Oct 05, 2016
PartyPoker Adds Anonymous Tables, Bans Seat Scripting
By RTR Dennis
One year ago, PartyPoker joined the growing number of online poker rooms that are making changes to benefit recreational players and keep them around longer. And PartyPoker is instituting two more changes that will protect recreational players from pros, including the addition of anonymous cash tables and banning seat scripting.
Let’s continue discussing these recent changes below, rehash what Party did last year, and discuss how this will affect Party’s standing in the market today.
PartyPoker Anonymous Tables
As of October 5th, you’ll no longer be able to see the names of your cash game opponents at PartyPoker. Instead, you’ll see generic names like Player 1, 2, 3, and so forth.
The benefit for recreational players is that if you never know who you’re playing against, you can’t re-identify fish and take advantage of them. More importantly, experienced players can’t effectively use Heads-Up Displays (HUDs), which is third-party software that immediately offers detailed stats on opponents.
The one catch is that PartyPoker changed a rule they made last year, where you can’t download hand histories. Now, you can download hand histories that show your opponents’ screen names.
The fact that you can see screen names in downloaded hand histories means that the cash game tables won’t be completely anonymous. But as they stand, the anonymous tables add an extra roadblock towards using third-party software.
PartyPoker’s Ban on Seat Scripting
The ban on seat scripting software will take place on the same day that Party’s cash tables go anonymous.
As you may know, seat scripting programs quickly place you at the softest tables. Any player caught using such software will be warned about the matter, and a second violation will result in the player being banned.
PartyPoker’s Tom Waters discussed the two new changes, saying that they “offer a level playing field that allows players of all abilities to compete fairly” and help Party provide “a fair and ethical product whilst still allowing them to learn and improve.”
Recreational-Friendly Changes Made in 2015
PartyPoker joined the growing trend of favoring recreational players when they made the following changes in 2015:
- Doing away with hand histories that can be downloaded and saved to local devices. Instead, players were only able to view their own hand histories within the last 12 months.
- Making players wait for cash games in the room-wide waiting list, then randomly seating them according to their preferences.
- Players could only see their opponents’ screen names after the first hand was dealt.
As mentioned before, PartyPoker has reversed the hand history decision by now allowing players to download and save hands to localized devices.
The ban on seat scripting software further ensures that players will be randomly assigned to tables, rather than hunting for the juiciest games.
The anonymous tables further ensure that pros won’t be able to identify fish and take advantage of them.
PartyPoker Is Slowly Increasing Traffic Again
Party was once the world’s largest online poker site and experienced rapid success during the poker boom. But after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, they exited the American market.
They’ve never come close to regaining their dominant position in the market. Last year, bwin.party CEO Norbert Teufelberger even said that the poker site would never retain its prominence.
But the good news is that Party has slowly begun increasing their traffic again after re-entering certain markets that they left in previous years. One of these is the regulated market in New Jersey, where, according to PokerScout, the site maintains an average of 60 cash players an hour.
Overall, PartyPoker draws 950 cash players an hour, which ranks fifth in the world. With their new recreational-friendly changes, it seems that Party is poised for more growth, or at least retaining the traffic that they currently have.