A review of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Poker Notes Live App
For the past week I’ve been tinkering with an interesting app that was designed by poker players for poker players, the Poker Notes Live App from Cardplayer Lifestyle. The App was designed by a couple of poker enthusiasts, Alessandro Roaro and the founder of the Cardplayer Lifestyle poker blog Robbie Strazynski, and acts as a note-taking tool for live poker players.
About Poker Notes Live
The Poker Notes Live App has two versions, a free version (the one I used) and a premium version that costs $9.99. The App is currently available for Android mobile devices, with an iOS version in the works. The free version was a 2.4mb download and is fairly unobtrusive, eating up only a little bit of battery life. The Poker Notes Live App is available in 8 languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Dutch, and Hebrew.
The basic features of the App include (taken from the Cardplayer Lifestyle blog):
* Quickly tag and classify opponents’ general tendencies with icons and customizable tags
* Instantly translate your observations at the table into scores of your opponents on a number of general parameters, including percentage of hands played and aggressiveness
* Easily record your buy-ins, wins and losses, and tips given while at the tables
* Use the Poker Odds – Range Calculator feature to take exceptionally accurate notes (NEW)
* Connect with other poker players using Poker Notes Live via Facebook and Twitter
My Thoughts on the Poker Notes Live App
Essentially the app is quite similar to the note taking capabilities found at most online poker rooms, with more of a focus towards one-click entries thanks to some quick classifications like Fish, LAG, ABC, Rock, and so on. Additionally, the Poker Notes Live App acts as session tracker of your results, tracking the stakes you play, your buy-in, P&L and more.
While I found the App more functional than I had anticipated, I don’t see too much of a long-term benefit in using the Free version, which I will explain shortly, but if you are a semi-serious to professional poker player it is easily worth the $10 price tag for the Premium version. Basically, if you try the free version and like it, I would just upgrade right to the premium version.
The reason I say this is that the free version only allows you to take notes session by session (creating a new session deletes your previous session notes), so after each you would have to transfer them to a notebook or spreadsheet manually. Because of this you should probably think of the free version as a trial for the Premium version of the App.
The Premium Version is for more serious poker players who will be playing in games with regular opponents, as it does all of the following things not available in the free version:
* Table notes list feature
This feature is a chronological list of all of your sessions allowing you to click on a specific session or look at older notes you have entered.
* Records and charts results across multiple sessions
As App creator Robbie Strazynski told me, this function is “just a matter of saving your notes on each player, then adding to them over time and using your multi-session note collection to adapt your play to their game and observations you’ve noticed about them over time.”
* Import/export database (serves as backup of all notes + allows for manual sync across devices)
* Save all notes on every opponent you ever face
* Email notes to your PC for further analysis at home in between sessions
As I noticed while using the app and then researching the premium version, the premium version does everything I wanted the free version to do.
The purpose of the app is to bring a bit of the online game to the live poker arena, and in this regard it works. However, it should be noted that you see far fewer hands live (and don’t have the luxury of clicking a hand history and seeing a hand that was mucked at showdown) so you don’t get the same amount of information on an opponent that you would after a couple hours online. Still, you can record some very usable information, especially on the regulars in your game.
As I said above, the App was easier to use than I anticipated, and depending on how quickly you enter information may not even be that noticeable to your opponents –you’ll probably just look like someone who can’t put their Smartphone down.
A secondary function is the self-tracking data you can enter into the app, which is a really nice feature.
Finally, the app should help you develop your own shorthand for poker notes, which can then be carried over to your online sessions as well.
First and foremost, typing on a Smartphone or Tablet isn’t the easiest or fastest thing in the world. I can actually envision scenarios where you miss real-world information because you were entering something into the App.
Also, in live settings you’ll rarely know an opponent’s name and will have to enter them into the app under some descriptive, as this may become confusing if you think you’ve played with someone before and are trying to find notes on them.
With that being said, the most problematic aspect of the app that I see is that some poker rooms have strict policies against electronic devices at the poker tables. If this is the case you would have to take a number of short walks whenever an interesting hand came up that you wanted to enter, or would have to enter information every so often from recall.
Of less concern are players wondering why you keep fiddling with your phone, which may annoy your fellow players, especially if they find out you are writing things about them.
With most Apps in $1.99 price-point the $9.99 price-tag seems a little steep, but considering how useful the Poker Notes Live App is I will probably purchase the Premium version before my next live poker game. If you play live poker even once a week I would definitely consider purchasing the Poker Notes Live App.
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