SharkScope Ends 888 Tournament Tracking

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Popular online tournament tracking and player results site stopped displaying statistics from 888Poker tournaments this week upon the request of 888, calling the development “extremely disappointing.”

SharkScope management released a statement Wednesday explaining that 888 would not go for alternate solutions such as requiring players to “opt-in” to have their results tracked by the site. In the statement, SharkScope officials said, in part:

Obviously this damages all players on this network by making it harder for them to; track and analyze their tournament results, publish their own results for staking deals or social reasons, compete in our global leaderboards and also loses players the ability to use our “By Opponents” feature to detect and protect themselves from the large amount of collusion that occurs in online poker.

An 888 representative released the company’s own brief explanation, posting on Two Plus Two:

888poker does not give permission for any data mining sites to access our poker room, and we actively enforce this policy. Data mining is a violation of our EULA (End User License Agreement) and copyright law.

This policy is to protect you, our members, from these sites providing data on your game play and potentially selling it on to third parties.
We value the privacy of our members playing activity, and this policy is to protect game integrity, and overall provides a safer experience for our members.

Reaction in the poker community has been mixed, though opinions skew more towards outrage. A sampling:

“as a staked player is bad, my coach cant [sic] see my results, and in near future if i want to change/find new staker i want be able. cose [sic] nobody can see my results… plus possible collusion…”

“SharkScope was extremely useful to me for all the reasons mentioned in their statement and I’m truly disgusted by this. Not even allowing those who wish to do so to opt-in to the service without being able to see anyone else’s statistics is laughable.”

“what about the integrity/ transparency of the games? Some of the game types are renowned for cheats and team play and this adds a cloak of secrecy and makes the cheats harder to identify.”

Not everybody has been upset, though. One posted on Two Plus Two wrote, “Wow, this sharkscope descision [sic] is the nuts! Very well done 888. With all the hate 888 gets, there isn’t a site out there that protects its fish better.”

Online poker data aggregating sites have been controversial in the poker community for years. Many don’t like them because to get full access to all statistics, payment is often required. They are frequently seen as offering “sharks” an even greater advantage over the “fish” for a number of reasons: a) better players have more money to spend on such resources, b) more experienced players understand how to interpret the data better, and c) more experienced players simply have more knowledge of the existence of these sites.

Some similar sites take things a step further and sell hand histories, something that is against the terms and conditions of just about every poker site on the internet.

Supporters of sites like SharkScope argue that not only is it a useful tool to which anyone has access, but they also help catch cheaters by making results openly available for analysis.

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