PlayerVsPlayer Poker Graph Software

Holdem Manager vs PokerOffice Part I

Comments: 4
I recently decided it was time to take some of my poker winings and invest in a poker software package that would allow me to review my sessions, analyze my game and provide me with more information on my opponents.

There are three software options that can do all that. Holdem ManagerPokerOffice and PokerTracker. I had played around with PokerOffice and PokerTracker in the past. Of the two I preferred PokerOffice. Searching through forums I saw a lot of people raving about Holdem Manager so I decided to try and find out more about each.

I Googled around for "Holdem Manager vs PokerOffice" and ready many forum posts and blogs. Unfortunately there wasn't much useful information. It felt like 90% of what I read was of the "ABC is the suxxor! Use XYZ!" type.

I knew exactly what I needed poker analytic software to do for me but I was having a hard time finding out if PokerOffice or Holdem Manager could do those things. So I decided to use both and take notes of my experience.

Figured others might be having as hard a time as I was deciding so I put my notes and a whole bunch of screen shots together to make a review of Holdem Manager and PokerOffice.


I bought one and wind up getting and enhanced trial version of the other so I could really look at both in depth. This is a long post with a lot of details to try and help you make the right purchase decision but I still recommend you also download and try each one at a time. Reading these posts will give you a head start so you can make the most of the limited trials

PokerOffice Free Trial - Exclusive 2 Week Free Trial for my readers! Must use this link.
Holdem Manager - Free Trial

In the first part of this review I'm going to cover importing hand histories, heads up displays, other live action windows and the replayers of both programs.

Overview

Software like PokerOffice and Holdem Manager aren't some sort of special programs that will turn you into a winning poker player on their own. Like everything in life, you're going to have to work hard to improve your poker profits but both these programs are great tools that will help you improve your game if you put the time in.

You feed them your hand histories and they provide you with statistics on your results, your play and your opponents play while you're at the table as well as for later review. They help you track your progress, see what games you're doing well at, show you what hands are the most profitable for you and much more.

Both PokerOffice and Holdem Manager work on and are allowed by all major poker rooms. Neither of them tell you how to play a hand. They provide you with information but it's ultimately up to you to make the correct decision. This seems to be the line that online poker rooms don't want poker software to cross.

As long as you are only using hand histories from hands you were a part in, the software is fine to use. You can't use either to data mine games that you're not a part in. Sites like PokerTableRatings.com sell hand history files that you can import into your PokerOffice or Holdem Manager database. If you do this, you can sit down at a table with players you never played before but still know some of their stats. This is a violation of the rules for most poker sites.

Importing Hand Histories

The majority of the data in both Holdem Manager and PokerOffice is collected through your hand history files. To get started you need to set up your poker software to save your hand histories to your local hard drive and direct each program to that location. If you haven't been saving your hand histories, you can usually ask your online poker room if they can email them to you.

If you have a significant amount of hand histories the initial import may take a while. This is especially true for Holdem Manager. PokerOffice was able to import a large amount of hand histories much faster than Holdem Manager.

I didn't plan on writing this review when I first tried both programs so I don't have exact numbers for Holdem Manager but I started using it before PokerOffice so it had fewer hands to import and I remember the import took close to 10 hours.

PokerOffice on the other hand zipped through close to 10,000 HH files and 500k hands in just under 2 hours.

This is something you only have to do once so it may not be a big deal, especially if you don't have a lot of hand histories to import, but if you do, it can be almost a day before you get to play around with the software in the case of Holdem Manager.

Tournament Results

One of the nice things about both PokerOffice and Holdem Manager is that it can show you reports and graphs of your winnings. Both work well when it comes to cash games but for tournaments they both have their issues on PokerStars.

With PokerOffice you can provide some of your email server information, tell PokerStars to send you congratulatory emails and PokerOffice will check your inbox for these emails, then update the database with your results. For tournaments you already played you have to manually enter that information as far as I can tell. The email setup was quick, easy and worked flawlessly.

Holdem Manager has the same problem with PokerStars. It is however able to get correct information for at least single table sit and gos. For multi table tournaments you can request PokerStars send you tournament summaries but this seems to be hit or miss based on what I've seen in the forums. I couldn't get my own tournament summaries imported. Even after you get your past tournaments imported, future tournaments still need some sort of manual intervention.  PokerOffice at least has a way to automate the process for future MTTs and mutli table SNGs.

Heads Up Display

One of the most immediate benefits of using a tracking program like Holdem Manager or Poker Office is that you get a heads up display (HUD) at your tables. (In PokerOffice terms it's an overlay but I'll be referring to both as HUDs.)

A HUD can be set up to show you various stats for each player to help you determine how they play. This can help you make better decisions against them. Some of the more frequently used ones are VP$IP (voluntarily put money in pot), PFR (preflop raise) and aggression factor. Your HUD can also tell you how often they continuation bet the flop, how often they fold to a continuation bet and over a hundred more stats.

These statistics come from the information compiled in the database from previous hands you played against the player and are updated every hand you play with them.

If you're only playing one table at a time and paying close attention you probably have a good feel for when someone is playing too loose or when you think you can raise their cbet and take down the pot, but when you're playing multiple tables, it's hard to keep track of all the opponents at all your tables in your head. Your HUD helps track of that information even if you're paying attention to another table at the time. It's still up to you to decide what to do with that information.

PokerOffice HUD

In my opinion, PokerOffice 5 has the more elegant HUD (they call it an overlay). They really seem to have put a lot of thought into integrating it with the table. Everything just fits where it's supposed to right out of the box as long as you're using one of the themes that come with PokerStars.

It has a more polished and put together feel than Holdem Manager's HUD.

Everything is neatly arranged around the info box that displays the player's name and chip count.

Above the info box you have one or two lines of stats. You can pick and choose the player stats you'd like to see as well as color code them so that you can easily identify when a player's stat is within a certain range.

One really nice thing about player stats in PokerOffice, that I do not believe exists in Holdem Manager, is the ability to show a legend. This is helpful, especially when you're first starting out with a HUD. On the top left corner of the table will be a list indicating which stats are being displayed.

At the start of the line of stats is the player icon. PokerOffice determines if a player is tight/passive, tight/aggressive and a number of different other styles based on certain parameters. With a quick look at their icon you can get a sense of their style of play without seeing individual stats. You can customize these icons and the ranges for which they apply.

The screen shot on the right shows all the different options you have when configuring your HUD.

As you can see, there are plenty to choose from and the interface is intuitive.

One limitation, you can only have 2 lines of stats. In Holdem Manager you can have as many as you'd like. It's not practical to have too many stats in your HUD (you can always open up the popup discussed below for more information) but some people may not like it. One of my HUD configurations in Holdem Manager has 5 lines. It's probably overkill but I find it works for me.

Another thing I noticed is that Holdem Manager has more stats broken down by position. Limp SB, Limp EP, Limp MP for example. To get positional stats in PokerOffice, you'll need to open up the popup and then filter by position. It takes a few clicks which can slow you down but it's there.

Clicking on the player icon brings up more detailed statistics in a pop-up window.

At the bottom of the stats pop-up you have a series of check boxes that allow you to filter the data based on the players position. So if you're only interested in their stats while their in the blinds, you can select SB BB and click update.

The default pop up window has a nice array of stats available but you can choose to customize it by adding or removing from a long list of available player stats. From the main PokerOffice window select Customize Poker Table Overlay from the Live Tracker menu and then select the Popups tab to change the popup options.

PokerOffice only has one one stats popup while Holdem Manager has the ability to configure multiple popups. It's a nice feature but I'm not sure how important it is as I tend to use the main pop up in Holdem Manager most of the time. It's nice to pull up smaller popups that are easier to read but it's something I could live without.

To the side of the player info box (left or right depending on which seat) are two icons.

The top one brings up an area where you can take notes on a player or read notes you already have on them. When you already have a note, the icon will display green instead of white. The notes come up in a popup right on the table which I find to be a better way of doing it than Holdem Manager does.

Underneath the notes icon is another icon marked with an i in a circle. Left clicking on this icon brings up known starting hands for that player.

This will display all starting hands that the player has shown along with a count of how many times they have shown them.

This pop up can also be filtered based on position as well as action. Just choose the checkboxes you'd like to see and click update.

If you'd like to see what hands villain has 3 bet from the button click on 3B and Bu then click update.

Right clicking the same icon will bring up a Flop Hands pop up. This will show you what type of hands they flopped and you can filter it by their actions. So if you're up against a player you have some history with and he check raises you on the flop, bring up the Flop Hands pop up, filter by check raise and see what sort of hands he'll check raise the flop with. If it's mostly top set and over pairs you might want to consider laying down your middle pair no kicker no draw.

Holdem Manager has a method for viewing villains starting hands in their Active Player Detail Window but I like how PokerOffice has it right on the table. It also displays more situations than Holdem Manager's Active Player Detail Window can.

Underneath the player info box PokerOffice displays the actions the player has performed. This is a great feature especially for the super multitablers that play an insane amount of games at a time. It can show you that the player limped preflop, check raised the flop, check called the turn and bet the river. There is also an option to display bet and raise sizes. When you're playing multiple tables at a time, you'll occasionally find yourself involved in two hands at the same time. It's nice to quickly see villain's line when you switch between tables.

One feature I really like is during showdown the HUD clears so you can see everything at the table unobstructed.

After the show down, mucked cards are displayed underneath the player info box. So if you were wondering what that donk was calling you down with, you don't have to open up the PokerStars hand history to find out what they mucked.  You can also set up PokerOffice to show the community cards at the same time. Holdem Manager has the same feature.

In addition to player specific data, the HUD can be set up to show your own stats (overall or for that session), general table stats as well as pot odds, your hand strength, your outs to improve and the odds to improve your hand. Holdem Manager doesn't have the ability to work as a poker odds calculator.

Above the community cards you'll see your pot odds if you're faced with calling a bet. Underneath the pot odds is the rank of your hand. It lets you know how strong your hand is. Preflop AA will have a rank of 1 (168). After the flop, turn and river the numbers will update to reflect the changes the community cards have on your hand.

Holdem Manager only has the ability to display pot odds but unfortunately this doesn't work for PokerStars of Full Tilt Poker. Two of the more popular online poker rooms. PokerOffice gets the nod here.

Underneath and to the right the community cards PokerOffice displays the possibilities your hand has to improve as well as the odds of you improving to that hand or any playable hand.

This is a great feature when you have a tough decision. Maybe you don't think you have the best hand on the flop, but you have a very good draw. If the pot odds are greater than the odds of you making your hand, the math says you should call. Many experienced players can calculate their outs and odds in their heads but for beginning to intermediate players, this really helps. It's also helps multitablers make quicker decisions and lets them see if they flopped the nuts after checking the big blind and didn't realize it. Yeah, that does happen when you play too many tables. Even Phil Ivey accidentally mucked a flush at the WSOP.

One thing it doesn't take into account is implied odds. This is something you'll have to work out yourself based on how much of villain's stack you think you can get into the pot if you make your hand. There's no way for software to judge if villain will pay you off.

By the way, I did experience something strange. If I started the Live Tracker without the Live Window, I couldn't get the pot odds, rank and outs to display on the HUD. That's why those stats didn't show in the first screen shot. I contacted PokerOffice support and they confirmed it's a bug. Hopefully it gets resolved soon. It's nice to have that info but if you're playing a lot of tables you might not want to have all the Live Windows open taking up system resources.

Holdem Manager HUD

Holdem Manager's HUD isn't as tightly integrated with the table as PokerOffice's HUD is. It feels like something that's just sitting on top of the table instead of an extension of it. (Default HUD configuration pictured.)

What it lacks in style it makes up in power.

The Holdem Manager HUD can be customized to a greater degree than PokerOffice's. All the options may seem overwhelming at first but after reading the documentation and some experimenting, it's not so bad.

You first start off with selecting the stats you'd like to show for each player. To do this select Player Preferences...  from the HUD Options menu in the main HEM window. It will bring up the dialog box pictured right (default config shown). You can create multiple HUD configurations. (It's best to leave the default unmodified.)

The player stats are categorized nicely on the left which makes them easy to find. Simply choose the stats and add them to the list. You can also add as many lines of stats as you like, unlike PokerOffice which only lets you show 2 lines. More isn't always more so there's no need to go crazy with the stats that show in the HUD.

Like PokerOffice you can also color code ranges for each individual stat to help you identify certain playing styles.

A feature I like is the ability to change the font style and size for each individual stat. This helps you minimize the size of the HUD panel. You can have a few major stats in a normal or larger font, and then a number of lesser used stats in a smaller font to conserve space. You can also opt to only show certain stats for opponents and other stats for yourself.

The Adjust color for sample size option can be very helpful. It dims the stat when there are less than the number of hands you choose available for that statistic. For example, you have 3Bet as a selected stat. Even though you have played 100 hands against villain, he may only have had the opportunity to 3Bet once and in that instance he did. His 3Bet stat would show up as 100. That may lead you to believe that he always 3Bets but since the stat is dimmed you know it's for a relatively small sample size and you shouldn't give it that much weight.

Each individual statistic can have it's own popup associated with it. Holdem Manager comes with a few default ones but you can easily create your own. The following video shows how you can customize popups.


Next you can change the appearance of the player stats panel.

You can choose the main pop. This popup appears when you click on any blank area of the HUD panel.

Number of Pots determines the number of pots that will be shown in the table panel. Indicating the winner and pot size.

You can also change the panels background color, default text color and alternate background color. The alternate background color is used when you double click the panel to show only statistics for the current session.

You can choose to have a transparent background but I found that a black background works best for me. There's an option to control the opacity and I set mine to about 1/2 transparent. The stats are still readable but the panels aren't so strong as to be distracting.

Disable Hero in HUD turns of your own HUD if you don't care to see your own stats. I like to see how other players with a HUD might be perceiving me.

Show table avgs shows average VP$IP and PFR for the table. It's a nice quick way to figure out if you're at a generally tight or loose table. An example of how this can help: If you're at a loose/passive table you might not want to try to old limp UTG with AA and reraise since chances of someone raising your limp are low and you don't want to be up against half the table on the flop with only one pair.

Show note icon shows an icon on the upper left of the panel to allow you to quickly enter notes for the player. Like PokerOffice, the icon gives an indication of what type of player they are. You can enter your own criteria for selecting these icons and even overide them on a player by player basis. The default icons that come with Holdem Manager are easier to recognize. When Holdem Manager displays a green fish for a player, you know they're playing loose. When PokerOffice displays a guy in a red shirt, it isn't as clear.

By default, each player's stats show up in one panel (box) but you can choose to break up the HUD into multiple panels. This is a pretty cool feature that I didn't appreciate right away.

If you like to have a lot of stats in your HUD, a single panel is large and awkward to position without having it cover up important table elements. To rectify this problem, HEM has the ability to split up the panel into multiple panels which you can position individually.

I'm still experimenting with my HUD configurations but you can see my  current cash game HUD in the screenshot (right).

I split it up into 4 different panels and positioned them around PokerStars' player info box. This way the HUD makes more efficient use of available table real estate. An added benefit is that physically separating the stats makes it a little easier to identify and remember what they are.

One thing I found annoying when trying to align the panels is that it snaps to some sort of grid. I couldn't put the panels exactly where I wanted because of this. The grid seems to be spaced around 3-5 pixels or so.  That may not seem like a lot but there is so little room to work with on full ring tables.  Plus it looks sloppy.

In the Use For tab, you can select where the HUD configuration should be applied.

You can select a matrix of nl/pl, limit and tournaments  that are full ring, 6-max or heads up as well as having different configs for each site you play at.

The thing that was a little confusing to me, but actually turns out to be quite powerful, is that the full, 6-max and HU designations aren't based on the type of table you're at but rather the number of players currently at the table.

Because of this, you can create three separate HUD configs, one for full, one for 6-max and one for heads up for tournaments. Then when you're in a Sit N Go, when there are more than 6 players you'll have your full HUD. When players drop out and there are 6 or fewer players left, the HUD will automatically switch to your 6-max configuration. When it's down to heads up, it will switch again.

PokerOffice doesn't have anything like this. You can have different HUD configurations but it seems that only one can be active at any time for all your open tables. With Holdem Manager, you can use their Table Manager to change the HUD for each table individually at any time. If you normally have one HUD you use for cash games, but out of your 4 active tables, you want to change it on one of them, you can do this without a problem.

There is a hiccup with this though. If you switch HUD configs, panel placement can get screwed up. It would be nice if each HUD config could remember it's own placement so that when you switched configs you wouldn't have to re-align the panels. This problem annoys me the most in the replayer because that's where I usually go between different HUD configs.

Just like PokerOffice, after showdown all mucked cards will be displayed in the HUD as well as the community cards. Both can be turned on or off.

Probably one of the best features of Holdem Manager's HUD is the ability to filter for # of Players. To do this select Additional HUD Filters from the HUD Options menu. It will bring up the dialog box pictured right.

People tend to play different when there are fewer players at the table. This is especially true in Sit-n-Gos where the blinds also increase. As players are eliminated you're usually at the higher levels of the tournament.

You can filter your stats based on how many players are left at the table. This makes a lot of sense. For example, someone is going to play very different heads up than they do at a full table so it makes more sense to show only stats based on hands played heads up.

As far as I can tell PokerOffice doesn't offer anything comparable.

Auxiliary Live Play Windows

In addition to the HUD, both PokerOffice 5 and Holdem Manager have additional windows that can help you find out more about your opponents and how they play. There's only so much you can display in a HUD so there is the option of launching and additional window that can provide you with more information.

PokerOffice Live Window

PokerOffice 5 has what they call a Live Window. When enabled, a Live Window opens up for every table you have open.

On the bottom portion of PO5's Live Window you'll see your hole cards, the community cards along with some pretty cool stats.

Stage tells you where you are in the hand. Preflop, flop, turn, river.

You have lets you know what your hand is. Examples would be something like One overcard, Top Pair Top Kicker, Straight (second best), Straight (highest), Flush (highest), etc.

Rank gives you an indication of the strength of your hand. The lower the number the better your hand. If your hand rank is 1 you have the nuts.

Pot lets you know how big the pot is.

Pot Odds is your pot odds if you're faced with a bet. (Pot size : Call Price)

Best Hand lets you know what the nuts is. Very helpful for players that always seem miss straight possibilities.

Underneath you'll find the odds of what your chances are to flop certain hands preflop  or improving your hand as community cards are dealt.

In the upper portion of the Main Stats tab, you'll see a list of all the players at the table along with some statistics. PokerOffice lets you customize which stats you want to display here. From the main PokerOffice window, select Customize Display from the Live Tracker menu to bring up the Live Statistics Settings dialog box.

You can choose any of the stats that are available as player stats in your HUD to be displayed in the Live Window Main Stats Table.

You can also get more information on a particular player by selecting (clicking on) the row with their name and then browsing through the FlopStats, PositionStats or StartingHandStats tabs. Screenshots of those tabs are shown below.



Holdem Manager's Active Player Details Window

To quickly get more information against players you're currently facing at the tables, Holdem Manager provides the Active Player Details Window. There is only one window for all your active tables and you have to manually start it by selecting Launch Active Player Details Window from the HUD Options menu on the main program window, unlike PokerOffice's Live Windows which can be configured to open automatically.

When you have multiple tables open you'll have a long list of players in your Active Player Details Window but you can quickly select a player from the table. Just click on the player's HUD and they will be selected in the Active Player Details Window as well.

The Active Player Details Window is pretty straight forward. On the left is a list of players you can choose from and to the right will be information for that player.

On the top of the player details section you'll find some important pre and post flop stats for that player as well as how many hands you have on them and their winnings over those hands. This is info is displayed in the default popup but it's nice to have in front of you when you're looking at the Active Player Detail Window.

Below the general player stats are a number of tabs to choose from for more player details. The stats are interesting but unless you have a lot of history with the player you shouldn't give too much weight to all of them.

The Player Analysis tab compares what you know of the current player to average stats.

The data used for compiling average stats comes from a large database of hands played a 6-max tables. I'm not sure if it's applicable to all stakes and it probably isn't very useful for full ring games.

It's interesting to review, especially for a player you have a lot of history with.

The Preflop By Pos tab gives you information on how VP$IP/PFR/3Bet and 4 Bet stats based on position for the player.

It breaks it down by the action as well as weather your opponent was in or out of position.
Preflop Cards I find useful. When you're in a 3 or 4 bet pot or have been limp reraised you can have a look get an idea on villain's range based on other hands you've played with them in those situations.

The Postflop tab can provide you insight into how your opponent plays after the flop. Stuff like, when he checks is he more likely to fold to a bet, call or raise based on different streets as well as if the pot was raised or 3bet, preflop.

You also have access to player Notes in the Active Player Details Window but the one tab I seem to use the most is the Big Hands tab.

Filter for bit pots and then click on the columns to sort to find hands that played out similar to the hand you're in now and you might get some info that helps you make the right decision. It's a little awkward kind of slow to access and takes some getting used to but it's helped me a couple of times when I had sufficient history against my opponent.

It shows the line a player took but it doesn't show bet sizes. Right clicking on a hand brings up a menu where you can choose to replay the hand. Bringing up the replayer and going through it is slow. There is an option to view the hand but clicking on it does nothing for me. I would have guessed that it would have brought up the hand history at least.

Game Review

Having player/table stats displayed during a game is nice but it's not going to turn a losing player into a winning player. If you're a losing poker player, or just have some leaks in your game that you'd like to improve, you want to study your past games/sessions and see if there's anything you change to make your game more profitable.

Both Holdem Manager and PokerOffice have replayers to allow you to do just that.

Replayers

Replayers allow you to relive a hand or session. You can walk through a hand step by step and see if you played it correctly. If not you can take the time to think of how you can play a similar hand better in the future.

Both Holdem Manager and PokerOffice come with replayers.

PokerOffice Replayer

In PokerOffice 5 you get to see player stats through a HUD that is similar to the HUD you get during play. It uses a different configuration than the main overlay. This was confusing at first as I kept adding stats to the HUD but they weren't showing up in the replayer.

You don't have access to the live window or any of the popups. Not having the Live Window isn't a big deal but it would be really nice to bring up player popups.

My favorite aspect of the PokerOffice replayer is that in addition to replaying the hand, it shows you the pot odds as well as odds to improve.

When your odds to improve are greater than the pot odds the odds are colored green, indicating you have the correct odds to call. When they are red, it means you don't have the right odds to call.

I'll discuss the hand in the screen shot to give you an idea of how you analyze your play. I'm in the small blind with a mediocre hand. The button had been very passive preflop and limping a lot of weak hands. He was also a bit of a calling station and I was pretty sure I could get paid off if I hit something decent. It folded around to him and he limped on the button.

The big blind was tight passive pre/passive postflop and I wasn't too worried about him either. I could complete the small blind and most likely see a cheap flop. If he decided to raise, I'd be out of there.

As I suspected, I got to see a cheap flop and it was very good for my hand. I flopped middle pair and a flush draw. Not a great flush draw but I felt pretty good about it the way the hand played out so far.

I checked, BB min bet, BTN min raised. At that point I was getting 3:1 odds on a call. Looking at my odds to improve, I could make two pair, trip 6s or the flush and I had a feeling all of those hands would be good if I didn't already have the best hand. As you can see, I had a total of 14 outs which meant my odds of improving were 2.4:1 on the turn and 1.0:1 by the river. Both odds are green indicating that I had the right pot odds to see another card with such a small bet and raise in front of me.

My only concern was that the BB might come over the top but I didn't expect him to do that based on his previous plays. If he had a big hand he'd bet big. If he did reraise I'd be out of the hand without having invested much.

I make the call and so does the BB. The turn brings the As which completes my flush. I check, BB checks, BTN makes a 3xBB bet on the turn. I didn't figure him for a better flush or a very strong hand with such a small bet. I decided to just call the turn and try to get a bigger bet in on the river. The BB folded.

The river brought the Ad which was pretty horrible. There was a chance he had a full house but I doubted it. He would have raised AQ preflop but he might have had something like A2. What really made it a bad card was that it could kill the action.

I was out of position and he was aggressive, albeit with small bets/raises, so I decided to check and let him bet one more time. I figured there was a better chance of him betting than calling a bet. If I bet and he put in a big raise, I'd be in a tough spot. By the river, the replayer shows that my hand rank is 43 out of 991. That means there are 42 hands that can beat me. It's not the nuts but it's a pretty good hand. Top 5% of possible hands for that board.

I checked, he checked and I won a decent pot of 15BBs. What I learned from replaying this hand, and other hands in this session is that I should have trusted my read in this situation that he'd be willing to pay off a decent sized value bet on the river.

I got lucky for sure but I did a few things right but the one thing I did wrong is not getting as much money in the pot as I probably could have. That's one area I need to work on, making thin value bets on the river when the board gets ugly.

That's an example of the type of insight you get after replaying a lot of your sessions.

Holdem Manager Replayer

Holdem Manager has a pretty decent replayer as well. The screen shot on the right shows the same hand I used for the PokerOffice replayer.

You can use the replayer to play a single hand, a full cash game session or tournament.

There is an option to show the HUD on the replayer so you get to see the action as you saw it on the table. With the same stats you had at the time of the hand.

Unlike PokerOffice , Holdem Manager does allow you to see all the popups you had available in the live HUD which is a very nice feature.

Even though Holdem Manager can't display pot odds during a live game on PokerStars, it does have the ability to show pot odds in the replayer.

It doesn't have PokerOffice's Odds to improve table that shows how your hand can improve, the odds of it improving and how many outs you have, it does show something that PokerOffice does not. The actual equity you have in the hand, just like you see on televised poker shows when they show percentages next to player's hole cards.

To display that information make sure Show Known Cards and Show Win % are both checked. The win percent will be displayed next to the player's chip count. As you can see in this example, I was a coin flip on the flop and getting 3:1 pot odds. That's a pretty good spot.

The replayer also features a Hand Range Tool. It's supposed to help you put your opponent on a range of hands and narrow it down from street to street and compare your hand's equity.

I haven't played around with it much and don't really understand it yet.

I'm a little confused as to why it's in the replayer and not available during live game play. It could be more useful there, but like I said, it's still something I'm learning how to use.


Another great feature for single table Sit-N-Go players is the Independent Chip Model (ICM) analysis. PokerOffice doesn't have anything comparable.

It calculates all players equity in the game based on chip count and determines what the resulting equity will be if the hand wins, loses or ties.

It doesn't specifically tell you if you made the right or wrong move if you pushed all-in preflop but it does all the EV calculations to help you make that determination if you have a good understanding of ICM.

I only have a fairly basic understanding of ICM so I don't get as much benefit from this analysis yet.

It's pretty interesting but it doesn't compare to something like The SitNGo Wizard which can really help improve your ICM play and thus your SnG performance. SnGWiz can import your hand histories and allow you to replay games and see when you should have shoved all-in and what hands you should have called all-in shoves with. The improvements you can make in your SnG results can probably pay for SnGWiz in a day or two.

The developers of Holdem Manager probably won't be able to put the same amount of effort into their product that SnGWiz has so if you play a lot of Sit-n-Gos you might want to pick SnGWiz up.

Part I Summary

As you can see, both PokerOffice and Holdem Manager are packed with features that can help you play improve your game and increase your poker profits.

In Part II of my review I'll cover reports, graphs, and other features that you can use in your post game analysis to find leaks and improve your results.

In the meantime use the links below to download a free trial of each and start experimenting with them yourself.

PokerOffice Free Trial - Exclusive 2 Week Free Trial for my readers! Must use that link.
Holdem Manager - Free Trial

4 Response to "Holdem Manager vs PokerOffice Part I"

Anonymous Says....

Thanks, best post I've seen on this. I was specifically looking for: how to show my own (hero) stats in the HUD for Holdem Manager, and you answered that. (hell if I could figure that out from Holdem Managers own documentation) Cheers. I also like your "micro roller" slant on things as that is also what I aspire to be doing (with regards to poker) for the foreseeable future. Will add you to my RSS feed reader.

MicroRoller Says....

Yeah. I really procrastinated in making part II and then got distracted by other things. I'm a little bit embarrassed that it's still on my to-do list.

As you can imagine Part I took a long time to write and it's hard to carve out that much time.

I use Hold'em Manager regularly but it was really close and I might still get PokerOffice because it has some things I really really like.

A big reason I went with Hold'em Manager was the pricing model. It's a one time charge instead of a yearly subscription and the small stakes version was affordable.

Not an easy decision. I'll try and find time for part II.

They both have free trials and I recommend you give them a shot. My review was aimed more at giving you a quick start on both so you can get up and running quick with each and determine which one you like after you're done with the rials.

Anonymous Says....

This is an amazing review. I am currently looking at both products. I love the easy of PokerOffice but everyone says HEM has more stuff...
After 2 yrs since this review, do you have a final opinion?
By the way, Poker Office is now available with lifetime purchase.

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