PokerStars to Protect Novices with New Seat Me Feature

January 30th, 2017 | by Brian Corlisse

PokerStars’ push to make online poker a more novice-friendly industry took another step forward recently with the introduction of Seat Me.

PokerStars Seat Me.

PokerStars to introduce Seat Me feature that will help stop skilled players from preying on novices. (Image: bankrollmob)

Outlined in a corporate blog post on January 25, PokerStars’ Seat Me is designed to reduce the ability of skilled players to prey on newbies.

As has become the norm over the last 12 months, online poker sites are more invested in recreational games and casual players.

With the industry reaching a plateau, operators are increasingly turning to innovations and marketing efforts to attract new players.

For example, PokerStars sponsorship deal with Hearthstone players like Janne Mikkonen of Team Liquid has helped PokerStars reach different demographics.

Seating Innovation Complements Mainstream Marketing

Similarly, the joint effort between soccer stars Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo have helped to highlight the competitive yet entertaining aspects of poker to sports fans around the world.

In conjunction with these marketing efforts, PokerStars has ushered in a series of new games and ideas.

The latest change to the operator’s online platform will be the way players are seated. Instead of a list of tables to choose from, Seat Me will automatically sit a player at a table that matches their search criteria.

The new seating system is almost identical to the one Amaya (PokerStars’ parent company) rolled out at Full Tilt in 2015. This system, however, will include a feature that can detect frequent table changes.

To ensure players don’t join and leave tables until they find a game they like the look of, Seat Me will impose time penalties (stop a player from playing) if they switch too often.

Railbirds to See Receive Highlights Package

Another change that will come into effect when Seat Me goes live is the removal of sideline viewing. Under the current system, players can watch ring games both as part of their strategy to find weak players and for entertainment purposes.

When the new system comes into force, watching from the rails will be replaced by a highlights service. Again playing to the “entertainment” aspect of poker, the new feature will collate some of the best cash game hands of the week and replay them along with expert commentary from Team PokerStars members.

Breaking down games into highlights will serve much the same purpose in the online world as it does for poker on TV. When audiences are shown an event like the WSOP Main Event, the producers pick out the most entertaining hands to ensure the maximum amount of drama and entertainment.

Doing something like this in the online world is certainly a new concept, but it’s something that ties in with the recent move to encourage more casual players to ante-up.

In fact, as much as Seat Me will help to eliminate data mining and bum hunting (strong players picking on weaker ones), it’s the new highlights feature that could eventually be the most appealing for newbies.

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