Doug Hull is a true poker polymath: co-founder of this site, coach, author, grinder of $1/$2 NL… and now, poker software developer. His new app Flop Falcon gives a more information-dense view of poker’s most important street, and gives players new insight into how ranges hit or miss any given flop. In this episode, we talk about how the software works, and how it can be applied to build a strategic edge.
What Does Flop Falcon Do?
Flop Falcon is the most information-rich flop analysis tool on the market at the time of this writing. Specifically, the software compares ranges and shows you how those ranges tend to hit or miss any given flop.
When we try to hit a hand we also want to know, “is the other person going to hit their hand also?” These are the hands we colloquially refer to as “seeing fireworks” during, because both players have made a strong hand that they will be continuing with. This is perhaps the biggest immediate standout of Flop Falcon — to show you when these opportunities arise.
However, it is just as important to know when one person hits and the other misses, as well as when both players are going to miss. Flop Falcon organizes all of this information in a single dashboard, and runs out thousands of flops to generate an accurate sample size to base its calculations from.
The program breaks down equity even further into a histogram, where you can see not just the average equity, but also the breakdown of specific equities. For example, it’s much different to have 40% equity due to most flops giving you either 0-10% equity, or 90-100% equity, as in situations commonly referred to as “way ahead or way behind”. Similarly. if your equity forms a bell curve around 40%, it may be much more of a marginal decision.
Building the Software
Hull has a background as an engineer, and he worked at MathWorks on their popular MATLAB software, which professionals from many industries use to visualize complex data sets. With Flop Falcon, Hull is applying decades of experience as an engineer to give poker players new ways of visualizing the data behind complex poker decision-making.
“Data is no good unless you know how to visualize it,” Hull said.
He explained how it was previously possible to determine how often range vs. range scenarios both hit, both miss, or exhibit a hit and a miss — but it took pencil, paper and a calculator to do the math. Now, Flop Falcon does all those calculations in real-time as it runs out thousands of randomized flops within certain user-defined criteria.
Another useful feature of Flop Flacon is that the user controls what constitutes a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ on a given flop. Control gets granular, all the way down to 1.5th pair and 2.5th pair. If you think, for example, your opponent won’t be continuing with anything worse than top pair vs. your raise, you can specify that in the program’s user interface, then run out the hit/miss results over thousands of flops, all with the click of a button. This approach is called a Monte Carlo simulation.
The applications of Hull’s new program are numerous. The developer himself has gone into great detail on how he used Flop Falcon to analyze two spots in particular:
Understanding When the Absolute Value of Your Hand is Misleading – In this $2/$5 hand, Hull feels like his two pair is best often enough to commit his stack. But a run through Flop Falcon suggests that he is never actually that far ahead.
Why We Set Mine Nits – This hand illustrates how to use Flop Falcon to see how nit ranges tend to hit flops. When we consider how they will overvalue and continue with hands that hit the flop, and dig deeper into our equity when we do hit our set, we can see when and why this is a profitable move.
Download Flop Falcon
Flop Falcon is now available for download and costs $40 for a lifetime license. Check out the Flop Falcon tutorials page if you’d like to see the program in action. And finally, drop by the forum discussion thread if you have any questions or want to see what others think of the program.