A few years ago then it was PokerTracker who had the outright monopoly when it came to tracking software and the market for these items. However there was clearly enough room for a serious competitor to PokerTracker and along came contenders like Holdem Manager and Poker Office. Holdem Manager is now PokerTracker’s biggest rival in the industry by far when it comes to tracking software and many professionals prefer it for several reasons.
Holdem Manager like PokerTracker and Poker Office is a hand history program that provides real time data that is downloaded by way of hand histories onto the hard drive of your computer. The professional version of Holdem Manager costs $89.99 while there is a holdem/Omaha combination package for $149.99. However there are also ways to get the software for free as well and that is an avenue that you should certainly explore.
There are several key features of Holdem Manager that make it an absolutely cracking piece of kit for any player who has serious aspirations about improving their game. Firstly it has added on features like “table selector” and “leak buster” which do exactly as the name implies. These days any serious online player will tell you that one of the keys to making money in online poker is in finding profitable games.
If you cannot find profitable games then your chances of making money are seriously undermined. So to be able to tag and then find fish is one of the best features of Holdem Manager or HEM as it is commonly referred to in online forums and articles. The leak buster helps you in the area of finding leaks and faults within your game and this by itself is leading to the online poker games getting tougher and tougher.
The software is fully compatible with all of the leading online card rooms and it has a HUD (Heads up display) just like its PokerTracker and Poker Office counterparts. Because of the layout then many serious online players actually prefer HEM to PT and many are saying that the back-up service is better.
Where and how to get Holdem Manager:
Using HEM is pretty easy and you simply install PostgreSQL which takes a few minutes and that is probably the hardest part of the process of installing HEM. There are help screens to guide you and once you basically tell HEM where to grab the files from then it will do the rest. Then the next time that you play poker you will see a completely different screen in front of you with a HUD superimposed over each of your opponents.
You can get HEM from numerous different places but it also possible to explore certain avenues regarding getting the software for free as well and you can take a look at pokersites that specialise in tracking software and how to avail yourself of them. You will be able to read other reviews and see for yourself what you have been missing out on.
So just which piece of tracking software is superior, PT, HEM or Poker Office? Well seeing which one the serious players are talking about on online poker forums is usually a pretty good barometer of how good each one actually is. Poker Office is rarely discussed and although it would be unfair at this time to call it inferior to HEM and PT, it simply is bringing up the rear in terms of popularity and that could possibly tell its own story.
All of the serious players seem to be discussing and using either HEM or PT and it is difficult to predict which is the number one at this time. I think you probably will get equal amounts of use from both pieces of software. I have used all three down the years and I prefer PT but that probably has more to do with me being used to the software than it being superior in any way shape or form.
The hand replay feature is another great feature of HEM and this is great for plugging any leaks. But once again the question of ethics rears its ugly head because whatever your views are regarding the usefulness of tracking software then one thing is absolutely clear. This is that these items are designed with one objective and that is to take more money from fish at a faster rate.
Written By: Carl “The Dean” Sampson – Poker author, writer and online poker pro