like Holdem Manager or PokerTracker. Now, through the help of a lone programmer, an open-source program called the FreePokerDB has made its way across the internet and allows a user to track critical stats, winnings, and losses and even have an on-table HUD, all for free.
FreePokerDB (FPDB) Full Review
First, it should be noted that installation of the FreePokerDB isn't something that is going to be accomplished through an easy double-clicking experience. Again, this is an open-source, free program, so you will have to put some extra effort into setting it up. You'll need to download MySQL (free) and install that first. Then, you'll have to download the special installer file and after it's done, reboot your computer. You'll unzip the FreePoker Database files to your computer and run the program. Chances are you're still not done, as you'll probably have to create the database manually in a MySQL editor. Once you've finished that, you’ll need to get into the program and create tables for it.
By then, you will breathe a sigh of relief, as you have accomplished the setup process. In order to get the graphing feature to work, you'll need to download two small programs, install them, and then restart the application. Past that, much of the program runs itself. The auto-import feature only requires the user to enter the folder where hand histories are saved for PokerStars, for example.
For now, much of the program is in development (marked “todo” within the program's menu), but you’ll find a straightforward stats program and functional Heads-Up Display (HUD). The "Bulk Import" option allows a user to import hand history files en masse and get them into the database in fairly quick order. Once that's done, you can check out the stats from within the "Viewers" dropdown menu. The "Player Stats Tabulated View" brings up stats sorted by buy-in level and gives a bevy of standard statistics like VPIP, PFR, BB/100, and more. There is no way to customize the report at this time.
The HUD is overlaid on your poker table, but requires you to move it around in order for it to appear next to the appropriate villain at the table. There are six stats in the HUD by default and some ability to tweak these in the HUD's XML configuration file exists. The number of stats available is limited at this time, but as development moves forward on this open-source project, more should be created in later versions. As it stands now, the HUD is legible, functional, and exactly what you would expect from a freeware program. Here is a view of the HUD:
FPDB also has a very nice "Table Viewer" tab that will allow you to check out just about every statistic you can imagine on your opponents. The list is laid out in an easy-to-read format, so at a quick glance, you will be able to find out how many hands a player has in the database and how passive or aggressive they are. You can then use this information against your opponent. The Table Viewer looks like this:
Unlike its paid competitors, FreePokerDB supports less frequently played games online including Stud and Draw. While it also supports Hold'em and Omaha, this is an ideal piece of software if you like to play many different forms of poker.
The FreePokerDB v0.22 program is a fantastic way for a micro-stakes player to get into the world of hand history tracking and take advantage of an HUD at absolutely no cost. If one has the patience to overcome the lengthy installation and debugging process, the reward is a functional program that can save users a nice chunk of change over rival programs like Holdem Manager and PokerTracker.
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