My take on GGPoker’s new ‘Real Name Policy’

My take on GGPoker’s new ‘Real Name Policy’

Editor’s Note. This is a Phil Nagy (WPN CEO) Editorial: The opinions in this article are his personal views only.

Recently I’ve had a number of players hit me up about a new Real Name Policy that GGPoker has introduced. Players at the site’s high-stakes tables are suddenly being forced to display their real names instead of their usual nicknames.

In a nutshell, big name players who recently played at GGPoker’s high-stakes cash games and tournaments are now being presented with a warning message about the site’s new real name policy. According to the message, the site claims that some users are undermining the integrity and safety of the game by creating multiple accounts. As a result, the site is beginning to replace player nicknames with real names. So far, only VIP players have been impacted.

No matter how you feel about using your real name at a poker site, GGPoker’s motivations for this new policy don’t add up to me. Displaying a player’s real name at the tables isn’t going to increase safety and trust. All reputable poker sites already comply with stringent ‘know your customer’ guidelines, which involve IDing players. Sites either know their players or they don’t. Sharing this information with the public is simply an invasion of privacy and changes nothing. What’s worse is that nobody actually agreed to this policy when signing up in the first place.

Rather than protecting players, GGPoker’s motivation seem to me to be entirely self-serving. Given that this new policy is only impacting high-stakes players, the site is simply attempting to ride the coattails of some of the biggest names in the poker industry. By forcing high profile players to use their real names, GGPoker stands to benefit from this association without compensation.

While I’m all for transparency, this is not the way to do it. If you’re wondering how it could work, I would suggest offering select Real Name tables and tournaments that reveal the identity of players on a strictly opt-in basis. This would give players total control over their privacy.

Speaking of transparency, our upcoming staking feature will require players to reveal their identity. Given that this new feature provides players with the power to mark themselves up at a premium, revealing their identity will actually offer benefits that they can take to the bank. And of course, it’s entirely optional. You won’t find any sort of double dealing at Americas Cardroom.

Why even give a player a choice of having a username if you’re just going to take it away and replace it when it suits you?

Bottom line: Over my dead body would I ever allow this to happen. People trust their personal details with us and I take that extremely seriously. I just wish my competitors would follow suit.

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