Microgaming Network Moves to Eliminate Datamining

Date: 2010-01-19
Author: Sean Gibson

The Microgaming Network is a group of sites that includes 32RedPoker, CrazyPoker, PurpleLounge, GNUF, and Unibet.  The network currently ranks number nine in the world according to PokerScout.com with a 24-hour peak of 4,192 cash game players and a seven-day average of 2,150.  In a major announcement, the management at Microgaming announced intentions to eliminate datamining on the family of poker sites.

Effective as of last week, Microgaming announced a new policy regarding hand histories: “With immediate effect, hand histories on observed tables will no longer be stored on players’ computers and the practice of downloading and storing hand histories in bulk will be stopped."

On all other online poker sites, each hand generates a small text file that summarizes the action that just occurred.  Using these text files with programs such as PokerTracker or Holdem Manager will generate statistics on your play and the play of others at the table.  These stats show game play tendencies and allow a player to see their progress.  While hole cards are not revealed in these text files, dataminers capture them around the clock and sell them in bulk.

While every other poker site in the industry generates some form of these files for people to observe or track, Micrograming feels that such software gives an unnatural balance of power.  There are those who utilize all that poker software has to offer to gain every possible form of intelligence and there are the recreational players who do not.  Instead of allowing players a choice as to whether they want to employ such software, Microgaming has eliminated the option altogether for observed hand histories.

Andrew Clucas, Head of Poker at Microgaming Software Systems, stated, “Concern has been rising over the long-term effect of third party software upon the poker industry as a whole, and in particular the negative effect it has on the recreational player demographic. The decision to put a stop to the practice of datamining on the poker network is part of Microgaming’s overarching network strategy to support operators in attracting and retaining recreational players. It further demonstrates commitment in providing a secure and fair playing environment.”

Many in the online poker playing community view this move as a petty stab against those who utilize all available resources and truly love the game.  Clucas went on to say, “Microgaming is not seeking to alienate its winning players… There has been a move in the industry towards penalizing winners; we believe that is the wrong approach.  There will always be winners and losers in poker.  What we are trying to achieve is a more level playing field for all the players.”

The only other network to have any sort of anti-datamining effort in place is the Cake Poker Network.  It allows hand history files to be created, but only provides the hero’s user name in the file.  That way, a player can still import the hand histories into tracking programs so that they can see their own stats and results.  The move at Microgaming eliminates that option for players.

The irony in all of this is that none of the major datamining sites appeared to sell hand histories for the Microgaming Network.  All of the datamining sites profiled on PokerSoftware.com do not support or sell hand histories for any of the Microgaming Network sites.

Without shared hand histories, there would have been no discussion about the superuser scandals at UB.com, Absolute Poker, and Pitbull Poker.  There are many different hand history discussions that opened up cheating scandals where more than just a few players were caught red-handed.  For now, the debate whether shared hand histories should be available rages on while poker sites big and small take a stand on both sites of the argument.

BECOME A MEMBER of PokerSoftware.com today. You can chat with us and ask questions to our poker software experts in the forums and get access to EXCLUSIVE members-only content. Sign up today!

More articles


WriteSubmit Your Comment Let us know what you think about this article!


Member Comments


No comments so far

Like PokerSoftware on Facebook and Get the Latest Software News Plus Weekly Prizes!

recomented-softwares Recommended Software

Tracking Analysis

SNG Tools