Poker Software Revealed with Woody Deck (plplaya)

Date: 2015-01-29
Author: Jason Glatzer

We sat down with Woody "plplaya" Deck to get his unique perspective on poker software. He has had success in cash games and tournaments both online and live. In the tournament arena, Deck took first place in a €2,600 Heads-Up Poker Circuit event at Casino Barcelona in September 2005 for over $70,000. Deck also took first place in a three-way chop of a SCOOP NL Omaha Hi/Lo event for over $40,000 in 2012.
PokerSoftware:  What poker-related software do you use while playing or as a study tool?
Woody Deck:  I am currently using Hold'em Manager 2, Poker Calculator 1.1.2 from 2002, Free Poker DB, and Microsoft Excel 2003.
PokerSoftware:  How are you using Poker Calculator 1.1.2?  Why do you use this as opposed to other poker odds calculators on the market?
Woody Deck:  In my opinion, Poker Calculator was the best program around at the time and I stuck with it because I found errors in other calculators. PokerStars recently released all-in odds that were incorrect, for example. If you cut corners, you can get the wrong result. Poker Calculator has very long-winded code, but gets the right results. I trust it because I tested it.
I also used the logic from decompiling the java to make my own more efficient odds calculator for Stud Hi/Lo. I use it like others would use PokerJuice (best for Omaha) or PokerStove (only does NL with ranges). It doesn't do complicated ranges, but you can put in dead cards and it tells you whether a decision wins or loses equity.
PokerSoftware:  Why do you sometimes use the Free Poker DB instead of Hold'em Manager 2?
Woody Deck:  I use its HUD and tools for all non-four-card games and I sync the four-card hands in it. It is not very good for complex analysis, but it's very good for keeping track of basic stats and has a good, highly customizable HUD.
PokerSoftware:  Why do you choose to use Hold'em Manager 2 over PokerTracker 4?
Woody Deck:  I actually was using PokerTracker many years ago. When PokerTracker was supporting OS X back then, it was pretty terrible and bug-laden. The free solutions for OSX were actually better. I never used any tracking software, as all of them were very annoying and buggy. I would boot into Windows and use PokerTracker 2 until I switched back to Windows last year.
PokerTracker wouldn't switch over the license to Windows from their Mac version, which is an uncommon policy in the software industry. So, I bought Hold'em Manager 2 when PokerTracker 2 no longer worked right. Hold'em Manager 2 has a worse design and functions worse than the original version, but the tools for analysis are superior. Everybody I know says the same thing and nobody uses PokerTracker except to pull out sick brags from 2005.
PokerSoftware:  How valuable is Hold'em Manager to you while playing?
Woody Deck:  In Zoom Poker, the software is vital. The game plays based on math alone. You don't have time to get reads on opponents' current moods, so everyone sticks to theory. In full ring, it is not needed at all. Most winning players still left use it, but only for kind of abstract information. A few guys I know don't use any HUD and only use Hold'em Manager for analysis every so often if they have a bad day. Seating scripts are more important to winning in mid- to high-stakes games than HM2, though.
PokerSoftware:  Should seating scripts be allowed by online poker operators?
Woody Deck:  No. They are horrible and the people who use them are horrible. I would be disappointed if anyone I knew used them. It takes all the fun right out of the game. Not the targeting of the fish, but the way it breaks the games. People refuse to play unless fish are sitting in. This is why Zoom is actually a great format. It is unfortunate that the rake is about five times higher than it should be, but the logic of it is sound. In the high-stakes games, you still can beat the rake, so it is a great innovation.
PokerSoftware:  How are you using Excel as it relates to poker?
Woody Deck:  I am using Excel to track results and calculate risk in regards to bankroll management. In my opinion, the tracking programs don't parse data needed for record-keeping very well.

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