In late July, the iPoker Network implemented changes to its cash game tables in order to try to make the cash game environment friendlier to recreational players. The adjustments aim to reduce predatory behavior by pros and hardcore amateurs and keep players on the sites.
“What we did was to activate features that, we believe, make cash games on iPoker fairer and more fun for players, which is one of our big goals,” iPoker Network Manager Joerg Nottebaum told Poker Industry PRO.
There are three primary changes that players will notice. The first is a global sit-out function. If a player is multi-tabling cash games and decides to sit out at one of them, the software forces the player to sit out at all of their tables once the hand they are in is over.
The goal with the global sit-out is to stop players from “table camping,” which is the practice of sitting out, occupying a seat, and waiting either for the game to get better or a specific, weaker player to sit down. It is similar to “bum hunting,” though bum hunting is typically done at heads-up tables, whereas table camping can be done at any size table. Of course, sitting out doesn’t mean leave the table, so a player could clog up a bunch of tables at once, but the incentive would be reduced, as they wouldn’t be able to play at all while trying to table camp.
The second change is an anonymous cash game lobby. Rather than being able to click on tables and see a list of who is seated, all names will be hidden. It is impossible to track someone throughout the lobby and thus impossible to use a seating script.
Seating scripts automatically scan the cash game lobby to locate pre-determined targets. It then seats the user with the intended target so that the user can take advantage of the weaker player.
Pay to See Names
The third change is similar to the second, providing an extra layer of anonymity to players so that they can not be hunted throughout the lobby. Even when a player sits down at a cash game table, opponents’ names will not be revealed until the player posts a big blind.
A seating script could theoretically be adjusted to open each table to view the players, so this adjustment thwarts that option. Sure, a script could open a table, seat a player, and pay a big blind, but that is a fast way to burn through a bankroll with no guarantee that a desired target will even be found.
The next step is to make tables completely anonymous, but iPoker has not gone this route. Once you pay a big blind and start playing, the cash game experience is the same as always.