How do sites like sharkscope, PTR, and others access tournament results in near real time?

I'm trying to aggregate this results but can't find where or how someone would go about retrieving this data.

  • I don't know about these programs, but other networks (such as ongame) had a webpage history for any given table running. Perhaps pokerstars gives a secret XML url or something to these companies. Because OCR is downright impossible with the massive number of games, and these sites are extremely accurate for this.
    – user1165
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


maybe I can help. I play poker, run a HUD, look at the stats and am a software developer.

I've seen a few posts on this suggesting it's done by OCR software grabbing the screen. Well, that's really difficult and processor hungry, so a programmer wouldn't choose to do that unless there were no other options. Also, because you can open multiple windows, the poker window can be hidden or partially obscured by other things on the screen, so you couldn't guarantee to be able to capture the screen.

In short, they read the log files that are output by the poker software.

When you install your HUD like Sharkscope or Jivaro etc, than they run client software on your PC. It reads the log files and updates its own servers with every hand you play.

Most poker software is similar, but lets start with Pokerstars, as thats where I play. The Poker software outputs to local log files for every action you/it makes. It shows your cards, any opponents cards that you see plus what you do. eg. which button you have pressed, how much you/they bet etc. It posts these updates in near real time and timestamps the log file.

You can look at your own files to see this in action. On a PC do this (not sure what you do on a Mac, but will be similar) 1. Load File Explorer 2. Select VIEW from the menu 3. Select HIDDEN ITEMS so that you can see the hidden data files 4. Goto C:\Users\Dave\AppData\Local\PokerStars.UK (you may not be called DAVE...) 5. Open the PokerStars.log.0 file in NOTEPAD 6. In Notepad, SEARCH for updateMyCard 7. It will show your card numerically 3c for 3 of Clubs 14d for Ace of Diamonds

You can see your opponents cards only where you saw them at the table.

Here is a few example lines from the log file.

OnTableData() round -2 :::TableViewImpl::updateMyCard() 8s (0) [2A0498] :::TableViewImpl::updateMyCard() 13h (1) [2A0498] :::TableViewImpl::updatePlayerCard() 7s (0) [2A0498] :::TableViewImpl::updatePlayerCard() 14s (1) [2A0498] [2015/12/13 12:19:34]

cheers, hope this helps Dave

  • Hi Dave, Thanks for great answer. I'm a software developer myself and I figured there was a way to hook in to the client or atleast track your own stats from what ever games one was playing. Do you know if there are any API's that readily give you stats on a wider range of sites?I.E; similar to sharkscope that logs several different poker networks? Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 15:28

I was searching for some information on this and I think this answer explains things nicely. Give it a look.

  • 1
    Nice find. Could be a useful q&a for this site too.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 1:40

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