Today, we’re going to talk about PokerCraft, Natural8’s integrated statistics tracker. There’s a lot you can do with this software that also comes with a handful of fun elements alongside some really powerful analysis tools.
So, let’s take a look at a few of them!
What Is PokerCraft?
If you’ve never heard of PokerCraft, you are seriously missing out. Natural8 doesn’t allow players to use third-party tracking tools or HUDs. However, you can still keep records thanks to the site’s fully integrated and purpose-built analysis tool known as PokerCraft.
Every single poker hand you play on the site will be recorded, whether it’s in a cash game or a tournament. You can access the tool simply by clicking the PokerCraft tab located towards the bottom of the Natural8 client. Once inside the backend, you can view all of the data in your browser or export it for further analysis.
So, what are some of the interesting things you can do with PokerCraft?
Session History Details
First and foremost, PokerCraft records every hand that you play on the site. Whether it’s Omaha or Texas Hold’em, a tournament, or a cash game, it will be stored. But one nice little touch is that the data is split up into sessions. This facilitates easy analysis.
Simply click on the relevant game format in the left-hand menu to pull up the overall records. As you can see from the above image, you’re presented with a nice little summary of each session. This includes your overall Win/Loss amount, the number of hands played, and the total playing time.
All of these sessions for each game type are combined into an overall snapshot at the top of the page. Here, you’ll be told crucial information, such as your strongest and weakest playing positions. But my own personal favourite nugget of wisdom is the assessment of how lucky you’ve been. So, when you feel that you’ve been running bad, you can now justify your complaints!
Performance by Position
As previously mentioned, PokerCraft will provide a basic assessment of your positional performance per game. At the top of each page, you’ll see a table map with a green thumbs-up sign and a red thumbs-down. But this is very general. If you want to drill down into specifics, you can do that by highlighting individual sessions.
Use the pull-down menus to choose your chosen date range and stakes, then hit the red “Show” button. You can then click the box to the left of one or more sessions to select them. You can also download that data from here, should you wish.
Below the session history are various buttons, one of which is marked “Position”. Here you’ll find a much more detailed breakdown of what you got up to from each individual seat at the poker table. Among the various stats on display are the frequencies with which you saw a flop and a showdown. This is a brilliantly simple way to understand whether or not you need to tighten or loosen up your ranges.
Results Against Opponents
From the same section of PokerCraft, you can also see a detailed breakdown of your opponents in the highlighted sessions. For me, this is mostly a bit of fun. It’s an enjoyable addition to have the “villain” or “fish” narrative around a player. After all, when all’s said and done, poker is supposed to be a form of entertainment.
If you are more serious about studying your opponents though, you can use the in-game HUD to take notes on each player. Then, in the PokerCraft backend, you can review these thoughts, along with various snippets of information. Just look out for the “Player Stats and Notes” tab on the left-hand menu.
Review Your EV
This is probably my favourite element of PokerCraft. Among all of the fun stuff, it’s easy to forget that this is a serious tracking tool. And one extremely useful feature is the EV Graph.
You can choose this from the same area as the two features above, once you’ve highlighted your desired sessions. It plots your all-in EV (Expected Value) against your actual returns. This is mainly how PokerCraft determines whether or not you’ve been lucky on the overall summary page. From here, you can visualise it on a session-by-session basis properly.
Just one minor note.
PokerCraft only plots the hands from all-in heads up. Multiway pots are not included. Nevertheless, it’s still a very helpful tool when studying your game.
See Specific Hand Performance
Feel like you always lose with a specific hand? Now you can see whether your memory is really playing tricks on you. As well as searching for a specific hand vs hand match up, you can also view every single time you were dealt a specific holding.
This neat little feature allows you to relive the glory of cracking aces with 7-2 offsuit, as well as letting you bemoan those times when it happened to you!
Analyse Your Hole Card Matrix
On a similar note, you can also call up a cool little hand analysis matrix. Although it’s not available for every game type, you can view this funky little feature to break down your results in Hold’em cash games.
Every hand combination is presented in a grid, with a simple visual representation of whether or not the hand is profitable for you. The overall win or loss amount is also displayed. If you click on each holding, the total number of times you were dealt that hand will be shown.
This makes it easy to quickly deduce the source of your success and failure. Naturally, when you can easily spot a hole in your game, there’s a chance to work on it.
PokerCraft: Final Thoughts
I must admit that when I first opened PokerCraft, my expectations were low. Greeted immediately by the familiar sight of my cartoonish avatar, plus a timeline of events that told me about a couple of bad beats, I expected this tool to be nothing more than a little bit of fun. In all fairness, it really was enjoyable to dig around. But it’s so much more than that.
Storing all of your cumulative records in one easy-to-access location is a good idea. However, many players don’t do so until they’ve already played a lot of hands, in which case the data is lost forever. Therefore, we should be thankful to Natural8 for having our backs right from the start.
Most importantly though, playing around with PokerCraft really did help to improve my game. Since using it to analyse my All-in Or Fold performance, I’ve begun to turn a profit.
I was definitely a losing player after my first 400 AOF hands. The first thing PokerCraft taught me was that I shoved too often. After adjusting, I saw a significant upswing across the next 800 hands.
Give PokerCraft a try and see how it could improve your own game.