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Old 12-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
PokerStars Nick
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Exclamation ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

On January 1st, we will be removing all $50/$100 NLHE & PLO Ring Game tables and Table Starters and replacing them with Zoom Pools. This change will occur during off-peak hours.

This is intended as a trial. No decision has yet been made as to whether this change will be permanent or temporary.

After the change has been implemented, we will look at how it affects the games and make further decisions regarding either rolling back or expanding the change at that time.

We had developed our High Stakes Zoom product with an eye toward replacing all High Stakes games with Zoom, and it’s now time to put it to a test.

Our biggest motivation for making this change is to reduce the seating and angle-shooting meta-games that surround our current High Stakes offerings. This is in an effort to allow players to concentrate on actually playing poker while encouraging a healthy, competitive, non-predatory environment in our highest stakes games.

We do understand there are potential issues with moving toward a Zoom-Only offering, but the current state of the games at these stakes makes the risks associated with a major change more worth taking.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to post them in this thread. I and my colleagues will be monitoring this thread closely both leading up to and during the trial period.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I like it, now we need KoTH at HU normal tables, since HU zoom didn't seem to help the HUPLO ecosystem at 2/5+ (even 1/2+ to be honest)
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by yrmom View Post
I like it, now we need KoTH at HU normal tables, since HU zoom didn't seem to help the HUPLO ecosystem at 2/5+ (even 1/2+ to be honest)
At 50/100 we already limit the maximum number of HU tables to 15.

Just to clarify, the regular HU lobby will not be affect by this change.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I am so "happy" I dont have bankrolls for 50-100+
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

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Originally Posted by yrmom View Post
I like it, now we need KoTH at HU normal tables, since HU zoom didn't seem to help the HUPLO ecosystem at 2/5+ (even 1/2+ to be honest)
Which just shows KOTH isn't a solution either. If regs wanted to battle, zoom would have taken off.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I feel so many regs are going to be absolutely livid about this. Good to see that Stars is constantly trying to adapt though, not sure this is the answer however. I suppose given that it's only 50/100+ isn't too bad actually, given the only seaters there are scripters and end bosses. If it went any lower though later down the line (10/20, 25/50) I don't think it'd be a great thing.

Last edited by BigAisaOK; 12-13-2013 at 10:35 AM. Reason: SHIPITFMA ofc :)
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I think it is a good change in theory. We will see how it works out.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

cant imagine how happy oddsen is with this
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
Sira Al Aziz
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I'm usually a big supporter of Stars,but I think this time they're only looking at their bottom line and using the argument of making games more fair as an excuse.

This is basically a win-win for Stars. Either games keep on running and they rake way more or the most likely games at 50/100 will run less often and they rake more at lower stakes. Eventually they'll do this at 25/50 as well and maybe 10/20 and I think there's zero chance they'll ever do it lower.

Anyway it looks like every network is banning 50/100, so i guess Stars solution is still slightly better than the rest.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

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Originally Posted by ChicagoJoey View Post
cant imagine how happy oddsen is with this
He will be at first glance, but he won't be after he realises that he will be playing HU vs Galfond the majority of the time as, as we've seen with zoom hu, nobody essentially wants action vs the top regs on a stake.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

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Originally Posted by Tiltkorv View Post
I am so "happy" I dont have bankrolls for 50-100+
This is a bad train of thought. You might need to worry they will be coming after the limit you can afford to play next.

For some time I've been trying to get the Zoom games switched (or at least offered) with antes. It is a fast fold game for crap sake, even the fish fold more often, it needs antes to compensate. When this switch takes place, and it might next go down to say $5/10, then the lower pot sizes and lower win rates are going to come back to bite some people in the ass.

Zoom needs antes.

Last edited by moonship; 12-13-2013 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014



adler and n1tman will hate this, but **** them.

nice job stars!
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvanhoe View Post
Which just shows KOTH isn't a solution either. If regs wanted to battle, zoom would have taken off.
That's the point; regs don't want to battle (zoom gives them an incentive to, nothing more). KotH would make battling necessary, forcing bumhunters (which are the problem) out or down in stakes, both of which being good results.

KotH would probably need to be implemented at $200+ from what I see in the lobby for PLO

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAisaOK View Post
I feel so many regs are going to be absolutely livid about this.
Things that are good for the ecosystem are usually bad for the worst regs/bumhunters (who aggressively game select), and good for the best regs (who are action starved).

Bumhunters don't add anything to the ecosystem (since they don't help games run). They only take money out, since they will never play without a fish (there will be the same amount of games running with 0 or 500 bumhunters in a lobby theoretically). So they're a "net loss" for the ecosystem, which only cares about games running.

Money moving around in games is good, since there is always edges between players

Last edited by yrmom; 12-13-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

well done....
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:11 PM   #15
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Good news. At least for nl
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sira Al Aziz View Post
I'm usually a big supporter of Stars,but I think this time they're only looking at their bottom line and using the argument of making games more fair as an excuse.

This is basically a win-win for Stars. Either games keep on running and they rake way more or the most likely games at 50/100 will run less often and they rake more at lower stakes. Eventually they'll do this at 25/50 as well and maybe 10/20 and I think there's zero chance they'll ever do it lower.

Anyway it looks like every network is banning 50/100, so i guess Stars solution is still slightly better than the rest.
So you think keeping the 25/50 games as they are now, where basically nobody without a seating script or his skype buddies, who call him up when there is a fish sitting, is better than making it zoom?

I much rather play Zoom 6m than regular games, not because I like it faster but because there are no tables breaking, no sitting out, no lobby checking all the time.

Of course stars just tries to increase their income but think about how poorly PURE bumhunters can exploit the poker economy if everything is Zoom.

Also what is really the difference whether it is zoom or not? Yes machines like oddsen/galfond/sauce/ben/etc will even profit more from weaker players but that is how it should be either way.

When there is zoom going you can join the games, play, sit out and take a break for 10 mins even when you have to wtihout worrying about getting kicked from that table with the fish and lose a lot of value.

I bumhunt HU myself too, but I would be completely fine if HU would be completely banned, because then all the HU bumhunters, who would never ever play in regular games, will quit this game completely. Which is a very good result for the poker community. Given they never give a penny back to strong regulars, because they never play them.

If everything is Zoom there is no way to avoid Gandalf.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #17
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Well KotH solves the HU bumhunting problem, since it forces total bumhunters out, who are the real parasites. Taking HU out completely seems bad to me, HU is a game that should be at least available to people who want to battle together
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #18
Sira Al Aziz
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by insyder19 View Post
So you think keeping the 25/50 games as they are now, where basically nobody without a seating script or his skype buddies, who call him up when there is a fish sitting, is better than making it zoom?

I much rather play Zoom 6m than regular games, not because I like it faster but because there are no tables breaking, no sitting out, no lobby checking all the time.

Of course stars just tries to increase their income but think about how poorly PURE bumhunters can exploit the poker economy if everything is Zoom.

Also what is really the difference whether it is zoom or not? Yes machines like oddsen/galfond/sauce/ben/etc will even profit more from weaker players but that is how it should be either way.

When there is zoom going you can join the games, play, sit out and take a break for 10 mins even when you have to wtihout worrying about getting kicked from that table with the fish and lose a lot of value.

I bumhunt HU myself too, but I would be completely fine if HU would be completely banned, because then all the HU bumhunters, who would never ever play in regular games, will quit this game completely. Which is a very good result for the poker community. Given they never give a penny back to strong regulars, because they never play them.

If everything is Zoom there is no way to avoid Gandalf.
I agree with most of what you said. Hypothetically I would even rather play zoom than normal tables, since as you mentioned zoom has many advantages (you can start a session instantly, you don't have to worry about table selecting,etc.).

However there are a couple of problems with zoom (and/or Stars plan for the games):

1. Many recs don't like zoom (it's a fast game that is definitely not suited for every rec player). This means that they'll have to step down in stakes to play or just quit altogether.

2. Rec players will on average play tighter when playing zoom

3. The reg to rec ratio will be much higher (i know that this is a consequence of making the game more fair, but it's still true)

The consequence of point 1 is that highstakes games (at this point it's only 50/100, but it's safe to assume that Stars will expand to 25/50 and 10/20 as well later) will run less often.

And the consequence of number 2 and 3 is that when they do run edges are gonna me much smaller, which means that some games are potentially gonna be a rake trap.

If Stars had the plan to do this to all stakes than I'd actually be more willing to accept it (since I can see how it could benefit the poker economy long term). But since I'm pretty sure they'll only do this for 10/20+, the practical effect is gonna be that games at this stakes will run even less often, because recs move down in stakes, we all lose and stars rakes more.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #19
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

As i posted in the NL thread:

"I never play zoom but welcome these changes. I see no other way around it, the status of the current 6max plo and nl games is redic and the only to benefit from it is the bumhunters/angleshooters. Fishes and honest regs are getting punished for not having 20 programs to jesus seat and what not.


2-3 years from now all ring games will be zoom and thats def the most fair way to go, ppl have been saying for years that bumhunters and angleshooters are thinking shortterm and will destroy it for all the other guys - Well, now its beginning and the ppl that wont dedicate time to evolve their game and have abused all possible angles are going down in ****ing flames! So ****ing epic...

Everyone against this is bad regs and bumhunting scum that now see that theyll have to put in some honest work to make a living.


What u need to do now is correct the HU lobby, and here it would be good to just give the player the option to choose what stake he wanted to play and the amount of tables and he would be paired with a random and would have to play him, if i he choose to quit then he could not join any HU tables for like 30 min."
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #20
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltsmurf View Post
i wrote in in the othe thread as well.
the only downside to zoom is that fished can fast fold and be tighter so winrates are lower.

everything else abut zoom is great.
so why dont we remove the fast fold button and make it a " normal " game?

Disclaimer this is only for PLO games, I cant comment on NLHE games since I dont actually play in any 50 100 NLHE on Pokerstars. Im glad Nick did post seperate threads for PLO and NLHE, and take the time to collect our opinions

My opinion:


Zoom is not normal poker, it lacks lots of dynamics, deeper stacks, ante games (that esp have been going historically a fair amount on 50 100) etc. That said Zoom also remove some bad issues in the current climate, but it should be other ways to fix this in my opinion.

I think Nick are 100% right about the issues, but wrong about the 'cure'.

Pokerstars did not even try to ban autoseat software or fix the button problem. Both of these should be easily fixable years ago for such big company.

A working zoom need strong antirathole measures and potensially ante.

Questions for Nick


1) Since its Zoom only will there be a zoom ante Pool on 50 100?
2) Will anti rathole measures be implemented before 1 January?
3) Will these tables get same timebank as the normal tables?

Its a joke imo if zoom only come before anti rathole measures.

If zoom gets implemented I do agree about removing the fast fold button as tiltsmurf propose to make it more similar to normal poker.

Anyone have data on average vpip on zoom vs normal tables for 2.5-5?

Im pretty sure we want loose, fast, (profitable) and fun games. A game centered around (fast) folding is not a fun game for recreationals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerStars Nick View Post
Our biggest motivation for making this change is to reduce the seating and angle-shooting meta-games that surround our current High Stakes offerings. This is in an effort to allow players to concentrate on actually playing poker while encouraging a healthy, competitive, non-predatory environment in our highest stakes games.
Its hugely in Pokerstars interest to make everything zoom, esp on 50 100 where ante games have run quite often. It quickly becomes a raketrap (as Sira Al Aziz says), with lots of ratholing, midstaking (50bb) and luring recreational's to playing tighter..

I'm not sold that this is best for the players yet. Far from it, I think Pokerstars first should try to stop the reason they think the games became how they are, and maybe take some self criticism about not listening to this forums suggestions, rather then taking huge drastic measures, like taking away normal tables for us, gameselection, the normal tables timebank and the ante tables.

There is other ways to fix the games that dont change how the game itself is played!

I urge you to please dont **** over the game itself, and the dynamic and structure behind it, rather fix the glitches in your software, TOC and manpower to fix this.

There is other ways that could stop the seat scribers like global waitlist with reserved seats for that list (every time u refuse a seat you would start at bottom at the global waitlist etc).. Also simply ban the software, Pokerstars have been able to ban lots of other software, autoseat scribts should not be harder?

Pokerstars should easily be able to track by metadata who use these predatory scribts as well by raw consistency and speed as well, so they can detect these users and look them up more closely. Every reg know who uses autoseat by using their eyes so Im sure Pokerstars can find a way as well to detect these programs.

Having someone police 10/20+ would help as well, with a call VIPHOST button on the table, just like there are a moderater button, and a host for final tables. Dont think it seems unreasonable with so many empleyers that someone police those games to watch them more closely in real time, boot people of tables, give warnings, etc..

Then if nothing else work, try out Zoom. No need to amputate our hand when the thumb is cut off, there is other fixes that should be tried ages ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sira Al Aziz View Post
I agree with most of what you said. Hypothetically I would even rather play zoom than normal tables, since as you mentioned zoom has many advantages (you can start a session instantly, you don't have to worry about table selecting,etc.).

However there are a couple of problems with zoom (and/or Stars plan for the games):

1. Many recs don't like zoom (it's a fast game that is definitely not suited for every rec player). This means that they'll have to step down in stakes to play or just quit altogether.

2. Rec players will on average play tighter when playing zoom

3. The reg to rec ratio will be much higher (i know that this is a consequence of making the game more fair, but it's still true)

The consequence of point 1 is that highstakes games (at this point it's only 50/100, but it's safe to assume that Stars will expand to 25/50 and 10/20 as well later) will run less often.

And the consequence of number 2 and 3 is that when they do run edges are gonna me much smaller, which means that some games are potentially gonna be a rake trap.

If Stars had the plan to do this to all stakes than I'd actually be more willing to accept it (since I can see how it could benefit the poker economy long term). But since I'm pretty sure they'll only do this for 10/20+, the practical effect is gonna be that games at this stakes will run even less often, because recs move down in stakes, we all lose and stars rakes more.
+1 Great post

Last edited by blopp; 12-13-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #21
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Good post.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:10 PM   #22
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanu View Post
If the ZOOM is not 100bb minimum (or at least good anti-ratholing measures in place) then that will greatly hurt the amount of reg action that takes place at ZOOM tables for sure. Not a chance that I'll be playing with shortstackers often when there's not even an incentive to start tables because I can wait for a pool I like without worrying about missing out on a seat. Overall ZOOM will decrease the amount of reg action taking place when there is no recreational player present as there is no longer an incentive to start tables or to fight to be 1 of the 2 players allowed to sit with no game running so it will only run between regs when all the regs feel they have an edge or particularly feel like playing. It will however increase the amount of action when there is a recreational player playing as 1 such player could spawn a pool with a lot of entries.

I think I prefer how it currently is to ZOOM only but I am not 100% decided. Both ZOOM and how it currently is are miles better than how it used to be so we have that to be thankful for. I think it is a pretty real concern though that if it is ZOOM only then regs will very rarely play unless there is a good pool running and a good pool might not start very often because the player who would make it good will just see an empty zoom pool and not bother sitting. Certainly from the evidence of the ZOOM alongside normal tables at high stakes there don't seem to be many regs lining up to start it and no recreational players joining empty pools. I'd be very interested to hear what the other guys who play the high stakes games think of ZOOM only vs the current system?
Xpost:

Well thought out post from kanu (as usual) in the HSNL version of this thread, that I think apply to PLO as well about games running.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:12 PM   #23
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Another question for Nick:

3) 25 50 PLO ZOOM was a great success btw. Seems like no/few recreationals like it... How many % of 25 50 volume was Zoom after it was available Nick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yrmom View Post
Good post.
Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:06 PM   #24
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

I posted this in the NL section and thought i post it here too.

I'm a recreational player play a few days a week my noob questions are...

I prefer to play and get reads on players I'm playing against and this to me is poker and and what makes the game so great, i also play Heads up quite a bit same applies.

I never played Zoom, seen it played but don't like it as your facing new players every hand and the reads on him are limited unless you played him quite a bit which for a guy like myself who only plays 3-4 days a week is unlikely.

As for making full tables and 6 max and Heads up games Zoom only this to me would be a total disaster as i said its not poker anymore were turning a game that is great into a pokies like machine type game, well not quite but you know what i mean.

Heads up is player vs player reads game and all the rest that goes with it which makes it so enjoyable.

TO make all games Zoom just because bumbhunters ruin this great game is not the solution instead Poker stars can find another solution like someone mentioned in the thread already have a report button and let the regs report him as fish and recreational players wont really know when a bumbhunter is doing the wrong thing always like grimming seat scripts and other words used on this forum which to me are new.

Basically leave the game Poker as it is sure you can introduce Zoom but from a recreational players point of view don't ruin the game of Poker due to some bumbhunting issues, its not all about the regs but also take into account fish like myself who just want to play Poker as it is now and as it has been played for years which is

- Not a fast fold game
- get reads on players not new players every hand just because i reg might be a winner over a fish does not mean that the fish will not try and out play him in some way this is what makes poker fun like i said its not all about the regs

Anyway i understand the regs have a bumbhunting issue and are trying to resolve it but ffs lets not change and turn this great game into something that will only suit the regs but not the recreational player.

After all they are the players regs are making most of their money off and when i watch poker on a TV or play in the casino and decide i want to play try it online and to turn upto a online poker site and find its Zoom only well ffs

This from my point of view is not poker sure it might suit regs with all the poker programs and stats they keep on other players but it does not suit recreational players like myself, who play poker for fun and enjoy the game as it is now.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
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Re: ATTN: $50/$100 NLHE & PLO to be Zoom-Only as of January 1st, 2014

Zoom solves the problem of seating scripts (yay), but it changes the game fundamentally (nay, if Zoom becomes the only game in town).

Fast games with small edges are obviously fine and dandy with Stars. They also don't mind if people move to smaller games. Since the seating problems have other valid solutions, one gets the impression that Stars has pushed this solution because it's convenient for them, not because it's good for the players. One also wonders if this experiment is the beginning of a process to enforce Zoom games everywhere.
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