GGPoker has recently decided to block SharkScope from tracking and displaying tournament results on its platform. This move has sparked debate within the poker community, with some arguing that it protects less experienced players, while others criticise the decision as limiting transparency and hindering players' ability to detect cheating or collusion.
Protecting Weaker Players or Avoiding Controversy?
GGPoker claims that the decision to block SharkScope was made to protect "weaker players" from being targeted by more experienced opponents. By preventing players from accessing others' tournament records, GGPoker said it is aiming to create a more level playing field and improve the overall poker ecosystem.
The company maintains that the timing of this decision is unrelated to the launch of its new Tournament Honours feature, which provides players with a summary of their tournament achievements.
Despite GGPoker's rationale, many players have criticised the decision to block SharkScope, arguing that the move limits transparency and makes it more difficult for players to detect when something is amiss with a particular group of players.
Sharkscope posted the news on its social media channels.
“Unfortunately, without warning GG Poker has decided to prevent us from tracking their tournament results for the apparent reasons of optimising player experience and increasing security.
“This has disabled features enjoyed by tens of thousands of GG players each month and has made player security significantly worse. Over our 20-year lifespan, SharkScope has been used countless times to detect cheating and collusive behaviours on numerous networks and acts as a significant deterrent for unfair behaviour.
“All the other 80+ poker sites have determined at length that our services are significantly positive to the poker ecosystem, enhancing player experience and allowing players to make more informed decisions through transparent assessment of their results."
It continued to say that there was still a chance this change could be reversed if enough people contact GGPoker to explain how valuable they find the Sharkscope service.
One possible reason that this change was implemented is that weak players are routinely called out in the table chat. This obviously damages the user experience for those affected.
The Future of Poker Tracking and Transparency
The debate surrounding GGPoker's decision to block SharkScope highlights the ongoing tension between protecting less experienced players and maintaining transparency within the online poker community.
As the industry continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how other platforms will approach the issue of player tracking and whether they will follow GGPoker's lead in blocking third-party databases.
In the meantime, players who value transparency and the ability to track their opponents' performance may need to consider alternative platforms.