HighstakesDB Remove Opt-Out Option

Check out the high stakes results of all your favourite players at HSDB

There has been a lot of speculation over the reason behind HighstakesDB making the decision to remove the option for players to “opt-out” of having their long-term profit/loss figures tracked – was it a leak? Was it an accident? Why would HSDB do that? It’s time for us to set the record straight.

HighstakesDB has recently changed ownership; the same unique service, the same writers, the same format, just fresh blood ultimately responsible for the decision making. One of the first decisions made was to revert back to the full tracking service HSDB offered their visitors up until the first opt-outs in late 2013. By the way, this is worth remembering; HighstakesDB have been operating for a decade and up until late 2013 opting out wasn’t an option and we had no complaints.

The aim of HighStakesDB is to ensure online poker continues to be entertaining, and a large part of the fun comes from the incredible drama of high stakes online cash games - Where newcomers try to establish themselves and the mighty fall.

High stakes games are synonymous with the glory days of online poker. Remember when a 19 year old player known by the alias 'Isildur' would play multiple tables of $500/$1000 and win millions vs the best in the world? 

Like anything in the world, online poker matured and the environment became far more cynical. Professional players didn't want their profits to be public knowledge and poker companies like Pokerstars took the view that data such as a players' hand histories was in fact their own property. 

Our goal is to grow poker, by sharing with the world some of the amazing high stakes stories. Give new poker players and fans something to aspire to.

Today, the 'poker media' and respected figures within the industry, are asking how to make poker more exciting, how to get online poker back to what it used to be? 

We need to get back to the fundamentals - High stakes, bad beats, zeros to heroes and heroes to zeros - Poker is a drama and how do we expect people to appreciate it if nobody tells the story? 

For these reasons, HighStakesDB is officially changing our tracking policy back to where it stood until late 2013. All high stakes games at PokerStars at $50/$100 or above will continue to be tracked and all player statistics will be made available through our results page.

It is our opinion that this data is public as it can be ascertained by any person or computer witnessing publicly accessible online poker tables via poker clients. 

Our methods of collecting and compiling this data, requires notable investment, technical capability and maintenance. We make this data available in the hope of growing online poker


Sportify poker you say? Make poker exciting? We should embrace the high stakes action instead of hiding it. 

In the few days since we removed the opt-out feature we have all seen for ourselves the interest, debates, and discussions the decision has prompted on poker forums and in the poker media – surely this can only be a net gain for online poker?

While we can understand that certain players would prefer to hide their results for their own reasons, we certainly don’t ascribe to the theory that showing results will be used as an effective tool to assist players in sourcing weak opposition, strategy or any other aspects of the game of poker. 

Firstly the player pool at high stakes is exponentially lower than at low stakes and as such if you are indeed a “fish” there really is no hiding place, covering your long term results is not going to be giving your opponents much of an “edge” – they will soon know who you are. Secondly, we will not even begin to entertain that our publishing of results offers an unfair advantage to certain players when the overwhelming majority of the most successful high stakes players use 3rd party software such as HUDS every single day of their lives. Furthermore, sites such as Russian PTR track and publish way more data than HSDB and have operated without impunity for years. Such tools offer infinitely more assistance to players in spotting weaknesses and formulating edges of their opponents than we do.

If you are a pro who feels this change may negatively affect your career, please remember what poker has given to you, and if we continue to hide this raw drama, how will others like you, find their path? 

PS: Be sure to look out for further changes to our tracking capabilities in due course...

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