PokerTableRatings Resumes Tracking PokerStars

Date: 2015-05-07
Author: Jason Glatzer

The data mining site PokerTableRatings is now tracking PokerStars players for the first time since 2012.  While this normally wouldn't be big news, it is when these two companies have a history of battling it out over PokerTableRatings scraping and selling PokerStars data.
In 2012, PokerTableRatings ended its tracking of activity on PokerStars after the online poker site filed a cease-and-desist order claiming that PokerTableRatings was extracting data from the site without permission and selling it even though it legally had no rights to.
PokerTableRatings resumed tracking earlier this year.  Bob Garcia explained the situation, although seemingly just from the vantage point of PokerTableRatings in an article on
In that press release, a PokerTableRatings spokesperson stated, "Back by popular demand, we are now actively tracking the statistics of players from the biggest online poker website in the world.  PokerStars has the lion's share of active online poker players, so we're happy to be able to provide this service for the poker community once again."
While it is anybody's guess as to why PokerTableRatings changed its stance, it is speculated by Garcia that this could be due to both PokerStars and PokerTableRatings changing ownership since tracking ended in 2012.
Furthermore, Garcia implied that PokerTableRatings might be doing something for the good of the community, providing greater visibility into potential cheating scandals as well as providing more visibility in terms of the impact of player bonus, VIP, and currency changes.
It is hard to argue that PokerTableRatings would provide further visibility into some of these things, especially the cheating scandals, however at what cost is this to online poker players?  Tracking sites approved by PokerStars all have one thing in common: the ability for online poker players to opt in and opt out of tracking.  PokerTableRatings does not have this functionality, thus putting every poker player on display whether they like it or not.

Many poker players argue this is a bad thing, as many players who are weaker than others may choose to play other games or not at all.  This also can impact profitable players, who might be looked up and avoided.
On the other hand, this may allow those who are better-than-average to get ahead of the game by using PokerTableRatings to understand their opponents better and avoid tables where they are facing many sharks and bound to lose money.
Whether Amaya Gaming, the current owner of PokerStars, has a different stance than the previous ownership remains to be seen.  For now, PokerTableRatings is back tracking PokerStars.  We will have to wait and see if this starts another legal battle or whether PokerStars will let it go without a fight.

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