SharkScope Banned on PokerStars

Date: 2008-11-04
Author: Dan Cypra

When the online poker world woke up this morning, there was one notable addition to the list of banned poker software programs on PokerStars. SharkScope, a comprehensive database of sit and go tournament player statistics, became one of 42 banned programs on the site. SharkScope comes as both a database available at and an accompanying SharkScope HUD for use at the tables.

Non-subscribers of SharkScope are allowed five free searches per day. A $12 per month fee will allow access to 150 searches, making it a must-have for the serious sit and go grinder. Its HUD is one of the smoothest in the industry, using icons next to a person’s name to identify player habits as well as overlaid stats in order to identify who the fish and sharks are in your sit and go. Its capabilities as a central tournament database ultimately led to it being specifically called out by PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room.

The stats associated with SharkScope are pretty staggering. According to its website, SharkScope has tracked nearly 180 million sit and go tournaments across major online poker rooms and networks like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, CryptoLogic, Ongame Network, Pacific Poker, PartyPoker, iPoker, IPN, Sky Poker, Everest Poker, Merge Gaming Network, Svenska Spel, and PKR. However, it now joins programs like Poker-Edge, Sixth Sense, and SpadeEye as banned poker software.

Other programs that PokerStars does not allow its players to use include Advanced Poker Calculator, CardAnalyzer, Gambot, Hand HQ, hhSmithey, Holdem Hawk, Holdem Pirate, Online Holdem Inspector, Online Poker Inspector, ICM-Bot, iHH Harvester, Magic Holdem, Mandraker, MyPokerIntel, Online Omaha High Inspector, Open Holdem Bot, OPI Wizard, PokerAnalytics, Poker Android, Poker Bot+, Poker Bloodhound, Poker Crusher, Poker Mate, Poker Player Winnings, Poker Prophecy, POKERobot, Poker Sherlock, Poker Table Manager, Poker Usher, Real Poker Rankings, SharkMate, Sit n' Go Brain, SmartCollector, Stars Hand History, StarSpy, Texas Auto Fold, TheCashDB, and WinHoldem.

Players are generally given a warning if they are found to be using one of the banned programs on PokerStars. After all, everyone makes mistakes. However, if the person in question does not cease using the software, then PokerStars may prohibit them from playing on its virtual felts. The online poker room claims that “Tools and services that profile your opponents, but make use of only information which you have accumulated by your own play” are acceptable. However, because SharkScope is a central database, it is in violation of this rule.

PokerStars also frowns upon programs that use “bots,” share hole card information in any way, datamine tables while a person is not seated, or give advice on how to act in violation of the one person, one hand notion.

Given the volume of programs that we’ve reviewed and offer here on PokerSoftware, it’s important to make sure that the programs you purchase and use are allowed on an online poker site. PokerStars players should be forewarned: If you have SharkScope open on your computer, you may be breaching PokerStars’ Terms of Service by having PokerStars running at the same time, even if you’re using SharkScope to play on a different site like Full Tilt Poker. If you have any questions, contact PokerStars site support.

What do you think? React to this breaking news about SharkScope in the Software Discussion Forum right here on

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