Saturday, May 15, 2010

PokerStars UKIPT To Test New Anti-Cheat Automatic Card-Recognition System at Nottingham Poker Tour Event

Officials at the PokerStars United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour have decided to experiment with an automatic card recognition system that will be used in a live webcast. This will not be done at the main event tables but rather in side events.

The way the new camera system works is that all the cards have encrypted bar codes that are read only by infrared cameras and then decrypted, all the while invisible to the human eye. TV Viewers will be able to see the value of the face-down cards on the table. To defend against cheating, the webcast will run on a fifteen minute delay. It is scheduled to be transmitted at 8:15 pm (UK time) on May 16th.

However, in spite of the technological advances, everyone does not agree with this implementation. Several players are concerend that the new technique will allow both spectators and other players (which can be one and the same) to obtain too much insight into their styles of play and in some cases put them at a disadvantage in future tournaments.

My take: I think this advance in broadcasting technology is excellent and I don't agree with those players worried about other players taking advantage of it to get inside their heads. To me there is no real difference between this infrared system and the standard hole card cameras in use today.