Friday, September 21, 2012

PokerStars & SnG Solver

I wanted to mention that since August, SnG Solver has been on PokerStar's list of permitted software.

As you might (should?) know, the use of software that can offer real-time strategy advice during live play on PokerStars is a violation their terms of service.  Normally a program like SnG Solver would fall into this category, but I was able to work with the PokerStars security team and come up with an acceptable lockout mechanism that prevents SnG Solver from performing "solves" while the PokerStars games are running.

I  mention this because some of you had expressed concern about accidentally violating PokerStars rules if you forgot to close SnG Solver before starting a poker session...  So, as long as you're using version 1.0.9 or later, you don't anything to worry about!

You can find a the complete lists of permitted (and prohibited) software here: PokerStars Third Party Tools and Services FAQ

Also, a big "Thank you!" to the PokerStars security team for their help with this.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Minor update:

Just released a new version ( available in the downloads area. 

It adds 90/180-player payouts to the "Game->Common Payouts" menu and a few small changes to how some hand history files are parsed.

Not a big update, but those of you that play MTTSNGs on PokerStars are likely to find it useful.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New version: 1.0.10

Version 1.0.10 is now available in the downloads area. 

A few highlights for this release are:

  • A single SnG Solver license can now be activated on TWO computers.  A lot of you with a desktop computer and a laptop have been asking for this. 
  •  You don't have to use the "edit" button as much.   Most actions from the game menu (like pasting a hand history) will now automatically put SnG Solver back into "edit" mode without you having to push the Edit button yourself. 
    In very early versions of SnG Solver, before I had a chance to optimizing things very much, sometimes a "solve" could take a long time.  Because of this, I wanted to make sure it was difficult to accidentally clear what might have been a very lengthy solve process.  This is why you had to explicitly push the "Edit" button between solves.  But, now that solving a hand is usually very quick, this system was proving to be more inconvenient than helpful.
  • More convenient pasting from hand histories.  You can now paste a HH directly into the SnG Solver window without having to open a separate dialog first.  Either by using the menu command or the usual paste hotkey (Ctrl+V), a hand history in your clipboard will be parsed and the appropriate edit boxes will be filled in automatically.  If the HH cant be understood for some reason, the usual HH edit dialog will pop up to relate what the problem might be.  Also, you can paste and solve a hand with a single hokey combo (Ctrl+Shift+V). 
  • Hold'Em Manager hand history viewer format now supported.  A lot of you have asked for this one too... Now you can copy directly from HEM's hand viewer and into SnG Solver.
  • Improved EV and variance graphs.  Information is now sorted better with additional variance bands... I will be writing more later about this often overlooked feature... stay tuned!

Monday, April 23, 2012

New version: 1.0.9

Version 1.0.9 is now available in the downloads area.

This update features a few small UI improvements and a large performance improvement.  The performance boost should be especially noticeable when solving hands with lots of players and payout positions (>6).

Also, there is now a PokerStars "lockout" mechanism.   This will prevent you from solving hands while a PokerStars client is open.  A number of you have asked for this as it will prevent you from inadvertently violating the PokerStars ToS.   

There will probably be one more minor update (1.0.10) before version 1.1 with its "major" new feature.  There are still a number of UI improvements that I want to get in before 1.1. and it shouldn't take me too long to implement them.  I would have included them in 1.0.9, but when I finished the performance upgrade, I thought it was a good idea to get that out as soon as possible.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Advantage verified!

Many of you have asked if there is a way to confirm what advantage the Predictive Simulation model (PSM) used by SnG Solver has over traditional ICM equity models.  Indeed there is.

By calculating approximate Nash equilibrium strategies with different "opinions" about chip equity, and then using those strategies to play simulated poker tournaments, we can effectively isolate and quantify the advantage that one equity model has over another.

Here are the results from a run of 200,000 such simulated sit'n'go tournaments:

From this sample we can see that using PSM in place of ICM results in a .25% RoI (return on investment) for the players using PSM.  Veterans of tough 6max super/hyper-turbo SnGs, where the edges are small, will immediately appreciate just how significant an additional .25% to their RoIs would be.

Status update

Just wanted to give a quick update about what going on with SnG Solver...

Most of the updates since 1.0.3 have been relatively minor fixes or UI tweaks.  But coming soon will be version 1.1 which will introduce some major additions to functionality and to the interface.  I cant give any details just yet, but I'm pretty excited by what I think it will represent to the state of poker hand analysis.  Keep watching this space for the latest info!

There will be at least one more update (1.0.9) before 1.1 is released that will include a number of smaller updates and some the requested features you guys have asked for.  I'm going to try to have that out late this week. 

1.1 will continue to be a free upgrade, as will any 1.x version of SnG Solver.  And, to be clear, I have a very large list of future improvements and no plans to ever charge for an update.

I intend to use this blog more often that I have been.  Between Facebook, Twitter, forums, email, etc... there's a lot of ways I've been in communication you guys, but I'm going to try to make these pages the primary source for new SnG Solver information.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New version: 1.0.6

New version is up: 1.0.6. Go get it!

Quite a few goodies in this update...

  • Improved threading efficiency/concurrency... this equals a pretty significant performance improvement... anywhere from 20-60% reduction in solve time depending on the game setup and your particular hardware configuration. Systems with 4 or more CPU cores will benefit the most.
  • You can now type in a villains range% into an edit box on the range picker dialog.
  • Fixed some HH import issues: incorrect seating order on PokerStars HHs, and crashes on iPoker HH import.
  • Support for the weird rules on Merge sites when 2 players bust in the same hand. This can be enabled from the Options dialog on the "Rules" page.
  • Sometimes if there was an "odd" chip in a tied pot, it would get assigned to the wrong player. This is fixed... although a 1 chip difference usually doesnt affect the results much. 
  • CPU/GPU system information is displayed on the About dialog
  • Some small UI tweaks and other things that probably no one will notice...

This update also includes the foundation for GPU processing support. And about GPU processing, there is some good news and there is some bad news...

The good news is that the potential for increased performance is tremendous... you could easily see a 10x+ speed up for the solves, depending on your particular CPU/GPU combination.

The bad news is that GPU support will be limited to nVidia chipsets only. I have nothing personal/political against ATI's stuff, but I feel the way they have chosen to implement GPGPU programming (via OpenCL) is simply inappropriate for a commercial application. This is a real bummer because they certainly make a lot of good (and popular) hardware.

You can see if your GPU will be supported by SnG Solver by checking the "System Information" area on the "About SnG Solver" dialog".

"CUDA devices" shows the number of devices in your system capable of GPGPU processing. "CUDA compute level" is the version of those devices. SnG Solver will require a CUDA compute level of 2.0 or higher. This is covered by most nVidia devices sold in the last 2 years... all the 400 and 500 series cards.

("CUDA" is the name of nVidia's GPGPU system, FYI)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New version: 1.0.4

SnG Solver v1.0.4 can now be downloaded here.

Added support for Ongame hand histories.  Also fixed some problems reading some hand histories from PokerStars.

As always, if you have a hand history from a site that you'd like to see supported, don't hesitate to send it to

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New version: 1.0.3

SnG Solver v1.0.3 can now be downloaded here.

Notable in this update is the reading/importing of hand history files, some significant performance improvements, and customizable colors.

Hand history support is still fairly basic.  Supported sites are currently PokerStars, Everleaf, and Pacific/888.  If you have a file from a different site, or a file that for any reason is not being handled correctly, please do not hesitate to send it to and I will try to get it supported ASAP.

Release Notes: 

  • Details view now shows total EV for action, instead of fraction of total tree
  • Added import hand history file support (Pokerstars, Everleaf, Cassava)
  • Added "Paste in" hand history support
  • Added support for SSE4
  • added new color options and palette customization
  • performance improvements to equilibrium convergence
  • Fixed: table view doesnt always update correctly after editing/solving new han
  • Fixed: blind position for future hands when both big/small blind eliminated not always correct
  • Fixed: "one blind" button was missing

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New version: 1.0.2

SnG Solver v1.0.2 can now be downloaded here.

This update features a few small, but worthwhile changes.

Release Notes: 
  • Added function to check for updates (menu Help->Check for Updates)
  • Added check for updates on app startup (can be disabled from menu Tools->Options)
  • Better feedback on successful license activation

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1.0 is live!

With version 1.0 of SnG Solver finally out the door, theres lots going on now.  The next few days should see lots of improvements to the webpage and the information contained within it.

I've got a whole lot of options now for ways to communicate with you guys... this blog, the main webpage, Twitter ( and now facebook (  I imagine its going to take a little while to sort out whats going to work best.

But like I said, expect lots of new good stuff in the near future...

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