5 Useful Tools for Live Poker Players
A seemingly infinite number of poker tools are out there that aim to help you improve and manage your game in 2023.
To help you use the best and avoid the rest, we’ve created this list of the top 5 tools live poker players should consider using.
These tools will help you track your bankroll, find games, and run key calculations.
Let’s dive in.
Keeping track of your poker results is crucial for many reasons. The top poker results tracker apps allow to look at your hourly win rate, as results for different stakes, different poker rooms, etc.
The Poker Bankroll Tracker app goes far beyond just giving you a summary of your poker results. Available for both Apple iOS and Android devices, Poker Bankroll Tracker offers a top-of-a-line tool to log and analyze your live poker sessions.
Once you’ve downloaded Poker Bankroll Tracker app, you can open the “Live Session” menu, input what room you’re at, the stakes, and your starting stack. Click the “GO” tab and play your session.
When you open the app again at the end of you session, input your ending stack click the “FINISH” button. Poker Bankroll Tracker keeps track of how many hours you played, and adds your hours and your results to your database.
Over time, you’ll see statistics accumulate, including your hourly win rate, win rate per 100 hands, percentage of sessions won, and several other metrics. You can even keep track of staking results and shares if someone else has a piece of your action.
The free version of Poker Bankroll Tracker allows you to post an unlimited number of sessions. It also includes an hand vs hand odds calculator and an ICM calculator, which makes tools #3 and #4 on this list redundant.
The Pro version of the app unlocks access to a host of other features, which are worth the 19.99 EUR per year price if you’re a serious player.
The Pro version allows you to keep player vs. player stats, calculate variance, access advanced calculator (such as hand vs range) and hand replayer options, adjust the number of hands per hour, and numerous other tools. The Pro version is also ad-free.
Poker Bankroll Tracker allows you to keep track of results for tournaments as well. It includes an ICM calculator, which offers the opportunity to calculate final table deals in just seconds (and makes it so you don’t need tool #4).
Poker Bankroll Tracker Tools At A Glance*
- Poker results tracker
- Live session tracker
- Supports multiple poker variants
- Hand replayer
- Player notes & stats
- Advanced calculator option (pot odds, ICM, equity)
- Advanced bankroll filters (stake, location)
*Pro Subscription Required for Access to Certain Tools
A poker results tracker is an essential took for live players, and you won’t find a better option in this category than Poker Bankroll Tracker.
Price: The basic version is free, the Pro version (recommended) in $19.99 EUR per year.
Available For: Apple iOS, Android
2. Bravo/Poker Atlas
You never know what you might encounter when you show up at a poker room without scouting the scene before you go. You could find that the games/stakes you want to play aren’t even running, or that the waitlist for your game will take hours to climb.
Many poker rooms offer a live list of games available, as well as waitlist lengths, on mobile apps like Bravo and Poker Atlas. If you’re in a city with multiple poker rooms, these apps allow you to choose the room that gives you the best chance of getting into the game you want, without waiting hours for a seat.
If you’re somewhere with only one poker room, Bravo and Poker Atlas can inform you if the room is even worth visiting at a certain time.
Poker Atlas allows to put your name on the waitlist for a game without even calling into the poker room. After checking in on the app, you have one hour to get to the poker room and verify that you’ve arrived. In some cases, Bravo also allows you to get your name on a waitlist through the app.
In most cases with Bravo, you’ll still have to call into the poker room and get your name on this list. Some rooms don’t allow call-ins at all, meaning you have to show up in person before you can get your name on the list.
The app is still invaluable to live poker players in either case. Here’s a look at the information Bravo offered for a recent Friday afternoon in Las Vegas:
The screenshot on the far left shows all poker rooms in Las Vegas that use the Bravo app. Bravo is a must-have for Las Vegas in particular, as nearly every poker room in the city partners with Bravo.
The number in parentheses next to each poker room shows the number of live games going at a room at the time you’re looking at Bravo. Aria Resort & Casino, for instance, has 12 cash games running at the time of this screenshot.
Clicking on Aria from Bravo’s main lobby opens up the menu in the second screenshot. This menu breaks down the current tables at Aria by stake and game type.
Aria is running five $1/$3 No-Limit Hold’em games at this time (1-3 NLH 8-Handed), with three on the waitlist. If you looked at Aria’s listings and the waitlist was 50 (which does happen at Aria during peak season), you might want to consider playing somewhere else. The third screenshot shows the daily tournament schedule for Aria that week.
Keep in mind that not all poker rooms work with Bravo. While in Vegas or any other city, be sure to check out PokerAtlas as well.
Some poker rooms don’t list their games on Bravo or PokerAtlas, instead using their own app. Seven Mile Casino in San Diego, for example, offers an app similar to PokerAtlas, allowing you to sign up for a waitlist up to an hour before showing up.
3. Equity Calculator
As discussed in the Poker Bankroll section above, an equity calculator is a basic, but must-have tool for your live poker arsenal. One of the perks of a Poker Bankroll Tracker Pro subscription is getting access to am equity calculator with some pretty nice features.
A equity calculator allows you to input your hand against an opponent’s hand, or your range against an opponent’s range, and see how much equity each player has in the pot for that situation.
Here’s a look at the equity calculator within the Poker Bankroll Tracker app:
The equity calculator allows you to match up two hands (like AA vs AK, or AA vs 98 suited), and see how often each will win. You can calculate the odds of each winning preflop, or at any stage of any possible flop and turn.
High-quality calculators also allow you to pit a hand against an opponent’s range, or a range vs. another range. For example, you could calculate how AA fares against a range consisting of AA, KK, QQ, AK, TT, and AQ.
Standalone poker equity calculators include programs like PokerStove, Equilab, Poker Ranger, and Flopzilla. Each of these programs offer different features, with Flopzilla in particular offering several advanced features that can help take your game to the next level.
For more on equity calculators, check out this Upswing Poker guide to Best Poker Odds and Equity Calculators.
4. Tournament Cruncher for ICM (Must-Have for Tournament Players)
Winning at poker tournaments requires a keen understanding of ICM.
ICM (Independent Chip Model) is used to evaluate how much real money a certain tournament decision or situation equates to.
The best tournament players study ICM calculations regularly so they can make better decisions in-game. But even the best of the best can’t run complex ICM calculations in their head (at least not precisely).
That’s where Tournament Cruncher for ICM comes in.
The Tournament Cruncher app specializes in ICM calculations. Evaluate ICM payouts, chip chop equities, bubble factor, push/fold/call decisions, and more with the Tournament Cruncher app.
Having this app available gives you a vast edge over any opponent that doesn’t. You can run ICM calculations between hands or on break to help inform your strategy.
You can also use this tool to run ICM calculations when making deals deep in tournaments, which can be quite helpful.
Price: $7.99 (one-time fee)
Available For: Apple iOS, Android
5. Music App of Choice (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)
Some players enjoy listening to music while they play poker, while others enjoy the banter, sounds, and ambiance of the poker room.
In general, Upswing Poker recommends you at least have one ear open to the table. There can be a lot of valuable info to be gained by listening to your opponents.
But Upswing also recommends having a backup option — a preferred music app and earbuds/headphones — to save your sanity in the event that there’s an annoying presence at your table.
Play enough poker and you’ll inevitably come across an opponent that quite frankly won’t shut up. These players can sometimes be extremely profitable to play against, but you may want to occasionally (or always) drown out their constant talking.
You may also one day find yourself in an unusually loud situation in the poker room. Maybe it’s a drunk-filled table nearby or construction from just outside. Regardless, you’ll have an easier time remaining focused if you can remove that stimulus.
Arriving at the table with a music app like Spotify or Apple Music is never a bad idea. Don’t forget the headphones either, as this signals your chatty opponent to the fact that you’re not interested in their bad beat stories.
If you’re not a music lover, might I recommend the Upswing Poker Level-Up podcast. It’s not as soothing as a chill house beat or as enjoyable as a funky guitar riff, but it will help you get better at poker.