Microgaming Tries to Prevent Data Mining of Poker Network

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One of the largest online gambling software companies, Microgaming, announced Wednesday it will bring an end to datamining on its poker network.

With immediate effect, hand histories on observed tables will no longer be stored on players' computers and the practice of downloading and storing hand histories in bulk will be stopped.

Third party software, which analyzes hand histories collected by datamining, has over time changed from a useful tool for plugging leaks in a player's game to more of an exploitative tool. By using third party software, a player can more efficiently isolate another player's weaknesses; thus giving the player with the most information on his opponents a greater edge.

Review of a player's hand histories came to light when it was learned last month that individuals had used the practice to cheat popular online poker player Isildur1 out of more than $4 million while playing on Full Tilt Poker.

Andrew Clucas, Head of Poker at Microgaming Software Systems, commented: "Concern has been rising over the long-term effect of third party software upon the poker industry as a whole, and in particular the negative effect it has on the recreational player demographic. The decision to put a stop to the practice of datamining on the Poker Network is part of Microgaming's overarching network strategy to support operators in attracting and retaining recreational players. It further demonstrates commitment in providing a secure and fair playing environment.

"I would like to emphasize that with this change, as with the change to Weighted Contribution, Microgaming is not seeking to alienate its winning players. There has been a move in the industry towards penalising winners; we believe that is the wrong approach. There will always be winners and losers in poker. What we are trying to achieve is a more level playing field for all the players."