Poker Tracker Review
Aug 10, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

Online card rooms are the greatest thing to happen to poker since, well, the invention of the game itself. Finding your game of choice, at any limit you choose, has never been easier than it is today. And when it comes to tournament play, there’s just no better way to practice your game (or make some serious cash) than logging on to your favorite poker site and browsing through its tournament lobby. For most people, these advantages are enough to make playing online worthwhile, but there’s another hidden advantage to playing online: hand histories. Most major online card rooms now offer the option of keeping hand histories stored on your hard drive for periods ranging upward from a month, allowing you to go back over your play and analyze it at your leisure in order to improve your play. When it comes to this analysis, nothing else compares to using Poker Tracker from PJI, Inc.

Poker Tracker is a robust package of tools that can be configured to work with a wide range of sites. The first step to using the program is to import hand history files. There are two ways to do this: Poker Tracker can import some history files directly off your hard drive as you play, and for sites that can't be imported directly you can manually import them from hand history files you request by e-mail from the site. Hold'em ring games and tournaments played at Party Poker and its affiliates, Poker Stars, Ultimate Bet, and Pacific Poker can be imported into Poker Tracker for later analysis, while hold'em ring game histories from 41 other sites are currently supported.

Once you've imported your history files and are ready to analyze your play, Poker Tracker offers a stunning array of options for breaking down your play. On the most basic level you can view how loose or tight you've been playing, monitor how aggressive you've been with your raises, and keep track of how much money you've won. All of this information can also be broken down by individual session, allowing you to pinpoint times when you've played particularly well or made big mistakes that cost you money. You can delve further into the information by analyzing your play by position. Do you try to steal too often, or fold your blinds to small raises too much? It's easy to find these sorts of weaknesses when you analyze your positional statistics. You can even track how often you hit different poker hands and how often they hold up, giving you a wider knowledge of how the game works if you're just getting started with poker. If you have a question about any facet of your game, Poker Tracker can help you answer it.

One of the most useful functions of Poker Tracker is its ability to track your opponents' play and auto-rate them based on their statistics. Every player who ever sits at your table will end up in your Poker Tracker database, with all the same information available to you that you have on your own play - and when you set it up to do so, Poker Tracker will identify the maniacs, the calling stations, the rocks, and the outright fish for you. Then, in conjunction with free third-party programs such as GameTime+ or PokerAce HUD, you can overlay your opponents' statistics and ratings on the poker site software to give you real-time updates on the table situation as you play. There's probably no better tool available for maximizing your online poker profits than combining the auto-rate function of Poker Tracker with the third-party overlay programs.

A fully functional demo of Poker Tracker, which will allow you to import 1000 hands and test out every feature of the program to your heart's content, is available for download on the product's web site. If you decide that the program is useful enough to you, the registration fee to unlock Poker Tracker is only $55.00 - less than one full buy-in at a $2/4 limit hold'em game. If that seems high to you, keep in mind that Poker Tracker is the sort of tool that will pay for itself within a few weeks if it allows you to eliminate even one hole in your game. Also worth noting is that the product is continually being updated to keep pace with new features and upgrades at your favorite poker sites, and every single update that's been provided since the first version of Poker Tracker has been free to registered users. So, buying not only will Poker Tracker help you start fixing leaks in your bankroll, but it will continue to help you do so as your bankroll grows larger without costing you anything more than your initial investment. That's the sort of deal that just gets better as time goes by..

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