PokerStars Sends Cease and Desist Letters to PokerTableRatings

Date: 2012-04-20
Author: David Huber

A month ago, PokerStars liaison Lee Jones posted a thread on the TwoPlusTwo poker forums entitled "PokerStars Roundtable." The thread's aim has been to increase communication between PokerStars and its customers in an effort to directly address player questions and issues. On April 15th, Jones notified the community, among other topics in the thread, that PokerStars had issued Cease and Desist letters to PokerTableRatings (PTR). In response, PTR pulled PokerStars profiles from its website.

According to PokerStars, the PTR Premium service provides some players with an unfair advantage by selling bulk hand histories and making other information available to paying customers regardless of whether they actually witnessed the action at a table or competed in a hand.

Jones stated that PokerStars has sent PTR Cease and Desist letters, but the individuals behind PTR have taken considerable steps to continue providing their service anyway. However, Jones believes that PokerStars executives are taking appropriate legal and technical steps to clamp down on the data mining site.

"Obviously, some of you are frustrated at how long it's taken us to act, but the people behind PTR have taken considerable steps to hide their activity and shield themselves from action," Jones told TwoPlusTwo forum members in his April 15th post.

Another topic of interest was Zoom Poker, which was implemented by PokerStars earlier this year. The format increases the speed of action at the virtual tables by allowing players to enter a "pool" and then instantly be dealt into another hand at a separate table once they have concluded their action at the current one.

For example, if a player is first to act in a hand pre-flop and folds, he will be whisked to another table within the pool where another decision will be pending. PokerStars allows players to play up to four Zoom Poker tables at a time.

In the TwoPlusTwo thread, Jones reminded players that Zoom Poker is now available all the way up to $2.50/$5 No Limit Hold'em games, while Pot Limit Omaha tables go up to $0.50/$1.

Jones went on to state that PokerStars executives are considering a request to implement Zoom Poker tables almost exclusively on the site. The request has been made by several high-profile forum members, and Jones admitted that this could be a possibility in the future, but for now, the administration must consider all options before making a final decision due to the high level of impact such a decision would have.

Auto-Deal software has been a major topic in the online poker community for years, especially after the concept was implemented at PartyPoker final tables in 2009. When players reach a PokerStars MTT final table and wish to make a deal, they must request the presence of a Stars representative, who will then facilitate a chop if all parties involved agree.

Although this process provides a "customized" experience for final table players, it might not be very efficient in some cases. Auto-Deal software would allow players to negotiate final table deals without the need for an actual representative. PokerStars, according to Jones, has not been very keen on the idea of creating such a deal-making application in the past, but is now coming around to it.

PokerSoftware will continue to provide updates for our readers on communication between online poker sites and players worldwide. Visit PokerStars to play today.

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