PokerStars Plans to Attack Datamining in Spin and Gos in 2016

Date: 2015-12-26
Author: Jason Glatzer

This year has been a year of big change for players on PokerStars regarding third-Party Poker Software.  After many months of deliberations, in October, PokerStars announced a new policy that included a ban on some advanced features in HUDs and limiting the effectiveness of seating scripts.

A month later, when PokerStars announced its sweeping changes to its VIP rewards program, it also stated a commitment to further restrict third-party poker software in 2016.

Vice President of Corporate Communications at Amaya and PokerStars Eric Hollreiser pointed out at the time on the PokerStars Corporate Blog, "People have differing views on where the line around third-party software in poker should be drawn; it's certainly something that we constantly debate and review. Technology can aid, but it shouldn't take over," Hollreiser said.

He added, "Today, we want to make clear that the line will be drawn to preserve poker as a battle of wits and a test of heart. This will only have a direct effect on a small proportion of players and builds upon our responsibility to provide a level playing field for all players.  The new restrictions on third-party software will extend recent changes to our third-party software policy. Last month, we reduced data mining in Zoom, restricted the use of heads-up displays, and limited the use of Spin & Go seating scripts."

It looks like we didn't have to wait long to find out what one of those third-party software changes will be.  According to a TwoPlusTwo thread titled "People watching PokerStars Spin and Go.  Answer demanded from Management," PokerStars will be taking steps early next year to eliminate datamining in its popular lottery-style Spin & Go games.

It isn't illogical that PokerStars is planning to implement measures to prevent this activity next year since many of its focus players take part in these games.  However, it is a little surprising how fast PokerStars is moving on this considering the issue of the games being datamined appears to only have hit the mainstream poker circles when a TwoPlusTwo member asked for an explanation as to why every single one of his Spin & Gos had observers.

It took just three days for PokerStars' Ring Game Manager Baard Dahl to not only respond to the issue, but state the online poker room's plans.  Baard informed the poker community that not only does he expect a solution to prevent datamining of Spin & Go's in Q1 2016, but he also expects PokerStars to roll out a solution for other games.  Additionally, he mentioned that PokerStars has already taken measures to end datamining in its Zoom Poker games.

"We are aware that there are sites that collect data from all our games and we are taking steps to prevent them from doing so," stated Dahl. "Unfortunately, this is not as easy as flipping a switch, but we have dealt with the issue in the Zoom games and we expect that we will be able to roll out a solution for the Spin & Gos as well. We are hoping to do so in Q1 of 2016, though it is possible we will have to revise that date. After the Spin & Go solution is in place, our other games will be covered as quickly as possible."

We will have to wait and see what other changes the world's largest poker room announces as we head into 2016.

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