StackAndTile, Table Ninja, and HUDs with iPlayTourneys

Date: 2013-01-16
Author: Jason Glatzer

I am pleased to interview iPlayTourneys while he is starting off his Sunday session. He is notorious for playing many tables at a time and once had 50 open in August 2012 when he won the PokerStars Monthly PLB.

iPlayTourneys plays on PokerStars and Full Tilt under the screen name "rh300487" and is currently the #1 ranked player in Brazil and 18th worldwide according to PocketFives with almost $3 million in lifetime cashes.

PokerSoftware: What poker software do you currently use on a regular basis?

iPlayTourneys: I currently use StackAndTile, Custom Title Bar, Rebuy Script, Table Ninja, and PokerTracker 4.

PokerSoftware: Can you tell us how you utilize each of them while you are playing poker online?

Randy: StackAndTile allows me to play on multiple sites and stack all sites together. The program brings tables to the front when action is required. When you decide to get involved in a hand, the table moves to a programmed slot and you have full focus on it until you are done. Then, it moves back into the stack. You get the focus and control of tiling, but can add a lot more tables because you are stacking at the same time.

Custom Title Bar works for PokerStars and creates a colored bar around your tables. You can add all types of information, but I don’t play too much with it because I use it to be aware of which table comes up from the stack without needing to look.

Rebuy Script allows me to rebuy at the start of an MTT and otherwise program a single-click button on my keyboard or mouse that will rebuy. Once you are used to it, you can’t imagine playing without it.

I only use Table Ninja on PokerStars for bet-sizing and annoyances like clicking the "OK" button, time bank, and getting back in a game in case I accidentally sit out.  Since FTP is back, I’m also using Time Bank Butler, which clicks the time bank on FTP.

I have a very simple HUD for PT4. I don’t think a HUD is as important as people value it in tournaments. Stack sizes, game flow, and table setup (the alignment of players and their stack sizes) are always different in MTTs. My HUD shows VPIP/PFR/3BET%/BBs.

PokerSoftware: Can you tell us how you have StackAndTile set up?

iPlayTourneys: The key to my setup is the mouse. I have the Logitec GX700. Almost all of my actions are performed with my mouse.

I go back forth between setups for making my grids full of tables. I think your setup should depend on your screen(s). At home, I have two 24" screens and a laptop hooked up to it. I do four screens per table and a ninth slot on the side (50/50 between second screen and laptop screen) for all tables to stack.

I use "Play" mode, stack and tile tables, and "Move to Grid: When Action Required." That way, the moment an action is required, a table moves out of the stack slot and into the grid (eight slots available) and then I can perform my action. Mostly, I have four slots fixed and four slots open so the tables can move around in the open slots and I have four slots that I focus on. I notice that when I focus on specific tournaments, the odds I get deeper in them increase by a mile.

On my laptop (Dell Precision 15"), I have the same type of setup and use four slots and a fifth slot to stack my tables. I recently discovered software called MaxiVista that allows your iPad to function as a small monitor, so I'm going to use this next time for Skype, lobbies, etc.

When wanting to mass-table, I use a different setup with one screen with six slots. And I use the "Move to Grid: After Entering Pot" option. My slots will look like:

5   2   3
6   1   4

Slot 1 will be the slot with all tables/stacks involved and they just pop up when action is required. Here, it's very important to set up your StackAndTile well because all websites have the option to pop up your table when action is required. If you don't set it up correctly, then you will mis-click a lot and blame StackAndTile for not working well. I think this is a very common mistake people make.

With this setup, I can play up to 50 tables at the same time on my laptop or any other screen. This was the highest number of tables I've ever played and I didn’t really feel stressed. Mostly, I will have one focus table and the rest is just clicking to build stacks. Custom Title Bar is extremely useful because you can set colors to identify specific tournaments. My setup shows different colors for:

Low-Stakes MTTs
Mid-Stakes MTTs
Between Mid- and High-Stakes MTTs
High-Stakes MTTs
Top Range High-Stakes MTTs

PokerSoftware: Do you think the pricing of poker software is fair? Do you prefer fixed costs or monthly costs?

iPlayTourneys: Programs like PT4 and Holdem Manager 2 are very cheap and used by almost any grinder. The more users a program has, the cheaper the price naturally becomes. I feel PT4 is a little too cheap (the price could be double and everyone would still pay it and it would be well worth it) and it offers great support if you ever have problems with anything. Small programs like Custom Title Bar, Time Bank Butler, and Table Ninja are at the right price level.

The hardest software to rate is StackAndTile. There is a monthly fee or an annual fee. Most of the people are complaining that it's too expensive, but I guess the people who complain about that are probably right and are just not at the level of poker to afford such a monthly cost.

If you analyze the results being able to double the number of tables or just have more time and comfort to focus on what decisions to make, this monthly fee should be paid back almost every single day you are playing poker.

In the end with most software and things related to poker (coaching, for example), you should estimate the EV of the service versus the costs. If the costs are too high, it's a -EV choice and you should let it go. If it's +EV or could become +EV, you should review it and weigh your options.

As for whether a program should be a fixed fee or a one-time fee, I feel it depends the software. To me, an annual fee, one-time fee, and monthly fee are all the same. Software like StackAndTile is priced well in my opinion and well worth it. At the moment, the support of StackAndTile is the best out there and I know a lot of people who had personal support setting it up, although this type of service has a price.

If you are interested in assistance with setting up StackAndTile or other poker software, please send Randy a PM under iPlayTourneys on PocketFives.

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