Posters at several online poker forums are this week discussing the new ban on player aid SharkScope's database website and its ancillary Heads Up Display software. The discussion is unlikely to lead to any reconsideration of the policy decision, which consigns Sharkscope to a list of some 42 other programs that the giant online poker provider has specifically banned as unacceptable. That ban extends into the T&Cs at PokerStars, placing any players who risk using the aid squarely in conflict with the poker site.
Sharkscope claims it is a poker tracking tool that offers a database of 178 million S&G tournaments from a diversity of networks, and this conflicts with the general PokerStars rule against: “Any program that works from a central database of player profiles or hands played".
Player aid programs are not banned per se by the poker site, and in fact there are over 60 approved programs, but players are advised to check on the PokerStars website on what is acceptable and what is not before using any aid.
The PokerStars decision has not been popular in some quarters, and perhaps inevitably some players are already speculating on workarounds that will allow them to keep using the Sharkscope database without detection by the hawkeyed security staff at PokerStars.