Partypoker continued to roll out its Poker for the People campaign with the news of two more changes in their online cash game environment as they try to protect their recreational players from the jaws of hungry sharks.
When the father of the recreational poker model, Jonas Odman, first introduced the concept over five years ago, people assumed he was nothing but a pernicious prophet of phoniness. Today, that model is becoming ubiquitous in the online poker industry.
Several weeks after Full Tilt were ballsy enough to change their online cash game landscape, in favour of recreational players, partypoker has done the same. Two significant changes have already been implemented with a third, more controversial one on the way.
The first software change is identical to the one Full Tilt rolled out. Players no longer choose a particular table to participate in and instead are forced to join the cash game queue, in the requisite selected stakes, and are then assigned a seat by partypoker.
The second change is a fail safe should people find a way to jump over that first barbed wire fence. You will only be able to see the screen names and avatars of seated players when dealt into a game.
It’s another bold move by partypoker in line with their Poker for the People campaign. Third-party software providers won’t like it. The new changes make it virtually impossible for players to use seating scripts to their advantage.
It’s a polarizing move. Golan Shaked, Director of Games, partypoker doesn’t see it that way. Writing in a press release, Shaked said he was ‘delighted by the response of the poker community’ as they continue to ‘level the playing field for all players.’
Partypoker ambassador, Mike Sexton, said he understood the reasoning behind the pro players attitudes towards seeking out weaker players but believes it’s not sustainable for an online poker model.
“I think it’s great that recreational players are being protected,” Sexton wrote.
The second phase of this three-pronged development is to limit the availability of hand histories. Currently, hand histories can be automatically downloaded and then used in third party software to enable players to analyse their hands and the hands of their opponents. The new changes will end this practice. Hands will only be available for viewing on the partypoker client, and will have a shelf life of 12-months.
The hand history changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks.