Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick review on TableNinja and the Belkin N52TE speedpad

While perusing my normal RSS poker feeds, I came across DoubleFly's blog entry about his poker setup.  Normally, I am quick to discard these types of entries - most players have the same setup: one or two screens spanning, a laptop (1920x1080) [similar to my setup], or something of a cross between the two.  However, DoubleFly's input devices are different from the standard; he uses a keyboard and mouse just like everyone else, but he couples that with a Belkin N52TE, a device that I did not even know existed.  Although I'm not a hard-core gamer, I used to play a lot of Grand Theft Auto, Battlefield series, Call of Duty, etc...  I'm into gaming enough that I purchased a machine last year for the sole purpose of being my gaming rig.  All of that said, I had no idea a device like this even existed!

So, I started looking into purchasing one because I realized that after particularly long sessions, my wrists would wind up hurting me, and my shoulders would feel fatigued.  I figured this device may be worth looking into, so I started tracking ebay auctions to see if I could get one on the cheap (not knowing whether it would be useful or not).  I finally found one; the total price [including shipping] was $31.50.  I went so far as to contact DoubleFly and find out the details of his configuration.  Apparently, he uses TableNinja's HotKeys and Utilities together with the N52TE, to be able to configure the device to use the "macros" that TableNinja provides.  Upon receiving it, it sat for probably 2 weeks prior to me finally getting around to testing it out last night.  All I can say is: "Wow!"  I should have gotten off my lazy ass a long time ago and tried this thing out.  It is AWESOME!  Let me explain:

The speedpad acts as a key-limited keyboard.  It contains something like 16 keys, a mouse scroll wheel, and a joystick.  I don't envision using the latter, but the former - 16 keys - can be set up coupled with TableNinja's HotKeys beta version for Full Tilt to perform table actions such as fold, raise, call, etc.  Essentially, the Belkin device acts as an ergonomic device to replace 16 keys on your keyboard, while TableNinja hooks into Full Tilt to assign keyboard shortcuts to mouse button clicks.  TableNinja also sets up Full Tilt's windows such that you can simply move your mouse from one window to another and bring focus to whichever window your mouse happens to be hovering over (similar to Red Hat Linux's default window manager if you've ever used that).  The software, standalone, is awesome.  When you couple it with the gaming device, it becomes a powerhouse!

Essentially, my left hand stays stationary and clicks keys for my actions, while my right hand is moving between windows, without the (since I'm on a laptop) stretch to click the mouse button on the trackpad.  All I need to do is slide the mouse lazily from one window to another.  If I happen to be single tabling, I don't need to move the mouse at all!  Since the speedpad is ergonomic, no longer is there any hunt-n-pecking at the keyboard; my hand is naturally laid out on the device to easily get to all of the keys.  Not only are my actions greatly sped up; I know I'm quick-folding FAR faster at the Rush tables, but my wrist and shoulders hurt far less.

TableNinja allows me to bind any key combination to any action, and so long as the N52TE setup matches the TableNinja setup, the setup is a thing of beauty.  For anyone who puts in 1-2 hours+ during your sessions, this is a purchase for you!  I highly recommend it!

Edit:  Please note that until you get 100% comfortable with the N52TE setup, you are going to run into misclick situations.  I have already had 2-3 "misclicks" from the N52TE, because I kinda natually reached over to the call button instead of the fold button (ouch!)...  Just be aware that you should test it out at low stakes and get adjusted to it first!

3 comments:

  1. Dude did you really have to make this fake post to hide from the ridiculous call you made with 85o? Own up! heh.

    Are you a semi-pro poker player? Just curious with the two screens. That device gets used by a lot of Warcraft players. Only reason I ever heard of it. Although my setup sucks right now.

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  2. Waffles - I like to think of myself as better than amateur. Whether that makes me "semi-pro" is debatable :-). I did purchase my laptop, which has a 1920x1080 resolution, for the sole purpose of playing multi table, but I don't use 2 monitors to play poker. I've tried it; I find it more of a distraction than anything else. However, DoubleFly, who is a true pro, does use 2+ screens; I think he 16+ tables on a regular basis.

    The device coupled with TableNinja (the key to the whole setup) are very cool together, something I would have never thought about doing until I started reading DoubleFly.

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  3. great blog. would like to read more about ur happening in the poker world and possibly do a link exchange!

    AceKingHigh

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