PokerStars revenue might be soaring with the recent introduction of Spin n Go and increase in rake in various poker formats but a chain reaction of criticism and controversies have got going in the world poker community. While the poker lovers across the globe were in argument over these issues, PokerStars is gearing up to ban the seating scripts thus, putting a limit to the number of times a player can reserve a seat at a given table without playing.
PokerStars’ strategy to forbid the use of seating scripts or HUDs may mark the onset of a long term plan to block many other softwares and scripts used by online poker players. In recent years there have a rise of such softwares which analyses the poker table to help the user in taking better decision in seating as well as playing the hands. The online poker pros, who received a major blow by the increase in rake, may go unhappy now with the site thinking of the partial blockage on their big wins using these smart programs. Many of them believe that banning the technology does not help; PokerStars should come up with smart regulations instead.
Last month, PokerStars increased its rake for almost all the games on its global as well as local sites while also reducing some benefits. The poker community reacted to it by organizing strikes worldwide and used the online poker forums to discuss the same. The major strike was organized on TwoPlusTwo’s forum centered around a “sit-out” protest on 5th November, wherein players aimed to disrupt the ring games by joining as many tables as possible and sitting out. Players used the chat box to spread the news and draw in more players to this protest. In many parts of the world, players rushed on the PokerStars site just to join the waiting list choking the site’s traffic handling servers. However, to the dismay of poker players this boycott didn’t help as the site have cleared air over any chances of decreasing the rake.
Already, the introduction of Spin n Go which boasts of random prizes in the hyper turbo games has drawn a lot of flak from numerous players worldwide condemning this luck-oriented poker variant. Professional poker players pointed out that this game will boost the feeling of luck in the new generation of players coming in. Some of them also signaled towards difficulty in detecting collusion at these tables. One player “masuronike” went ahead to compose a petition on Tiltbook.com for players to send to PokerStars, urging the site to do away with Spin & Go.
PokerStars is not looking to change its strategies based on recommendation and criticism by the poker lovers. Since the change of ownership to Amaya Gaming, the company is focused to raise its revenue bars. It would be interesting to watch whether these practices and new policies help them adding more players or they may end up loosing a sizeable fraction of their long term players.