How To Use Sharkscope Effectively

Sharkscope has been kicking around for years, and with a recent software upgrade, it's become an even more impressive piece of poker software. Unlike PokerTracker, Sharkscope focuses on tracking online stats for tournament players only, including SNGs and MTTs. The clever idea behind the name is that you can use this information to navigate the dicey waters of tournament play and steer clear of the sharks.

The database itself contains an ocean of tournament results and encompasses almost all online poker networks. In this article, I'm going to show you how to optimize your use of this software to max your power at the tables.

Let's get started.

Player Search

This is the obvious place to begin. Simply type a player’s name into the text box, and presto, you've got their results across all applicable networks. If you want to only get info on a particular network, just use the dropdown list to select which one you want and you got your intel. You'll see you can get a visual of a player's results by using the ‘Graphs’ option.

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The default graph is ‘Profit History’, but you can choose others, like ‘Finish Positions’ or ‘Results by Stake’ to get more hard data. Mouse over the info in the graph and you'll see a pop up box with even more specific info, instantly.

Beside the list of available networks, you have the option of selecting 'All Games', 'Sit & Go' or a players 'Scheduled' games. This is valuable data when it comes to understanding how an opponent works and where they work. Employing these filters will give you a quick and dirty breakdown of a player's Profit History, Count (number of games someone has played, which is important when considered in light of all the other stats), Av Profit, Av Stake, Av ROI (how much money you've made in the long run), Total Profit and their Ability (lets you know whether a player is a winning or losing player) - and again, you can view that data in a graph. You can get even more intel by clicking on the ‘Tournament History’ tab, the ‘Opponents’ tab or the ‘Active Tournaments’ tab.

Advanced Search

Here's where you can start to dig deep into an opponent's tournament profile. You can set the number of entrants (i.e. ‘Entrants’) and also look into how stake and rake factors into an opponent's game - or your game.

Yes, Sharkscope is about you too...

Doing a search on yourself will help you recognize any holes in your game, and see how you can improve your play. You can observe where you are more profitable, and that's where you can focus your efforts.

Another great feature of the Advanced Search is the ability to include or exclude types of tournaments in your results. So, for instance, you can include Timed tourneys or Triple or Nothing, or adjust what types of games you see (Hold'em, Omaha, etc) and you can even factor in the difficulty of the event (easy, neutral or hard). Again, these are all ways you can better understand how a player works. 

Next to the ‘Types to Include’ and ‘Types to Exclude’ function, you'll notice the ‘Date Range’ option, which is pretty self-explanatory: you can see how you or an opponent played at a certain point in the year. Maybe a player plays more often and better in the winter when there is less to distract him; or maybe the winter blahs have them playing with the abandon of a 21 year old armed with singles at a strip club. It's just another piece of the puzzle.

‘More Options’...

If you click on this option, you can select ‘Versus’ to see a player’s results against a particular opponent, you can select ‘Last’ to see the most recent games, you can specify the ‘Av.Rebuys’ as well as the percentage of Rakeback. Again, you're digging deeper into what makes someone - or you - tick. The more you know about yourself or an opponent and the less they know about you, the better for your bankroll, right?

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The Shark Icon

Right next to a player's name, you might spy a shark icon. Mouse over it and the program will let you know how much of a shark that player is (for example, a medium shark). If you see a fish bowl...well, you get it. The player is a fish.

Right Click It

Little known fact: if you right click on an individual, the option for ‘Graphs’ and ‘Tournament History’ pops up, as does the option to ‘Add Note’, ‘Refresh Row’, ‘Delete Row’ or ‘Copy Statistics’ - just another way Sharkscope lets you navigate the program with ease.

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You can also right click any of the headings, like Count or Av. Profit to get ‘Other Statistics’, which you can also access by selecting the option at the bottom of the screen.

And there you have it: a basic introduction to Sharkscope, and how you can use it turn yourself into a stake-eating beast at the tables. Unlike Flopzilla or ICMIZER – both solid pieces of software in their own rights – Sharkscope really focuses on player data, as opposed to odds and ranges. This is why you’ll want to use it in addition to other programs, not instead of them.

Happy fishing, my friends!

Photo Credit: banspy | Flickr