It’s been a little over a year since the Bodog Poker Network put systems in place to block unscrupulous data-miners and third party applications from scraping poker site data without permission and then selling said data to others for a handsome profit.
Bodog’s strategy has worked well; the top data-miners and hand-history resellers have given up trying to get their hands on Bodog’s poker data. Yet one scrappy scraper remains. Dan Stewart and his PokerScout.com site continue to report numbers on the Bodog Poker Network, although these numbers come with an asterisk. Stewart hasn’t found a magical backdoor into the network’s data stream, so he’s either putting on his Carnac the Magnificent hat to pull the numbers out of thin air or he’s elbow deep in some other place that begins with an A.
We find it curious that while the other data-miners have accepted that they can no longer purloin Bodog’s poker data, Dan Stewart and PokerScout.com continue to publish numbers claiming to be Bodog-derived. Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t.
If you recall, Stewart once asked the Bodog Poker Network for a seven-figure payment to stop publishing these fictional poker numbers. He didn’t get paid, so he has denied all of Bodog’s subsequent requests to have their name removed from his site.
Simply put, Stewie’s peddling fake traffic numbers and still holding out for that cool million to stop posting them. I’m no legal expert but that sounds like extortion. Really inept extortion, at that.
It’s like a free ride when you’ve already paid
This is where the Dan Stewart PokerScout.com saga takes an ironic twist. There is a daily poker newsletter that CalvinAyre.com subscribes to called “The Daily Buzz”. The Daily Buzz, run by good-guy Shawn Altbaum, compiles the day’s top poker stories from around the web and issues an aggregated list to his subscribers. Until recently, the Daily Buzz includedpoker network traffic numbers from…ding, ding, ding…PokerScout.com.
We’re not sure if Altbaum was paying to use PokerScout’s ‘data’ but Stewart requested/demanded that Atlbaum stop including PokerScout’s ‘data’ in the Daily Buzz. Seems Stewart was starting his own daily poker-themed newsletter for which he intended to reserve the exclusive rights to his ownsite’s data.
Seriously, is Stewart totally self-unaware? He’s claiming proprietary rights to data he scraped from online poker sites without permission — indeed, often against the sites’ express wishes. Ironically, about the only data for which Stewart can legitimately claim ownership are the Bodog numbers, because they are entirely the product of his imagination.
If you look at Bodog’s numbers on PokerScout.com and compare them with other networks, the fluctuation is wildly inconsistent. I asked a friend over at Bodog how PokerScout’s guesstimates compared to reality. I’d love to print their response, but they have yet to stop laughing long enough to compose a proper sentence. Maybe next week.
Having committed himself to the long con, Stewart shamelessly continues to include Bodog on his site and in the data he flogs to poker industry professionals, who should realize by now that they’re being played. The fact that Stewart has the nerve to claim ownership over these numbers is the height of hypocrisy… and more than a little ironic.