Originally Posted by sbialcza
Just found one! Poker Lens! Its a pain to set up but seems pretty legit. Ill let you know what i think of it.
It's only free while in beta testing, same as with new major versions of PokerTracker and Hold'em Manager, and judging from the website activity it's not very active.
You just missed out on several months of the free PT4 beta cycle before it was released a week or two ago, although they do not have a Mac version yet. PT and HM are both planning Mac support for the future, but it could take considerable time to develop. I know a lot of Mac users will run HM or PT along with their poker clients in a Windows virtual machine or dual-boot scenario, but honestly I think you're better off with a cheap Windows desktop/laptop if that's your plan.
There have been attempts at free/open-source trackers, the fpdb project being the most well known. I'm not sure that it's still actively developed, it's pretty rudimentary compared to its commercial peers, and doesn't officially support OSX although some hardcore users have managed to get it running on their Macs.
One other option is if you play on Carbon, they offer a custom branded version of Hold'em Indicator for free. It doesn't work on other sites, and it's not a fully baked tracker like PT and HM, but offers some rudimentary stats with an odds
calculator and HUD.
Unlike a lot of other software categories, there's never going to be much of a market for free poker trackers without some form of revenue generation in place. The problem is that maintaining online tracking software is a huge undertaking -- even the major trackers like PT and HM with a full-time support and development staff struggle to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of sites that regularly re-invent themselves, switch networks, change their software, tweak their HH formats, etc. This model simply doesn't work very well for most community-driven open-source projects because the funding and dedicated labor required to stay on top of things just isn't there. Without those things, your tracker would constantly break and you'd be left in the dark unless/until somebody had the time and motivation to address it -- and if it's on a less popular site or OS, that wait could be awhile.
Honestly, poker trackers are one of those tools where the price really shouldn't be an issue. Proper use of a tracker will pay for itself so quickly that the up-front costs are nil compared to the profits they can generate. On top of that, both PT and HM offer:
- Free trial periods to get a taste at no cost.
- Small-stakes versions for micro-grinders at a lower price point. As you learn the tool and rise in stakes you can upgrade to the full versions at a discounted price.
The trick is, like with any good tool, you must put in the effort to learn it. If you just install it and turn on the HUD and think that's all you need to start raking pots, then you'll be discouraged quickly and are just wasting your money, perhaps even playing worse than before. That would be like buying a hammer and a saw without any prior construction experience and thinking you can now build a quality house. This is where I see a lot of tracker beginners going wrong and blaming the software when it's their own fault for not using it correctly.
Also, this needs to be moved to Poker Software...