PokerSoftware Introduces Sean Gibson

Date: 2009-02-17
Author: Sean Gibson

It's a pleasure to be a part of the team here at To make introductions, my name is Sean Gibson.  I started playing poker in a weekly Seven Card Stud game in high school. I enjoyed poker's social aspects more than any profit I ever saw at the tables. In college, I didn't play again until the Texas Hold'em boom began and eventually became very bored of the $1 or $5 buy-in SNG style games we had in the dorms. This caused me to move away from poker, focus on my studies, and graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration on the Dean's List from CSU San Marcos.

Poker would return to my life in the form $5 sit and gos on PartyPoker. I was able to grind a $50 bankroll into approximately $600. When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was enacted in 2006, I unloaded all of my money and quit poker yet again. Finally, in January of 2008, I decided that driving one hour each way to my local card room wasn't worth the expense when hundreds of thousands of players were logging on every day and decided to learn No Limit Hold'em cash games, starting at the very bottom levels and working my way up using proper bankroll management techniques.  With a small deposit of $240, I worked my way up in stakes and currently grind away at the $100 No Limit tables on PokerStars profitably.

As a year of online poker playing experience has been put in the books, I've been asked to write about the software programs I've used and provide feedback on each.  I wish I had read (or could have found) an article like this a year ago, as it would have sped up the improvements in my game and saved me a lot of time and headaches.

Poker software that I currently use includes:

Holdem Manager (Version 1.08, Beta 7)
This is the best cash (and now tournament) hand history tracker for statistics on your game and villain information. The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is fantastic and the cost is very reasonable.  There is every stat imaginable available within the program and the recent 1.08 update has upgraded the program to support MTT and SNG tracking.

PokerTracker 3 (Build 2)
I quit on this program once the HUD kept freezing up on me and it crashed while in sessions playing more than six tables at once.  I have a Quad Core Intel machine with 3GB of RAM, so I know it wasn't my hardware.  A disappointing product and released well too soon.

AHK Scripts: Bet Pot, Stars Assistant, and The Opener
Certainly when I play on multiple tables, the Stars Assistant and Bet Pot scripts become my best friends.  Highlighting in red the tables that require action and being able to configure right-click bet amounts for different streets make multi-tabling much easier.  The Opener is a neat little script that makes launching multiple programs at once as easy at hitting one single button.

The Range Exploration tool within this program is golden in terms of being able to plug in hands from sessions to see if you made the right move or not.  It's a little too much to be using this program while in a hand, but it's a great tool to help with self-analysis of your game.

It’s essentially the same thing as the Range Exploration tool in Pokerazor, but just not as cool.

Poker Academy Pro
This is the best and most accurate "game" of poker that you can buy to improve your play.  It isn't cheap, but the artificial intelligence of Poker Academy Pro is better than any video game you can find.  I think it's a better alternative to playing in freerolls since the AI is programmed to act like actual players in a real-life atmosphere.
Everyone who plays online poker has a neglected blog (except for me and apparently three other people).  Keeping a blog has been therapeutic in terms of being able to vent out frustrations, talk poker, and track my progress as months go by. makes it super easy to have your own domain name and keep a blog.

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