One of the benefits of attaining the higher Belts at Black Belt Poker is the access to free software. A few months back, they announced that every player who reached Purple Belt would receive a copy of the gold standard of tracking software: Hold’em Manager (HEM). Recently, they went one step further and allowed those already in possession to choose from the plethora of add-ons or ‘apps’ available to use in conjunction, as an alternative reward.
This Black Belt Poker infomercial does have a point.
Followers of my previous articles will remember that I took it upon myself to seek out and review a tutorial video on the software in order to offer a life raft to those drowning in VPIPs and cold five-bet calling stats. For any newly promoted Purple Belts considering which programme is the most ‘app’-ropriate for them (do puns work when the spelling stays the same?) I have decided to continue my metaphorical heroism and take a look at one or two videos from a pertinent DeucesCracked series.
‘App Attack’ is sthief09’s comprehensive guide to the Hold’em Manager apps. In this episode, he gets DC member velobank to take us through the most popular piece of STT software on the market today: SitNGo Wizard. ‘SNGWiz’, as it’s more commonly known, is now considered an essential tool for anyone who is serious about grinding SNGs. When first used it can be overwhelming, particularly as so much of the information it feeds back can seem so crazy at first. From a tutorial video, I’m looking for it all to be made simple.
The video begins with a basic introduction to who might find Wiz useful, and in which kind of situations it really comes into its own. We are given a quick overview of the idea of ICM [Independent chip Modelling], which is the concept the whole thing is based around. This is kind of skimmed over, so for anyone completely unfamiliar (or in need of a refresher), a quick search of an appropriate article may help you to follow the rest of the video. Fair enough, though, it’s a software tutorial, not an introduction to ICM.
Velobank takes us through some of the options, shows us how to switch between using an ICM model or a chipEV model. He explains how ICM is useful for the steeper payout structure of a SNG or MTT Final Table, and chipEV, where pay jumps are not considered, for a flatter structure like a large field MTT bubble.
Next we’re taken through SNGWiz’s relationship to HEM, specifically how to export hands from one for analysis in the other. This is obviously a key area for beginners and, unfortunately, is where one or two flaws in velobank’s presentation are exposed. He is clearly showing us stuff he could do in his sleep and has a tendency to leave us behind. It may just be me, but I had to google ‘AHK’ after the third time of him using it. He also shows us the cool, quick ‘auto hot-key’ (cheers Wikipedia) method of importing hands from HEM into Wiz using the middle mouse button. He doesn’t show you how you might do it, though, on, say, a laptop. It’s not difficult to work out, it’s just a right-click and selection from a menu, but it is fairly typical of an occasional tendency to rush over things. He also has a slightly annoying habit of sometimes just showing you how to do things by doing them, rather than talking it all through. Don’t get me wrong, velobank clearly knows his stuff and he definitely covers what you need to know, you just sometimes have to watch something back when you get lost.
As velo takes us through analysis of the first hand, the programme’s awesomeness really starts to shine through. We’re taken through how to analyse an existing situation, and then tweak every factor imaginable, from villain ranges to stack sizes to individual site-specific payout structures. The analysis itself will be eye-opening for anyone not used to making strong ICM decisions, and as they get into discussing the real meat of the programme the whole flow of the video improves dramatically.
One of my personal favourite functions of SNGWiz is the quiz function. This allows you to put in a bunch of settings and be given situation after situation where you have to decide whether to push or fold. The idea of memorising such small equity differences may seem absurd, but going through these simulations is exactly the training your brain needs. Velobank goes through his preferred settings and the types of simulations he finds most profitable to work on. We’re shown how if a certain type of situation isn’t coming up in the quiz, or there’s a hand from a live game you want to look at afterwards, the ‘Analyse a new game’ settings allow us to create any situation we like. This video is very much designed to help those who want to use Wiz as a real training tool.
A big SNG grinder himself, velobank offers tips on efficient practical uses for SNGWiz and this is one of the episode’s big strengths. He talks about how he uses the chart features to speed up analysis and find push/fold break-even points. He speaks on the mindset essential for any successful SNG grinder and how you need to properly grasp the risk/reward ratio in any given situation. He explains how everything can be personalised and we should take advantage of it. SNGWiz is not there to create push-bot charts, it’s for learning what to do in situations with a multitude of factors, and how the correct move can change if you alter a thing.
A great introduction to the features of a fantastic programme; worth it even if you do have to watch it twice.
Previous DeucesCracked reviews:
From Import to Analyze
Moneytrain to Midstakesville