Fedor Holz Announces War on Predatory Practices at GGPoker

holz war on predatory behavior ggpoker

4 minutes

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

Fedor Holz has recently taken the role of the Game Integrity Ambassador at GGPoker after Jason Koon abandoned the role and ended his partnership with the operator.

Koon’s decision was likely motivated by a recent security breach, which allowed a player to access hand equity information, giving them a huge advantage over the competition. Holz stepped in and took upon him an important but somewhat ungrateful position.

But it seems the young high roller has a clear vision for GGPoker and the priorities in his new role, and he recently took it to Twitter to announce his plans for the future.

The tweet was met with somewhat mixed reactions, as although Fedor’s heart is in the right place and the idea of keeping poker pure resonates with many serious players and fans alike, there are also some concerns about the blanket ban on gathering player data.

Taking the Fight to the Streets

Even though third-party HUDs aren’t allowed at GGPoker, this hasn’t prevented a certain portion of the players from acquiring large databases of poker hands and performing mass data analysis (MDA) to get the upper hand on their opponents.

The practice has been banned in theory at all reputable poker sites, but in real life, it continues taking place, and very little is done about it. According to Fedor’s recent post, this is about to change, at least when it comes to GGPoker.

It’s not clear at this time how exactly the operator will go about this issue, and some remain skeptical that it can be done efficiently. On the other hand, with recent developments in technology and AI, a company as big as GGPoker could certainly develop tools that are much better at detecting these types of behavior.

While this early announcement by Holz was mostly a statement of intention, some have commended his willingness to get involved and take action. Often, poker site ambassadors do very little apart from making appearances in tournaments and pushing promotions, so this is a refreshing attitude.

But, the viability of the idea aside, not all players were happy about the proposition, fearing that this approach could leave doors open for cheaters and do more harm than good.

Player Stats as Key to Unearthing Cheaters

Although reputable operators put efforts towards catching and preventing cheaters, history has shown that the player community is much more effective in that regard.

Over the years, it was players who brought to light some of the biggest online cheating scandals, and poker rooms got involved only after they were presented with irrefutable evidence of something fishy going on.

In fact, the most recent GGPoker scandal was also uncovered by players, and it happened thanks to reviewing the suspect player’s key stats and seeing they were off the charts.

Without access to such information, it becomes much harder to discover suspicious patterns and track down potential cheaters.

While cheating in online poker isn’t nearly as present as some make it out to be, it is certainly not a minor issue that we can disregard, either. After all, in a game where money is the ultimate method of tracking score, it is to be somewhat expected.

That doesn’t make it okay, of course, and preventing cheaters from taking advantage of those who play by the rules is of the utmost importance.

Protecting recreational players from predatory practices is important as well, though, as online poker needs a balanced ecosystem to survive.

It’s a Long Battle Ahead

As much as most of us would like it, none of these problems will be solved overnight. Data mining has been around for almost as long as online poker, and cheating, in its different forms, has probably been happening even longer.

Fedor Holz is someone who understands poker inside and out, and to see him spearhead game integrity efforts at GGPoker is welcome news. The fact that he’s willing to get himself in the public eye and open a discussion on these important topics is equally as welcome.

But there is no magic wand that will just make it all go away and suddenly create a completely fair, cheating-free environment where everybody’s friendly, and nobody’s looking to take advantage.

There are often ideas thrown around that seem like perfect solutions, such as forcing everyone to play under their real names. But proposals like this overlook an important fact – a big percentage of people playing online aren’t pros, and many of them wouldn’t be comfortable having their names on public display.

Not to mention the cases of identity theft and a whole new can of worms this could open.

It’s also worth remembering that poker sites are businesses at the end of the day. And what business out there really puts the customer first?

Compared to many other companies, big poker sites have been quite open to the feedback from the players, trying to somehow keep everyone happy, which is not an easy task.

It’s a long road ahead, and it’ll be a bumpy one, but poker has faced its fair share of challenges over the years, and it’s still around, arguably as popular as ever. And even if online doesn’t survive the onslaught of new technologies, bots, and AIs, we’ll always have live games to fall back to!

Disclaimer: content on mypokercoaching.com may contain affiliate links to online gambling operators and other sites. When you use our affiliate links, we may earn a commission based on our terms of service, but that does not influence the content on the site since we strictly follow our editorial guidelines. Learn more about how we make money and why we always stick to unbiased content. All content on this site is intended for those 21 or older or of legal gambling age in their jurisdiction.

Copyright © iBetMedia UAB. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.