Online site PartyPoker made some changes to its play money policies during the past week. The site, which has been in the news with the signing of professional players Kara Scott and Tony G and its purchase of the World Poker Tour, is now putting a clamp down on the dishonest actions taking place at its play money tables.
PartyPoker posted a blog on its site Tuesday briefly explaining the software upgrade and change in play money policies: “We recently implemented a new policy that restricts play money accounts to a maximum number of chips. This decision has the vast majority of our play money players in mind, and is intended to stop the transferring of chips from account-to-account outside of regular hands of poker… Although this may have affected some play money players in the short term, the decision was made in the interest of our play money games and the fair play benefits it will bring. We will not reverse our decision.”
Players who create an account on PartyPoker are first credited with 1,000 play chips. Should they lose those chips, they can replenish their account with 1,000 more chips two more times within a 24-hour period. Under the previous guidelines, players could build their accounts to millions – and even billions – of play chips.
Player-to-player play money chip transfers were never allowed on the site, but players found a way around that rule by sitting down at a table and chip dumping to one another. The practice of purchasing play money chips on sites like ChipEmpire also became common. Players could buy up to one billion chips for $400 on Chip Empire. This resulted in millions upon millions of play chips spreading across the site illegitimately and PartyPoker wanted to put a stop to it.
The new maximum players can have in their account is 250,000 play chips and the change has resulted in backlash from the dedicated play money players on the site. “Party Poker has, without notifying any of the players, arbitrarily taken away everyone’s play chip bank. All we have been allowed to have is 250,000,” said Brigitte Hole, a longtime PartyPoker play money player. “I had almost 82 million in my account; my husband had just over 100 million. All of our chips were not illegally obtained or even purchased, but won over a long time. We took great pride in building up our accounts to this point.
Hole continued, “Now in one fell swoop, in Party Poker’s efforts to get rid of the people who cheat with their chips (get them illegally, etc.), my account is at 250,000. Without warning, I have been ‘bankrupted’ and made to feel like the bad guy. This is not fair, this is terrible PR. And they will not give my chips back.”
Beth Harrington, another regular play money player on PartyPoker, has been less than pleased with the site’s unwillingness to listen to its loyal players regarding the rule change. She told Poker News Daily, “People who have built their bankrolls up over the years have had their accounts reset to 250,000 and even now if you win when you leave the table, you will be reset. We have been e-mailing and calling PartyPoker, but to no avail. They say they can do what they want.”
While the new changes appear to be final, as a gesture of goodwill to its play money players, PartyPoker is going to run a special $1,000 freeroll plus the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to watch this month’s PartyPoker Premier League in Las Vegas. The site will have more details on the freeroll soon.