Bodog vs PokerScout: Ongoing Privacy Battle
23 July 2013
The Bodog Poker Network continues battle with PokerScout, an online poker traffic reporting site.
The battle with PokerScout, and other sites like it, isn’t a new one. Bodog Poker has waged a public campaign for years on behalf of the recreational poker player. It claims sites like Poker Scout benefit online poker grinders and sharks, who are a small percentage of the player base Bodog caters to and attracts. Recreational players, and their individual player hand histories, digital tells, winning records, and so on, don’t stand a chance against data collection services that know just how to play the numbers.
One way Bodog is fighting back is by transitioning to completely anonymous tables, a move that has proven costly both in the large technology investments as well as to websites that stand to benefit from tracking player records, patterns, behaviors, and winning ratios. It has also taken additional steps by hiding full tables from lobby view, investing in blocking software that would bar third parties from collecting Bodog player data.
These efforts have worked on most poker traffic reporting sites, who have tapped out of the Bodog Poker Network in search of more accessible waters. Yet PokerScout remains an obstinate hurdle. In fact, on Sunday, Bodog managed to disappear from PokerScout.com’s traffic report completely, a small victory considering it returned to the list in less than 24 hours.
Dan Stewart, owner of PokerScout.com, unable to garner real numbers from Bodog due to their increased efforts to thwart access, added an “estimated” abbreviation to the Cash Players total, but refused to pull Bodog from the list of watched sites. Whether it is arrogance, stubbornness, or sheer force of will remains to be seen. As an article on CalvinAyre.com states, “Ethically, this is abhorrent, repugnant and — depending on who you ask — probably illegal and definitely consumer fraud. Of course, it’s hard to expect much less from a man who once attempted to extort the Bodog POker Network for a seven-figure sum.” (This refers to an incident that allegedly occurred when Bodog asked Stewart to remove their numbers from PokerScout.com, and Stewart was happy to oblige. For a seven-figure payout.)
At the moment, PokerScout.com continues to post numbers for Bodog Poker, an act that has many raising their eyebrows as to the validity of the data. And Bodog continues to fight the good fight.
Now’s your turn to weigh in. What’s your take on the issue?