Poker Data Mining Outlawed

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Poker data mining has been a controversial topic over recent weeks and is seems that it played a significant role in taking down Isildur1. Now one of the largest of all poker networks Microgaming is outlawing it from all of its online poker sites and there is speculation that other poker networks will follow Microgaming’s lead.

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In an announcement made yesterday, Microgaming stated that with immediate effect they will stop storing game histories of players on players’ computers and they will make it impossible to download bulk player histories.

Microgaming claims that by downloading histories and analysing them with readily available poker software tools such as Poker Tracker and Hold’em Manager a player achieved a significant advantage over players who do not practice this. As it is normally the serious and professional players who use data mining and the recreational players that do not, the overall effect is that recreational players are exploited and eventually become disillusioned with the game and leave it behind.

Microgaming hopes to create a flat playing field where players win and lose according to their poker abilities and skills rather than their ability to use commercial software to analyse other players’ modus operandi of poker.

No doubt the developers of online poker software tools will be extremely unhappy about this move. They have put considerable effort into the development of these sophisticated packages which sell for hundreds of dollars. For instance, Poker Tracker works with Hold’em and Omaha. It grabs poker histories that are written to the player’s computer by the poker site; it analyses and stores the hands in a database; and allows you to replay them. There are various add-ons such as Table Tracker which allows the user to select the best table to play on by tracking all major poker sites 24/7.

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