Zynga should soon be well aware of my sick rungood in their $5/$10 “cash” games.
Continuing its rollout as serious new kid on the online poker block that is simply too big to be ignored … Zynga has acquired Poker Table Ratings, a Texas-based web-op that challenges current online poker Terms of Service with what technology and a legally enforceable free flow of information allow them to do.
PTR has also proved a key player in issues of online poker security for what their database can reveal not just about individual players, but site trends overall. According to Zynga:
The team’s experience and deep knowledge of the online poker industry will be invaluable as we work together to build out cutting-edge features and further enhance Zynga Poker.
However, Zynga goes on to specify that this acquisition of PTR parent company, MarketZero, a 16-person company in Austin, is not about taking over PTR, but rather about hiring their talent, who apparently will still own and operate MarketZero’s main website, PokerTableRatings.com.
Zynga has been on a hiring and acquisition spree of late — 11 acquisitions in the past 11 months — having obtained massive financing for expansion in the social media and gaming sectors, with estimates ranging from $180 million to $500 million.
Meanwhile, in presumably unrelated political news that may well someday be very related … a California state senator unveiled a “Do Not Track” bill yesterday — which would require all internet companies doing business in that state to allow users to opt out of any tracking or datamining capabilities.
It really is amazing, when you think about it, that 10s of millions of people worldwide are competing in games (whether they be sports or shoot-em-ups) on XBox Live, and they’re doing it for no money!
But with Sega opening up a real-money poker room (and casino), you gotta wonder if the likes of Microsoft wouldn’t try to get in on the real-money gaming/gambling action if the UIGEA were suddenly to go away. ** (You also gotta wonder how the guy in the picture even saw the flop. Can you imagine how soft these Xbox games must be?!)
I don’t mean to overstate anything here — because poker is just a game, after all, that we know plenty of people enjoy playing for free.net — but the new Hoyle Texas Hold’em for Xbox Live leaves you wondering if they aren’t preparing themselves for a future where they stand to make more than $10 per download.
And looking at the key features of this new release …
Gamers can play as their Microsoft Avatar.
* Single player games against up to 9 AI players.
* Mixed Multiplayer games with any combination of up to 9 AI and/or human players.
* Fully customizable games let the player decide game type, table minimums, mix of AI vs. human players and much more.
* Ability to reserve seats for private custom games.
* Deep statistic tracking covers over 50 key stats categories found to be the most important to professional poker players.
You gotta wonder if any new players stepping onto the online poker landscape might not have a different outlook on things like bots and datamining than current industry leaders.
** The makers of Hoyle Texas Hold’em have slot machine games, and handheld iPhone versions, too.
ALT HED: Hoyle Sounds a Lot like Doyle
First we had Kiplinger’s embracing the poker religion, and now Time Magazine is getting on board … with a story that probably will do more to change my game than 76 poker books:
From Time’s Health & Science department:
How Winning Can Mean Losing â€” in Poker and in Life
It’s really a great article, looking at a Cornell University doctoral student’s sociological study of millions of online poker hands (via PokerTracker) to draw conclusions about the human propensity for risk in relation to rewards. In a nutshell, the more hands you win, the bigger loser you tend to be overall.
So what does this have to do with you if you don’t gamble? It’s the wrong question because, actually, you do. Investing, driving, buying a house and merely crossing the street are all acts that involve discernible risks and uncertain rewards. The more small returns you get from your small investments in stocks, the likelier you are to make â€” and lose â€” a big investment. The more times you get behind the wheel and speed a little bit, the likelier you are to speed a lot â€” with deadlier consequences.
“These kinds of calculations are made every day,” says Siler. “Adultery is another good example. People get away with it countless times but they get caught just once and they lose everything.”
A lot of people in the poker industry claim they know who Isildur1 is. I don’t buy any of it (yet) … because when you trace back who said what and how they knew who made who on 2+2, you realize there’s a 50-50 shot that the historic player on Full Tilt was probably in a movie with Kevin Bacon.
But PokerNews ed-honcho Matt Parvis did speak with a heavily accented Isildur1 on the phone recently, for a limited two-part interview:
In Part 1 they address the controversial session against Cardrunners Pro Brian Hastings. And though hardly seeming upset, Isildur does say he intends to file a complaint against presumed datamining violations.
In Part 2 Isildur reveals that he had been playing $200/$400 NL on different sites before coming to Full Tilt in October; he isn’t the other mysterious Swedish nosebleeder Martonas (“Martonas is honestly my enemy in poker”); he learned to play PLO only 8 months ago; durrr is good, Ivey tough; and yes, he’ll be back.
Dec 21, 2009 | 5:19 pm
It seems like Beanie from Bluff (the website, not the magazine) isn’t the only one with data mining on his mind these days. Joining Paul in expressing their dismay over this increasingly common trend are the folks over at 2+2 who are starting an online petition to try and convince sites like Stars and Tilt to completely ban the use of TableRatings.
Which brings us to Brian Townsend, a Full Tilt Poker pro and popular CardRunners instructor who has recently learned something about bans and TableRatings. It seems that Townsend, Cole South, and Brian Hastings got together to brainstorm strategies for taking down Isilidur1 shortly before Hastings booked his incredible $4.2 million win against the Swedish phenom.
While their strategizing was in no way a violation of FTP’s Terms of Service, the fact that they poured over a Townsend-supplied database of hand histories in order to decipher Isildur’s playing patterns was — and, as a result, Townsend is now playing without his red status for 30 days. Our buddy Matt Parvis has the full story over at Poker News.