Friday, February 26, 2010

Word Games Cheater in Top #20 Word Games for App Store

Thank you everyone for helping my app get to the top #20. I am very grateful.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poker: Don't be a patterned player

The other day, I was playing a 10 handed 5-10 NL game. I was in UTG + 3 with J7o. 5 players limped to the flop. The flop came out T 3 6 rainbow flop. Everyone checked. The turn came a J and a flush draw is now on the board. It was checked to me, and I bet $30. Dealer and UTG called. The river was a K and now a flush is on the board. UTG and I checked. The dealer bets $125 into a $150 pot. UTG folds. I thought for a little bit. I called him with a 2nd pair and he revealed he had blanks. I won a $400 pot.

To most people, this might be a borderline bad call. Here is why I was over 75% sure I was good. The villain in the dealer position is a loose raiser who c-bet and buys the pots somewhat more than usual. I do not usually power bet, so this may be seen as a weakness to him. My weak bet on the turn gave him an opportunity to bluff on the river if a club came out. When the club did come out, the villain's action was consistent with a value bet with a made flush. However, there are a few things that stuck out in my situation.

1) He is capable of making bluffs to buy pots, and his style of play is consistent with a person who likes to bully others with his chips.
2) My weak half pot bet on the turn is probably interpreted as a person either buying the pot or has a weak hand. It is a sign of weakness.
3) I usually do not bet often, and I rarely check raise, so I am not aggressive. Another sign of weakness.
4) He "merely" called my turn.
5) My checking on the river is a third sign of weakness.
6) Villain betting a $125 into a $150 pot on the river is a very strong bet. Too strong actually. Usually a person bets, at most, half the pot if they are value betting against a weak hand. There is no reason he would believe that I would have a strong hand. So if he was value betting with a flush, he would probably not have made such a big bet. Also no one would make such a big bet with a K either, so he probably does not have a K. If he rivered two pairs with Kings up, he would not bet such a big bet either because a flush is on the board.

So after considering all the information, and especially the river bet size, I came to the conclusion that his chances of having a flush is very little. So I called with my bluff catcher mid pair. Catching people bluffing is always a very costly experiment. Even if you're right, you still have a chance that you are wrong. And when you're wrong, you unnecessarily lose a big chunk of chips.

Poker is not a game of ego. Catching people on bluffs is fun, but remember what you are there for. You're there to make money. Seeing someone's face after you outplayed them is just a side benefit :-)

In conclusion, don't always play a certain way all the time. Switch up and be passive sometimes when you have an aggressive table image, and vice versa. Otherwise you'll find donkeys like me who "think" they can actually play poker and call you :-p

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

iPhone Scrabble Cheating App called "Word Chaser - Word Game Cheater"

A long time ago, back in my college days, I took an algorithms class. After a few lessons, I was inspired to write a Scrabble Cheating program. With what I knew back then, I came up with a very rudimentary algorithm that didn't work all that well. It was terribly inefficient, and it couldn't handle blanks. That was around 2003. I gave up and finally picked up the project again 3 years later around 2006. I rewrote the algorithm and came up with something significantly faster, and simpler. With that algorithm, I ported it blindly from Java to C++ without testing the code. I intended to write a scrabble game for PSP.
Once again, laziness gave way to ingenuity, and I let the code sat for another few years...until the iPhone came out. I've toyed with the idea in my head since September 2009. I finally got around to writing the App around early January. When I first compiled and tried my untested C++ port, to my surprise, it worked without modifications. And work progressed significantly.
Who knew UI design and implementation takes so much time. I really took the time and thought out what the UI should look like. I have never really cared for making fancy UI, until I started writing Apps for the iPhone. So after a month of "fun" coding, I finally finished, and I am proud to say it is one of my finest projects yet. I'm quite proud of it :-) and I hope everyone will like it. So, enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

- Why doesn't the tile land on where it is when dragging?

When you start dragging the tile, you will see a floating tile to the top left of your thumb. The tile lands at the center of where your thumb is pressing on the iPhone screen. It does not land on where the tile is shown floating. The reason behind this is because so that you can see the tile you are dragging around.

- I can't seem to drag the tile from the bottom. All it does is scroll the tiles left and right?

Be sure to drag the tile from the bottom straight up, and not sideways. You can choose what tiles to get by sliding your thumbs left and right at the bottom of the screen. You can get a particular tile by pressing your thumbs on a particular tile, slide it straight up to the board or rack.

- How do I get rid of a particular tile?

Just drag it to the bottom of the screen to where you choose a particular tile. The bottom of the screen is essentially the tile bag. So by dragging the tile back to the bag, you are putting away the tile.

- The board does not save when exiting the App?

The App update with this feature and more is still being approved, after a month of back and forth with Apple. Sigh...

Friday, February 12, 2010

So very close

I reworked and improved the algorithm of my next program. I'm so close... :-)