Heads-Up with PokerTracker's Steve McLoughlin: Part 1

Date: 2013-10-19
Author: Jason Glatzer

We recently sat down with PokerTracker's Steven McLoughlin for a behind-the-scenes look at PokerTracker 4's biggest release in a while. Version 4.10 added the ability to have proprietary Premium Add-Ons, support for two new big client updates, and many other enhancements.

PokerSoftware: Tell us about your new Premium Add-On feature and how the idea came about.

Steven McLoughlin: Let me give you a brief rundown of what our upcoming Premium Add-Ons feature really is. This is the first stage of our Premium Add-On rollout, which will take place over multiple releases, and although the feature was recently added, we are still working to complete the Add-On experience for our users.

We are now working with the first third-party HUD developer to incorporate their product into our new Premium Add-On ecosystem. We hope to have the first Premium Add-On for our users before the end of the year. It will be a Premium HUD.

The concept of the Premium Add-Ons is really simple. It's easiest to explain when you step back and look at our goals for developing PT4 from the beginning. PokerTracker 4's vision was to create a world in which you don't necessarily have to go out and buy any third-party tools. For example, we incorporated ICM into the application and it is better than anything that had been done before. There has never been a full ICM experience built into a tracker before this. You couldn't even buy a third-party add-on to get the level of experience we provide.

With ICM, we are now able to calculate net adjusted winnings, which is basically the equivalent of all-in equity specific to tournaments because when you go all-in, your equity in chips is not as important to know as your prize pool equity in that tournament at the final table. The only way we can provide this is if we can calculate ICM on the fly by determining the type of tournament that you are playing in, estimating the payout structure, and knowing you are at a final table. Only PokerTracker can do that. No one else can automate this with the level of accuracy we provide, including for exotic formats like rebuys and shootouts.

One of the reasons why is because tournament hand histories don't contain the information that is needed. You would think that an online poker room would provide all of this information in a hand history, but none of this information is available. We have to use a massive database that reviews every single tournament type that has ever been released on any of the networks we support.

Another example would be the integration of NoteTracker, our automated note-taking solution. In the world of Holdem Manager, you have to spend another $99 to get this type tool, but in the world of PokerTracker, there is no extra cost and it is the most powerful system out there for customizing your own notes.

Then there are numerous add-ons, customizations, custom stats, and more already available for free from the PokerTracker 4 Download Warehouse. It was our vision to create a tool where you only had to buy PokerTracker once. All of the extra options would either be created directly by our company or available through the free Download Warehouse ecosystem.

There are thousands of add-ons that have already been made available for free. What we discovered after the fact is that some developers were reluctant to share their tools, even if they chose to sell their tools. The reason why is that some developers were concerned they had no way to protect their custom HUDs, reports, and coaching tools.

There are great players who might be hesitant to share their information, knowledge, and labor they put into their work all because they weren't sure if there was a way they were going to get paid. So, we went to work on a new solution that respects our original vision while meeting the needs of these third-party developers. The result is the new Premium Add-On framework.

We are still working on the final version of the HUD version of these Premium Add-Ons, but over time we are going to allow Premium Add-Ons not just for HUDs, but also for filters, reports, NoteTracker auto-notes, and any other major component of our software where a developer approaches us and says, "I would really love to sell this Premium Add-On, but the only option now is through the community Download Warehouse for free."

PokerSoftware: Will developers be selling their third-party tools through your site or independently through their sites?

Steven McLoughlin: Both options are available. Any developer who wants to provide a Premium Add-On will have to approach us and request our consideration. We look at the premium package they wish to offer, review it, and if it needs to be altered, we will sit down with the developer to improve the experience for the end user. Once we are in agreement, we then provide a solution for the developer to offer the Premium Add-On to our users.

In the past, customers usually download and run an installer for most other third-party Premium Add-On software. In the world of PokerTracker, the Premium Add-On can either be purchased on our website or through the third-party's website.

Then, we integrate the Premium Add-On into the user's PokerTracker 4 registration code. The next time PokerTracker 4 is launched, it will be automatically downloaded and installed with the developer's intellectual rights fully protected. So, if the developer wants to allow the user to edit a custom HUD or auto-notes, the end user can do that. If the developer does not want to allow that, the customized add-ons will be restricted from editing.

Visit PokerTracker 4's website today.

BECOME A MEMBER of PokerSoftware.com today. You can chat with us and ask questions to our poker software experts in the forums and get access to EXCLUSIVE members-only content. Sign up today!

More articles


WriteSubmit Your Comment Let us know what you think about this article!


Member Comments


No comments so far

Like PokerSoftware on Facebook and Get the Latest Software News Plus Weekly Prizes!

recomented-softwares Recommended Software

Tracking Analysis

SNG Tools