All-In Cash Out only for micro-stakes
A few weeks ago, PokerStars began testing a new All-in Cash Out feature on its play-money .NET client. Apparently, that testing went well, because the poker room announced on Monday that the feature is now live on the real-money, .COM client. It is only an option at the micro-stakes ($0.01/$0.02, $0.02/$0.05, $0.05/$0.10) levels of No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and 6+ Hold’em cash games.
All-in Cash out will be available for every player at every eligible table, but if players do not even want to see the option, it can be turned off in the poker client settings. Everyone else at the table may use it, though, even if an individual player has turned it off.
Players can lock up their equity
The All-in Cash Out option is presented to players when someone is all-in and called and there is no other action to come. At point, two buttons appear for those players still in the hand, one which allows them to immediately cash out of the hand and the other which tells PokerStars to resume play. Players who wish to cash out must pay a one percent fee of their hand value.
If both players just want to resume, the hand continues as normal. If a player elects to cash out, he receives an amount equal to the probability of him winning the hand times the total pot. If, at the same time, the other player (we’ll assume it’s two players) wants to resume, the hand plays out for that player only. If he wins, he wins the pot.
There are a couple scenarios that a little odd, though. If one player cashes out and wins, he can’t win the pot, since he cashed out already. In that case, the pot actually goes to PokerStars, meaning that PokerStars profits from the hand above the one percent fee. PokerStars got the entire and only gave the cash out player a portion of it. On the flip side, if the cash out player loses the hand, the pot goes to the other player, so PokerStars loses money, having paid the cash out player.
Many in the poker community were worried that this would take the place of the Run it Twice feature. It does not; PokerStars said that players can opt to Run It Twice if the feature is enabled.
PokerStars assures everything is cool
Because All-in Cash Out means the players are actually competing against the house in some instances, PokerStars addressed a potential conflict of interest, saying:
In no way whatsoever will PokerStars manipulate the dealing of any cards. The only way that PokerStars will make any direct revenue from this feature is through the 1% surcharge. While PokerStars will take the pot in hands where a player has Cashed Out but then goes on to win the hand, overall the number of pots won and lost will balance out according to Expected Value (EV).
Therefore, PokerStars will only break even in this regard, and subsequently the only revenue we will receive will come from the 1% surcharge.
As to why All-in Cash Out has been introduced, PokerStars said it is “always looking for ways to enhance our offering” and sees it as a way for players to lower their variance. PokerStars also views All-in Cash Out as “a more advanced version of Run It Twice, but without the requirement for both players to agree.”