PokerStars Takes Their Argument With PTR to Another LevelWednesday, April 18th, 2012 by Ryan
Two of the most well-known sites for online poker players today are PokerStars and Poker Table Ratings. PokerStars is the largest and most popular online poker room out there today, and Poker Table Ratings is the most popular data mining site for online poker players right now. The two have been going at it for years now though, as PokerStars has been attempting to get PokerTableRatings.com (PTR) to stop using information from their site. PTR would record hands on their tables and put the information on their site for players to use, and apparently Stars is so fed up with it that they have decided to take legal action.
According to the Head of Home Games at PokerStars, Lee Jones, the massive online poker site has decided to send a “Cease and Desist” letter to PTR, meaning that they need to simply stay away, and also that they are breaching the terms and conditions of their software. He also stated that they have a “team of lawyers in multiple jurisdictions to follow up”. This of course is the largest step that PokerStars has made to this point in their attempt to stop Poker Table Ratings from getting information from their site and sharing it on their own site.
The idea behind PTR is that they record cash game and Sit-N-Go histories from different sites and networks, and put them on their website in different databases that players are able to search through to get information. Players are allowed to go onto the site and search for different players that they’ve gone up against, or even their own stats if they choose to, but are only allowed to do so a specific number of times daily for free. There is also an option for “premium” access, which means that you can pay a fee and get additional searches each day. The trackings will give information like how much money specific people have won or lost at games and at specific limits, the number of hands that they’ve played, and many other statistics are available as well. The general idea is to help players know what they are up against in opponents.
Interestingly, many people are curious about where PokerStars stands in this situation in terms of their legal options, but according to their Terms and Conditions, this falls completely against them. It states exactly that “PokerStars prohibits those External Player Assistance Programs which are designed to provide an “Unfair Advantage” to players.” The issue that really is coming from all of this is the fact that PokerStars feels that these types of sites give an additional edge to the professional players, or the “regulars”, and could be a disadvantage to recreational players who just play for fun and aren’t able to take as much from the information potentially. PokerStars definitely does not want to drive away their recreational players, because they are a huge part of the success of the site as well.
The outcome of this situation will definitely be one to keep your eye on moving forward, and it’s one that could get messy if both sides aren’t careful!