I have been writing poker news pieces for 13 years and in most of that time, I have used TheHendonMob.com (THM) live tournament database as an integral reference tool. Anyone in who has written anything about a tournament or a player has used THM and most of us probably have it bookmarked in our browser (I go to the site so often that when I type the letter “t” in the address bar, it autofills “thehendonmob.com”). It is a tremendous site, the most comprehensive database of live tournament results anywhere on the internet. This past week, though, the site’s management has begun allowing players to have themselves deleted from the database or replace their name with a nickname, apparently because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect in the European Union in May.
There is a lot to the GDPR and we won’t get into all of it here (we’ll pretend that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand it all), but in a nutshell, it is a set of regulations that governs how businesses can collect personal data of customers and to make sure companies who process personal data protect it and manage it properly. Basically, it’s a consumer protection regulation that intends to shield people from having their personal information gathered, shared, used, and publicized without their permission.
One poker player, Armin “schmette” Mette, celebrated on Two Plus Two, writing:
After years of abusive Data-colletcion Hendenmob is now forced, due to the GDPR, to delete your Accounts if you want to.
Funnily HM response is that, the People abuse their own rights (GDPR) given to damage “the industry” which helped them with their careers in the first place.
They offer you to change your Account into a “Nickname” too.
Most people don’t share Mette’s opinion that THM is “abusing” anyone by publishing tournament results. The casinos and poker tours have their rights to their tournament results data and willingly offer it up to THM for aggregation. It’s really not much different than ESPN.com publishing baseball stats or the local newspaper printing box scores and league standings. The vast majority of poker players find THM’s database valuable, if not for reporting, but for gathering information on poker opponents or just for general knowledge.
It is widely assumed that the reason players would not want their results published on THM is to hide their financial results from the tax man. A number of countries, including Sweden and Spain, have sought to collect back taxes from poker pros, using resources like THM to get their info.
Roland Boothby, THM’s content manager (as well as content manger for THM’s parent company, the Global Poker Index), responded to Mette’s post with one of his own:
First post. Would just like to make a few points on this subject.
The Hendon Mob is run by a small team of poker fans whose aim it is to serve the poker community by operating the best poker database and poker information resource available on the internet. By publishing the results and pay-outs of major tournaments Hendon Mob is no more guilty of “abusive Data-collection” than the APT or the PGA. The information published on THM has already been released by a Casino or Tour in line with their own T&Cs, which a player agrees to by registering the tournament.
Its deeply sad to see certain players who have enjoyed a successful career in poker celebrate a situation where a small business operating in the poker world has its operations affected by sweeping legislative changes, purely because it confers some benefit to themselves.
I suspect these same players are more than happy to use the site for their own financial advantage, by looking up and gaining information about their opponents in major tournaments.
Yes, GPDR has caused some changes to the way we operate, but we will continue to work hard to serve the community, to improve the product we offer to poker fans, players and media and to continue to grow our traffic year on year. We would like to thank those who support Hendon Mob by visiting the site, following us on Social Media and interacting with us via any of our sites or initiatives.
All in all, I wouldn’t expect too many obvious changes to TheHendonMob’s database, as most players are fine with having their results made public.
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