PokerStars received a number of complaints from online poker players who felt that certain players were take advantage of third party software to gain an unfair advantage when playing online poker. Players alleged that there were a specific set of Russian poker players who played PLO (Pot Limit Omaha) and won over $2.8 million during an 18 month period.
These Russian players operated around 30 online poker accounts and many of those accounts were banned by PokerStars in the past but they created new accounts and continued to use bots. PokerStars took the allegations seriously and confirmed the launch of an investigation to address these concerns. The company also confirmed that it would review the terms and conditions that governed the usage of third party software usage and roll out an amended policy that will protect its players.
In a thread, on the TwoPlusTwo poker forum, Steve Day, the poker room manager for PokerStars said
We’ve decided to move forward in principle with the changes proposed in the OP [original post]. We still have some decisions to make regarding final wording … we will be in touch with some software developers regarding their existing applications to clarify which features might violate the upcoming rules so that they will have time to make the appropriate changes.
PokerStars had earlier allowed players to use third party software to assist them to play multiple tables and make their gaming experience better. The company had allowed online poker players to use a third party software called “skier_5” but in the end discovered that the software provides a lot more assistance than PokerStars earlier expected. As a result, the company was forced to review its existing policies and make amendments in order to curtail the usage of third party player software.
The proposed changes to PokerStar’s third party software was welcomed by poker players on the Two plus Two poker forum who appreciated the company for taking prompt action. The players also used the forum to ask PokerStars to ban all third party software including huds to ensure that there is no loopholes for cheaters to manipulate regulations and gain an unfair advantage.
The prompt action by PokerStars will set an example for the entire online poker industry and also assure American legislators that the biggest online poker website in the world is serious about implementing strict regulations to govern the online poker industry.