Originally Posted by PokerStars Baard
After running the test, we have been discussing internally the lessons learned and what action to take moving forward. It seems clear that the biggest issue we are having with high stakes Zoom is that some players might employ the strategy of stalling at tables in order to maximize their chances of playing against their preferred opponents.
With that in mind, we have come up with a shortlist of points we would like to get your input on:
• Leaving fold and watch in place as it is.
• Keep players from using their timebanks preflop unless they have VPIP’d.
• Not showing players in the lobby when sitting out.
• Not showing number of entries next to the player in the lobby
Well founded arguments would be greatly appreciated, and if you have some alternative suggestions we will be more than happy to consider those as well, of course.
Finally, I would like to mention that we are looking into starting games shorthanded. In addition we also want to allow observers to watch selected tables in a way that won’t allow cheating. This, however, will be the topic of another discussion.
Shame there has been such little input on this!
After giving this a bit more thought, it seems a really tough problem to properly solve. I initially wasn't really thinking about the issue of seeing the recreational player on one table, while timing your folds on another: If a player sees the fish still in the hand on a different table, it's quite easy to pause for a couple of seconds to fold at the right time to make it much more likely to sit with the target.
There are also a couple of different perspectives: from a PS monetary standpoint, more hands is better, and especially more people playing on less profitable tables. But also from an ethical standpoint - should players be abusing game timers in order to gain an advantage? Is this really playing poker?
I don't think it's possible to completely eliminate this, which is a shame, but it should at least be reasonable to minimise it so that players don't have the opportunity to turn zoom highstakes into zzzzzz highstakes.
One solution could be shorter time limits before timebanking, smaller timebank, but these can only be shrunk a tiny bit otherwise the effect is detrimental to the true purpose of the timers.
One potentially effective option is to implement something similar to the method used to determine if players can play more or less tables at once (which i think currently defaults players to 24 tables, with zoom counting as 4?). If a player is trying to time his folds to match the fishes, then you would see them to often dip into their timebank and certainly be playing slower than you'd expect in general. Some would do this more severely than others. So if a player is noticed to be often playing particularly slowly, then the number of tables *per stake* could be reduced, until reaching 1 (i.e. disabling the ability to use 2 tables to time folds).
Obviously the big issue is fine tuning this system well enough to reduce this kind of predatory move, without impacting players who are honestly using their time. But quite relaxed settings on this kind of thing could catch anyone doing it to the extreme, which shouldn't impact anyone else negatively (except people who are playing ridiculously slow anyway, which seems fine). I would think that if an algorithm were set in place, it could be altered to be more strict if such stalling moves did turn out to still be problematic?
On the other topics, I believe not showing players sitting out, and not showing number of entries per player is helpful. I think a single number showing total entries could be meaningful.
Anyone want to either criticise/praise or make further suggestions to this - seems like pokerstars are giving us a chance to help shape the future of the games, so more input is a good thing!