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Last week PokerTracker 4 was announced as the Official Poker Tracking Software of the EPT Season 10.

Whilst this move further demonstrates Pokerstars interest in finding third party sponsors for their poker tours, this particular landmark deal may signal the online poker industry’s changing attitude towards tracking software.

Finding suitable sponsors for a tour such as the EPT is a challenging task. To date the Rational Group have looked to payment processors Skrill & Neteller as well as aspirational companies such as luxury watch maker Slyde and jewelry brand Shamballa.

The above companies are a great fit specifically because they do not directly compete with Pokerstars.

Whilst PokerTracker are not a poker room operator, Pokerstars’ customers exposure to the software may very well risk their player base migrating to new poker rooms as they learn to take poker more seriously and think about the game differently.

More importantly, this sponsorship signals that Rational Group have somewhat accepted tracking software like PokerTracker 4 is a part of online poker that is here to stay.

Currently, Pokerstars policy regarding tracking software hinges on the tracking software only being used to analyse and relay data for hands that the user has actually been involved in. Whilst using any type of poker tracking software which makes use of purchased hand histories or shared data would breach Pokerstars’ guidelines.

It’s possible that Pokerstars are beginning to recognize that the average online poker player in 2013 is quite different to the typical online player in 2005. HUDs are now seemingly common place and definitely do not automatically create winning players.

Although it appears that poker tracking software is not going anywhere fast, companies like PokerTracker will be continuously forced to innovate as online poker and the way it is played evolves. An inevitable increase in users playing poker on tablets, mobiles and in-browser could mean an increase in the number of players who are un-protected and have no such tracking available to them.

In order to maintain a fair game environment, tracking software needs to catch up to these platforms or the poker rooms need to take a closer look at the flow of money between desktop players using tracking software and those playing more socially on other devices.

It seems that with this sponsorship deal, Pokertracker have established a form of blessing from the world’s largest poker site, giving them a very worthwhile goal to aim for as they look to innovate and maintain growth in to the future. The sponsorship is the first time the Rational Group have permitted another online poker related business to market to their player base.

 

 

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Jamie Nevin

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