Originally Posted by Mike Haven
Of course, it's quite likely that PS noticed this was happening more and more, and decided they would prefer those players to pay them rake for using and abusing their facilities, so they closed this loophole, knowing that the players who were really playing for play chips would not give a damn.
How is using pokerstars software for play money games and then settling up offline with cash abusing their facilities?
First of all, it's not like Stars couldn't easily see this coming. When Home Games were first introduced I immediately thought of getting my friends whom I play actual home games with to try this using Home Games on Stars and then settling up with cash online. The idea just never got a lot of love up until recently with my friends because most of them are just not online guys, and unfortunately no mobile app here in Canada yet so everybody would have to have their lap top at the table which would be a little much.
If this is in fact the reason for Stars doing this, its a pretty stupid solution. First off, it only partially 'closes the loophole' for ring games. Play money SNG's can still be played using Stars Home Games and settled up offline for the agreed upon buyin whilst disregarding the registration fee.
For Cash games, it makes it more difficult, but I do believe that play money hands can be imported into PT/HEM and a 100% rakeback system can be figured out using either dealt, WC or I believe WTA through a custom stat.
Another reason that it is stupid is that those players that were using Stars Home Games ala play money to facilitate real money live games are not likely to switch to real money now. I doubt very many casual players that were previously using Stars Home Games are suddenly all going to deposit real money so that they can continue to do so and agree to play in a raked game.
The concept of Stars Home Games was actually quite brilliant. Its a great way for them to get added exposure and free marketing through word of mouth by their own player base. I host a home game, I instruct all players to bring their laptop over, everybody is required to download Stars software and create an account. If even a fraction of those home game players are converted into real money players, everybody wins. Stars acquires new players for basically nothing, and their are added net depositers into the economy.
Most people that I meet at live home games are not particularly interested in online poker, but rake free play money games that can be used to play for real money in a live setting is a great way to get these players familiar with the software, and more likely to become a real money player in the future.