Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

5 Ways To Beat The Data Miners

There was a lot of publicity this week concerning Pokerstars’ legal action against Poker Table Ratings and their subsequent withdrawal from ‘mining’ the games at the world’s biggest stand-alone poker site. Sites such as PTR collect data on 100000’s of players and then resell – the buyers are often online pro players who gain a huge advantage by knowing the tendencies and hand ranges of opponents they have never played before. This information is used to locate bad players, who are usually the newer ones. The pros then join their tables, fully aware of what the different bets mean, and take their money very fast… This is bad for poker in many ways, especially since the newer players get ‘raped’ before they have a chance to learn the ropes – they give up much faster than before. The bad news is that data mining is very common… The good news is that there are ways you can beat the data miners… this post lists 5 things for beginning and improving players to consider before you next play.

How To Beat The Data Mining Software – 1 – Choose Sites With More Recreational Players

Lets face it, pro grinders need a high volume of poker to survive these days, and they find this at the biggest sites such as Pokerstars and Party Poker. I have been highlighting for some time that Stars is no longer the best place for beginning (or recreational) players to head… sure they have great software and promos – but come on now… when there are even 12-tabling grinders from lower GDP countries at the 1c / 2c blinds games and SNGs with 70% regulars then you know something is very wrong. While there are still grinders at smaller sites, the ratio is skewed towards recreational players. This is particularly the case in the networks which include a lot of sports-betting brands (think iPoker, who include Bet365 and William Hill – and OnGame with Betfair and Bwin) and also sites like 888 Poker, who have a ton of cross-over traffic from their casino… My message here is clear – if you want to avoid the data-mining pro grinders you should learn the game as one of many recreational players… try not to make yourself the target by playing where you are the only learner among a field of small stakes pros!! You can find the easiest sites for your location, bankroll and game preferences using my (legendary!) Fish-o-Meter Widget!!

How To Beat Data Mining Pro Grinders -2 – Change Your Screen Name Often

This is tricky, while some poker networks allow you to change your screen name, others do not. You can do this regularly (either weekly or every 2 weeks) at Cake Network sites… and change every 6 months at Party. I recommend you do this right now, your playing history linked to your name is probably in a lot of databases!! If you are on Stars this is a no-go… however for the networked sites you can open an account with a different partner… For example if you are with William Hill on the iPoker Network then head on over to Titan – the big advantage here is that you can claim a brand new welcome bonus, and will access the same games as before! My Titan Poker Review explains my special offer which adds $20 free cash to your 200% welcome deposit bonus.

How To Beat Pro Grinders With Data Mined Hand Histories -3 – Beginners Tables

Just a quick tip here, many sites allow you to play on designated beginners tables for up to 30 days when you first join. Take advantage of this… the pro grinders will not be in these games very often (occasionally they change site, so not completely clear). These tables can be very profitable, so swallow your pride and play on them!

How To Beat Data-Mining Pro Grinders – 4 – Better Table Selection, Moving Fast

What usually happens when a new or bad player sits down is that a number of pros get alerted and join the waiting list for that table… if you check the lobby of Pokerstars you will see several tables with 4 or more waiting to join. If you select tables with players you do not see very often, and then move game when a couple of the players have been replaced you can stay one step ahead of the active grinders who are after the fish. Color coding the regular faces also works, you can then see how many known players there are before you sit down. This is not an exact science… you’ll still get the odd player who knows your stats – however much of the problem can be escaped by being nimble and smart with your table selection.

How To Beat The Data Mining Poker Pros – 5 – If You Can Not Beat Them Then Join Them!

One final way of leveling the playing field is to join the players taking advantage of data-mined software and use this yourself. Depending on your skill and experience level you might want to use this simply to know who the big winners are (so you can avoid them) or to find tables with players at the same experience level as yourself. There are several ways of doing this – many of them perfectly legal and others banned by major sites (though still used by 1000’s of players). For those wanting a legal solution I strongly recommend the Poker Pro Labs and their ‘Super HUD’ suite which includes data, profiles and the best poker calculator around. If you are a little more ambitious then you might want to have a look at Poker Edge – which pools information from its users to form one big database. Some combination of the above is probably ideal… whichever you choose,

GL at the tables! Mark

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