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Old 06-10-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
Holdem Manager
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PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

After June 17, you should be aware that partypoker players will no longer be able to download hand histories of their results. With the removal of hand histories, partypoker is effectively asking their players to “trust us but do not verify.

Some players will minimize the implications of no hand histories because they are comfortable relying solely on partypoker internal security. This kind of blind faith is dangerous and ill-advised for at least a couple of reasons, and this post addresses why we believe this is dangerous for poker players and bad for online poker.

Even though poker sites have internal game security, in their own blog partypoker reported that, for April 2019, “39 account closures in the month, 38.5% (15) were directly attributed to reports submitted by partypoker players.”

On multiple occasions, hand histories were used to detect major cheating scandals that involved players being cheated by poker site “insiders”. While this is not an accusation against partypoker, it is the height of being naïve to assume that it could not happen again.

The lack of the most critical tool allowing players to help police game integrity should be a key factor to consider when deciding which online poker sites you support in the future as a player.

------------------------------------------------------

How does a hand history help protect players?

Hand histories have a long track record of being the most important tool to help players themselves ensure game integrity yet partypoker is removing them "to protect players". Poker hand histories are often downloaded into a local database such as those provided by PokerTracker and Holdem Manager software. Once a player has a database of their hand histories, the analytics tools in the software are instrumental in allowing customers to:

(A) filter/sort/analyze key playing results/trends/patterns that can be instrumental in flagging potential cheating, chip dumping or bots.

(B) review and verify the integrity of card distributions across large samples of their hand histories.

Downloadable poker hand histories also allow you to send a hand to a friend or post it on a forum to publicly discuss it with others.


I don’t use a poker hand database to review my hand histories. Why should I care?

While you may not use a hand history database, the players that do use them are helping to protect every poker player. When a player detects suspicious play or patterns of potential cheating via the analytics in their PokerTracker or Holdem Manager hand history database, they are often detecting cheating rings, chip dumpers, and bots that have cheated 1000’s of players prior to being discovered.


Why can’t I just rely on partypoker to protect the integrity of the games on their site?

Rob Yong is a partypoker partner and the same person who, when asked about upcoming partypoker cash game ecology changes (including the elimination of hand histories), publicly stated on the Jeff Gross Podcast that “The decisions that are getting made or will be made will mainly come from myself”.

Given that Rob Yong is a partner in partypoker and is the self proclaimed decision maker that has decided that partypoker players will no longer receive hand histories, what he says publicly should be of particular importance to partypoker players.

Rob Yong recently stated “I am absolutely like 100% sure that partypoker will eradicate all bots, collusion, and cheating . . ."

How comfortable would you feel using an antivirus software that claims “we will eliminate 100% of all current and future viruses and you will never again be the victim of an attack of any kind”. A reasonable and rational person would be skeptical of such a statement. Reasonable and rational partypoker players should similarly be skeptical of this claim made by Rob Yong.

Why should a partypoker player be comfortable with a site removing their hand histories when their public statements demonstrate this kind of naivety or, at worst, a willingness to intentionally
mislead their players by stating all bots, collusion and cheating are going to be eliminated by their internal game security going forward.

Rob Yong also stated in the podcast that “A loss making bot must be the best thing for a site but obviously it doesn’t matter you can’t have bots playing poker”.

Seriously? So if a bot is able to beat players of a certain skill level but overall is a losing bot because of more highly skilled players then that is “the best thing for a site”? The less skilled players that are unable to beat the bot might be of a different opinion.

Making a statement like that on some level should undermine confidence or at least raise reasonable questions as to partypoker's commitment to eliminating bots. Yet, once again, players are asked to “trust us but do not verify.”

Lastly, as we touched on above, some of the biggest cheating scandals in online poker history involved poker site “insiders” (Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker) cheating their own players. These cheating scandals were only detected because players had the ability to analyze hand histories and then reported their findings publicly. Once again, this is not to infer that partypoker will engage in this kind of activity. But this should cause a reasonable and rational player at partypoker to feel uncomfortable with a “trust us but do not verify” policy with players.


Will partypoker eliminating hand histories provide any benefit to players?

The emphatic answer is NO.

Eliminating hand histories has no impact on the data mining and eventual sale of hand histories because data mining and cheating software do not rely on hand histories provided by a poker site. The practice of mining and selling hand histories has indeed hurt online poker . . . but mining of hand histories is actually combated by the poker sites not allowing observers at tables.

Similarly, it is disingenuous, at best, to imply to partypoker players that eliminating hand histories will protect them from cheating software. There are multiple techniques that black hat software developers can use to internally generate hand histories.

We realize that there are some players that are not in favor of HUD’s. Removing hand histories does not prevent HUDs. While we feel strongly that HUDs are a beneficial tool for both the player and sites, our focus in this thread is about player safety and the danger inherent in the removal of hand histories.


Will the elimination of hand histories level the playing field between all players?

No. It will achieve just the opposite. Black hat 3rd party software will soon offer the ability to build hand histories on partypoker even though an actual hand history is no longer delivered by the poker site.

What will be achieved is only players using black hat 3rd party tools will have hand histories on partypoker going forward. All of the rule following players will be left without the single most effective tool that they had to help self-police the integrity of the games on partypoker : hand histories.


What should I do?

There are three things that every partypoker player should do to help protect their right to hand histories:
  1. Make other players aware of the increased risk to game integrity associated with partypoker eliminating hand histories effective June 17th. This can be achieved through forum posts, tweets, and blog posts as well as by discussing it with other players when playing live.
  2. Communicate directly to partypoker your concerns about the increased risk to game security and game integrity that will result from removing hand histories.
  3. Lastly, support poker sites that demonstrate an appreciation and respect for players contribution to game security and game integrity that is only possible by providing their players with hand histories.

Please share https://protectonlinepokerplayers.com/ in your tweets, blogs, and on facebook.

This website explains to other online poker players, in easy to understand terms, the magnitude of the risk to game security resulting from partypoker’s elimination of hand histories. It also addresses the complete lack of any credible argument to support removing hand histories.

The site was launched by Max Value Software LLC ("MVS"). MVS owns and operates PokerTracker.com and HoldemManager.com

Max Value Software LLC is responsible for this post. MVS owns PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager.

Last edited by R*R; 06-17-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
Lemon93PCTSure
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I stopped playing on Natural8 because I wasn't using a HUD
But was constantly paranoid that e.g. russians just play with screen grabbers

just couldn't take not knowing if I'm exploiting population with exploitive play
While some people that dont care about their reputation just fire up a hud and screw me.

And that's bots and colluders aside.


Problem is the site doesn't care, they will lose normal regs
Keep fish that don't care
And keep volume and rake levels with people with forged screen grabbers that take the risk
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:38 AM   #3
Josem
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Hand histories are fundamental to the trust that players place in online poker sites. Time and time again, hand histories have been essential in protecting players against cheating - cheating by both other players and by the site itself. It is very unsafe to play at an online poker operator that does not allow players to keep their own hand histories.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
JimmyRare
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Great post. I don't have much on Patry Poker and haven't been playing much, but I will cashout 17th of June to make a statement.
They have also managed the swedish players really bad after our new license. They have removed the cashback and rolled back to an older version of the client. (They blame it on the 18% tax which is just bs)
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Great post ~exactly my thoughts when I heard about this.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:42 AM   #6
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Big +1, excellent post
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #7
Titicamara
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I too disagree with the PartyPoker's new policy and I have sent my feedback to them. Unlikely they will listen to us.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:11 PM   #8
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Excellent post, I agree with everything and I will not play there anymore after these changes take place.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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Cool re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Just about every possible reason AND THERE ARE MANY have been posted as to why party poker is making a mistake but here are a couple more. They want us to trust there software to eradicate bots and cheaters but this is the same site that almost 20 years ago was the biggest site on the net until it crashed and Poker Stars and Full Tilt went zooming past them so trust a site that couldn't even maintain their sites traffic to be the very best at eliminating dumpers bots and other forbidden activity NOPE .. Next reason , the main difference between online games and brick and mortar games is collecting and analyzing data is easier online and more math driven them B&M games and its one of the main reasons we play online since we cant see faces or body language . The basic fundamental of poker or anything else in life requires hard work so saving hand histories favors those who wish to take the time and put in the hours analyzing there play. Whats wrong with that?
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:32 PM   #10
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

A little over 10+ years ago, myself and a couple of online poker friends suspected some high stakes collusion was going on at more than one poker site w/ a couple of specific players. It took awhile, but it was only because of hand histories, and poker huds/databases that we were able to figure out what was going on, whom was involved, and put together a case to the sites. I really don't think it would have happened otherwise without access to hand histories and that information.

These potential issues are always going to exist. There's a lot of money at stake in some cases, and there will be dubious individuals whom will go to any measure to cheat. That unfortunately, is never going to change.

As this industry evolves, we need intelligent and well thought out approaches to protecting the integrity of the games and players bankrolls. Stopping hand histories, banning HUD's on sites, is not the best approach. Creating reasonable regulation on when information and hand histories are available (like only when playing), and limitation for HUD information is a more sensible approach.

Some people don't like HUD's, they want to blame how much tougher today's games are on HUD's and believe that sites preventing them from being used will make the games better. I'm here to say that is 1000% not the case. What will happen is that development of these HUDs for sites like Party Poker, and other sites I won't mention, will just go underground. They will cost much more, and they will provide a genuine unfair advantage, because many of them will include decision trees, EV calcs, and so on... lines that mainstream HUDs like Drivehud, holdem manager, and poker tracker, ethically do not cross.

I think when problems or issues arise in any industry, it's natural for people to swing from one extreme to another with solutions (access to hand histories in all situations and no access to hand histories at all). However, that rarely lands you on the reasonable solution to solving those problems. I sell a poker HUD, just like HM and PT, so I have skin in this game as well. However, I consider myself a poker player first, and I think protecting the integrity of our games is priority #1 over anything else. I'd hope we'd all agree on that.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:49 PM   #11
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poker newb View Post
...

They want us to trust there software to eradicate bots and cheaters but this is the same site that almost 20 years ago was the biggest site on the net until it crashed and Poker Stars and Full Tilt went zooming past them so trust a site that couldn't even maintain their sites traffic to be the very best at eliminating dumpers bots and other forbidden activity NOPE .....?
Your "drop in traffic" reasoning is not sound history. Party's numbers crashed after the UIGEA was passed because it exited the US market .... a poor decision to flee rather than challenge the law. Their main owner paid $300 million and Party paid another $123 million or so to avoid pre-UIGEA prosecution, but none of that reflects in any way on their trustworthiness today.

However, trusting Party, if you do, is not close to optimal.

To quote Ronald Reagan, in the context of nuclear disarmament, the best policy is "trust, but verify".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:52 PM   #12
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Marginalizing winrates via another `good for ecosystem` change. True recs dont give a damn about if someone is using a HUD or not and they know it. Its just pretty sentencing for their own interest (noone will complain about bots if u cant track/prove it right), smaller edges are great for grinding more rake of deposits, if noone besides site wins hows that a bad thing.

So todays poker dream is to play a cap of 4 tables of anonymous zoom no HUD poker?
Or to play 20bb nash 3 handed poker that becomes 10-15bb effective in few minutes of play?
Brilliant.

See where RIO is btw.

How is that any different from all the nonsense Stars been doing in the past few years to their player base w high promotion of huge raketrap small edge games like spin&go`s, 6+, effective removal of HU games, effective removing all cashback promotions, decreasing MTT buyins, decreasing all timebanks just to gain 10% rake gain etc. etc.

Hey poker sites, i know no one ows us poker players anything, but how about a long run plan for ur own business, not short sighted poor decision making, before online poker is long forgotten?
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:52 PM   #13
Sir Huntington
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Party Poker, We welcome bots!!
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:11 PM   #14
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re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I expected that bots would be the bane of online poker but apparently it only took one live poker donk to kill Partypoker.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:35 PM   #15
golfbum983
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I don’t trust Rob Yong, not even a little.

Rip pp
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:39 PM   #16
Gzesh
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancelott_ View Post
Marginalizing winrates via another `good for ecosystem` change. True recs dont give a damn about if someone is using a HUD or not and they know it. Its just pretty sentencing for their own interest (noone will complain about bots if u cant track/prove it right), smaller edges are great for grinding more rake of deposits, if noone besides site wins hows that a bad thing.

So todays poker dream is to play a cap of 4 tables of anonymous zoom no HUD poker?
Or to play 20bb nash 3 handed poker that becomes 10-15bb effective in few minutes of play?
Brilliant.

See where RIO is btw.

How is that any different from all the nonsense Stars been doing in the past few years to their player base w high promotion of huge raketrap small edge games like spin&go`s, 6+, effective removal of HU games, effective removing all cashback promotions, decreasing MTT buyins, decreasing all timebanks just to gain 10% rake gain etc. etc.

Hey poker sites, i know no one ows us poker players anything, but how about a long run plan for ur own business, not short sighted poor decision making, before online poker is long forgotten?

Oddly enough, the "poker dream" fueled by the Moineymaker win, which in turn fueled the explosive growth of online poker, pre-dated massively multi-table cash play, predated HUDs, timebanks, and also predated massive cash/rakeback promotions.

The Poker Dream was not something that needed a highly effective abattoir, it envisioned players prevailing over rec opponents on their own skill on a somewhat level playing field..

The later tools developed over time , like the best abattoir/killing floor, might have been contrary to the poker ecosystem sustainability, who knows ? ....

It is clear however that a Dream based upon better, more efficient aids in killing recs quickly is a far cry from a Poker Dream. It may be a butchers' dream, but is not a game dream which sustains rec players' dreams .... and without rec players dreams there is no long term Poker Dream.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:47 PM   #17
PeteBlow
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

The 'poker dream' was playing poker on TV week in, week out, and was only really achieved by Team Full Tilt... and we all now know where they got their money from.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #18
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

PartyPoker: Damaging our profits by removing hand histories?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:13 PM   #19
VithelTone
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Partypoker: Big changes this year, we are introducing the Diamond Club and Diamond Elite, for those high volume players who got fornicated by Pokerstars. Just rake 100k or 200k and get a sweet extra cashback %




*
*
*

... and now for the final stage of my masterplan ... YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IT HUDLESS

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Old 06-10-2019, 03:35 PM   #20
locopollo
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I wonder how easy is to laundry money this way... They can credit millions of dollars in players losses from players that might not even exist....
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:53 PM   #21
WateryBoil
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

I sent a long detailed email and also linked them this thread, i used the link in your post to contact them. i cannot wait to hear their response as to what possible benefit there could be from removing hand histories.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:57 PM   #22
farbehind
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Using HM or PT will not be available at Party Poker from now on?

Last edited by farbehind; 06-10-2019 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:05 PM   #23
BrianChina
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Done...

What should I do?

There are three things that every partypoker player should do to help protect their right to hand histories:
Make other players aware of the increased risk to game integrity associated with partypoker eliminating hand histories effective June 17th. This can be achieved through forum posts, tweets, and blog posts as well as by discussing it with other players when playing live.
Communicate directly to partypoker your concerns about the increased risk to game security and game integrity that will result from removing hand histories.
Lastly, support poker sites that demonstrate an appreciation and respect for players contribution to game security and game integrity that is only possible by providing their players with hand histories.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:06 PM   #24
golfbum983
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by farbehind View Post
Using HM or PT will not be available at Party Poker from now on?
Did u read op
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #25
+rep_lol
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Re: PartyPoker: “Protecting Players” by Removing Hand Histories?

excellent OP

nobody in their right mind should ever play poker on a site that doesn't allow access to downloadable hand histories
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