« Kevin Ngo

Poker Sess.28 - Building an App for Tournament Players

26 Jul 2014

Nothing like a win to get things back on track. I went back to my bread-and-butter, the Saturday freerolls at the Final Table. Through the dozen or so times I’ve played these freerolls, I’ve amassed an insane ROI. After three hours of play, we chopped four ways for $260.

Building a Personalized Poker Buddy App

I have been thinking about building a personalized mobile app for myself to assist me in all things poker. I always try to look to my hobbies for inspiration to build and develop. With insomnia at time of writing, I was reading Rework by 37signals to pass the time. It said to make use of fleeting inspiration as it came. And this idea may click. The app will have two faces. A poker tracker on one side, and a handy tournament pocket tool on the other.

The poker tracker would track and graph earnings (and losings!) over time. Data is beautiful, and a solid green line slanting from the lower-left to the upper-right would impart some motivation. My blog (and an outdated JSON file) has been the only means I have for bookkeeping. I’d like to be able to easily input results on my phone immediately after a tournament (for those times I don’t feel like blogging after a bust).

The pocket tool will act as a “pre-hand” reference during late stage live tournaments. To give recommendations, factoring in several conditions and siutations, on what I should do next hand. It will be optimized to be usable before a hand since phone-use during a hand is illegal. The visuals will be obfuscated and surreptitious (maybe style it like Facebook…) such that neighboring players not catch on. I’d input the blinds, antes, number of players, table dynamics, my stack size, and my position to determine the range of hands I can profitably open-shove.

Though it can also act a post-hand reference, containing Harrington’s pre-flop strategy charts and some hand vs hand race percentages.

I’d pay for this, and I’d other live tournament players would be interested as well. I have been in sort of an entrepreneur mood lately, grabbing Rework and $100 Start-Up. I have domain knowledge, a need for a side project, a niche, and something I could dogfood.

The Poker Bits

Won the morning freeroll, busted on the final table on the afternoon freeroll. The biggest mistake that stuck out was calling off a river bet with AQ on a KxxQx board against a maniac (who was obviously high). He raised UTG, I flatted in position with AQ. I called his half-pot cbet with a gutshot and over keeping his maniac image in mind. I improved on the turn and called a min-bet. Then I called a good-sized bet on the river. I played this way given his image and the pot odds, but I should 3bet pre, folded flop, raised turn, or folded river given the triple barrel.

I have been doing well in online tournaments as well. A first place finish in single-table tourney, and a couple high finishes in 500-man multi-table tourneys. Though I have been doing terrible in cash games. It’s weird, I used to play exclusively 6-max cash, but since I started playing full ring tourneys, I haven’t gotten reaccustomed to it. I prefer the flow of tourneys; it has a start and an end, players increasingly become more aggressive, the blinds make it feel I’m always on the edge. Conversely, cash games are a boring grind.

Session Conclusions