Ban Poker Tracker

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poker trackerI’m feeling uneasy about the effect that Poker Tracker is having on online poker these days. It’s giving players an unfair advantage and ruining online games.

Poker Tracker alone is an incredibly useful poker tool. It gathers your hand histories so you can analyze numerous aspects of your online play, such as your win rate, ROI in certain positions, and your average loss/profit for each hand. You use it after a game to train yourself to become a stronger poker player, just like how a boxer trains with a punching bag to improve his fighting skills.

The problem is that there’s a bunch of add-on programs for Poker Tracker that directly effect your play at the table. Programs like PokerAce HUD and GameTime+ overlays everyone’s Poker Tracker stats directly on the table. Combine this with a hand history miner, like IdleMiner, and you automatically know everyone’s ROI, preflop raise percentage, aggression factor and more.

Now it’s like a boxing match where one fighter has gloves on and the other’s wearing iron knuckles. It’s not fair or ethical!

Poker sites love these programs though. It brings in the multi-tabling players who play 30,000+ hand per week. In the long run it can only hurt though. The games will get tighter as more players realize they can play almost statistically perfect with the help of certain programs. Players will just pass their chips back and forth resulting in smaller wins and bigger overall losses for everyone.

The solution is for the poker sites to simply ban the use of any real time Poker Tracking tool. Without these bot-like players everywhere, games will get looser and there will be more opportunities for players to capitalize on pure poker skill. The online poker ecosystem will return to normalcy once again.

38 Responses to “Ban Poker Tracker”

  1. Michael McLaughlin

    I personally agree with this point, yet online poker rooms will never ban these products use because like you said it results in money being shuffled around. This money being shuffled around results in more rake for the online poker rooms.

  2. ando

    your a loser
    its not illegal for a boxer to use a punching bag
    get over it anyone is allowed to use poker tracker so why dont you

  3. Mike

    The point is that poker tracker is hurting games. It’s fine when you use it to analyze your stats, but programs that overlay everyones stats over the table give players an unfair advantage. It encourages players to 12-table low limit games like a bot to squeeze out tiny profits at each table.

    As long as it’s legal you should use it. It’s the only way to keep your edge up against another player with poker tracker. But we’d be much better off as poker players if nobody could use poker tracker.

  4. ho

    Poker tracker doesn’t overlay everyone stats.
    It only shows the stats from the past sessions you played with the others players at the table. Therefore I don’t see how it could more unfair than a notebook or simply a good memory.

  5. Brandon

    Yeah, but not having pokertracker is freaking killing me against those that do. I’m getting manhandled. So, if anyone knows of a good mac pokertracker/hud, please let me know.

  6. Kyle

    This is the dumbest comment i’ve ever seen. As long as you are only recalling hands you have played with that opponent like tracker does, it doesn’t matter. Other programs that upload hands from all different people to a centralized database is a different story, and those programs have been banned by the reputable sites. As ho says, its just like having a notebook or a really good memory. The problem with online play is your not going to remember playing IgotChips820 2 months ago whereas you meet that donk in a casino u remember his face and the dumbass plays he makes. Tracker makes the game more realistic. Besides if you can’t come up with the numbers PA hud overlays in a live game please tell me your screen names so i can take your money.

  7. SeanJordan

    the fact is that stupid ass things like poker tracker are ruining the skill base a player has to have to be a good player. My generation is doing a fantastic job of RUINING POKER! and it makes me completely sick.

  8. Fake Shitt

    This has to be an advertisement for the Product. All he is doing is praising it and letting everyone know what it can do. Its a fucking AD!

  9. BobbyHoey

    In response to Brandon, Open End Software has Mac Poker Pro available. I have been using it for over a year and really loved it until recently. As my database has grown, the program has become slow and it bogs down more than it give me real time updates.

    There is an online forum for Open End, but the Admin of that site does not respond much to posts. You get the feeling of going across a desert in a bus and the bus driver dies, leaving all of the passengers to simmer in a bus going nowhere.

    The rumor is that Hand Tracker is coming out for Macs and I am eager to make the switch.

  10. Jay Spruance

    Pokertracker should be banned? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that ship has long since sailed. PT and the various HUDs are an integral part of online poker. It’s a tool, nothing more, and it can’t play your hands for you.

    For those who feel online poker is somehow ruined, there’s always live poker.

  11. K1K0

    PT is not ruining online poker. Sure, those stats are extremely helpfull but they don’t tell you everything. Two players with the same stats can be playing in a very different way. In the end, especially in higher stakes games, the players who pay the most attention, have the best understanding of the game and know how to exploit certain opponents, run off with the biggest piece of the pie.

  12. $novanova$

    I know many high limit players that sit in on multiple low stakes games to mix up there stats and pretty much autofold every hand. could this be for tracking purposes? i’m talking .01/.02 games wher eusually they’re sitting at 200/400 limit he

  13. Joe

    I use Poker Tracker and PA HUD. Some people are obviously biased because they have used it so long and they probably couldn’t win on the amount of tables they play without it. Personally, I would prefer that the products had never existed but I guess you gotta adapt. I don’t use them when I one or two table.

  14. L. Haase

    Does this not prove, then, that poker is not a game of luck but rather skill? Professional poker players use math all the time to calculate their odds of winning a pot, whether the other players are bluffing based on their knowledge of the opposing players. Although I do agree that to use these programs as ‘bots’ for online poker is harmful, I cannot agree that using them for the intent they were created, as an aid.

    Your article did give me pause in the manner to which these programs, that I use myself, should be used, and I do find them useful if I could only figure how to use them!

  15. jim

    Well it cant be doing that much damage to the poker community after all poker pros are never talking about it as if it were a problem to them. Iv not see ant videos of online pros using or encouraging these programs. Im pretty sure alot of the top online tourny players jut use instict alone and would other wise review hand histories by either reading them or by using poker tracker to analyze thier play. overlays may suggest to raise this guy or avoid that guy but still no 1’s perfect and the info may get you into more trouble than its worth

  16. Dice Spadez

    Honestly you can look at poker tracker with many different views…. The key reason why it’s not “cheating” or an “un-thical” advantage, is becuase it is available to ALL poker players to use. Poker is a game of skill. Every poker player has the tools to build their skill however they can…

    SHiP IT

  17. jeff amjor

    hey man its like this if u dont want people to use poker tracker or other programs that are like it then go to poker rooms that do not allow them and believe me there are a hell of a lot of poker rooms out there that dont allow these tracker programs period. i play at a half dozen small time sites which do not allow tracker software and its great but i also use pokertracker at the bigger sites which do but i prefer to play without so most of my time is spent at the smaller less well known sites and believe me world wide the are 1000,s of poker rooms find one and quit ur bitchin

  18. Pegleg

    Such a moronic post. I have played countless games with and without PT and PAH at varying levels. Online poker is a volume game, especially at low stakes (<20 ABI). You will play thousands of people only once or twice, so the stats you accumulate on them will be session specific at the very best.
    With a larger sample size it is simply an affirmation if your read on your opponent is correct or if you need to reassess his style.

    It is a tool that so you don’t need to follow everyone’s action all the time. Yes, this is pretty usefull indeed when you have 4+ tables open! But even without it you should easily be aware if your blids are tight and will fold to a steal, who is the loose maniac who raises any 2 etc. The stats just help keep things in perspective. The long and short of it is that PT is not a bot. It does not give you hand advice and like many posters before it is the same as a notebook and a pen, albeit a much faster one, something that is needed when you play so many hands per hour! You have a right to store all the information that is freely given and PT is good at doing that.

    As for ethics, I do not see why that is an issue, the software is available to anyone. If there was a bias to which players are granted the privilege to use it, that would be different.

    Conclusion: Wanting to ban PT is just a silly excuse to cover up your losses when all else fails. PT is a tool and nothing more. In the online scene it is extremely valuable because of the high throughput of opponents and hands. A human simply cannot process information that quickly error free. It does not backdoor stats, but rather only stores stats from hands you play. These stats are a usefull guideline if used properly, and alleviate increased effort when playing online. Since it is openly available to anyone, and does not affect the outcome of a hand it is perfectly legal and ethical.

  19. Benoit

    As previously said in a comment, this post is an AD, don’t waste your time commenting the pros and cons, it’s too obvious it’s an advert.

    What is your feeling after reading the post?

    To try PokerTracker isn’t ?

  20. BobbyHoey

    Since poker tracker runs on your own machine, how do these small time sites know if you are using Tracker or not?

    If they can tell what programs your are running on your home machine, other than their client, I would consider that a serious breach of security.

  21. Dana Betz

    I absolutely agree with your post.

    We need to make non-professional and hobbiest players aware that they are at an unfair disadvantage when playing on a poker site that allows the use of software such as poker tracker.

  22. Jerome Terry

    If you think that Poker Tracker gives an unfair advantage to those who use it, do you also belive that those who read online poker articles also have an unfair advantage?

    Poker Tracker only uses data that is generated by the poker room software. If people were to look at this data, does this give them an unfair advantage. I think not. Personally, I think taking advantage of this data is a must, if you want to analyse your game and improve as a poker player.

  23. Dan

    The problem here is a problem that is inherent in online poker. When you’re looking at a screen and a bunch of names and avatars (sometimes avatars, sometimes not) it’s extremely difficult to recall past actions with a specific player. Compound this with multitabling and it becomes near impossible.

    This is not a problem that you encounter playing live poker. Everything is slower when playing live and it’s so much easier to put hand histories to a face. In this way pokertracker makes effective online pay possible. It certainly makes multitabling possible.

    Remember that pokertracker does not offer any advice or counsel you as to your most optimal move in any given situation. You still must know how to apply the information that it gives you.

  24. Dan

    And as already has been posted, because pokertracker is a client side program, there is pretty much no way to stop this kind of application- even if a poker site removed the store hand history option from their software.

  25. cameron

    the part where you said this brings multitablers 30+ tables is not true PT cant run on that many table it barly runs on 10. and the quote that players can play statistically perfect is bollucks just because you play a 22/18 game in a 6max game doesnt mean your good, you can suck feircly

  26. Ryan

    Any good poker player already uses his reputation to his advantage. I use poker tracker, but only so i know what others who use poker tracker expect from me. My game is constantly evolving in response to the change in other player’s play.

    Try using how i played the exact same hand 1 month ago to beat me in a hand today….. Good luck!

  27. James

    Like others have said, all PT does is give you information you already have in your head. If you think it’s ruining the game you’re very misguided.

  28. Jamie

    How about if sites start going down the Cake route and allowing players to change their screen names once per week?

    Or perhaps sites will do away with screen names altogether and simply allocate players random 10 digit ID numbers on log-in?

  29. Momo

    If any of us were able to empoy our logical-mathematical intelligence to its fullest potential while sitting at the table, perhaps even with a pen and paper, without the use of poker tracking software, would we then be banned from the game? any and every advantage at the poker table, with the exception of card transparency and juiced decks, is not only fair, it’s expected and a wise.

  30. bill

    yeah someone made a good point about messing with the system. What if you are a $5/$10 nl cash game player who plays aggressive and to fudge your numbers for others who attempt to track you on poker tracker, you also sit in several tables of 5 cent 10 cent and fold every hand without 3 betting and 4 betting ever so your stats make you look a lot tighter than you really are. is that a possibility?

  31. TheMunzMethod

    There is a very simple solution to this you know: ALLOW MULTI-ACCOUNTING.

  32. biobot

    Attention all Luddites(Google it if you don’t know what it means,

    Hello computer databases and sports statistics for most sports are published. To the idiots that rag on people using “Decision Support Tools” like Poker Tracker. What I find more insane is that there are professional poker players who also have an issue with databases that keep track of their games.

    Well duh, this is not the Old West it is the freaking 21st century. And now to scare you morons even more there is artificial intelligence software that actually plays poker for you. Just as computer chess games evolved to where they can beat most chess masters and some grandmasters, poker players will have to change up their play. (Wait a minute, isn’t that Poker 101?)

    Get a life Luddites, poker tools are here to stay. And yes the online casinos love them since it helps speed up a game.

  33. Goliath

    The reason poker became such a big phenomenon in the first place was that it managed to overcome its reputation as a smoky backroom game of cheats. These “tools” are going to bring down the “house of cards” by pointing out that cheating is rampant. Unless poker polices itself, that reputation will end. There will be no new players and poker will go right back to the minor leaugues. The money will be gone from the game. It’s too bad, too, because poker really had a chance to be great.

    It’s a simple fact, as Dan has already posted, PT stores information a player can’t keep track of himself. If you sit in a real casino and can’t remember how the guy across the table played you two weeks ago, you’re just screwed. PT gives you information you couldn’t have otherwise. Remember the one player per hand rule? That’s what PT software helps get around. If you can’t remember, you just ask your helper. Yes, anyone can use a notebook and it’s legal. If they don’t, then it’s their own fault. But if someone uses information gather FOR THEM by a program, that is using someone else’s notebook because theirs was better and more accurate. And if the owner of that really cool notebook won’t share it with just anyone, then those without access have the same disadvantage you overcame, by paying for it. That’s not ethical. Those who argue the field is level are trying to convince themselves that they win on skill, rather than on advantage.

    If not everyone can or will pay for that software. It is unethical. Period.

    As you stated, Dan, if you are multitabling, then you can’t possibly keep track of those players. It is unethical to have someone else do it FOR YOU and then have those stats available to you when you request them. And remember, these are STATS. They give you percentages based upon situations such as the number of times a player is in the big blind, which your brain can not possibly do on its own. A person can not possibly keep that kind of information in a simple notebook. It would require a volume for every hand. If telling you things about your opponents’ playing that you couldn’t possibly get on your own isn’t cheating, then nothing is.

    Here’s an experiment. Play against four other players that you know well for one hour. After that hour, tell me how many times each player was in the big blind. Then tell me what percentage of the time each of them folded, raised, or just called. Can’t do it? No. But PT can. And that’s the unfair advantage. You are using a computer’s analytical ability to help you play against the rest of the table. If they don’t have PT, you are miles ahead of them, and I don’t care what kind of notebook the others DO keep and use.

    And although PT only keeps those stats and doesn’t “advise”, there are plenty of programs that can and do advise using the stats provided. A person can play statistically perfect poker and make a ton of money and not be able to get past the first hour of a real tournament.

    This is exactly why the pros mentioned will alter their stats by autofolding at the lower limits. The only way they can keep lesser players from using technology to close the skill gap is to lose money folding to death at lower limits. The fact that pros have to alter their stats should tell you that the more skillful players lose their advantage to those who use PT. If they didn’t, PT wouldn’t have a purpose. And yes, this post is just an AD for PT.

    It doesn’t matter if it is “available to everyone”. So are steroids in professiona sports. But if one player is not willing to risk death to compete, then he will be at a disadvantage because he wasn’t “wise” or “savvy” enough to use the “tools” that are available to anyone who is “serious enough” about their game. The fact is, these “tools” help get more money, but they don’t improve your actual skill. In that respect, the person making the money is rarely the most skilled. That is what is killing poker. Greed.

  34. le chat gris

    Online poker should’nt even be called POKER! Its a totally different game, that soon enough robots gonna play! If you play it, deal with it!

  35. Jon Jon

    As far as i’m concerned your lil online cry babies are not playing poker your playing with tools and add ons that would have your ass tossed out of any regular casino for having an added advantage at the table, so i think banning trackers is a good idea but it will never happen because these online sites make way too much monies in rake. so if you don’t like trackers then i suggest you play at a live game in a casino, and leave the school boys to the online world!

  36. Jason

    I’d say go the whole nine yards and get a data miner like pokeredge. Its the most effective in-game tool and cant be detected. Don’t listen to anyone who says it cheating. Its the same morons that stat mine with pokertracker and hem. They want to draw the line where they want. fk them get the best.

  37. Alicia

    Is there a poker bot for macs?

  38. k

    If you play online. Make sure to opt out of pokertracker!!!


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