PokerStars to cut down on Data Mining

by Jeremy Olson on December 29, 2015

Much has been made about keeping recreational online poker players happy. After all, global internet poker traffic has been falling in recent years and high-volume grinders don’t really add money to the game. So PokerStars is more committed than ever to the recreational player experience, including cutting down on third-party data mining.

Heads-Up Displays (HUDs), which provide players with advanced stats on their opponents, have come under more fire in recent times. And given that these stats come from data mining, PokerStars wants to commit more resources towards reducing/eliminating data mining.

Stars had some success in cutting down on data mining in their Zoom Poker games. However, this has been a much tougher battle with Spin & Go’s, where certain players are observing games just so they can data mine.

Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars VP of Corporate Communications, says that preventing this problem has become a “battle of wits and a test of heart.” But given that Stars wants the game to grow again, rather than remain in its slow downward spiral, it’s important that they continue cutting down on third-party software.

Another huge step that Stars has taken towards their recreational player model includes eliminating mid/high stakes VIP rewards and the Supernova Elite (highest) level. These were highly controversial moves that offended high stakes grinders. However, they were seen as necessary decisions by PokerStars, which plans to take savings from the mid/high stakes rewards and reallocate them towards amateur-friendly promotions and ads.

It’s tough to say how well all these moves will pay off for PokerStars in the long run. However, considering the continued decline in global online poker traffic, one can’t blame PokerStars for trying to make something happen.