By Matthew Marietta, Rakeback.com Executive Editor
PokerStars has finally introduced a policy to deal with the situation where players refuse to play until a recreational player arrives.
PokerStars’ Steve Day explained; “We are able to configure the number of non-dealing tables of each table type. If action stops at a table, creating an additional non-dealing table of that type, we are able to configure an amount of time prior to one of the tables being closed.”
Players who start a table but sit out, waiting for weaker players to arrive will find that they can no longer employ this strategy. Tables where no cards are being dealt are removed from the lobby.
The new system only applies to 6 max and Full Ring NLHE and PLO tables with blinds at $1/$2 and above.
Steve adds, “We also plan to disable the ability for players to sit out at tables that are not dealing. Players sitting out when a table stops dealing will be removed from the table.”
Too often, when the weak player leaves, the other players instantly sit out and wait for another to take the seat before resuming play. Now, PokerStars will close the table after a preset time if this happens.
The policy should remove a lot of frustration as well as ensure that weaker players are not preyed upon by sharks. If they lose their money it will be to the whole player community at those stakes, not just to those players who only play against weaker opponents.
At the moment the policy does not apply to HU tables, and it’s not clear whether it will transfer over. In HU parlance, the idea is known as “King of the Hill” because players who want to play are forced to play whoever sits at the table, so that pure poker skill determines the winner, rather than table selection and “fish hunting”.
The policy change follows one of the regular PokerStars’ meetings between players and management that take place on the Isle of Man. PokerStars talks about “cutting out the middle man”, so that management can hear directly from players rather than information being filtered through marketing and PR.
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