Hold’em Manager 3 Tracking Software Review

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Overview
  • Product: Hold'em Manager 3 – online poker tracking software
  • Price: $60 - $160 (USD)
  • System Requirements : Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10. 4GB of RAM or greater recommended. 2 GHz processor, 1GB of free disk space
  • Supported Poker Rooms: Poker Stars, Party Poker, Microgaming, Ipoker, Merge Network, Pacific/888, Boss Network, Winning Poker Network, People's Poker, Winamax, Bovada/Ignition/Bodog, Asian Poker Clubs
  • Supported Poker Games: Either NLHE or PLO cash games up to $50, Limit up to $100, and tournament buy-ins of up to $22 for $60; Low-limit NLHE and PLO for $100; All games for all stakes for $160.
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Description

Hold’em Manager 3 is a poker HUD (Heads-Up Display) and a poker hand tracking software tool for online poker players. Developed in 2007 and launched in 2009 by Roy Goncalves and Mike Lamb, Hold’em Manager 2 followed in 2012. It proved to be a big success, with over a million users.

Hold’em Manager merged with Poker Tracker in 2014 to form Max Value Software. After five years of development, the much-anticipated Hold’em Manager 3 hit the market in 2019.

Scratch built rather than upgraded from the previous version, this iteration is the best yet. It is important to note Poker Tracker 4 and Hold’em Manager are two separate products. There are a few fundamental differences in how they operate.

The main difference is a cosmetic one. HM3 is easily the most visually impressive in the way that data is displayed in charts and graphs. HM3 has also done away with the need for a PostgreSQL database to store information.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well, aside from the issue of non-Mac compatibility, Hold’em Manager is faster than PT4 when it comes to reviewing statistics and accessing hands from the database. The latest version also works straight ‘out of the box’ without the need for any additional software add-ons.

Pros & Cons

Visually and cosmetically, Hold’em Manager 3 is the best looking of all the tracking software on the market. Taking inspiration from sister product PT4, HM3 has a great deal of improved functionality.

The Heads-up Display, or ‘HUD’, is arguably the most useful feature. This has been completely redesigned making it faster, and easier to customise. Using imported hand histories, HM3 displays your choice of statistics at the table in real-time, allowing you to deduce player tendencies at a glance.

Filters are available, allowing you to narrow down hands in your database to examine, for example, only hands in which you were raised on the turn or only hands in which you 3-bet preflop. This allows you to compile reports on your play and analyse leaks in any given situation.

The hand replayer plays back any hand in your database in graphical form. It includes statistics and player notes, which allows you to review your session and go over difficult spots with ease.

Custom reports and filters allow you to store a personal library of your favourite reports. This enables the creation of powerful filters using queries on your full database.

When it comes to additional software, HM3 comes with plenty of bells and whistles. Third-party developers are able to integrate additional features directly. Current apps include:

Multi-tabling app Table Ninja II; automated note-taking app Notecaddy; and Hand Grabbers – an app allowing the auto-import of real-time hand histories from sites where this function is unavailable.

Another pro is the fact this latest iteration of HM3 requires no additional software downloads or PostgreSQL database creation.

Of course, that also brings us to two of the cons, which are compatibility and price. Other tracking software programs on the market offer Mac compatibility, whereas HM3 is only available for Windows.

Price

When it comes to price, Hold’em Manager is comparable to that of PT4, edging it out slightly for a saving of $5 for the No-Limit Hold’em low-stakes package (up to $50 NL, $100 Fixed Limit, and $22 buy-in tournaments), which costs $60.

The combined low-stakes Hold’em and Omaha package comes with a $100 price tag. The full package, which is all stakes and all games costs $160, similar to PT4, but $60 more than Poker Copilot.

While one could argue HM3 is competitively priced, it does come with a hidden annual support and maintenance cost that rival software does not. While this is optional – included for free for the first year of purchase – it costs between $25-$60 per year depending on which version of the software you run.

Should you chose to opt-out then the software will still work, you just won’t receive any updates and maintenance. When you consider the fact most online poker rooms update their software regularly and may stop working with HM3 should you not pay for support, it could be considered optional in name only.

Of course, this comes with a pro; there is plenty of support, making troubleshooting fairly effortless. Online support is as good as it is for PT4, and is supported in 14 languages.

Pros / Cons
  • Great online support in multiple languages
  • Numerous useful add-ons available
  • Visually impressive and fully customisable HUD and data displays
  • Omaha and Hold'em functions separate unless you buy the full version
  • Additional support and maintenance costs
  • Not Mac compatible

Verdict

Easily the best-looking tracking software on the market. HM3 incorporates a great deal of improved functionality and works ‘straight out of the box’ requiring no additional software downloads. Essentially, HM3 is a slicker, more modern version of PT4. While similarly priced to PT4, it comes with additional future support and maintenance costs. If you are at all serious about your online poker game then these costs can be considered negligible and can be won back over the course of a single session. Add in quality online support and you have a great piece of software many in the online poker world would consider essential. With a free 14-day trial available, and the ability to even get the software for free should you sign-up with one of their online poker room partners, there is no reason not to click the download button below and give it a try.

Price: 7/10

While competitively priced the fact there are additional future support and maintenance costs does count against HM3 when it comes to price. There are cheaper options available, and while they may not be as slick, they essentially do exactly the same thing.

Support: 10/10

Great online support, regular maintenance, and updates mean any problems are efficiently and quickly dealt with, making HM3 the best product on the market when it comes to troubleshooting and technical support.

Accessibility: 9/10

Quality of life improvements to this latest iteration makes HM3 one of the more accessible pieces of tracking software. Combine this with great visuals and improved and intuitive functionality options and you have a great bit of kit.

Functionality: 9/10

A hand replayer that plays back any hand in your database in graphical form. An improved and easy to customise HUD. An autocomplete filter function allowing users to quickly type in powerful filters. These are just some of the added functionalities HM3 has to give it an edge over the competition.

Add Ons: 10/10

Just like sister product PT4, HM3 offers users a host of add-on applications that add a great deal of quality of life improvements, increasing the software’s functionality and usability significantly.

Total Score: 45/50 – 4.5 stars

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