Since March, PokerStars has added prohibition items to their security system. For more than a month, automated seating scripts have been partially banned on Stars, but have dishonest players stopped using them?
Regulars players of this poker room decided to draw Stars’ attention to a serious problem that was not solved after the prohibitions. Players claim that recent innovations did not correct the situation, but worsened it.
At the moment, there is the following problem in the poker room: it is very difficult for a player who does not use the automated seating scripts to take a free seat at the table. All free boxes are blocked and the queue is occupied by those who use scripts. Since there are a lot of such players, it takes a long time to wait for the free seat.
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Players from the Russian poker community were first to raise their concerns regarding this issue. A regular who has been playing on PokerStars under the "el.suertero" screen name since 2014 started an Anti-Scripts Petition thread on the popular Russian poker forum Gipsyteam and asked people to come together and send emails to Stars Support Service. He has also asked other poker players on the issue directly at the tables and according to him - many of them were ready to help with the anti-scripts initiative.
Few days later, the guy ran a similar thread on the popular among English-speaking players forum 2+2 and asked its community to join the petition process. The player’s nickname on both forums is sandr1x.
Here is the full text of the mail that players have sent to the following addresses - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com:
We, your regular players, would like to draw your attention to a serious issue that severely damages the user experience on your site. We believe that most of your customers suffer because of it.
We are talking about the seating scripts in cash games. Your recent policy changes regarding their functionality did not improve the situation. Matter of fact, your changes made it even worse than before.
At the moment, it is often impossible to get a seat at any table from the lobby for prolonged periods of time since all available seats are continuously reserved by script users ('R'). The main criterion for triggering a script, according to the developers of the most popular of them, is no longer a color label, but the number of players sitting at the table. As a result, non-script players (most of your customers) are unable to sit down and start playing. Instead, they have to wait until all the scripters from the waitlist leave the table. Given the large number of scripters, it takes quite a long time, especially when the traffic peaks. To our understanding, this situation hurts the majority of your cash game players.
Furthermore, we believe that the use of a seating script violates in some measure one of your basic rules that third-party software shall not interfere with the player's decision-making logic. Table selection is a skill in itself, just like check-raising the river at the right time. It is a decision making process which should not be automated in any way. Seating scripts vastly reduce the degree of human participation in this process.
Among other things, we suppose that recreational players do not like when every table they try to sit at is instantly filled with scripters. Considering that recreational players make up a significant portion of your player base, we believe it is sensible for you to solve this problem as soon as possible.
Finally, we would like to inform you that some of the users of the MagicSeat script (allegedly) still have the access to using the prohibited table selection functionality based on the color labels of the players. Please, investigate.
In the light of the above, we ask you to reconsider your decision on the regulation of the seating scripts and completely prohibit their use during play on your site. We are certain that such a move on your part will noticeably improve the situation in the lobby and level the playing field for everyone.
We hope for your understanding and cooperation.
Regards, your players.
The fact is that PokerStars earlier permitted to use a tool, which semi or solely automates adding players to a set number of tables if it doesn’t give information about other players and as a result, honest players suffered from the actions of users who continued to use prohibited functions of the MagicSeat program. Regulars also urged to conduct an investigation on this issue. The final requirement of the players is a complete ban on automated seating scripts.
The security service took all the arguments of the active players into account and decided that a total ban on the automated selecting tables would be the right decision. Stars stated their position in an official message on the 2+2 forum:
Not all the regs were happy to get such a decision so some players expressed their disappointment about the way Stars informed on changing the policy simply by posting the verdict on the given forum:
How will it be punished? How are you planning on enforcing it 100%? You seriously announce this in a tiny thread buried on a 3rd party subforum?
PokerStars representative’s answer wasn’t long in coming:
The reaction of the poker community was controversial, some felt happy that the problem will be solved, the others think it’s a silly decision as a lot of players have already bought a monthly subscription of the program:
So now what about people who just paid for monthly subscription? They lost hundreds of dollars... as always unprofessional behavior from stars stuff, at least you should inform some days before banning... well done.