Above - Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier is getting ready for SuperNova Elite 2015
Ever since poker stopped being an activity that could only be performed using a set of 52 physical paper cards and ever since it became possible to play hold'em, omaha or stud using only your computer, poker and technology became inseparable. Some might argue that this compromised the purity and integrity of the game, others welcomed the benefits provided by technology with open arms.
No matter what's your stance on the subject, the one thing that poker is undoubtedly about is EVand it would be unwise to sacrifice it simply be refusing to access many of the poker tools available to us today.
Poker Tracker 4 and Holdem Manager 2
While PT4 and HM2have slightly different feature sets and offer somewhat different user experience there's definitely a lot more similarities between those two pieces of software than there are differences. They are priced competitively, they both offer a highly customizable HUD, they both allow you to analyze your game and the game of your opponents through graphs and filters based on the stored hand history.
Every professional poker player has to invest in one of the two, it's also a great idea for semi-pro players or even avid enthusiast without professional aspirations who invest a lot of time in their hobby. 60$ price tag for a small stakes version isn't very steep for what you're getting in return.
If you're on a budget and you happen to be a PokerStars player Jivaro might be a perfect solution for you. It's arguably a lot less sophisticated and deep than the aforementioned PT4 and HM2 (even if you decide to pay 5$ per month for the premium feature set), but what it lacks in depth it makes up in elegant design. Jivaro just works. There's no complicated configuration process and you can start using the software right away. Jivaro is beautiful.
The HUD design can automatically adjust to the size of the table or even the theme you're using. While you won't find any advanced filters in Jivaro you can still keep track of the hands you played during your session. Another quality of the software is that it's very lightweight, it doesn't require a monster PC to run very smoothly (which might not be the case for PT4 and HM2 especially when you have a large database).
Lastly, Jivaro might be the perfect solution for multi tabling MTT players because it gives them maximum information (through slick HUD combined with a feature called command center) with minimum clutter.
Strategy and Planning
While this isn't strictly a poker software it can definitely positively affect your win rate by aiding you in your poker education and planning. Evernote is a very simple program that allows you to create and store notes in the cloud ensuring that you always have access to them (you can use Evernote on multiple different platforms including the usual suspects like Windows, Android and iOS).
While this might not seem like the most feature-rich app in the world the capability of being your one stop shop for poker planning and education needs is very powerful (especially considering the fact that the free version if perfectly capable of that task).
If you're a part of a poker study group Trello can dramatically boost your productivity and streamline the planning process. Trello is basically a digital board that your team can use to schedule sweat sessions, plan theory discussions etc. etc.
It's simple, easy to use and the free version offers everything a poker study group might need. There are no harsh restrictions on the number of cards or tasks you can set up or anything like that. You'd be hard pressed to find an app that's better suited for boosting team productivity.
Equilab and Equilab Omaha
This is a staple in many poker player's learning routine. Equity calculations are still one of the most efficient and reliable ways of understanding poker. Equilab can aid you in EV calculations, constructing (and saving) preflop and postflop ranges, it can test how good you are at estimating preflop and postflop equities.
Flopzilla is a commercial alternative to Equilab. It's basically Equilab on steroids. Maybe not in terms of the feature set (it basically does only one thing - allows you to perform advanced hand vs. range and range vs. range equity analysis), but definitely in terms of raw power and the potential impact on your poker education.
If you're not religious about GTO(and even then Flopzilla can be very useful to you) studying the range vs. range equity is definitely the way to go if you want to become good at poker, and nothing works better for that purpose than Flopzilla.
Speaking of GTO, if you're fascinated by the game theory and you believe that it's the most important aspect when it comes to poker education in modern times look no further. PokerSnowie is essentially a set of educational tools based on a balanced and non-exploitative approach to the game of poker.
The program quizzes you on what's the optimal play in certain spots against players that are the closest approximation to the game theory optimal strategy users as possible, given the limited processing power available to us today. We're still far from developing the game theory optimal strategy for no limit hold'em (especially when it comes to the 6-max variant), but knowing how to approach poker from the game theory point of view can be a difference between winning and losing in today's mid to high stakes games.
Quality of Life Software
If you're a fan of mass multi tabling and you play on PokerStars or PartyPoker Table Ninja is just the thing for you. It allows you to establish keyboard shortcuts for different bet sizings and actions, it can also automate many different actions for you like using time back, closing tables, registering to tournaments etc. without the need to push any buttons in your actual poker client.
Table Ninja can also organize your table layout and greatly streamline your poker playing routine minimizing the amount of potential mistakes and maximizing your hourly winrate.
This small free app can really change your life and reduce the negative effect that spending a lot of time behind the computer screen can have on your sight and sleeping patterns. F.lux works in a similar fashion to popular (and pricey) Gunnar Glasses by yellow-shifting the color spectrum which makes looking at the screen far less stressful on your eyes.
You might need an adjustment period when using this program (looking at a screen that's getting progressively more yellow might be weird at first), but you can get used to if very quickly and the benefits are certainly worth it.
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