PokerStars Puts An End To All Automated Seating Scripts
Automated seating scripts have now become a thing of the past at the world’s leading poker room.
PokerStars has implemented a total ban on the automated programs less than two months after announcing some changes to policies on the use of third party tools.
In February, the online poker giant introduced restrictions on automated software in all of its cash games. Severin Rasset, PokerStars Director of Innovation and poker operations, said it was done to make sure that a uniform set of rules and standard would apply to everyone. Rasset made things clear via a blog outlining the changes. His blog post stated that PokerStars would still permit automatic seating at a cash game table, provided it would not be based on playing statistics or profiling potential opponents.
There have long been concerns about weaker players being put at a huge disadvantage due to “bum hunting“, a process that is widely practised across several online poker sites. “Bum hunting” works by spotting lesser skilled opponents and playing against them, and while this strategy is viable in poker, some online players utilize automated programs that enable them to scan weaker players and locate the best possible seat against these potential opponents.
As PokerStars entirely prohibits the use of automated programs, bum hunting will no longer be allowed. The initial policy changes resulted in a number of script developers creating software workarounds which ended up in dozens of automatic seat reservations, preventing non-script users from being seated. The blanket ban started to take effect on April 11, mainly driven by feedback from the poker community.
“The Anti-Scripts Petition” thread eventually emerged on the Two Plus Two forums, urging PokerStars cash game players to call for a total ban on automated seating scripts. A PokerStars Game Integrity representative responded right away with a detailed post on the immediate prohibition of the said software. The representative said it was brought to their attention that some seating scripts were inherently causing the table blocking, and thus the website decided to ban players from using the automated programs.
Since announcing the changes, players on the Two Plus Two thread have been giving positive feedback, with the PokerStars’ 41-page dossier on third-party tools already updated. The automated seating scripts or any tool for ring game selection efficiency have been listed under the “prohibited at all times” category.
Other online sites could follow suit, given the positive effect the changes are having on PokerStars’ cash games. There is speculation that partypoker will also ban HUDs and implement changes on the use of alias, though partypoker has yet to issue an official statement.