PokerStars Introduces Find a Seat Option

Date: 2010-11-19
Author: Sean Gibson

Recently, PokerStars updated its software to include several new features, many of which will be used by the majority of players who visit the site.  Let’s take a look at some of these new features, summarize what they do, and analyze whether they are really that important.

Find a Seat

This feature is already somewhat in place at Full Tilt Poker, which allows players to find a seat automatically given specifications of a game they want to play.  From any table you are already seated at, you can click the new “Find Seat” button and you will be taken to a seat at another table of the exact same type.  This feature has been added to the “Session Options” menu or you can press “CTRL-S.”  We’re told that only a few players will see this for now; eventually PokerStars will open it up to everyone.

Will this be used by a tidal wave of people?  For cash game regulars, probably not.  Regulars like to use software like Table Scanner that will pick the juiciest tables based on a number of variables.  Simply getting auto-seated at a random table (albeit the same type and stakes) won’t be all that appealing.  However, we can see recreational players using this to add tables to their regular regimen.

Bet Slider Options and Bet Sizing Buttons

Now, you can use the mouse wheel to move the bet slider without having to select the table first.  All you have to do is have the mouse pointer hover over the table and it’ll work just fine regardless of what table is currently in focus.  You can adjust the slider inside the “Options” and “Bet Slider Options” menus, which allow you to increment the slider in small blinds, invert the mouse wheel behavior, and more.

In addition, PokerStars added the ability to customize your own bet sizing shortcut buttons.  There are now small buttons above the bet slider with preset bet amounts, such as “Bet Pot.”  They are off by default, but if you turn them on, you will gain access to them.  These buttons are totally configurable and you can even specify a percentage of the pot.

This is a pretty handy feature, but it’s basically giving you about 10% of the functionality of a program like Table Ninja, which most serious players already have.  Personally, I’ve never liked the “Bet Pot” or “Bet Half Pot” buttons because players should learn that themselves.  Is it really the site’s duty to let fish easily bet correct amounts?

Visual Representation of Time Left

At the moment you receive the first warning that your time bank is activated, a bar is displayed next to the time bank button.  In addition, the Time Bank button will be visually different depending on whether the time bank will activate.  We’re not sure if this is something that will matter to anyone who plays regularly.

Detached Chat

This was in beta, but now it’s fully implemented and players can detach the chat from a poker table.  You can also implement merged mode when you are playing at more than one table at a time.  This is a pretty cool feature that I think a lot of grinders will like.  It’ll give you more real estate on the table and you can have one place for all of your chat boxes.

Tournament Summaries Saved

You can now save tournament summaries to your hand drive, just like you do with hand histories.  To enable this, go to “Options” and then “Tournament Summary Options."  Sit and go and tournament players should be dancing in the street over this one.

Other Updates

Other updates include a new sit and go auto-close option; once you are done at a table, it will automatically close.  There are also filter improvements to help sit and go players filter by the number of people registered and total entrants.  There is a new “Apply Layout to Active Monitor” that will help those of us who use multiple monitors for laying out tables.  Finally, the tournament registration dialog will display the tournament's name to minimize the chances of mis-registering.

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