Poker Software
Apr 02, 2012 No Comments

HM poker software CEO, Jim Varnon, spent some time talking with PokerStrategy over the weekend answering questions about past and current HM2 Development.   


On surviving Black Friday and HM2 critics

Jim Varnon 2011 wasn’t an easy year for the online poker world. How was Hold’em Manager affected by Black Friday and the resulting fallout?

Jim Varnon: There was an initial drop in our volume for 3-4 months. It was primarily because there was so much uncertainty about the future of online poker and whether or not Full Tilt and PokerStars players would get their funds back. Within a couple of months players started to understand that the rumours of online poker's death were greatly exaggerated, and our business rebounded very well. When HM2 was first released many complained that it had numerous bugs, and some people still prefer the functionality of HM1. What are your thoughts about that?

Jim Varnon: There were initially issues that we addressed in the first few weeks after HM2 was released. We continue to send out regular updates to address remaining issues, prioritizing based on how many users are affected. Over the next couple of months, we expect that list to be substantially completed – even for issues that affect a small percentage of users or are seldom encountered.

The official update for Zoom Poker was just released and the next update will address a fundamental issue that some users have with RAM usage. The new version will strike a much greater balance for customers with low RAM or large amounts of hands.

HM2's capabilities and exclusive new features make it the most powerful software of its kind for online poker players. HM1 is still an outstanding piece of software, and some users have a bias to continue using it either because they are more familiar with it or because they may be inclined to wait until the HM2 software matures further.

We respect that and remain committed to our mission to proactively improve and innovate the HM2 software in order to ensure that it is the single best investment that any online poker player can make for their game.

The future of tracking software

HM2 HUD Options
The Hold'em Manager 2 HUD menu.
Click image for larger version. With the wide range of filters, statistics and reports in Hold’em Manager 2, how much more detail is there to potentially explore? What new ways can edges be gained via tracking software in the future of poker?

Jim Varnon: The framework of the HM2 database and the methodology that we use for filtering and reporting gives us some incredible opportunities to build on what is already in place. In addition to the street-by-street HUD that is an exclusive innovation of HM2, we have the ability to further expand on this type of thinking in the future and to even make the HUD line-specific.

As an example, there are certain stats that are relevant when you get check-raised by a villain on the turn and many other stats that you might normally have in your HUD that don't apply to that scenario. We have the ability in HM2 to identify such situations and to allow you to tailor your HUD for narrow situational lines such as that.

That is something that we will do in the future. For now the focus is on supporting the roll out of the new HM2 platform and on managing the technical support and updates that are necessary with a new piece of software like HM2. There are certainly an impressive number of applications for Hold’em Manager’s software. Are there any plans to add more in the future?

Jim Varnon: We are very selective about the applications that become a part of the HM App family, and there are three criteria that we consider:

1. The application must add significant incremental value to HM2 customers in either in-game or post-session analysis.

2. The application must meet a standard for the niche functionality and features that it offers.

3. The application developer must be willing to integrate the functionality into the core user experience for HM2 customers.

NoteCaddy is a new application with HM2, and it is an incredible tool to help improve your in-game decisions. The developer's execution of the integration and presentation for HM2 users is brilliant. HM2 comes with four of the most common NoteCaddy notes as standard and NoteCaddy Premium offers over 150 additional pre-defined notes, plus tools to create an unlimited number of personalized notes.

The newest HM App is Tilt Breaker. We were struck by how Tilt Breaker addressed a significant need that many players have by coming up with a creative and effective solution. Tilt Breaker will monitor for several indicators that you might be tilting and, when they are identified, it will lock down your poker clients for a pre-defined period of time. You can adjust the tilt definitions and the amount of time to lock down your poker clients. 

For Sit-N-Go and Tournament players, Sit-N-Go-Wizard (SnGWiz) will soon be releasing SnGWiz2. SnGWiz is the most popular software used by SnG and tournament players, and the new version is integrated into the core user experience for HM2 customers and has several new and exclusive features. Existing SnGWiz users can upgrade for free.

Check back on Wednesday, April 4th to see Part 2 of this interview. Jim discusses mobile poker and how poker software affects the poker economy.

Developer Insider, HM Apps, HM2 Poker Software, Recent Posts

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