Online poker companies moved another step forward this week after two major operators announced new measures to restrict the use of third-party tracking software.
In the wake of online poker operators shifting their focus away from professional grinders to casual players, partypoker and PokerStars have decided to curtail the use of HUDs and other hand tracking products.
For a number of years third-party software had become a part of every serious online player’s arsenal and allowed them to make a lot of money through a combination of stats, hand breakdowns and analysis.
Although many would argue that this software is merely an addition to an accomplished player’s skill set, there’s no doubt that those who are proficient with such products have an advantage over those that don’t.
Because of this, partypoker has outlined a new plan to limit the use of HUDs and tracking software and level the playing field. Outlined in a press release, the following changes will come into effect within the coming weeks:
For partypoker’s Director of Games, Golan Shaked, the new provisions will allow everyone to enjoy the game regardless of their skill level.
“As part of our Poker for the People campaign, the partypoker team is committed to providing all poker players, regardless of experience or skill levels, with trusted poker products that are fair, ethical and fun,” explained Shaked.
In a similar move, PokerStars also proposed changes to the way it handles tracking software.
Outlined in a TwoPlusTwo post by PokerStars’ Sit & Go and Tournament Manager Baard Dahl, the proposed plans would prohibit the use of any sophisticated third-party software that analyzes opponents.
Although some basic tracking and categorization tactics will still be possible, such as color coding players, the new rules will remove the use of HUDs.
“HUDs are no longer permitted to display non-numerical data, categorize players or dynamically display statistics specific to a certain situation,” said Dahl.
The outlined plans caused a wave of negative responses from seasoned grinders and it’s expected that PokerStars will now review the comments and consider the plans in their entirety.
However, regardless of how the new changes manifest themselves on partypoker and PokerStars, it’s clear that operators are trying their best to ensure that casual players are given as much chance to thrive online as possible.