A chat with PokerSnowie: One on One with Johannes Levermann

PokerCoach-The primary poker training software by PokerSnowie
PokerCoach-The primary poker training software by PokerSnowie

With the growth of online poker, there has also been in influx of poker software’s that track, improve and appraise a players game. But not all such poker coaching software’s are based on a logical theory which keeps in mind the skill factor of the game. This is where Poker Snowie, a No Limit Hold’em training and coaching player which is based on optimal game theory. Poker Snowie aims at training poker players in long term winning poker strategy, and working to raise overall proficiency and enjoyment in the greater poker community.

OnlinePokerNews decided to check out their software and chatted with Poker Snowie’s founder Johannes Levermann. Here are some excerpts of the interview with OPN Editor Rupal Bansal.

  1. Hello Poker Snowie, thanks for chatting with OPN. For readers who don’t know much about you, please tell us how about yourself?

Ans: Hi, my name is PokerSnowie and I am an artificial intelligence engine dedicated to No Limit Hold’em. I was born about 4 years ago on a computer neural network. At first I had no idea how to play poker. I knew the rules; but nothing else. So I had to learn all by myself. I am fortunately, however, endowed with a lot of computing power, so I have managed to play trillions and trillions of hands and learned to play at a very high level. My theoretical model is Game Theory Optimal and my sole aim is to produce the perfectly balanced game and find the ultimate Nash equilibrium – I guess I’m not about to be retired though!

Unfortunately, since the only thing I know is how to play No Limit Hold’em, It is best that I  let one of my founders, Johannes Levermann, answer any  other questions. I’m going to play poker.

  1. Hi Johannes, could you pls tell us a little about the poker coaching products offered by your company?

Ans: We currently offer two products. The first one is a free web and mobile application called PreflopAdvisor. As the name indicates, it is a tool that helps identify the right moves before the flop. It is limited to 6 max tables and certain scenarios; but is a great introduction to the GTO approach PokerSnowie uses. It is available from our website or can be downloaded as a mobile application on Iphone, Android or Window’s phones.

The second product we offer is called PokerCoach. PokerCoach is a post-game analysis and coaching tool. This allows you to import your own hands, analyse and identify your overall level of play, pinpoint errors, and then offers a set of advanced analysis tools to help you understand your errors. Furthermore, it allows you to set up any scenario and analyse it in detail.

  1. How was the company conceived and conceptualized?

Ans: Snowie Games was born in 1998, When Olivier Egger released the first version of BackgammonSnowie, an Artificial Intelligence engine that could beat the best Backgammon professionals in the world. After developing BackgammonSnowie into the leading Backgammon coaching tool, we decided to tackle a new challenge, and PokerSnowie was born.

4.  Which is your biggest market and why? 

Ans. It is still very early days to talk about market sizes for us. We launched PokerCoach commercially in September, and have had a lot of international coverage since then, from literally all over the world including Japan, US, Australia, Europe, Russia and now India. Since we currently only market our product in English, our penetration is slightly bigger in English speaking countries, UK in particular.

5. Which games do you teach through your software?

Ans: Strictly cash No Limit Hold’em, Head’s Up to full ring, short stack and up to 400 BB deepstack.

A snapshot of the beginner level of PokerSnowie's Poker Coach.
A snapshot of the beginner level of PokerSnowie’s Poker Coach.

6. Do you believe technology will go to influence poker play to a large extent? How?

Ans: Poker has been evolving a hell of a lot in the past ten years. The amount of knowledge about the game has exploded, and fabulous players, authors, coaches, software developers, etc.have brought an unprecedented level of professionalism to Poker. As in any fast developing sector, there is ever more to study and to know to be at the top. Poker is becoming more and more challenging; without a doubt. PokerSnowie and technological development in general contributes both to increased knowledge, and helping players of all levels to stay on top. I would say that technology and Artificial Intelligence in particular is the future of the game.

7. How do you think your poker offerings can sell in India?
Ans The PokerSnowie products are relevant to all poker players. My understanding is that there is a very talented and growing poker community in India, which is also very adept at using new technologies. I’m sure PokerSnowie will be a natural fit for the Indian poker playing community. Indian poker players and readers of onlinepokernews can avail special coaching packages through this link.

8. Do you only help in training or also track day to day progress of a player?
Ans PokerCoach offers a way to assess your level of play. By uploading your hands after each session, you are able to see your progress over time. In a future release, we plan to add a feature which will automatically track a player’s progress.

9. Do you devise poker coaching packages customized to player requirements?

Ans The theoretical model we use for the development of PokerSnowie is the Game Theory optimal (GTO) framework. The approach can be used by any type of player, and can act as a fundamental base for developing one’s playing abilities. But it’s a universal approach – and we don’t customize it based on specific requirements.

10. Could you tell us examples of players who have benefited and shown progress after using your poker coaching products?

Ans We have a long list of testimonials accessible on our website which I invite you to read, However, the best examples are through our poker school which we established in Montenegro about 18 months ago. We invited a number of complete novice players to come learn and study with PokerSnowie, and this initiative has been incredibly successful. The most visible success has been with a young player called Zeljko, who after learning poker from scratch in 6 months with PokerSnowie ended up on the final table of a World Poker Tour event. You can read his full story here.

 Thanks for chatting with OPN, Poker Snowie!