A New Game in Town – THETA Poker Pro

As the Hold ‘Em players trickled in to the comfortably furnished suburban basement, Deb the Duchess, dubbed because her poker skills resemble those of 2009 “The Apprentice” runner-up Annie Duke, sits on a sofa playing an iPhone game. Tyrone the Telephone, nicknamed for his calling station style of play, is surprised that it isn’t her usual Words With Friends.

[TT] “Hi, Duchess. Has some unspeakably sad tragedy occurred? / Or are you waiting for all your opponents to play a word?” Tyrone ventured.

[DD] “I actually haven’t checked recently. I’m trying to get in some last-minute practicing for today’s tournament”, responded Deb.

[TT] “Didn’t know that you played online poker / I used to also, but now I’m broker.”

[DD] “Actually, I haven’t played a single hand online since the Black Friday shutdown1. This game’s just on the device, no network connection needed, which is great because my phone’s only getting one bar here.”

[TT] “But every one of those apps is incredibly weak / I taught my parrot how to win by pecking his beak.”

[DD] “Very funny. No, this one’s quite good. And totally configurable, too. I set it up for a 24-player tournament with 6,000 starting chips and a medium-paced blind structure, just like we play here.”

[TT] “You’ve got me enthralled / What’s this cool app called?”

[DD] “It’s THETA Poker Pro2. Stupid name, but it’s got by far the best artificial intelligence engine in the App Store. It also has a career mode, which is what I’d been playing until today. I’m trying to build my bankroll up from nothing to a $10,000 buy-in into the World Championship. I skipped the Easy and Medium difficulty levels, which are great for beginners and intermediates but too weak for me, and I’ve won the first three of the seven Hard events. Really fun. Super challenging. Tons of features3.”

[DD] I love that I can play a hand any time I want. I have the speed cranked all the way up, so I can get a few dozen hands in every morning just waiting in line for my cappuccino at Starebacks4. I feel like the practice is really improving my game. It’ll be the best $3.995 I’ve ever spent on an app if I just cash in tonight’s tournament :-).

[TT] “Forget about its paltry little price / Does the app run on my Android device?”

[DD] “Sorry, THETA Poker Pro only runs on iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads6. But isn’t your cell phone contract just about up?”

[TT] “Hold ‘Em game in the palm of my hand / Whose strength does my attention demand / Configurable at my command / Might motivate a phone switch unplanned”.


  1. On Black Friday, April 13, 2011, the U.S Department of Justice shut down the three biggest online poker sites serving the U.S. market: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet. Players on PokerStars were able to cash out their bankrolls shortly thereafter. Players on Full Tilt Poker are waiting for help from the U.S. government to do the same. Unfortunately, players on Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet lost everything.
  2. The full name of the universal app is THETA Poker Pro – Texas Hold ‘Em, available in the App Store starting tomorrow (February 1, 2013).
  3. THETA Poker Pro Features:
    • Human-Like AI: Play against the strongest and most realistic artificial intelligence players on any cell phone or tablet.
    • Incredible Tournament Details: Muck your cards to fold; shove all your chips to the middle to go all-in; view complete blind and payout schedules; experience table balancing, chipping up, dead buttons, tighter bubble play, and more.
    • Convenient Twitter, Facebook, and Email Integration: Share pictures or text of your favorite hand or your worst bad beat with a swipe and a few taps.
    • Clean, iOS-Optimized User Interface: Simple and obvious taps and swipes for all actions with an efficient and unique betting mechanism. Portrait or Landscape. Optimized for one-handed operation on all but the full-size iPad.
    • Full Sound and Music Control: Experience real gaming sounds while listening to your favorite local music (including sort-by-album and other special features) or streaming audio like Pandora, Spotify, Shoutcast, and Songza.
    • Complete Hand History: View or email any hand recap from the current event; optional Rabbit Hunting to show what might have been. Send yourself an entire tournament to analyze on your Mac or PC.
    • Advanced Heads Up Display: Tap on any opponent to see their HUD statistics (How tight are they playing? Should you respect their early-position three-bet?). View your own HUD data to improve your play and see how your opponents might perceive you.
    • Extensive Statistics: See how you’re doing in the current event, the current career level, or overall for a given career difficulty or custom mode.
    • Flexible Configuration: Choose the event type (Freezeout Tournaments, Shootouts, or Ring Games), table size, tournament size, play speed (up to 1,000 hands per hour!), and much more.
    • Total VoiceOver Accessibility: Play without even looking at the screen as all actions are announced out loud. THETA Poker Pro is the first and only fully VoiceOver accessible Texas Hold ‘Em app!
  4. Have our fictional characters drink your coffee, wear your clothes, and name-drop your products accidentally-on-purpose every week in this space. Inquire at mostlykiddingbutitwasworthashot@thetapoker.com.
  5. THETA Poker Pro is $3.99 in the U.S. and the equivalent Tier 4 price in other countries (e.g., €2.99 in the European Union).
  6. iOS 5.x or higher required. THETA Poker Pro is a universal app with full support for all current iPads, iPod touches, and iPhones, including native support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Related Links: