Opting Out is Not a Bad Thing
It appears that Ben "bttech86" Tollerene has decided to opt out from having his stats tracked by HighStakedb. I discovered this earlier today when putting together a "high stakes report" for another website.
Chad Holloway has advocated against online poker players opting out in the past and this appears as good a time as any to readdress the issue.
First, I don't really have an issue with players choosing to opt out from HighStakesDB or any other online tracking database. While it obviously doesn't help us keep up with stats, the important thing to remember here is that many players do not play poker for the media or "the fans."
Most of us play poker for two reasons, money and competition. The majority of us play it for the money and some do not like having their results out there for the world to see. Beyond privacy issues that some concern themselves over, it also paints a nice shiny target on one's back.
If I am the latest up and coming poker player that wants to make a name for himself, what better way to do so than to take on and beat the top dogs according to HighStakesDb.
It also works the opposite way. How many games are built around losing players or those on losing streaks. Ask Gus Hansen or Isildur1 during a losing streak. Players can't get in line fast enough. Opting out does prevent this type of bum hunting.
Of course, I am speaking as a low to mid-stakes (occasionally) poker player who will likely never sniff the insane stakes these players reach. However, were I to achieve this level, I would opt out.
My cash game winnings are my own business. I don't play cash games for "the fans" but to make money. My choice may not be the "best for the game", but it is the best for me.