Online's Unfair Edge
For years, sports professionals have been watching film. They watch film of themselves to find their mistakes. They watch film of their opponents to help them define strengths and weaknesses inherent in their opponents play. They watch film to analyze how other teams or players have been successful against their opponents. This phenomenon is present today in football, basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball and beyond. You can see it in the highest echelon of professional sports down to through the youth league football teams I played on as a child. The Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots are watching film of each other as you read this article. It is all perfectly acceptable and indeed encouraged by administration in these sports. Professional poker players will scout their possibly opponents before a tournament, searching for that one and only tell on T.J., or trying to define the cards with which Lederer will open. For the millions of online poker players, watching film of opponents is not an option or is it?
A software program called Poker Edge is now available for subscription to all Party Poker players (including the rooms that license Party's software). The program tracks players in Texas Hold 'Em games in limit play from $1/$2 to $30/$60, as well as all No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold 'Em games. The information is kept in a database using a farm of computers. Poker Edge allows you to access that information while playing in a game.
What does this all mean? This means that you can get into a game, and before sitting down you can know how often every player will see the flop, how often they win when they bet preflop, how often they bet big on the river and lose (trying to steal the pot?), and more. It means you'll know if this game is going to be soft and profitable, loose and exciting, tight and slow, or any other combination. You will know what player to target with your big bets. You may even have a good idea of what level of hand each player is holding when they bet, call, or fold. Sounds great, does it not? Why would everyone not be subscribed?
I ask you all to consider the ethics. This may seem like fair play. Like I mentioned, sports teams and players watch film of their opponents year-round. No harm done, right? This is different, however. I did not agree to be 'filmed' or 'recorded' in any way. I do not really like the idea of you knowing how I play. If I had wanted everyone to know my strategies, I would have asked that I be filmed, or I would have recorded it all myself and placed it on my website. Knowing how everyone plays before you sit at a table is the absolute biggest advantage one can have, and is amplified in online play, especially considering no one else knows you from a can of paint.
Bottom line? I believe this program is as near to cheating without actually cheating as is possible. A person purchasing a subscription to this is doing no work themselves, and is basically using an unfair edge to take the variables out of the online game. If you sharks think you are still untouchable by this, think about how many LESS fish will be joining your tables now. Is that not going to cost you money?
If you feel as I do, it would not be a terrible idea to contact PartyPoker.com in some way and let them know how you feel. They may be able to patch up some security in their system somewhere to disallow the further collection of information.
Good luck and Good odds!