Debate Rages Over HUDs And Data Mining In Online PokerApril 19, 2012 1:06 pm
Bodog has been leading the fight to have Heads-Up-Displays (HUDs) and data-mining sites removed from online poker, not for the purpose of maximizing their profits but in order to bring the fun back into the game for recreational players.
The use of such tools diminishes the necessity for certain skills such as a good memory and powers of observation in favour of a more robotic stats crunching strategy which ultimately serves the interest of professional poker players.
Although PokerStars allows the use of HUDs and tracking software subject to their Terms and Conditions, what they do insist on is that the information gathered is collected by the player’s own software and not an ‘External Player Assistance Programs,’ such as data mining site Poker Table Ratings (PTR).
Consequently, PokerStars recently sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to PTR under threat of legal proceeding to which the data mining site says it will now comply. Commenting on the situation, a PTR response stated:
“The most contentious aspects of PTR seem to be the premium services we provide, namely player stats, however when compared to widely-accepted poker HUDs from other software providers, we believe the differences are negligible. Tools exist to give advantages to players who know how to use them and who are willing to pay for them, plain and simple and these will not go away. Players will always be looking for advantages and we are just one of many services offering an advantage.”
However, PokerStars maintains that its players should only have information on opponents from hands he’s actually played. Curiously, PokerStars representative Lee Jones suggested it was also a big problem allowing the fish to check out just how much they may have lost, adding:
“Furthermore, a small — but noticeable — boorish crowd routinely tells weaker players at their table how bad they are, based on these data-mined statistics. This creates an unpleasant environment and is bad for the players, bad for the game, bad for everybody. We have a responsibility as the leading enterprise in this industry to stop that kind of abuse.”
Needless to say, PokerStars’ action will come as a huge blow to PTR, who now are unable to track the data from the world’s biggest poker room. In the meantime, the debate regarding the fairness of software and technology use in online poker continues.