I was originally a PokerTracker user.   When I say originally, I mean literally… I had the very first PokerTracker product.  As I also played Omaha and Stud, I had PT Omaha and PT Stud too, which were separate and unique software.

The early versions of poker tracking software pale in comparison to power and flexibility of the current day offerings.  The really didn’t do much more than track hands and results.  (Ok, to be fair, that’s only partially true, the rest of the truth being that I was probably woefully underutilizing PT… still, it is fair to say that tracking software was in it’s infancy at the time and the power of the product reflected that). 

PokerTracker was really the only kid on the block until Hold’em Manager came along.  I did not immediately switch, as PT did everything I was looking for at the time, which was track my results, allow me to look for trends in my game and do some crude self-analysis in a more targeted way than just looking at random hands.  Still, I kept hearing more and more good things from the friends who played good volume and had switched to HEM.   Finally, I don’t remember exactly why, I gave them a try and was hooked.   HEM had more power and versatility than the PT product of the day.  I was a loyal HEM user for years.

The products have advanced since then.  HEM is currently running their 2nd generation software HM2, and PokerTracker, their 4th generation software PT4.   Still being on the original HEM, while functional, was starting to leave me feeling like a dinosaur.   After hearing some good things about PT4, I decided to have a look for myself. 

PT4 is quite an impressive product.  It includes NoteTracker Autonotes (including tournament autonotes designed by Shaun Deeb) as well as free form note editing and in game hand tagging, an equity calculator with include and exclude ranges, an ICM calculator with an ICM Quiz function, LeakTracker to help identify global problems, interactive reports and graphs, as well as custom global player scatter graphs.   And a HUD that is easy to lock in position, unlock and move around, then save and lock the new format… and the HUD automatically resizes with you when you change the size of your tables.  The HUD editor is easy to use for custom layouts. 

If it sounds like a lot, it is, and that’s not all of it.   The tool has a lot of power and functionality that I’m just now getting into.  Another nice feature is the video tutorials… throughout PT4 there are little mini video tutorials.  Anywhere you see a little green circle with a question mark in it, a 1-2 minute video tutorial is present explaining what the item is and how to use it. 

After downloading the free trial and having a look, I reached out to PokerTracker to introduce myself, explain what I do and my interest in converting to PT4 from HEM.  I got a return message from Steven McLoughlin, one of the top guys at PT… PokerSchoolOnline wasn’t really on his radar but after speaking to him on the phone and exchanging emails, we are now.   I came to learn that PokerTracker is starting to get involved with PokerStars in terms of sponsoring at some of their events (for example they were at the PCA this year he informed me), and in the end feeling this would be a good partnership, he offered to set myself and the Live Training staff up with PT4 and some instruction from one of their VIP trainers to show us the ins and outs of the product.   I learned a lot from this presentation, and in playing around with PT4 afterwards feel like I’m just scratching the surface of the functionality I’ll have when fully comfortable with it.   

Looking at a new software product can be a daunting task for some, especially when it’s one with so many “bells and whistles” like PT4 has.  I will admit for myself, something of this nature often gives me feelings that range between a kid in a candy store and totally overwhelmed.    But PT with their FAQ’s and forums, community page, tutorials, and quick video tutorials in product, do everything they can to make it easy just taking it one step at a time.  Color me impressed.

I am going to be doing my first Statistical Sleuth Live Training Session with PT4 for the presentation on Saturday the 16th of March at 14:00ET.  I hope you’ll come join me for what I expect to be a great learning session and catch a look at some screen shots from PT4 in the process.   You can join the session here:   Statistical Sleuth Praydk 16th March 2013 2pm ET