In a software update coming “sometime this month,” GGPoker implementing a change to its multi-table tournaments to try to stop max late registration abuse.
Using this tactic, groups of players will buy-in to a tournament at the same time at the end of the late registration period. The way GGPoker’s software is currently setup, the players often get seated together at a new table, which then allows them to collude. They do this by making the hands take as long as possible – the players will all limp in pre-flop and then use all of their allotted time to check, check, check until showdown. Making every hand take several minutes increases their chances at making the money without having to play real poker.
Some live tournament players max late register, as well, as it has two primary advantages: 1) They skip the grind and fatigue of Day 1, and 2) They start closer to the money. The downside, of course, is that they haven’t had all those previous levels to build a larger chip stack and are thus much shorter compared to the blinds than many of their opponents. It’s as trade off, though, that some players are willing to take.
The goal is the same for online poker players, with the added benefit of it being easier to engage in stalling collusion if they so choose (naturally, plenty of late registrants do it with no intent to collude).
Random seating should help
To combat the problem, GGPoker will start seating late registrants randomly with the upcoming software update. A poker room representative on Reddit gave the example of a tournament with three nine-handed tables: A and B are full and C has one seat open. Currently, GGPoker will put a late registrant at table C, which makes sense. There is an open seat and none of the players are disrupted.
But those who want to game the system could late register as a group. If, say, ten players all signed up at the same time right at the end of the late registration period, one would get put at table C, while the other nine would all be seated together a new table, table D. Now they can engage in the stall tactic.
With the update, a new player will be seated at any table, any seat. So in the above example, they could be put at table B, which would mean someone from that table would be moved to the open spot at table C. If a group of ten cohorts registered together, they would be seated randomly, one at a time. Naturally, some would end up together, but not all, making collusion more difficult and less effective.
The GGPoker rep admitted that this will annoy players who have to be moved, but “it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the game.”