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Friday, April 27, 2018
Article written by Marty Smith

Poker Calculator Wars Part 1; Sit and Go Shark vs. Hold'em Pirate

Ok so you need a poker calculator, you play a lot of sit and go tournaments, and you’re not sure which one to buy – right? If this sounds like you, herein lays some technical information about two online poker calculators. One of them claims to be great for sit and go poker, and one of them really is great for sit and go poker.

I have had the opportunity to test about 15 online poker calculators, and in all honesty, not one of them is perfect for me. That being said, among the Empirical type of poker calculators, there are two that I have used exclusively for single table, sit and go tournaments (STT). They are, Sit and Go Shark and Hold’em Pirate.

Empirical Poker calculators offer up to the user a dynamic collection of the aggregate activity of your opponents. This contributes to the feel, or momentum of the table. An important factor to be sure. Sit and Go Shark makes claim to this by having descriptive phrases parsed in stacked sections for you to read while playing. Yes you have to read. Problem is, it offers up different opinions about the same hand, rarely giving a clear recommendation.

Thing is, after using this for over 7 weeks and about 120 sit and gos, the multiple recommendations are continuously distracting, while slowing your game down. You eventually have to ignore them to maintain your sanity. Conversely, Hold’em Pirate’s VPIP meter lets you determine in a glance the momentum of the table, the style grid of your opponents, and the strength of your hand based on pot odds. Seriously, what else can you ask for?

I eventually came to the conclusion that Sit and Go Shark was just like Calculatem Pro, but wearing a nicer suit. The only thing I feel it has done well is remind weak players about not playing garbage hands. It plainly says to fold these garbage hands. This may be a good thing for beginners. However, if you are beyond knowing the true weakness of J6os, 104s etc, you’ll be much better off with Hold’em Pirate in your sit and go domination.

Now Sit and Go Shark is a Roy Rounder product that specifically tried to nail a market niche in that he knew a lot of online players played STT’s exclusively, or used them frequently to build a bankroll or gain MTT experience. (As far as marketing goes, you can’t beat Roy Rounder – he successfully pushes a 2 year old poker eBook for 3 times the cost of Matthew Hilger’s “Internet Texas Hold’em”, a vastly superior product).

I was initially excited by some of the claims Rounder made about Sit and Go Shark, which offered a new level of intuitiveness that other Mathematical Poker Calculators were just starting to phase into. Alas, maybe v2.0 will deliver on such claims.
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