in social medias and networks
Poker hand replayers and converters
Web 2.0 is about sharing the user created content. What content is the most popular in poker 2.0 realm? Pictures with poker buddies, screenshots of tournament winnings, blog posts on how the poker room is rigged :) and, of course, poker hands. The bad beat or a good hand can create a very active discussion and make the player known and popular if he had played some online poker pro. Web 2.0 is not only about creating the content, but also about sharing it. If you post a hand log to your favorite forum, it will not count as web 2.0 as forums are virtual communities and not social networks. One needs to advertise, promote and distribute an interesting poker hand to all of their friends and friends of the friends. This can be done in a more interactive way than just copy-paste a copied log – using an interactive poker hand replayer. Don't know any? No big deal! Here are a few of them (there should be more, so please let me know if I haven’t mentioned your favorite one).
Poker Hand replayer is a code which takes the copy-pasted log from the poker room and depicts all the procedure in the interactive way imitating the poker room table using hand converting technology. In most cases Hand replayers are made with flash technology therefore they look like real tables and can be played as videos. The hand replayer can be advertised by posting the link to the page where the replayer is saved or have the possibilities to be embedded in any forum or blog which allow HTML code. Just like YouTube videos, just replaying the online poker game. Poker hand replayers can have additional features like odds calculator or tournament replayer (when few hands are replayed one by one as video), they can also be used in poker coaching videos.
Before making a list I would like to define the hand replayers by the location and usage.
Independent Hand Replayers
Independent poker hand replayers are separate sites that allow hosting the hands for free. They work as separate brands, therefore can be added to any forum or blog to illustrate the hand.
PokerHands.org – probably one of the most popular hand replayers with a very simple replayer which allows playing the hands regularly. It can be shared in Facebook (does not add any picture), bookmarked, added to any forum using embedded code (like YouTube one). Strange thing is that PokerHand.org advertise their rakeback deals on the table background and not their brand as others usually do. One can choose the format of showing the hand – flash replayer or interactive (with card images) text log. The size of the replayer is quite big and can be adjusted only in the code by changing width="475" height="390" parameters (pixels).
WeakTight.com – hand player service with a strange name which has a simple replayer with the basic play options – 3 replay speed options, showing the cards which are known (if they get opened in the last round). The only way to share this hand is using the AddThis button which posts the page into some different social media sites like Facebook, mySpace, Digg etc. It cannot be added to any forum, as the only way to advertise the hand is a direct link to it.
PokerHandReplays.com – another independent hand replayer with the possibility to create not only an online hand simulation, but also a live poker replay if one remembers the players and their actions. This hand replayer can be added to a blog or a forum easily, because the permalink (simple link), Embed code, forum code and vBulletin code are provided. It also has a very nice feature – a small preview which opens this player in a very small pop-up. Another interesting feature is trackbacks – the links of the sites where the hand was posted. Besides the faster/slower replay, the creators decided to make an option of displaying Flop, Turn and River separately. Also the embedding options are added to the replayer itself therefore if one finds such hand somewhere, there is no need to go to the website in order to add it to one's blog or forum. The features mentioned make this replayer one of the most popular on the net and in my opinion – almost the best one. Why ‘almost’? Because it still does not have one very important feature – sharing to the different social media – Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc.
Community Hand Replayers
The hand player itself does not give much value if the author does not putt any effort in advertising it. If there is no time or wish to advertise actively, the only way to get watched is to post the hand in the community site. The other members of the community will see the hand, comment it and maybe share if it is a rare one. What are the communities that have such features?
NeverWinPoker.com – the hand replayer for the uncensored NWP community members is not loved by some community sites just because of the controversial reputation of the forum. It is created by the same company as MyHands.com, therefore the functionality is very simple – just play the hand and get the link (log and flash player links are separate) and embed the script.
FeltPoker.com – a small and beginning community that has an interesting hand replayer with the possibility to play the hand slower and faster, pause it in the middle of the play. However it does not have much sharing options – only an HTML link with the advertisement and the same code using the forum HTML codes (if they are different). A very interesting part is that this replayer has got Wordpress plugin and vBulletin Forums Plugin, which allow implementing this replayer into any Wordpress blog or vBulletin platform forum. These features makes this replayer unique.
Twoplustwo.com – the biggest poker community in the world does not have a flash replayer, however there is an interactive way of showing the hands in the forum – posted log is turned into a nice textual page with card images and the advertisement of the creator of this plugin. The creator of this 2+2 forum hand replayer works with poker coaching solutions, so could introduce a more interactive way of showing hands to 2+2 community members.
CardsChat.com – another big community which has only an interactive hand log converter without the flash replayer. The unique feature is the odd calculations on Flop, Turn and River positions. The only way to share it is by posting the link to the page, however there are BBCode and HTML code options.
Social network hand replayers
The difference between community and social network is very small. Community does not have one essential feature – the member activity log, therefore the advertisement of the members' content is limited. Social networks have more tools and options to add the content and communicate. Hand player is just another tool besides blogs, groups, photos, discussions, links, videos etc. There are not many poker social networks who have hand replaying tools. One of the biggest social networks – PPSN – does not have any tools related to hand replay as well as Facebook. However there are a couple of poker players' social networks that have this option.
Donkr.com - very nice social network with a really nice hand replayer which opens in a separate window. I was excited about the visual FX of this replayer – when the action is made by the player, the seat gets enlighted. Very nice. However, the player itself has only the speed feature. Other features are in the hand page. The hand can be rated. That‘s the only usefull feature as there is no way for the author to advertise his hand to the outside world.
PokerSpace.com – probably the biggest network that specializes in poker with the most advanced features and hand player among them. The features are regular – play/stop/forward, speed settings, Flop, Turn, River actions. The hand can be shared with the outside world using the social networking button and the direct link only. There are no embedding options. This hand player is suited for internal use, therefore the member activity such as rating and comments are more important.
I am aware that there are some companies that create and sell hand replayer software, therefore the market for this poker 2.0 feature is big and yet undeveloped. If you know any other hand replayers, please let me know in comments and I will review them in the nearest future.