!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Deal Magazine gives 4 of 5 for PA Pro: Texas Holdem Poker

Deal Magazine gives 4 of 5 for PA Pro: Texas Holdem Poker

Deal Magazine gives 4 of 5 for PA Pro Texas Holdem Poker

Page Contents

Deal Magazine Texas Holdem Poker Software Review

"By pitting you against several types of bots with a wide range of strategies and skill levels, the game [Poker Academy Pro] succeeds where many other poker programs fail," said writer Will Smith. The review appeared in Deal Magazine's (http://www.dealmagazine.com/) fall 2006 issue.

Smith summarizes his Texas Holdem poker software review of Poker Academy Pro with the following: "An incredibly powerful, full featured poker similar, this one will test and improve your skills. No other poker game we've tried - and believe us, we've played them all - offers the depth of A.I. challenge conjured by the bots you face in Poker Academy. As a training tool, Poker Academy's bots and help system train you to make the right decisions in a huge range of situations. Spend time with the demo and follow its instructions and PAP2's relatively high full-purchase price will seem like a bargain."

The Review Introduction

Smith begins the article with a perfect description of the value of using training software for Texas Holdem poker:

It's tough to find a good place to hone your game without spending a lot of money in the process. You won't see enough hands in your weekly game to take your game to the next level, the sharks in your local cardroom will bleed you dry, and we won't even talk about playing online. The surest way to ingrain terrible habits is to play on-line at play money tables where 2-7 offsuit is a primo starting hand and three hearts gives you a playable flush draw.
Enter Poker Academy Pro 2.5.

Top 10 Comments from the Texas Holdem Poker Review

  1. With the most advanced computer opponents (AKA bots) we've played against, Poker Academy Pro gives you a place to test new strategies, tweak your play style, and perfect your tournament strategies for free.
  2. The game also includes the Advisor - which suggests whether to Raise, Call, or Fold any time it's your turn - and pop-up tips that'll prevent you from making rookie mistakes such as folding when you could check. While the pop-ups are useful for newbies, the Advisor ... gives somewhat questionable advice...
  3. The secret goodness here is the bots. With learning bots that play dumb at first, but adapt to your play style after several hundred hands, Poker Academy Pro will up your challenge the more you play.
  4. You can configure bots to match the types of players you'll see online or in your Thursday-night game. As with real people, you'll have to learn and adapt to their strategies at the same time they adapt to yours.
  5. By pitting you against several types of bots with a wide range of strategies and skill levels, the game succeeds where many other poker programs fail. You can actually learn and improve your game playing against these bots.
  6. Poker Academy Pro includes a few dozen basic tournaments and ring games, but you can customize every aspect of the game - including blind structure, rake, duration and so on - so you can practice in any situation you'd like.
  7. Unlike other play-money sites, Poker Academy Online isn't a bad place to play. For one thing, the people playing have spent money to gain access to the online service, so (for the most part) they're playing to learn and improve their real-world game. Also, in order to participate in the serious tournaments, you've got to earn a small bankroll of Poker Academy Credits (PAX) in frequent No Limit Tournaments. To play in the large tournaments or ring games, you need to build and protect your bankroll, just as you would with real cash.
  8. PA Pro keeps a detailed hand history with complete notations about every hand you (and your opponents) play: winners, losers, bets, raises, folds, and all the cards that you see. In addition to tracking your wins and losses over a long period of time, the app also analyzes your play, making it easy for you to tell if your actions line up with your intended strategy.
  9. All told, it's a hell of a program
  10. Verdict: 4 of 5 stars

Poker Academy Comments

Extremely Gratified

"We are extremely gratified for such a thorough review in this collector's edition of Deal Magazine," said Kurt Lange, president & CEO of Poker Academy. "The depth and breadth of the review leaves no stone unturned, and Will's words speak volumes for anyone looking for direction in taking their game to the next level."

In the Details

You've got to like the detail that the reviewer Will Smith went through in writing this article. It is clear he has seen his way around a number of products and can pick out the differences in the products.

Overall, the review felt like a glowing recommendation. Not just that Smith pointed out that Poker Academy Pro is a great tool to learn Texas Holdem poker but also why it is. In particular, we felt that in his introduction, Smith captured the reason why we feel there is a need for Texas Holdem poker software with more clarity than we have ever been able to. There were two areas that Smith did touch on with negative connotations in his review: the PA Online (PAO) play and the advice.

Poker advice is very hard to give for a wide range of players. For those new to the game you want to keep it simple (and the advisor does). But for more advanced players playing against tricky opponents, the advice needs to adjust to compensate for the play. Smith's article is bang-on that it is very questionable in these situations, but it would be good to point out that it can be vastly improved if the player changes the advisor profile to match the situation.

As for the section on Poker Academy Online(PAO); After the (deservingly) scathing remarks Smith gave for play money sites, Smith did mention that "Poker Academy Online isn't a bad place to play". This is definitely a comment with some positive spin, but it still falls short of praise for the environment. We understand that it is hard to see the difference in PAO when players first join - the Bootcamps are much the same as freeroll tournaments on real sites. But after advancing a bankroll to 200 PAX, the game changes. The players start to tighten up, and games are played much the same as low stakes real money. Smith's entire review is fitted to helping players learn proper Texas Holdem poker, and so maybe the low stakes real money still isn't a good place for that - but we felt it should be mentioned that PAO is not only better than any other play money site, it is also a great teacher for players learning to handle themselves against low stakes NL games - which really is an accomplishment in that it doesn't "bleed you dry" to get you there.