Two Top Online Professionals Talk Poker Software

Date: 2008-11-25
Author: Earl Burton

Online poker players have a wealth of poker software to choose from. To maximize their time and investment, most of the dedicated online poker players will use programs to assist in their decision-making and have the ability to multi-table without watching each table directly. We have asked two top players what their choices are on the virtual tables and how poker software helps them.

Bryan Devonshire has been able to make the leap from the virtual world to playing in brick and mortar tournaments very successfully. Since he began playing professionally in 2005, the man known to many as “Devo” has won over $800,000 in his career. Devonshire still plays online regularly and, whether the game is online or live, he is a consistent threat wherever he’s in action.

“When it came to poker software, I really didn’t look for anything special in those programs,” Bryan said at the start of our conversation. “I found that PokerTracker 2 and PokerACE HUD were the ones that worked best for me in the past and I used them all of the time. The newest version of PokerTracker (3), though, is the best of them all and is the only program that I use anymore.”

When asked what he liked about PokerTracker 3, Devo delved deep into the information that the software provides: “It enables me to multi-table effectively online and easily gives me reasonable reads on the players I am up against,” Devonshire pointed out. “All of the statistical information that you could want on an opponent is there at the click of the mouse and, especially with the HUD, you have it in front of you at all times.”

Newcomers to the game may want to jump into using poker software, but Devonshire warns them to understand what they are using fully before firing up programs like PokerTracker: “One of the things I can suggest that new players do is learn what it is that they are looking at. The information that is available to you is useless unless you know what it means, how to use it, and how it can affect the decisions you make at the tables.”

Doug Darrin is a 30 year-old former software program developer who ditched the 9-to-5 job for a life as a professional online player. He plays online several hours per day, grinding out a profitable living, and admits, “Without poker software, there is no way that I would be able to do this.”

Because he plays on PokerStars, Darrin has found a particular program that works well on that online poker site: “PokerStars Manager is really helpful because it picks out the table that needs immediate attention and assists me with bet sizing. There are other programs that I use as well which datamine information that I don’t get by being able to watch the tables closely.”

When it comes to tournaments, Darrin doesn’t use anything: “The texture of tournaments requires a more in-depth look at situations than just what the numbers say,” he stated. “But I don’t play tournaments much because there isn’t the reward for the time spent. I would rather multi-table at the lower limits and show a profit for the time that I play.”

Echoing Devonshire’s comments, Darrin noted, “If you don’t know how to use the information you have, even the best player is better off without it,” he said. “Furthermore, there isn’t a piece of software out there that is going to make a bad player better. You have to have the basics of the game down for it to be of use to you.”

Whether you use poker software or don’t, the tips from those that make a living playing online should be heeded. Most of the top online players view poker software as another tool in their poker kit that can be utilized to assist in making decisions and to make their time spent profitable.

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