PokerStars Toughens Third-party Software Policy

PokerStars Toughens Third-party Software PolicyA few months back, a piece of third-party software attracted a deluge of complaints from the online poker community as the program provided an unfair advantage to its developer, “skier_5“, and his consortium of players who subsequently were able to move rapidly up the heads-up Sit & Go buy-in levels. Even more troubling was the fact PokerStars refused to ban the controversial technology, although its reason probably had more to do with the technological difficulties involved in monitoring its use, rather than the integrity of the program itself.
Nevertheless, PokerStars has now reversed its earlier decision and banned the software from the site, together with any other programs which may contravene its new third-party software policy, namely:
“Any tool or reference material that offers commentary or advice that goes beyond a basic level, such as stack-size-based starting hand tables, decision trees or heads-up displays that dynamically change based on player action or card values.”
Consequently, those companies specializing in developing poker assistance software have now been informed as to PokerStars’ updated policy requirements, including such businesses as PokerStove, NoteCaddy, and OddsOracle. Furthermore, the online poker room has also promised more software policy restrictions “within the next year or two”, whilst at the same time acknowledging it will need to keep abreast of technology in order to enforce its policies. As a PokerStars spokesman explains:
“Our intention is to implement change gradually over time, ensuring that our internal detection and enforcement capabilities are able to keep up with the rules and that the community has adequate time to adjust.”
Finally, PokerStars has not elaborated on the “significantly more restrictive” future changes it is considering making to its third-party software policy, but the poker room did say it would first rely on feedback from the poker community before making any major decisions. An outright ban on HUDs, however, is unlikely, although some industry analysts maintain their use has made the game a lot less fun, and been responsible for driving away recreational players.

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