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Old 10-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #1
eneely
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New Tournament Timer

There is a new tournament timer on the PokerDIY site.

http://www.pokerdiy.com/poker-blinds...#/TourneySetup

I played with it a little and it is pretty good. It doesn't have the auto-calculation of BlindValet.com, but it has some nice features that are not on that site.
  1. Pre-defined blind structures you can load, like the WSOP structure.
  2. Customize blind structures manually and save them for later use.
  3. Enter your chip set and starting stacks and save them.
  4. Download the program and run it without being connected to the internet.
  5. Choose different backgrounds.
  6. Put your own logo on the timer.

I did not see a payout calculator, but maybe I missed it.

This is still in beta, and they are inviting feedback for improvement.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Oh yeah, I would say some aspects of the tool are not well designed. The buttons for setup are hidden at times. You have to move the pointer around to make them appear. At least, I think that is what brings them back. It's a little strange that they disappear when you are in setup mode. Sometimes they are covered up with system messages, but sometimes they go away all together. Odd.
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:59 AM   #3
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Does it work in all rooms?
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Not sure I understand that question. This is for home poker tournaments.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Hi eneely, I am the developer of PokerDIY Tourney Manager and would like to discuss your feedback (thanks for this - helps a lot!)

Firstly - we've just released a Windows Phone 7 blind timer and it's free of course - you can watch a video of it here or download it from Zune. This is a scaled-down version of the desktop PTM that you mention above but we'll be adding more features depending on the popularity of it.

Now: With regards to your feedback (it is a work in progress :

1) Payout calculator is coming in November (everyone seems to want this!)
With this will come named players and table/seating arrangements.

2) WRT the menu design - I had not realised this was the perception - I will have another look at it. Basically I needed to put the System messages somewhere and ultimately the control panel is going to go on the bottom (does not exist yet) so I decided to use the space at the top for system messages. The menu is designed to auto-hide like the Windows toolbar after x seconds (20?) of inactivity - I figures that one you had set up your tourney you would not be flicking between screens much - I had not realised it would cause confusion so I will look at this again.

3) I am considering adding auto-blind calculations like BlindValet does. I might do it in the form of a Wizard to setup your tourney - it asks you a few questions and then configures the setup which you can then tweak.

4) The next update will save the last used configuration - so you wont have to reset any information again, you can just start... this is much needed...

Please let me know what else is missing - I have a TON of requests here that are in the pipeline...
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: New Tournament Timer

I really like this clock. It's very easy to use once you figure it out.

Last edited by Precept24; 10-30-2010 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Figured it out.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:22 PM   #7
eneely
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Good stuff, RodneyHJ. Keep us posted on any updates you release.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: New Tournament Timer

It seems like a great tool to use and I'm excited to see some of the new additions you're thinking about. Is there any way it could help with timing and calculation of coloring chips up? Or would it be possible to have some sort of feature that would adjust the chips currently in play to match color ups?

Last edited by SuitedT8; 11-03-2010 at 06:26 PM. Reason: another question...
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:05 AM   #9
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Re: New Tournament Timer

I am open to ideas - if you can explain exactly what you want and need I can write it - how does coloring up work in your tourney and how could PTM help automate it? Does it happen at a set time? (in which case you could make another checkbox against a level/break - when it hits this something could happen).
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:21 AM   #10
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Not sure I understand SuitedT8's post, either. The clock could notify when a chip will no longer be needed. Maybe insert a break automatically for that. But the number of chips on the table stay the same, no matter what denominations are used.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:52 PM   #11
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
Maybe insert a break automatically for that.
Can you guys tell me how you use color-ups normally in a game? Is it always at a set time (which is usually determined by a particular blind when the smaller denominations do not make sense any longer?)

If this is the case then a new option (on the Setup Up screen) could be "Allow Color-ups) and then you will have another tickbox column against each blind and can make a level as a "color-up" level. The timer would then annouce this.

Would this add value? It will add complexity, which is not necc. a good thing, so if it does not add value then I would leave it out. Any other suggestions on how it could assist in color-ups appreciated...
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:40 PM   #12
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Re: New Tournament Timer

yes, as soon as a chip isn't needed any more, you remove it from the tournament. At the end of that blind level, you simply buy all those chips off the table. It only takes a minute.

It's easier if someone at each table buys up most of those small chips in the last few hands of the round, and organizes them into stacks that change easily into higher value chips.

If players have an odd number of those useless chips, the easy thing to do is to round up. You have 5 t25's? here's 2 100's. congratulations, you gained t75 when that's not even a small blind.

To get fancy, race off the extra chips, but that's getting far away from your questions and is really unnecessary.

Having color ups indicated in the structure sheet is valuable, imo. I once pulled the t25s off the table, and then one round later realized that I had 150/300 blinds planned (they quietly became 200/300, and nobody missed a beat). All the schedule has to do is show a mark where colorups should happen, so everyone knows what to expect. It's just like scheduling a break.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:38 PM   #13
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by tit4tat View Post
All the schedule has to do is show a mark where colorups should happen, so everyone knows what to expect. It's just like scheduling a break.
Ok, but should the program *suggest* at what point it should happen (ie. when the lowest value chip is not needed again, OR does the TD know at what point and they control the scheduling of it?

How should the UI handle it? From your usage it sounds as tho it would be useful if the color-up was announced the round before so they could start preparing their chips, so maybe at the start of the round before it would announce that the during the next round you would color-up (and display it similar to how it shows the "Break next level" currently). It would be up to the TD if they inserted a 2 min break (with Color-up checked) or if they just did it on a normal level.

I can definitely add this as a first version if it will be used by a couple of TDs...
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: New Tournament Timer

This could be tricky. The program would need to know what chipset is being used, so it would know the smallest chip currently in play, and the next higher one. When every future blind level is divisible by the next higher chip, the lower one is no longer needed.

Maybe it is not worth it.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:08 PM   #15
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Re: New Tournament Timer

OIC, this doesn't calculate blinds for us, we enter them. In that case, the TD will basically set when color ups can happen. All you'd need is a way to mark it in the schedule. We could schedule like a 2-minute break, but that's not ideal. It's always a struggle to keep people close to their seats for the colorup and get the game going again quickly. If they see "break" in the schedule, even if it's only 60 seconds, they'll wander off.

T8s may have been suggesting that the "chips in play" value get tweaked for any rounding errors when coloring up, but that's silly, imo. The TD/dealers can do the colorups without a calculator. It's really quite easy.

When you do know the chip values, or if you get a blinds-suggesting feature, it would be nice if the software suggested the moment where coloring-up should happen.

Last edited by tit4tat; 11-14-2010 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #16
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Ok, I will get this in for the next release (tomorrow if all goes well). Version 1 will be simple - you have a new Tourney level option - "Allow Color Ups" (default off). If this is on, a new column appears against the blinds so that you can set any level to be a "Color Up" level. This gives the flexibilty of doing it in a normal round or making a x-min break for it.

The clock will just warn people of it approaching the round before and announce it when it happens.

That will be it for version 1 until I can see how it is used and if it is useful....
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:02 PM   #17
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Re: New Tournament Timer

That sounds similar to TD2. You can optionally flag any break as a color-up break. Being able to do that without a break would work better for some people, I guess. I just add a short break.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #18
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
That sounds similar to TD2. You can optionally flag any break as a color-up break. Being able to do that without a break would work better for some people, I guess. I just add a short break.
Maybe a reasonable approach is to have the timer stop at that time ... Not announce a specific break time but let the TD restart the timer witha key press when the color-up is done.

You get a break --- but its not a break of pre-determined length.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:34 AM   #19
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
You can optionally flag any break as a color-up break. Being able to do that without a break would work better for some people, I guess. I just add a short break.
Ok, this new PTM version is now live. Here are the release notes (the configuration nows auto saves on exit so there is a lot less stuff to set up).

Please comment on the new ColorUp feature and let me know if it is useful. I also added some more stuff like AutoPause at the end of the level and clicking on the clock to pause/start it etc.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:37 AM   #20
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
Oh yeah, I would say some aspects of the tool are not well designed. The buttons for setup are hidden at times. You have to move the pointer around to make them appear. At least, I think that is what brings them back. It's a little strange that they disappear when you are in setup mode. Sometimes they are covered up with system messages, but sometimes they go away all together. Odd.
I tweaked a few things on the menu system and would appreciate your feedback.

1) The top navigation menu bar now only auto-hides (20 seconds) after the tourney has started. So while you are skipping between screens configuring it it will stay visible.
2) I changed the opacity of the message bar that hides it a little bit so that you can see the menu below it (to help realise what is going on). Click on system messages finishes the message and shows the navigation bar again.

Out of interest, the reason why I put the messages at the top is because there is going to be a lot of stuff at the bottom in future versions. There will be a better control panel for the timer as well as the faces of the players so you can rebuy/addon/knock out etc. The whole bottom area will be packed...

Let me know if these changes make it a little less confusing!
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #21
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Re: New Tournament Timer

This is really coming along. I like the way this operates a lot more. Here is my feedback.
  1. The timer button should be last, because that is the last screen you would go to.
  2. When I select "Load Blinds/More..." nothing happens in IE and Chrome except a banner message. Maybe that is all you have right now.
  3. Please add the WSOP blind structure. Foxwoods looks similar, but I did not compare them thoroughly. The WSOP structure is very popular in home poker.
  4. The blind structure names should not include how many chips you get. Blinds levels relate more to what chip denoms you are using. For example, you can use WSOP for almost any stack size with the right chips, if there are enough levels available. We use them for stacks of 3K to 10K.
  5. Really like that some breaks are already in there.
  6. It's great you can change the duration of all levels at once. It would be even cooler if there was a separate set of buttons to change the breaks, independent of the blinds.
  7. Can I move breaks up and down in the order, or do I delete and add?
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:34 PM   #22
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Great stuff -

.02
  • Fonts - Make the chip info box larger, the part where it has avg stack and what not. The timer portion is good - In general I think you should ere on everything being to large as opposed to to small. It's ok looking from sitting at a desk, but if I'm at the poker table and the screen is 5'+ away from me, it will be harder to read.

  • Starting Chip Count - Lose it. I think it has value for maybe the first 15 minutes, but after that - its real estate that could be used for something else - displaying payouts maybe??? League standings? other?

  • Scrolling Marquee - I like it - but again, larger fonts. Also, would be kind of cool if you could put your own messages in there - Next Game date, Cash game coming up, etc....

  • Background Image - I'm a minimalist and I'd just soon have a blank screen in the back OR an image I can select - ie my chip logo.

  • Tourney Creation - Your "competitor" Blind Valet has a pretty slick algorithm that generates blinds based on what you desire as a tourney length, starting stack, use of antes, and initial starting SB. It would be cool to have something similar. It will never be an exact, but it is a good jumping off point. Tourney Creation with this one is a little cumbersome and you really need to have a strong sense of what the blinds "should be" already. It doesn't take long to go through the list of posts here in Home Poker to see that new hosts don't have that feel yet.

  • Sounds - One the time warnings - would be cool to have it say "5 Minutes", "One Minute" etc...


Overall these are all pretty trite and I probably wouldn't bring them up - but since you seem sincere in improving your product I offer them up.

Very cool and I will be using.

Sarge
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:11 PM   #23
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
  1. The timer button should be last, because that is the last screen you would go to.
  2. When I select "Load Blinds/More..." nothing happens in IE and Chrome except a banner message. Maybe that is all you have right now.
  3. Please add the WSOP blind structure. Foxwoods looks similar, but I did not compare them thoroughly. The WSOP structure is very popular in home poker.
  4. The blind structure names should not include how many chips you get. Blinds levels relate more to what chip denoms you are using. For example, you can use WSOP for almost any stack size with the right chips, if there are enough levels available. We use them for stacks of 3K to 10K.
  5. Really like that some breaks are already in there.
  6. It's great you can change the duration of all levels at once. It would be even cooler if there was a separate set of buttons to change the breaks, independent of the blinds.
  7. Can I move breaks up and down in the order, or do I delete and add?
1) Agreed - I did that because some people don't use the Chips screen and I wanted them to be able to start a Tourney immediately without having to configure stuff. You could still do this but I think your suggestion makes sense. I'll change this in the next version.
2) Yes, this is by design - ultimately you will be able to save and share your chipsets/blindsets/themes on the PokerDIY mothership and it can pull them in from their (a while off!)
3) No problem - can you specify exactly which ones you want and I'll get them in the next version
4) Good point - will change in next version
6) This has been mention - please vote on it here. I did not think this would be that useful as once you have set up your blinds are they not fairly static? (ie you would not need to change them again?)
7) No, this area needs a bit of work. Please vote on this here if you want to see it happen.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:36 PM   #24
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge85 View Post
Great stuff -
  • Fonts - Make the chip info box larger
  • Starting Chip Count - Lose it. I think it has value for maybe the first 15 minutes, but after that - its real estate that could be used for something else - displaying payouts maybe??? League standings? other?
  • Scrolling Marquee Would be kind of cool if you could put your own messages in there - Next Game date, Cash game coming up, etc....
  • Background Image - I'm a minimalist and I'd just soon have a blank screen in the back OR an image I can select - ie my chip logo.
  • Tourney Creation - Your "competitor" Blind Valet has a pretty slick algorithm that generates blinds based on what you desire as a tourney length, starting stack, use of antes, and initial starting SB. It would be cool to have something similar. It will never be an exact, but it is a good jumping off point. Tourney Creation with this one is a little cumbersome and you really need to have a strong sense of what the blinds "should be" already. It doesn't take long to go through the list of posts here in Home Poker to see that new hosts don't have that feel yet.
  • Sounds - One the time warnings - would be cool to have it say "5 Minutes", "One Minute" etc...

Overall these are all pretty trite and I probably wouldn't bring them up - but since you seem sincere in improving your product I offer them up.
Hi Sarge85 - this is exactly the kind of feedback I need to polish the product! Keep the trite suggestions coming I can add anything as long as it adds value for a few people!

Fonts: Ok, I think the easiest way to solve this is to allow the TD to change ANY font - just like the way they change the background. So you right click on a font (it would have to be grouped by box) and select a new font (anything you have on your computer) and the font size and color/bold. This way you could adjust the size/color style as you like (including top marquee). If this sounds good, please vote here.

Starting Chip Count Point taken but this is an early version. Basically TDs will be able to chose what windows to display (Chips, hand ranks, payouts, players etc. etc. I also am considering having them on a revolving window so you can add more than one box to each main box. So you could group the Chips and the Payouts together and then every x seconds they would switch and display the other. This is a little while off but thats where it's heading.

Scrolling Marquee - Custom messages are a very good idea - please vote on it here. The font will be adjustable one day (see above)

Background Image Ok, you can already do a blank image/color (just right click on the background). Uploading your own image for a background on any box/screen would be very cool - please vote here.

Tourney Creation Absolutely. This is a must have feature. I plan on adding "wizards" to guide people on how to set up tourneys. You go through a series of simple questions and it will suggest a blind and chipset based on your answers. Been on my list for ages with 100001 other things Please vote here.

Sounds There already is a 1 minute and 10 second warning. Does anyone use a 5 min warning? (I personally don't). If so, please raise it as a feature request. Here is another one you may like - ability to beep on x seconds (under 10) before blinds change.

Awesome feedback!
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:18 PM   #25
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Re: New Tournament Timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodneyHJ View Post
3) No problem - can you specify exactly which ones you want and I'll get them in the next version
I'm partial to these: http://www.wsop.com/pdfs/2010/10824-structure.pdf

Quote:
6) This has been mention - please vote on it here. I did not think this would be that useful as once you have set up your blinds are they not fairly static? (ie you would not need to change them again?)
I voted yes. Let's say you default to 25 minute levels, but I want 15 minute levels and 5 minute breaks. I can change everything to 15, but I have to manually change each break. And this is not static. Next week we might start earlier and go with 20 minute levels. Having to change the breaks manually is somewhat of a nuisance. But not a deal breaker.

Quote:
7) No, this area needs a bit of work. Please vote on this here if you want to see it happen.
I voted yes, but not a big deal. I'd put item 6 ahead of this, personally.
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