Pushing Online Poker Status Updates to the iPhone

Friday, February 05, 2010

Today, a quickie about how to push online poker game-and-player updates to your iPhone.


So as you know, these days you can send almost any piece of information to your cellphone. People have been texting themselves sports results and stock notifications for years. Now that technologies like SMS and iPhone push are commonplace, it's easy to toss a piece of information across the spatial boundary between the world and your cellphone, and it's pretty easy to do it in an automated way.

Online poker updates in Prowl.

But online poker is a more difficult nut to crack, notification-wise, than sports or stocks, because the information in online poker isn't necessarily intended to be public. Sure, it's public in the sense that anybody can observe any table, and some sites even let you observe without logging in. But there's no officially sanctioned way of percolating player/game results across site boundaries, let alone out to people's cell phones. There is no stock ticker for online poker.


Now there have been a few attempts at "keep your finger on the pulse of online poker" ideas like, well, Poker Pulse...which last time I checked was overrun with affiliate advertising...like some of the comments on this site...sheesh, people...I mean, lug nuts?...but nobody has ever done what I'd like to see: a public real-time feed of big pots, player swings, tourney winners, and pro sightings across all major (or even one major) online poker site(s).

So I decided to cobble one together as best I could from available ingredients.

  • iPhone
  • PokerTableRatings.com's PTR_Live feed on Twitter
  • The Full Tilt Pros Online feed on Twitter
  • Prowl
  • Growl
  • Trowl

Credit for the heavy lifting goes to PokerTableRatings.com's awesome PTR_Live feed and whoever maintains the Full Tilt Pros Online feed. (Full Tilt? PTR?) Here are the steps:

  1. Login to your Twitter account.
  2. Follow PTR_Live and/or ftpprosonline.
  3. Download and install the latest version of Growl (Mac users) or Growl for Windows (Windows users).
  4. Download and install the latest version of Trowl and authorize it on your Twitter account.
  5. Configure Trowl to growl notifications from Twitter users PTR_Live and ftpprosonline, who you subscribed to above.
  6. Set the Trowl polling interval to 5 or 10 minutes or whatever number you like.
  7. Follow the instructions for forwarding Growl notifications to the iPhone. This will involve signing up for an account on the Prowl website, purchasing the Prowl iPhone app ($2.99), and configuring Growl/Growl for Windows to forward notifications to a new device (your iPhone).
  8. Wait for the updates to roll in.

Follow those steps, and your iPhone will shotgun you with online poker updates until you're a neurotic, quivering puddle of human jello. Oh, and at some point in there when you get it set up you'll receive a nifty congratulatory Growl:

That's when you know you're in business.

The benefit of doing things this way is that you force yourself to use Growl, which is useful for a heck of a lot more than just online poker. The downside is that in order to keep the updates flowing, you need to keep Growl running, which means you need to keep your machine turned on. For most online poker players and techie types, that's probably not too much of a stretch...but if you'd prefer a cleaner method, you could also just install a native iPhone Twitter app with support for push notifications.

The problem with that is that most iPhone Twitter clients only support push notifications for direct messages and @mentions, and the feeds you'll be subscribing to aren't going to be DMing or @mentioning your personal Twitter account. What you want is an iPhone Twitter client that pushes tweets indiscriminately, preferably with the ability to filter whose tweets actually get pushed. I wasn't able to find such an app but that's not to say one doesn't exist. If you find one let me know! (Of course, you could always just check those feeds manually with any old Twitter client. But that kind of defeats the purpose of "automated" updates.)

Well I'd write more but I just got an update that Gus Hansen and durrrr are playing some 7-Game. Questions? Leave a comment.

Tags: iPhone, iPhone push, Growl, Prowl, Trowl, PokerTableRatings.com, online poker, poker

10 comment(s)

Is it possible with Android?

Good stuff!

Try a custom Twitter search with Boxcar ([url]http://boxcar.io/[/url]). It might be what you're looking for.

Clever. Not sure how useful it is; but clever. I've been using PTR for months (since I read one of your earlier posts actually). I suppose if you like to railbird famous players this could actually come in handy...

Team America, FUCK YEAH!!!!

"Data wants to be free."

Data is like water: you can pump it anywhere and it will leak out of anything. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I think it's telling that your solution involves Twitter, which seems to be at the heart of everything real-time, these days. Even though it's not really REAL time.

By the way, +1 for mentioning/suggesting Growl.

I'm not able to get Trowl to forward notifications on. I've got Prowl and Growl both set up, but Trowl doesn't seem to be forwarding the notifications. Any ideas?

U have to check the checkboxes next to their names... in trowl settings.. and set poll interval to like 2 mins...

Did anybody ever figure out if this was possible with Android? IMWTK


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