PokerStars has announced that it will ban skier_5 and other third-party assistance software during gameplay.
PokerStars Poker Room Manager Steve Day posted a message on Two Plus Two saying that skier_5—software that efficiently delivers relevant play recommendation charts for HUSNG—can no longer be used while the PokerStars client is open. The new policy is effective immediately.
Day also added that PokerStars is headed firmly toward further restrictions on third-party software within the next year or two.
“After thorough consideration of the input here and a lengthy internal discussion, we’ve decided to move forward in principle with the changes proposed in the OP. We still have some decisions to make regarding final wording and also to make sure we are comfortable with our detection and enforcement capability,” said Day. “In the meantime we will be in touch with some software developers regarding their existing applications to clarify which features might violate the upcoming rules so that they will have time to make the appropriate changes.”
“Our intent is to implement change gradually over time, ensuring that our internal detection and enforcement capabilities are able to keep up with the rules and that the community has adequate time to adjust,” added Day.
Day also added that PokerStars’ policies will be “significantly more restrictive” but the poker room would rely on feedback from the poker community before making any major decisions.
PokerStars initially refused to ban the technology due to technological difficulties involved in monitoring its use but in June, skier_5 attracted a surge of complaints from the online poker community as the program provided an unfair advantage to its developer and group of players.
Day also suggested last month that PokerStars’ terms and conditions would likely be changed in order to ban “any tool or reference material that offers commentary or advice that goes beyond a basic level, such as stack-size-based starting hand tables, decision trees or heads-up displays that dynamically change based on player action or card values.”
An outright ban on all third-party assistance software is unlikely, although its possible PokerStars could join companies such as Bodog, Party Poker, MicroGaming, and Winamax in blocking Heads-Up-Displays (HUDs) and data mining sites.