The Poker Timer Synopsis
The Poker Timer is a program for running poker tournaments that is simple to use. It comes with everything you need to run a successful poker event other than the poker table, chips, and cards.
The Poker Timer Full Review
The Poker Timer is an excellent piece of tournament management software that has a free version and a paid version. The software is super fast and easy to install and you do not need a detailed manual to get started, as everything is very intuitive and self-explanatory.
When deciding on what you want your tournament to look like, the software gives three preset tournaments you can base your structure off of or it is simple to create your own. The three preset tournaments can be run as is or edited to create your perfect customized tournament. They are called Home Game, Turbo, and Championship.
Whether creating a tournament from scratch or editing an existing tournament, the first aspect to look at is the Tournament Structure. Here is where you can set up the blind levels, antes, how long each level should be, and when you want breaks to occur:
The next step is to enter how many entrants you have. The three preset tournaments automatically start with six entrants; however, it is simple to add or remove entrants as your needs require. Entering in the players' names is recommended as well, although this is optional.
After this, you need to quickly set up what the buy-in of the tournament is and how many chips each person starts with. If you plan to run a rebuy tournament, you will need to enter the cost of each rebuy and add-on along with how many chips each player will receive.
The last step before you are ready to start running a tournament is to input how many people get paid along with what percentage each payout spot receives.
This might sound more complicated than it really is, but you can literally set up a tournament in a couple of minutes and be ready to go.
During game play, there is a large clock showing how much time is left in the current blind level along with what the next blind levels are scheduled to be and when the next break is scheduled to occur. If there is a reason to pause or move the time backward or forward, this can be done manually:
You can also select a different tab while the tournament is running to show the payouts, which will keep the clock displayed simultaneously. This tab can be useful as the money bubble is approaching and when everyone is already in the money anticipating pay jumps.
If you want to help beginning players learn the game, there are also an in-game tab showing the rules of Texas Hold'em and another tab showing what the best poker hands are. Since poker is a family affair, these might be useful for the true beginner who might not know how the game is meant to be played and that a flush is better than a straight.
The other in-game tools are for player management. It is very easy to manage individual players to show when they have busted out of a tournament and when they have opted to purchase a rebuy or add-on for extra chips. The prize pool will automatically change based on the conditions you used during setup.
The Poker Timer's automated poker host vocally updates players when blind levels will go up in 10 minutes, five minutes, and one minute. There is also a countdown for the last 10 seconds of any blind level. There are informative announcements to players for knockouts and rebuys too.
While The Poker Timer can be used for free, we would recommend that if you are running a tournament, purchase the full version, as the free version has limitations. With the free version, there is no ability to create and save tournaments, no ability to use the full screen mode, a maximum restriction of eight players exists, it only works while you have an online connection, and advertisements are displayed. The full version only costs $19.99, which is a bargain considering the amount of work that can be avoided when trying to run a tournament.
Personally, we love this tournament clock and couldn't imagine running our friendly home games without it.
I have used The Poker Timer for a home tourney with my mates. Really happy with this new comer. The preset tournaments are good and simple to edit if you want to mix it up a little. It would be great if you could save your own structures so you can have them all the time. The prise pool calculation is great too. Takes the head scratching out of the night when you have had a couple of beers.Visually it is one of the more sexy timers out there and super easy to use. Some others that I have used are a little clunky. Over all a great app, and best of all it free! Looking forward to seeing what the premium edition is going to be.