By James Spillane, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
In February of this year PartyPoker made the controversial decision to divide its online playerpool, making some tables invisible to winning regulars, the 'sharks' of the site. The segregation algorithm was unknown and introduced - without notification - to 'protect the recreational player experience'.
Players on the 2+2 Forums discovered the protected tables independently, investigating when site traffic appeared to drop from their perspective. In recent months it also became clear from poker tracking and rating websites that a few players had managed to 'hack' the system.
These accounts were able to play solely in the 'fish pool' 24/7, reaping massive profits from casual players and defeating the object of the segregation. It is unclear whether this was due to a software flaw, players 'buying' losing accounts to play on against the terms and conditions, or both.
In a statement on the forums today new head of poker at bwin.party Jeffrey Haas - recruited from PokerStars - has confirmed the protected tables have been removed due to abuse.
As of 30 minutes ago, the limited tables that lie at the heart of this conflict will be removed. Not because the intention behind them has changed, but because the feature no longer serves a valid purpose if it is abused and manipulated. - Haas
Haas apologised for the network's lack of communication and said a different approach to improving game conditions for recreationals can be expected.
For now the site once again allows any player to sit and play with any other player, regardless of skill level - the most common set up on any poker site and the status quo on PartyPoker for years, prior to February 2013.
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