Hot Topics in Poker Software - Week of November 10th, 2008

Date: 2008-11-10
Author: Dan Cypra

It’s been a busy few weeks since opened its doors. Since then, we’ve had hundreds of poker software enthusiasts head to our site and register for a free member account. We even held a freeroll over the weekend and, despite the password being leaked out, we still awarded pieces of poker software to the top 10 finishers. In the background of the site’s launch is major news from around the world of poker software. Let’s take a look at some of the hot topics from the industry this week.

First and foremost, our attention heads to online poker room Ultimate Bet. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) fingered Russ Hamilton, a former affiliate manager, as being the man responsible for stealing millions of dollars from members of the site. Hamilton and the other accomplices (who have not been publicly named) exploited an auditing tool in order to see the hole cards of other players. Last week, Excapsa, which formerly held ownership in UB prior to the sale of the online poker room to Tokwiro, lost a judgment in a Canadian courtroom and must now pay UB $15 million. The money will be used to refund players who were affected.

Poker cheating programs like the one we reviewed in a front-page article here on can promise players the opportunity to see the exact same thing as Hamilton and company did: every person’s hole cards. However, no such program can offer that omniscience. Instead, it takes a complicated setup involving multiple CPUs, IP blockers, and a wallet-full of credit cards with different names and addresses in order to work. Inherently, we are all humans; we all make mistakes. Any attempt to thwart the system will ultimately fail by human error.

At, we’ve reviewed some of the most well-known and popular programs in existence. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a program that you run across, your best bet is to ask about it. Post about it in the forum or Google it and see what comes up. We’ll have an article outlining how to tell whether poker software programs are viable or not in the coming days.

PokerTracker 3 was recently introduced and, along with Hold’em Manager and other tracking and analysis programs, has helped thousands of online poker players become more knowledgeable about their play. Where else can you turn to in order to figure out the “key stats” that you need to know about your play and the play of others? With the Full Tilt Online Poker series currently going on at Full Tilt Poker, many members have been using PT3, Hold’em Manager, and other key pieces of poker software in order to log hands against some of the top tournament pros around as well as a host of amateurs looking to strike it big. The debate of whether to use PokerTracker 3 or Hold’em Manager will rage on for quite some time. Read Fox’s analysis of PokerTracker 3 versus Hold’em Manager.

If you’re looking for an alternative to either of these programs, then check out Poker Office. has learned that Version 5.0 of Poker Office is scheduled to be released in the near future, perhaps as early as this week. Although a target date could not be confirmed, expect a brand new version of this up and coming program. Poker Office 2.49 was released last week and included a fix for the new Ongame client. Recent upgrades have added support for the Prima client as well as Stryyke Poker.

The industry has also had a chance to react to the news that SharkScope is now banned on PokerStars. member BoarderDave1 posted on our site, “I use this constantly and to outlaw it is ridiculous. It's not doing any harm after all. It only allows a person to see data that they could see anytime anyway just by sitting and watching players for a long time.” The SharkScope home page still lists PokerStars as an active website. Its database contains over 180 million sit and go tournament results including:
PokerStars – 63.5 million sit and gos
Full Tilt Poker – 41.2 million sit and gos
iPoker Network – 14.1 million sit and gos
Pacific Poker – 9.6 million sit and gos
CryptoLogic – 7.4 million sit and gos

Users who have SharkScope’s home page open and are using the program for a site like Full Tilt Poker, but have PokerStars open as well, may now be in violation of PokerStars’ Terms of Service. In addition, its enforcement may be dubious as well given that players could open on a laptop or other computer nearby and read stats from there. Our very own Chris “Fox” Wallace commented in a thread on, “I use this constantly and to outlaw it is ridiculous. It's not doing any harm, after all. It only allows a person to see data that they could see anytime anyway just by sitting and watching players for a long time.”

Visit the Poker Software Discussion Forum to see what else is been the talk of the town here on

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