Master Poker's Table Features
While using Master Poker you will spend the vast majority of your time viewing the Table Screen. I hope I've already convinced you of how important I believe the aesthetic appeal of this screen to be, but in addition to providing an attractive playing atmosphere it's also important you are able to get around easily and have immediate access to some important tracking data during the course of your session. Below are a few features on this important screen meant too make your playing experience more flowing and convenient.
The Table Screen
Once you've setup your event and made choices for your cardroom location, table color, and deck style you will be taken to the Table Screen which might look something like this--Click the small image below to see an enlarged table graphic. If the image is sized to your browser window and the cursor turns into a little magnifying glass the image may not be displayed at full size--click it again with the magnifying glass cursor to see the full size screenshot.
This event is being played in the 'Seattle Home Game' cardroom and has been equipped with a blue table. The title bar of the Table screen displays the event buy-in amount, the type of event you're playing, how many seats are being filled at each table, the total players who started the event, and the current level of blinds and antes.
The lower section of the screen displays the Leaderboard, some personal tracking stats for the session, your Action Buttons, and links to complete tournament player listings, the prize pool breakdown, your current blind structure, and hand rankings display. Many of these things will be explained in greater detail in the 'At the Table' section.
Once your session has begun you will find an active Leaderboard in the lower left corner of the screen. This little window tracks the event leaders. In the example below the option to view the leader's individual personalities is clicked on. Tough computer players show in gold, aggressive in silver, and dead money players in dark gray. As is the case with most of Master Poker's features you always have the option to turn this feature off if you like (for study purposes), displaying all Leaderboard names in one color.
In single table events the Leaderboard displays the current top three players in chip position at the table. In multi-table events it displays the current top three players in chip position from all tables in the Tournament.
For students of the game, clicking the Leaderboard label allows you to view important additional event data such as the total chips in play, the average stack size, the percentile of chips you hold overall, the number of Big Blinds you have left in your stack, and your current 'M' factor (for those of you familiar with this Paul Magriel construct made popular in Dan Harrington's books).
Dynamic User Tracking
At the bottom center of the Table Screen are several tracking stats that will dynamically update as your event unfolds. The left side variables keep you abreast of such areas of concern as the total percentage of hands you've played, your aggression level, limping frequency, and the number of times you've folded the best hand (postflop). Passing your cursor over the desired stat will display more information on what your current numbers actually mean (whether you're being too active, lack aggression, or are too passive).
The right side variables track your status within the current event, keeping you abreast of the total hands played to this point, the number of players remaining in the event, your current standing, and when to expect the next blind level increase (as it relates to the total hands dealt).
User Action Buttons
In the lower right corner of the Table Screen are your betting action buttons. This set of buttons will alight when it's your turn to act on the hand, lighting only those options you can legally take (or afford).
The Betting Slider
Placing your bets in Master Poker can be done in many different ways, from a simple click of one of the blue action buttons to shortcut keys that will bet a percentage of the pot or a multiple of the Big Blind, to typing your precise bet amount directly into your keyboard's number pad. Those options aside, many online players prefer to use a betting slider bar, and Master Poker gives you that option as well. Passing your cursor into the area where the bar displays will automatically bring it up into view.
The betting slider allows you to bet precisely the amount you wish. The slider works in increments the size of the Big Blind, and the little arrow buttons work in amounts incrementally smaller than that, down to 1 chip, the smallest denomination allowed in MP.
The Dealer Button
Are you one of those people who's always asking, "Who has the button?" In MP, just move your cursor over the button at any time to find out who has the dealer button for that hand (and is therefore considered the acting dealer).
Numeric Chip Labels
Don't want to waste your time trying to calculate the amount of chips in that stack? Turn on your option to display numeric chip labels beneath all chip stacks and make your life much easier. On the other hand, want to practice calculating chip totals by glancing at chip stacks--turn it off.
Show Pot Size/Pot Odds
Tired of trying to calculate the size of the pot or the pot odds you're getting at any given moment in a hand? Just flip on your option to show this information at all times. It will be discreetly presented in the upper corner of the screen, giving you up-to-the-second accuracy on both of these important values.
The Winning Board
Finding the best five card hand in a game that uses seven cards can sometimes be difficult for both experienced and novice players. If you're an Internet player, you've probably found yourself at some point blurting out loud, "What? Why did I lose? What did he have?" where a pot you were sure was yours is suddenly pushed to your opponent. MP will help you identify the culprit in those circumstances by shading all cards that are not being used in the final five cards of the winning hand.
As you can see, the player who once occupied Seat 7 can now clearly see why his big Straight did not hold up. Having the reason for your demise clearly pointed out might not help with your frustration at busting out of a tournament, but at least you can begin the healing process a little more quickly.
The 'Rabbit Cam'
Often-times when folding, players will ask the dealer to see what the next card off the deck would have been. Among veteran players this is known as 'Rabbit Hunting', which is how we refer to it in MP. Checking this option gives you the ability to do exactly that, peek at the next card to be dealt (the Turn or River card), whether you intend to continue on with the hand or not.
As you can see here, clicking the Rabbit Cam button brings up a little window next to your cards telling you the next card off the deck is going to be the Seven of Clubs. Whether you continue play after making this sneaky peek is up to you and your conscious.
The 'Wonder Cam'
Have you ever been sitting there with a nice little suited connector in early position, knowing full well you shouldn't play the hand, but you were just too damn curious about whether or not you would have hit that big flop? Master Poker also has a feature that let's you see ALL of the cards that would have been dealt had the hand gone all the way to the River.
Pressing the F8 key on your keyboard will show you all cards that would have been dealt had you decided to hang around, even if you haven't already seen the flop. Wheew ... in this case you would have been wasting your money. Nice laydown. Like the Rabbit Cam above, how you use this feature in your new software is up to you and your conscious.
In tournament play it's often important to know the chipstacks of the event leaders and their relative position to your own stack as you progress through the event. In Master Poker, you can see the Top 1000 players (all players if your event has less than 1k), their current chip position, the computer player's personality type, and the table at which they're currently playing.
In tournament poker, it’s often more fun to play for money than to play for finishing position. It’s for this reason that I included a basic prize money structure for all Tournaments and 'Sit and Go' events.
If any tournament event has a buy-in of at least $1 it will have a cash prize pool (otherwise it's considered a freeroll). Cash prizes will be included in your personal history archives so you can track your financial progress over the long term.
Currently Active Structure
You may have set the blind structure at the beginning of your event, but now that you're sitting at the table can you remember what values are in the next level? Or at what specific level you're at in the event? No worries.
At-a-glance view of the current structure, the structure name (in case you thought you were playing a different structure), with the current blind level highlighted for easy reference.
Poker Hand Rankings
For players new to poker you may double-click on the ‘Hand Rankings’ label in the lower right corner of the Table Screen to see a breakdown of all poker hands by their rank (from top to bottom).
This little feature should be helpful to those folks who are new to the game (or just could never seem to remember if a Flush beats Three of a Kind).
Running Action Review
During the course of any hand you can click a 'Hand review' button to bring up a running text summary of the hand as it has unfolded up until that point. This data begins with the amount of chips each chair began with, who paid what in the blinds, and all preflop betting action. You may scroll down the entire summary to any piece of info you might be seeking, like who put in the raise back on the flop.
The scroll bar on the right side allows you view the unseen portions of the summary which includes things like the hand number, the starting chipstacks for each player, the size and locations of the blinds, etc., right down to the end of the hand with who won the pot, and for how much (including all split pots). When a hand is completed, MP will also add to the top of the running summary the starting hands of each player to make sure your report is as detailed as you need it should you decide to cut-and-paste, archive, debate it in a forum, send it in an email, or record it for prosperity. As you can see, you can also easily just click to copy all summary data to your Windows Clipboard.
The application was originally designed to be played solely with a mouse, but I've found that when spending many hours at the computer zipping through hand after hand the keyboard can present a comfortable alternative to constantly reaching for the mouse. It's for this reason I have included parallel keyboard commands for nearly every action you can take with the mouse. For example, you can simply press the ‘d’ key to deal the next hand, the 'z' key to zip to the end of the hand, the F10 key to reload in a cash game, or hit the number '7' key to bet 70% of the pot on the flop, or type your bets directly into your keyboards number pad. After a short period of getting familiar with your various keyboard options these types of shortcuts make it much easier for power players to quickly and smoothly knock out hand after hand.
Click the little image below to see a larger breakdown of all keyboard hotkeys ...
The Office Magician
This personal preference provides an easy-access button near your cards that can be used to make the Master Poker table quickly disappear from your screen (poof!), revealing the Window's Desktop (and leaving no trace of MP on the Windows task bar). When the coast is clear, a tiny button in the lower right corner of your screen can be used to return to your game. Not that I condone playing poker at your workplace or without the permission of a controlling spouse, but ... it's here for you if you need it.
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