Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Sharkscope vs Pokerstars

PokerStars continues to make strong moves to reshape the face of online poker. Earlier this month, the site led a widely-publicized crackdown on multi-accounters, and now Stars seems to have turned their attention to sites that aggregate and publish game results.
Back in July, several poker database sites received notice that Stars would be updating their policies regarding the collection and aggregation of tournament results and cash game results, a service provided by sites such as thepokerDB.com. Now it appears that Stars may be cutting off access to some of those sites, starting with the popular Sit and Go results provider SharkScope.com.
Sharkscope was recently added to the prohibited programs list at PokerStars. While it’s unclear at the moment how this will impact Sharkscope (it’s unlikely users will see any impact - unless Stars admits to running sniffers on people’s computers, Stars shouldn’t be able to tell if players are using SS since SS doesn’t interact with the PS client the way a bot would), it does seem suggestive of a possible shift in the relationship between Stars and sites in the Stars ecosystem, such as Sharkscope, the db sites, and so on (although, interestingly, thepokerDB remains on the approved list for Stars).
An email to Sharkscope support regarding the issue yielded the following reply:
Recently PokerStars contacted all results database sites and proposed some new conditions to stay within their acceptable program list and asked for feedback. We responded explaining what they were suggesting was technically impossible to adhere to. They responded saying they were reviewing our comments and would give us at least a months warning before any new rules came into place and they would detail what those rules were. A few days later they have put us on their prohibited list.
Hence there doesn’t seem any point applying logic to the situation, and SharkScope will not be changing in any way due to these new rules.