Feud between Bodog and PokerScout intensifies

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 20, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Maybe only Alabama vs. Auburn or Ohio State vs. Michigan in College Football Betting, the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball, or the Boston Celtics vs. the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association can rival the budding rivalry that is growing between Bodog and PokerScout.com.

The conflict between the two, which spans back quite some time, has been kicked up a notch since Bodog introduced their new Anonymous Tables. Not only were the Anonymous Tables designed to thwart data-miners, but it also seems Bodog had the distinct intention of preventing PokerScout.com from collecting data on the traffic at the site (something PokerScout.com has managed to turn into a nice business model) and now disputes between the actual traffic numbers have arisen.

Since the introduction of the Anonymous Tables, PokerScout has reported that traffic at the site is down nearly 10%, a number Bodog brass says is fabricated (since PokerScout shouldn’t have the capability to track Bodog traffic anymore) and being flouted in an effort to harm the Bodog brand.

Over at CalvinAyre.com (the personal website of the founder and former owner of Bodog) columnist Bill Beatty explained the issues Bodog, and their surrogate Calvin Ayre who does most of the bomb-throwing for the company, are having with PokerScout.com:

“It shouldn’t surprise any of you that we’re not fans of Dan Stewart, his site PokerScout.com and their business model of exploiting poker operator’s data without permission for profit. This dislike existed even before his extortion attempt of our friends over at Bodog Poker.

“Dan’s business model involves pilfering a poker operator’s proprietary data and profiting on it without permission. Even if he doesn’t have accurate data, he’ll still post and profit from the inaccurate and fictional numbers…”

The “extortion” Beatty seems to be referring to happened soon after Black Friday when Bodog asked to be removed from PokerScout’s traffic lists. According to Beatty, PokerScout owner Dan Stewart informed the company they could be removed if they gave PokerScout a seven-figure payout. Obviously (assuming the story is true) Bodog declined, and Stewart refused to stop tracking Bodog, even issuing the following bizarre statement:

“Bodog asked to be completely removed from the PokerScout.com website shortly after Black Friday. This caused a dilemma, because we try to keep a cordial relationship with all online poker operators, but in the end we had no choice but to deny their request. Our duty to our readers to provide neutral and complete coverage of the market necessarily took precedence over the wishes of a single operator.”

In a separate statement Stewart told PokerScout users, “if it becomes necessary (read Bodog’s blocking techniques work) they will publish estimates of Bodog’s traffic as they do with other untracked companies already on their website,” which leads me to believe the Bodog version of events, since Stewart is basically saying, ‘if we can’t accurately track the site we’ll just guesstimate their traffic’.

My guess is that this is not the last of this feud by any means!

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