Poker Table Ratings (PTR) now tracks hands played on 888poker, also known as the Pacific Poker Network, the fourth largest player pool internationally. 888 players can now look up their opponents and instantly see whether players are winners or losers and view historical and statistical data.
The addition of 888 means that PTR now holds data for all major international poker networks with the exception of Microgaming. Site visitors are allowed ten free searches a day, and are then required to purchase subscriptions for additional access and “premium” statistics. The site also sells hand histories in bulk, although this has not yet been offered for 888.
PTR’s service—prohibited by nearly all sites’ terms and conditions—allows players to search for other players by screen name. It produces tables and graphs which display the player’s poker statistics such as total hands played and profits/losses at each stake level. Premium account holders get access to playing statistics such as pre-flop raise and VPIP and other tools such as Table Finder.
PTR’s service is controversial. PokerStars lists the site as prohibited at all times, whether or not players are logged in. The availability of statistics and sale of hand histories means that players can analyse their opponents offline and develop strategies to exploit them for hands that they did not observe. To the sites and many players, it offers an unfair advantage to those who use any data-mining hands.
New players who are told about their statistics in the chat box develop suspicions about game integrity. Poker sites are concerned that this will discourage them from playing and re-depositing to the detriment of both industry and existing players.
PTR argues that it is better for players and the poker sites to let people have full and open access. They say that the availability of honest statistics and hand histories from a third party brings important benefits.
The company cites numerous examples where collusion and cheating have been exposed by using PTR data and suggest that the availability of their data increases game security.