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Studying with PokerSnowie – Machine Learning applied to Poker

If you’re already here, reading this article, this means that you’re very interested in getting better at poker and are looking for solutions. Well done!

Today we’re taking a different approach than conventional solvers. The PokerSnowie approach, which is pretty much similar to “the ML approach”. ML stands for Machine Learning. You’ve probably heard of this term on the news or when reading a tech blog or magazine, but what does it really mean?

You have to understand that not until a few years ago, computers weren’t that powerful, and this method did not prove so useful. You see, Machine Learning in poker as PokerSnowie applies it, is making a computer play itself repeatedly, and programming it to learn from that, and record what it’s learnt. It has perfect memory, it doesn’t forget anything compared to a human being, and it can play a clone of itself to get better (unlike you), and it’s lightning fast, it can play up to millions of hands per second! It would take you a few years to play that many hands online and you’d probably forget 99% of them(oh those pesky bad beats!).

This method of learning is very modern, considering computer technology has advanced powerfully, and we’re getting more and more computing power each year for the same amount of money.

Right now, a rig that can solve poker trees costs a lot, a decent one being around 2000 dollars, so it’s a large investment especially for someone who’s playing microstakes like NL10 (200 buyins, whoa) or NL25.

There’s an alternative to this, and you don’t necessarily have to “solve” everything. Also, solving a tree requires waiting, and the weaker your machine, the more you’re going to have to wait. With a great rig I used to wait 30 minutes for single raised pots, that’s a lot.

Enter PokerSnowie.

The way it works is that this is a bot that plays itself for a long time, in 6-max conditions, and it deviates constantly towards the best working plays, learns from its’ mistakes and thus gets closer and closer to GTO play. (if you don’t know although I think you do, GTO is Game Theory Optimal play, a perfect vacuum solution for any poker situation, ever)

Now, the other advantage of PokerSnowie is that it can run on any machine because there’s no calculation involved, you just pull results in from a huge database and get the solution instantly. Everything has been calculated beforehand. It can also analyze your hands and tell you if you’ve been naughty or nice, based on Snowie’s database and experience, it will tell you if you have blundered or made an expert play.

Now, you might ask, how can PokerSnowie help you achieve poker greatness?

Let’s explore the methods through which you can study intensively with PokerSnowie. You’ll see at the top, after logging into your account, some tabs.

TThe Main PokerSnowie Front Menu

Training

Clicking on Training launches a new interface where you get to select the game mode and then the respective limits.

For cash games, you have from 0.1/0.2 NL20 to 20/40 NL4000. You can select various stack sizes between 10 blinds and 200 blinds, and if your opponents can autorebuy (top up) and to which threshold, for example 70% or 100%. You can also add Ante or select the number of players, ranging from 2 (heads-up) to 10 (surprisingly 10 is maximum not 9).

Cash Game Options in Training Mode

Upon pressing the Start button, we immediately get sat down at a table with parameters of our choice and start playing.

PokerSnowie live play training mode

Checking the Live Advice option on the top left turns the training mode into a more educational mode, where you can either select “Always On” for permanent advice, “Errors” so it corrects you when you make a mistake, and “Big Errors Only”, where it corrects only your very far from GTO decisions. You can always leave the game, and see every hand you played and the PokerSnowie evaluation.

In the example above, I selected 6Max, 0.1/0.2 limits, so I’m sat down with 5 other PokerSnowie opponents at the table, we’re all dealt cards and play against each other. This is not only fun, but will also result in improving your skill massively even if you’re playing very low stakes, actually correct that, especially if you’re playing microstakes. You get to play against tougher opponents and learn so much from their play, that you’ll be cruising through your limits in no time.

The main takeaway from this is that you get to play 5 very strong opponents, see how their play, understand why they play this way at no real extra cost except for the small yearly subscription, and you can do that as much as you want! And to top it off, it’s really fun! Imagine the amount of money you’d be losing at your limit getting to understand the stronger regs and how and why they play the way they play. I think this is a great example on how PokerSnowie can really improve your game and work so well for you, saving you precious money.

Live Advice EV reveal on bottom left

One more mention is that you always have a fast fold button, so you’re basically playing a format like Zoom or Rush&Cash on GGPoker and you don’t waste any time. You can deactivate this option by unchecking “Auto Start Next Hand” on top right, if you also want to see PokerSnowie play against himself after you fold.

After a short while, your session will apppear in the Import Manager and will be analyzed hand for hand so you can always review it and improve your game.

Oh goodie! Seems like we did pretty well! We’re also rich now in Sklansky Dollars. Hooray!

There are numerous tabs, as you can see, where we can see many statistics regarding our game and how they compare to PokerSnowie.

Hand Analysis

By clicking on Error Details and then the street where you want to review them, you can review the hands and PokerSnowie will show you how many times you blundered and what was the correct move, you can see the ranges in specific spots and EV differences. I find this part of the software one of the best educational modes out there.

You can also import hands directly exported from Holdem Manager, PokerTracker or your poker website hand history, as long as they’re supported (most mainstream sites are), and review them here step by step and see if you were wrong or right, and get advice like you see right underneath my hand: “Your hand is too weak to call ( you need at least JTs). *amazing note here tell you minimum hand* Instead it is a borderline decision between folding and bluff-raising.”. That’s very practical advice, I really like this part. Now click on Analysis Tools.

We see here for this exact spot and any spot in poker we get a Strategy advisor and two other options named “Range advice” and “Preflop advice”.

Range advice is mostly a postflop tool that will help you determine the ratio of value and bluff that you will have on each street and show you exactly what hands you put in which range, betting big, betting small or checking.

Range advice for this spot

On the other hand, I really like the Preflop advice, whereas it just directly shows you the range that you should play in each position.

From this chart, paying great attention to the legend on the right and selecting your preferred raise size, you can easily determine the perfect GTO reaction range for your spot here. Using this method, we can even use PokerSnowie to get perfect preflop ranges, in the following way:

Scenarios

GTO Preflop ranges are one of the hardest tasks to calculate, to do this on even a supercomputer we make a lot of abstractions like no calling CO vs EP and SB has only a 3-betting range, so we have no idea how true GTO poker ranges actually look like, but we definitely can get close to the real solution. There are quite a few ways to calculate them, but at least for PokerSnowie you know that they actually work because they are the best ranges to use against other players which are also as good.

By clicking the Scenarios button in the PokerSnowie main screen, you get to a section where you can make your own game. Maybe you want to see what you can shove in a tournament 15bb deep from the CO, or rejam from SB in the same situation, or maybe you just want to see how a 100BB open raising range in cash games looks like. So you set your scenario up:

Just like this, and then you click on Preflop advice and get the solution!

Instantly, works on any computer, no need for terabytes of ram, all you need is a 100$ laptop or less.

Not only that, but they also offer a free trial for a week, so you can get all the ranges you need for free, but then you’ll miss a lot on training so I would recommend trying it out, see if you like it and then raise your edge to the next level, by using this software and then applying what you’ve learnt, at the real money tables.

There are plenty of options left, but I’ll let you uncover those when you get your free trial at PokerSnowie.com . It works on Windows, Mac OSX, Android and iPhone (iOS), so you can even take it with you.

Image result for pokersnowie logo

We rate this product 10/10 on the Poker Improvement Scale.

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