The Inferential Poker Engine Suite (IPE) strives to bring a new level of poker training experience, as it offers its users full interactivity throughout the course. We bring you the review of Volume I of what is going to be a six-volume series, covering topics from the basic tactics and strategies to different tournament formats, deeper level thinking and cash games.
Volume I – Basic Tactics and Strategies
Upon download and installation, you are facing a black window without big, shining buttons or anything else that would visually catch your attention – but don’t be discouraged by that fact. IPE is a poker training package that puts emphasis on the actual content and you will find everything you need in the dropdown menu at the top left side of the window.
The training menu contains two submenus: Study and Play. Clicking on either one of these will open a small window in which you can select your playing style (LAG or TAG), stack sizes, as well as blinds and antes.
If you are going for the Study mode, you will also be able to either select randomized cards, in which case you will be dealt random hands and the software will give you advice on how to play them depending on the actions of your opponents before you. You can create practically any scenario you want at the nine-handed table and the software will offer you advice on how to play any particular hand in any position, with an in-depth explanation of how your hand relates to opponent(s’) ranges, and you can see the graphical demonstration of these ranges as well by clicking Villaints Ranges.
One little glitch to pay attention to: the software will sometimes assign too tight ranges to your TAG opponents, especially when studying short stack strategy. This can be easily fixed, though, because all you need to do is to click on the green square next to the opponent and change it to a red one (making it LAG). That will give you more realistic scenarios for sure, as play is generally looser these days,
Play mode will put you in a random, realistic situation where you are playing against other players with any hands you are dealt. You can also see your opponents’ hands and follow the advice on the screen for every single hand dealt to every position.
The Tools menu of Inferential Poker Engine contains several very interesting and useful learning tools. The Starting hands section will show you how strong any particular hand is in relation to the number of opponents at the table; the Hands improvement section will give you detailed calculations about how likely your starting hand is to improve with each new street, etc.
Some of these tools actually are out of the beginners’ league and even more advanced players can find a way to use them to improve their skills, particularly pertaining to the mathematical aspect of the game. The information that can be acquired using it is actually quite extensive, so for those willing to do the work, there is certainly plenty to learn even beyond the fundamentals.
Although the software might look a bit lacking at first glance, once you start using its features, you will soon realize that it is both very functional and rich in options, offering a high level of adaptability to different scenarios. Offered tools actually encompass quite a range of Hold’em calculations for both preflop and postflop action.
For the price of $39.99, this software package is quite a bargain for anyone starting with Hold’em or looking to gain really solid game fundamentals. It is both simple to use and easy to adapt to in whatever area of your game that you are looking to improve, be it deep stack play or short stack strategy, or something in between.
As this is only the first of six volumes, we can expect that the future volumes will round up the story with advice in other areas of play. It is a very promising start and software that could really refresh the poker training environment if they continue moving in the direction they set with this first volume.