Hold'em Manager, PokerTracker Merger: Eight Months Later

Date: 2015-05-01
Author: Jason Glatzer

One of the biggest poker stories of last year was the poker tracking and analysis software powerhouses PokerTracker and Hold'em Manager merging to create Max Value Software.  This story was so big that it ranked #1 on our list of the Top Five Software Stories of 2014.
It has now been eight months since the merger has taken place and so far it has been par for the course, with both companies, to the public eye, running business as usual.  Both sites have issued upgrades as usual and have continued to keep a separate presence in the software marketplace.
Players reacted with mixed feelings about the merger when it occurred, but not much has been spoken about on the poker forums or social media since then.  Max Value Software's Steven McLoughlin, at the time, addressed many concerns from poker players and also informed the community that development teams for the two teams would remain separate with the plan "to continue to push both brands forward in the future."
So what is the reaction of poker players of this epic merger eight months later?  The owner of over $7.8 in online tournament cashes according to PocketFives, Bryan "bparis" Paris shared with PokerSoftware that he doesn't see any upside for players even with it being business as usual so far.
"It doesn't really seem like it can possibly be a positive for the players," Paris said.  "Healthy competition is always essential to having a market focused on delivering what its customers want. We need look no further than PokerStars' acquisition of Full Tilt Poker.  Once they effectively cornered the market, they were able to do things like unilaterally declare rake hikes.  Granted, many changes have since been largely reversed due to public outcry, but could return at any time. Consolidation and monopolization rarely favors consumers and although we haven't seen the product quality or price deteriorate as of yet, it doesn't seem to be a positive trend."
New Jersey poker player David "doubledave22" D'Alesandro also shared his thoughts with us.  "I think that competition is more valuable to the consumer than a merger," said D'Alesandro.  "Competition helps keep prices in check and protects against a possible monopoly. Also in terms of features, competition forces the companies to one-up each other rather than just agree and remain stagnant.  Therefore, I think overall the merger was worse for the customer."
Woody "plplaya" Deck does not feel it is positive or negative for poker players. "They will wane regardless since poker tracking software is easy to write," said Deck.  "The consolidation of poker sites and the stagnation of their software because of a shrinking market will mean that free software will be just as useful. A lot of pros have developed their own software specific to a niche."

"I personally feel that Hold'em Manager and PokerTracker are not especially useful for winning in the current landscape," Deck continued.  "It's very hard to win these days.  The only thing that made it hard with PokerTracker and later a better mousetrap in Hold'em Manager was that there were so many poker sites, constant changes, and nobody knew what players wanted.  So, it's not like it was easy to successfully create these companies before, but now it is. I feel the merger is natural business and not good or bad for poker."

Visit Hold'em Manager and visit PokerTracker.

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