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Oct 20, 2015

Partypoker Institutes Major Ecology Changes - Better for Amateurs

By RTR Dennis

Given the widening skill gap between professional and amateur online poker players in recent years, partypoker has taken drastic steps to improve their site's ecology. Specifically, they've gotten rid of seat selection and now hide players' screen names until the first hand is dealt. Partypoker has plans to add even more amateur-friendly changes in the near future. That said, let's discuss what the current changes mean for recreational players along with what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Partypoker Wants to Hamper HUDs, Seat Scripting Software

The big reason why online poker pros have a larger advantage now than ever before is simply the use of Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) and seat-scripting software. HUDs display stats and tendencies on opponents, such as their 3-betting and pre-flop raise percentages, while seat scripting helps pros find bad players. This is where the two latest changes to Partypoker's software come into play:

Automatic Table Selection - Players choose their preferences and join a room-wide waiting list, and they'll be randomly seated at a table that matches their preferences. This prevents players from bumhunting and/or using seat scripting to find and target fish.

Screen Names hidden until First Hand - Players won't see the names of their opponents until the first hand is dealt at a cash table; this helps minimize the effectiveness of HUDs.
Hand Histories will No Longer be Downloadable

Within the next few weeks, partypoker will also prevent players from downloading hand histories. Once this change is instituted, players will only be able to view their hand histories from the partypoker lobby. This move is designed to prevent uploading hand histories into advanced HUD databases that can be used to profile opponents one has never even played against.

Mike Sexton Weighs in on Changes

Professionals who play at partypoker will not be happy with the new rules designed to inhibit third-party tracking software. However, long-time poker player and WPT announcer Mike Sexton is one person who really believes in the changes that party has made. Here's a look at what he had to say on the matter:

"As a professional poker player, I understand players who seek out games with weaker players, but they must realize that those being 'stalked' will most likely quit playing if the same User Names continually show up at their table when they opt to play. Losing these players is not good for the everyday player or the site. Personally, I think it's great that recreational players are being protected from the using third party software. Hats off to partypoker for implementing this."

Given all that partypoker is doing to level the playing field between recreational players and pros, this site is definitely worth playing at if you're new to the game or just looking to have fun. Furthermore, if you have no interest in using HUDs and/or seat scripting, then you won't be at a disadvantage by playing at party.