PokerStars sends Cease and Desist order to PTR

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Apr 19, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Site News | No Comments »

When we hear about an online poker sat-mining company in a tiff with an online poker room we usually expect to hear that the site is Bodog, but this time around its PokerStars that is lashing out at a data-mining site, PokerTableRatings.com.

PokerTableRatings.com collects data from poker players across a number of online poker sites and online poker networks. This data can then be purchased and used to create databases (an activity usually done by winning, high-volume players) that can help players formulate strategies against regular opponents or quickly identify winning and losing players.

PokerStars has gone so far as to have PokerTableRatings.com ISP block them, but the site later switched to a new ISP. And this game of cat and mouse seems to be progressing to the next level.

According to Lee Jones, who posted on the 2+2 poker forum, PokerStars has sent a Cease and Desist letter to PokerTableRatings.com (usually shortened to PTR) posting the following in the forum:

“We’ve gone to considerable effort to track down the companies and individuals associated with PTR. Ultimately, we sent “Cease and Desist” letters to the people and companies behind the site. We have told them that they must immediately cease infringing our intellectual property rights and breaching the terms and conditions of our software. This is not an idle threat; we’ve assembled a team of lawyers in multiple jurisdictions to follow up.

“Obviously some of you are frustrated at how long it’s taken us to act, but the people behind PTR have taken considerable steps to hide their activity and shield themselves from action. But we are on their trail now and will keep at it. We’ll keep you informed as we make progress.”

Jones later answered a question about potential legal steps, to which he responded with, “Yes, we are, and we will be taking more. I’m still finding out exactly what I can say and what I can’t, but this is a personal hot button of mine and I assure you I will stay on top of it.”

Jones later spoke to PokerNews.com, adding to his 2+2 statement by saying, “Furthermore, a small — but noticeable — boorish crowd routinely tells weaker players at their table how bad they are, based on these data-mined statistics. This creates an unpleasant environment and is bad for the players, bad for the game, bad for everybody. We have a responsibility as the leading enterprise in this industry to stop that kind of abuse.” It’s interesting to note that these are the same charges Bodog has been leveling at these sites for years.

Jones went on to tell PokerNews.com that Stars has been in contact with PTR, and has tried to solve the problem without taking legal steps, but according to Jones PTR has been unwilling to reach an agreement: “They’ve basically countered every technique we’ve used, and again, we’re reluctant to take more drastic steps, which would affect the legitimate player’s experience,”

UPDATE: Later last night PokerTableRatings.com issued a statement saying it would now comply and remove PokerStars.

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