March Madness apps

The NCAA tournament is living up to its billing again as one of the premiere sporting events out there, and like other premium events like the Super Bowl or The Masters, it actually drives quite a bit of app development as companies try to cash in on the popularity of this sport.

That’s always been true with broadcasters, blogs and fantasy sports games, along with tons of web-based bracket games, but now many app makers are joining in on the fun, and the ability to enjoy these games is being enhanced as a result.

This list covers some of the cool apps related to March Madness. There are tons of apps with the bracket feature that let’s you pick your games, but there are many other cool apps as well for basketball fans. Naturally, the NCAA has created an app where you can watch all the games live. For junkies who want to see every last-second win live, like Aaron Craft’s game-winning three for Ohio State, then this is the must-have app for the tournament. An app like this is great if your girlfriend is dragging you somewhere during the games. Some guys will just say no and head off to a sports bar, and there’s an app for that as well if you’re looking for the best place to watch the game. But some guys have girlfriends dreaming of an engagement and surfing for rings on sites like Primestyle.com. The guy may not be in a hurry to go along, but he doesn’t want to lose her either. So in that case, insisting on a sports bar over the place she wants to go can be a real problem, so that’s where the live apps are ideal.

I’m still looking for some games that go beyond just picking winners. Long ago we played a fantasy game at work where you could pick players in the tournament. You had to pick based on how much they would scores per game, but also on how long they might be in the tournament. It was a great game but I haven’t seen anything like it. Now that would be a cool app!

  

Insta Poker app helps you improve your game

I’m addicted to my iPad, particularly when I’m on the treadmill or in airplanes. I mostly use it to watch TV series like “The Wire” or “Sons of Anarchy,” but I also love the apps and games as well.

There’s an app for practically everything now, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see a new app for poker games. There’s a new instructional poker game for the iPhone, iPod and iPad called “Insta Poker.” As you’re playing the game and make a decision, text comments from a pro pop up to give you immediate feedback, letting you know if you made the right or wrong move, and why. The feedback comes from pros like Antonio Esfandiari and Huck Seed. So now you can kill time on a plane with a game that might actually make you money, unlike complete time-wasters like Angry Birds.

Interestingly, the hands in the game are real hands track real events, like hands that took place in televised tournaments or at other high-stakes poker games. The key to this app is teaching you strategy as you’re playing which is critical if you want to develop into an effective poker player.

The game packs for the app cost 99 cents to $6.99, with the most expensive ones having around 15 hands, so the game isn’t cheap. But when you consider how much money you can win in your poker future, or at least how much less money you can lose, then the cost is really a drop in the bucket, or at least comparable to that turkey sandwich you’re ordering at the casino while justifying several more hours at the poker table.

  

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