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Scales Titled Heavily In Favor Of Online Poker Professionals

Although online poker has become one of the biggest industries in the world over the past decade, there are still many jurisdictions throughout the world that do not actively regulate the activity. That has left the door open for professional online poker players to feast on amateurs.

PokerStars has brought to light some of the problems that amateur players face when they recently end a Cease and Desist letter to Poker Table Ratings. The online poker giant claims that PTR is breaking the rules provided by PokerStars by offering players a way to see others' hand history.

PokerStars has threatened legal action against PTR, yet the company is not backing down from their service. PTR allows customers to see a certain amount of hand history's for free each day, and for those who seek additional hand history from various players, there is a subscription service set up. Packages start at $25, and go up based on the amount of information a player is looking for.

The PokerStars allegations sheds light on an industry that has been in the spotlight over the past year due to unsavory practices. There have been allegations of cheating schemes, and poker bots have been a main focus of online sites. The poker bots play against live players, loaded with statistical analysis.

The US is considered to be the largest online gambling market in the world, but until recently, the government has viewed online poker as illegal. That changed last December when the Department of Justice issued an opinion stating that online gambling is legal under the 1961 Wire Act. In the months since, lawmakers have been working in many states to form regulations.

Other countries such as Spain, Germany, and France have also been working to regulate online poker. The global effort is expected to clean up an industry where professional players are believed to have a big advantage.

"Thousands of amateur players became professionals through the Internet," said Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins. "But that does not mean that it is good for everyone. There are still a large amount of professionals that are preying on amateur players online, and without government protection, the amateur players have nowhere to go."

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