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Old 02-10-2013, 12:39 PM   #1
PlsFold
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Discussion regarding the state of PokerStars LHE cash games! (PokerStars Feedback)

Fellow Stars LHE players!

Most regs whos been playing cash games above the $.25/.50 level knows that a lot of players are using dubious methods to gain unfair advantages potentially affecting the recreational players gaming experience and most definetely hurting fair playing grinders bottom line.

Sitting alone unwilling to post blind, grimming, sitting out waiting for a certain opponent type/extreme bumhunting is going on all around the clock.

These issues have been up in several threads but I am left with the impression that Stars reps are unaware of fundamental differences between playing for bets and playing for stacks. Others could explain this more accurate than me but here is my take:

While its great to have position on a bad player in NL/PL games its not THAT important when your playing for stacks but in LHE a bad player often play decent in position but very exploitable oop. Position on a not very good player is just much more important in LHE.

Also, I believe Stars reps think these issues occur infrequently at low stakes which certainly isn't the case for LHE where grimmers roam all the way down to $ .5/1 stakes every day - more than indicating that being a fake table starter/grimmer is highly profitable in terms of BB/100.

PS Steve hinted in this post that solutions must be software based as it requires great resources to investigate/infract T/C violators that occurs all the time. I think software updates affecting LHE only should be made.

What can be done to improve overall quality of our games? By overall quality Im thinking of making the lobby look less sketchy and removing the advantages these T/C violators have. Lets discuss it! I have a few suggestions.

Issue: Tables with one player sitting who basically never plays ring, sometimes at the exception that a very bad player joins to their right/general grimming/playing until table fills for free hands.

I think this is what hurts LHE the most. If you've just made a $200 deposit and browsing the ring game lobby you'll see action at almost every open low stakes PLO/NLHE table and when you open the LHE section there are approx. 10-12 tables of 6max/full ring tables at $3/6 at peak times with one player sitting. Doesn't that look extremely sketchy?

Possible solution: Stars wrote recently in a newsletter that they will implement KoTH at ring games which is just awesome news for cleaning the lobby.

On top of that I think they have to quarantine 'table starters' not posting big blind for maybe 10 minutes and of course autoboot them from the table. Booting/quarantining players who joins a running game and not posting their first big blind should be done as well.

Randomize which seat gets the button at fresh tables. As of now, I think seat 1 always gets button at new tables. Can anyone confirm this?

Issue: Freerolling waitlists in hopes of a jesus seat.

More and more players are using tablescan programs to sign up for every waitlist available declining almost all of the seats offered just to sign up for the exact same waitlist the very next second.

Possible solution: Quarantining players for signing up to that waitlist for maybe 10 minutes. Booting players for not paying their very first blind should be mandatory.

Should some of these changes prevail it arguably opens a new issue, seat scripters. I am not really sure what to do about that but I'm hoping PokerStars will resolve that problem eventually and from my point of view it can't get worse than it is right now.

At the very least these issues needs discussion!

tl;dr cliffs

- Stars should make software changes applying to LHE games only as the games differs from NL/PL games in ways some players abuse.

- KOtH should be implemented (is already underway as I've understand it.)

- Players should be quarantined for rejecting a seat offer from a waitlist

- Players should be removed and quarantined if refusing to post 1st big blind instantly after seating

- Randomize who is dealt the button at fresh starting tables.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

I might as well answer some of the arguments that will evidently show up in threads like this.

Claim: 'Its my right to table select and a skill of poker!'

Sure. There is nothing wrong about that. I do it myself. According to Stars' T&C its not your right to take a seat or systematically signing up for waitlists without any real intention of playing though. See for yourself.

Claim: 'Rake is too high so I have to do this!'

Rake is massive, we all know that. But its not unbeatable and please don't make this thread a rake discussion. No one on my top list of tough low/midstakes regs are using the above described methods. That should indicate games are beatable.

Claim: 'I multitable so I have to use a tablescanner to get seats!'

You're probably declining more or less all of your seat offers so using tablescanning software cannot be for multitabling reasons. If you don't, I don't see a problem using tablescanners for multitabling purposes and my proposed changes will not affect you.

Claim: 'I rake a lot and if anything is changed myself and others will go elsewhere with our action and Stars would lose a ton in rake!'

You're only good to Stars' bottomline if you play from seats that otherwise would be empty or start games that otherwise wouldn't run. I have yet to read a good argument why such changes would result in an overall traffic decline. I think it will increase!

Claim: 'Fish wont notice me looping every waitlist. It bothers no one!'

It bothers players that don't do that giving them a much lesser chance of grabbing a good seat at a table.

Claim: 'If only (insert very tough players here) are sitting no one will join and all games will soon be dead.'

There are a lot of 2-4 handed games going with good players only and I believe games would be better if almost all open tables were running. A lot of good players plays anyone to start up games.

Claim: 'Almost everyone knows whats going on and accepts it. Otherwise they wouldn't be playing!'

This assumption is extremely unlikely. While no one can prove that either way or another this post and the subsequent answer indicates that a lot of players are unaware of players systematically sitting out at the left of a free seat in a hope a targeted player joins to their right. If 2+2ers posting at limit forums are unaware of it - I'd say about everyone not frequenting poker forums has no idea whats going on either.

Claim: 'There are no HU tables above $10/20 so I have to sit at ring game tables!'

If there were $15/30 HU+ tables they wouldnt run anyway. Much lower games barely run even though there are 15 tables open all the time.
I'm guessing the sketchiness of all the 1-player tables scaring away rec players takes at least some of the responsibility.

Claim: 'Don't change anything. You're just jealous. Just do the same as us!'

If everyone did just that, games would be dead within a month just like on Party.

Last edited by PlsFold; 02-10-2013 at 12:58 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlsFold View Post

Issue: Tables with one player sitting who basically never plays ring, sometimes at the exception that a very bad player joins to their right/general grimming/playing until table fills for free hands.

I think this is what hurts LHE the most. If you've just made a $200 deposit and browsing the ring game lobby you'll see action at almost every open low stakes PLO/NLHE table and when you open the LHE section there are approx. 10-12 tables of 6max/full ring tables at $3/6 at peak times with one player sitting. Doesn't that look extremely sketchy?
This is the biggest issue I have right now with the games and I've reported to high-stakes along with a suggested solution that was proposed by one of my friends.

Currently there are two players, one playing only high stakes and one playing from 10/20 to 200/400 that are severely abusing the system and essentially stealing from other players. They open tables at every limit, very rarely sit in unless their starting position is the button or have position on the recreational player, and then leave within two orbits. Very occasionally they play more than two orbits but only in great games where they have position on the recreational player.

One of these players was consistently leaving before the big blind hit him at one point, only playing non-blind hands. Stars investigated, agreed, and warned him. Now he's playing two orbits on average. What's the difference? It's still stealing.

These players need their table starting privileges revoked. Period.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

agree TP, I find that kind of behavior terribly annoying as well. There are a few players on PS who probably sit and wait maybe 10+ hours in a day at 15/30+, and get the chance to play long legit sessions multiple times at most of their tables, yet they probably avg less than 100 hands in this time frame. There is just no way this is excusable imho, and ofc they are abusing the system to achieve max edge per hand.

And if someone wants HU at 15/30+ then there are other sites for that..
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

I think putting the players at fault here is not correct. Sure, it's annoying and costing everyone else money, but it was entirely foreseeable given the rules. It's clear that either the rules have to change and/or the rules have to be better enforced.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Even at 1/2 you'll see 10 tables with just one player sitting. Often it's the same two or three guys who have started multiple tables. There needs to be a rule limiting table-starting.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

I am the player in question on this.

I sit across more limits and types of games than perhaps anyone online, and so I have to frequently sit out of games and decide which ones to continue. In LHE particularly (no hu tables, vulture regs) this often results in the described situation.

So when the game fills (and it's not a priority amongst my various games) I am going to sit out - although now I post for at least 1 orbit as the game fills.

I realize this is frustrating for the LHE regs, but for me it is just another opportunity at getting action (even hu action, because all though the odds of getting a "fish" heads up are small, if I don't sit the tables I miss the chance of regs sitting as well, some of which I am willing to battle.)

If Stars comes up with a fix for this problem that will probably be good for the games in general, but in the meantime I'm not going to sacrifice EV/$ if I'm not in violation of the TOC (which I am not at this time, based on my emailed communications with Stars.)


On the bright side, I'm probably not even +EV in that orbit any more (rusty, distracted, you guys are better now, etc.) So GL winning my blinds and getting the rules changed to address this.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:22 AM   #8
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonMexico View Post
I think putting the players at fault here is not correct. Sure, it's annoying and costing everyone else money, but it was entirely foreseeable given the rules. It's clear that either the rules have to change and/or the rules have to be better enforced.
of course, in case it wasnt clear i think this is completely a systems-issue. So it need to be handled by PS (and other sites for that matter) tweaking either the T&C or the sw in some way
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Thank you for this thread and I certainly hope Stars (and all websites) takes notice.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

I do a strict table selection (aka bumhunt).
That means joining on waitlists and waiting for a good seat.

Because I'm not a good enough player, this is the only way for me to stay a breakeven player. That's my right, rake is too high, everyone is doing this, I'm jealous of you winners :P :P
On a serious note... I'm fine whatever Stars do, just that conditions are the same for everyone.

What does KOTH stands for?
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:44 PM   #11
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

King of The Hill.

It seems that the people in this thread that admit to doing some of these actions feel it's because everyone else does and if they don't they'll be left behind. But if Stars were to change policies then they'd be back on a level playing field and would be ok with that too.

All of the solutions put forth above would make a better playing experience for recreationals so I don't know what the hold up is.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlsFold View Post
...

Issue: Freerolling waitlists in hopes of a jesus seat.

More and more players are using tablescan programs to sign up for every waitlist available declining almost all of the seats offered just to sign up for the exact same waitlist the very next second.

Possible solution: Quarantining players for signing up to that waitlist for maybe 10 minutes. Booting players for not paying their very first blind should be mandatory.

Should some of these changes prevail it arguably opens a new issue, seat scripters. I am not really sure what to do about that but I'm hoping PokerStars will resolve that problem eventually and from my point of view it can't get worse than it is right now.

...

- Players should be quarantined for rejecting a seat offer from a waitlist

- Players should be removed and quarantined if refusing to post 1st big blind instantly after seating

...
You can't punish players for refusing to take a seat after wait listing the table. Players shouldn't be forced to sit and play orbit. (Edit: this is referring to tables already in progress, not "Table Starters" stars is developing.)

I agree that its a bit of an issue when 3-4 regs start cycling through the reserved seat continually rejecting and rejoining, but in my experience this is a small issue and doesn't affect the games much. I didn't realize players were using scripts for this though. Perhaps if we eliminated the scripts it would help this issue. As someone who manually browses the lobby and selects waiting lists to join, I know it takes a lot of resources to manage this while playing.

I agree that players sitting out and just waiting/hoping for a fish to sit in is an issue. Stars appears to be aware of this and looking at ways to fix it from their recent emails.

Last edited by Slide; 02-11-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
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I did a quick google but it didn't really help explain what king of the hill actually means. Could someone elaborate pls?
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:10 PM   #14
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDalla View Post
I am the player in question on this.

I sit across more limits and types of games than perhaps anyone online, and so I have to frequently sit out of games and decide which ones to continue. In LHE particularly (no hu tables, vulture regs) this often results in the described situation.

So when the game fills (and it's not a priority amongst my various games) I am going to sit out - although now I post for at least 1 orbit as the game fills.

I realize this is frustrating for the LHE regs, but for me it is just another opportunity at getting action (even hu action, because all though the odds of getting a "fish" heads up are small, if I don't sit the tables I miss the chance of regs sitting as well, some of which I am willing to battle.)

If Stars comes up with a fix for this problem that will probably be good for the games in general, but in the meantime I'm not going to sacrifice EV/$ if I'm not in violation of the TOC (which I am not at this time, based on my emailed communications with Stars.)


On the bright side, I'm probably not even +EV in that orbit any more (rusty, distracted, you guys are better now, etc.) So GL winning my blinds and getting the rules changed to address this.
You weren't one of the two players I was referring to. You aren't even doing anything marginally close to what these players are doing. What they're doing is intentional and malicious unlike you.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooksx View Post
I did a quick google but it didn't really help explain what king of the hill actually means. Could someone elaborate pls?
In King of the Hill, stars restricts the number of tables with just 1 player sitting. If someone wants to play/hold a table after the limit is reached they must sit at one of the tables already occupied. Players sitting at a table must play anyone that sits down or they will be booted from the table. So players currently occupying a table are "Kings" and they must defend their hill (Table) or they will be removed and the challenger will be the new "King".

This is one way to prevent dozens on tables with only 1 player sitting (currently the standard for HU games.)
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #16
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Just googled this KOTH thingy. Very interesting stuff. Didn't even know this existed. Hope it gets implemented asap.

How many "one player" tables do you think would be acceptable?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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If koth is implemented, it's going to need a bolt on to prevent people from starting a table while sitting out at another. I frequently see tables where 3 or 4 guys are sitting out and remain unseated,
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #18
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

So, in KOTH, let's say that the max number of tables with 1 person sitting is chosen to be 6 (the number doesn't matter for this example) and when I log in there are 6 different people at these 6 tables. Can I then sit down against all 6 of these guys, and if I'm the best in the world (I'm not), and non of them want to play me and sit out, do I then own all 6 of the available HU tables? If so, that sounds a little terrible to me.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:33 PM   #19
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooksx View Post
If koth is implemented, it's going to need a bolt on to prevent people from starting a table while sitting out at another. I frequently see tables where 3 or 4 guys are sitting out and remain unseated,
Hmm... Would something like timebank be good? For the tables that you sitout ofc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkD View Post
So, in KOTH, let's say that the max number of tables with 1 person sitting is chosen to be 6 (the number doesn't matter for this example) and when I log in there are 6 different people at these 6 tables. Can I then sit down against all 6 of these guys, and if I'm the best in the world (I'm not), and non of them want to play me and sit out, do I then own all 6 of the available HU tables? If so, that sounds a little terrible to me.
lol, well... You are the King of the Hill...
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:09 PM   #20
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

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Originally Posted by piranha View Post
You weren't one of the two players I was referring to. You aren't even doing anything marginally close to what these players are doing. What they're doing is intentional and malicious unlike you.
My bad.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #21
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreySteel View Post
Hmm... Would something like timebank be good? For the tables that you sitout ofc.
Possibly. To be honest, I'm not sure how Stars would go about differentiating between legitimate sitting out (because you need the bathroom or something) and sitting out because you're waiting for a fish, which incidentally is already against Stars' rules.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #22
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Yeah...

Sitout table + playing on others = not OK
Sitout table + checked option "sit out next BB" on others = OK
Sitout all tables = OK

All these options can easily be abused. I'm pretty sure players will find a way to exploit the system, no matter what PS does
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:00 PM   #23
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by henholland View Post
of course, in case it wasnt clear i think this is completely a systems-issue. So it need to be handled by PS (and other sites for that matter) tweaking either the T&C or the sw in some way
Oh I wasn't calling you out or anything. For sure it is annoying because the rule sucks, and so you have to choose between playing equally "scummy" or taking lower EV. I remember a lot has been written on this in the past and several of those books/articles ultimately try to put players at fault saying stuff like "If only they realized what they were doing is -EV long term." Like if the regs would just wisen up, that would fix everything, which is in complete contradiction to what the solution of any model of this game with rational actors would predict.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #24
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkD View Post
So, in KOTH, let's say that the max number of tables with 1 person sitting is chosen to be 6 (the number doesn't matter for this example) and when I log in there are 6 different people at these 6 tables. Can I then sit down against all 6 of these guys, and if I'm the best in the world (I'm not), and non of them want to play me and sit out, do I then own all 6 of the available HU tables? If so, that sounds a little terrible to me.
Yup, that is the fundamental flaw of KOTH.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:50 PM   #25
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Re: Discussion regarding the state of LHE cash games!

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Originally Posted by JDalla View Post
My bad.
I don't like your attitude ITT... based on your last "**** you, I don't care" post, let's just make it 3 players doing whatever the **** this thread is about.
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