Data Mining: Cheating or the Future?
This past week Bodog Poker introduced site-wide anonymous tables in an effort to combat data mining and make games more appealing to recreational players.
The move has been widely criticized by many regular grinders.
Pokerjunkie blogger compncards provides a point - counterpoint this week that covers both sides of the issues.
Point - Players Are Upset Because They Can't Cheat
Regardless of how players disguise data mining as information gathering, the fact of the matter remains that data mining on poker websites is against the TOS of most every online site.
Each website offers hand histories for tables that players are actively playing at.
However, data mining goes much further. Players can get histories on players that they have never played against including complete stats on their historical play.
While many consider this just part of the game, it is an unfair advantage to the players that can't afford to buy the data.
A lot of this data is also used by teams to devise and set up strategies to beat players.
Someone whom you have never played before can sit down and know everything about your playing style before you play a single hand.
That's flat out cheating. Viktor "Isildur1" Blom can attest to how well that can turn out.
Counterpoint - Data Mining is Just Part of the Evolution of Poker
Poker is a game of information.
In live games, you take all the information you can gather to form your strategy.
Online poker is the same. The difference in the two is the amount of information that can be gathered via technology.
Think about the change in the poker landscape with TV coverage.
Now, players can get a bit of a glimpse of how players played hands as recently as 15 minutes ago. While it hasn't always been a complete snapshot, there has always been information that could be gleaned from tv poker.
Online poker increased that 10 fold. Information is readily available to whomever is willing and able to go get it.
Poker players are remiss if they don't do everything they can to improve their game and improve their chances of stacking their opponents.
Anonymous tables restrict the amount of data that can be obtained and reduces poker to merely a hand by hand contest instead of a body of work.
Get with it, or fall behind.