PokerStars Experiments With Removing Game Selection

Posted on January 31, 2017

In a bid to eliminate seating scripts and “bumhunting”, PokerStars are to test the removal of game selection in its Spanish client.

This means players will be unable to choose their seat at a specific table and will instead be sat at a random table of their chosen stakes and game. Players will be unable to watch specific tables, instead seeing a highlight reel of large pots played over recent hours.

In a corporate blog post entitled “Improving The Game Of Poker For Our Players,” PokerStars said that the changes could “be a major milestone against seating scripts and the groups of players that prevent these games being played on an even footing.”

“We aim to deploy this feature in other licenses if the test [in Spain] is successful.”

While there is, as of yet, no indication that these changes will affect the PokerStars New Jersey software, there is a good chance similar changes could be implemented if proposed changes prove successful.

A new feature: Seat Me

As opposed to game selection, which involves perusing tables and selecting an available seat with knowledge of the players present, the Seat Me feature will place you at a random table at your chosen stakes and game.

The hopes are that this new feature will achieve the following:

  • Reduce the ability to “bumhunt.” This practice involves tracking down weaker players across the site in order to sit at their table and play them.
  • Prevent seating scripts, which are third-party programs that automatically seat regulars in open seats at tables where weaker players sit.
  • Make the online poker experience mimic live poker.
  • Remove the ability to datamine, i.e. tracking observed hands to gather data on players against whom you have not played.
  • Ensure players are randomly and fairly matched.

Other proposed changes at PokerStars

PokerStars also detailed other proposed changes to their games, the most notable of which was to change their tournament payout structure.

PokerStars propose taking a small amount of prize pool allocation from the final table of multi-table tournaments and redistributing it to players who cash for the minimum.

Additionally, they plan to reduce the frequency of the highest prize pool multipliers as well as the lowest prize pool multipliers in Spin & Go Tournaments, instead increasing the frequency of medium-sized prize pools.
Finally, PokerStars said that they plan to reduce the waiting time of players before games begin.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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