Microgaming Targeting Short-Stackers

Date: 2015-11-20
Author: Jason Glatzer

If you play on the Microgaming Poker Network, your days of figuring out how to optimally play against short-stackers and wasting time to figure out how to best configure your software to have useful information about these players could be over soon.
Head of Poker at Microgaming Alex Scott announced on the MPN blog that the online poker network plans to prevent this group of players from buying into games for anything less than a 100 big blind maximum.
In the blog, Scott discussed how eliminating short-stacked play is good for all players, even the short-stackers themselves.  With this in mind, MPN is rolling out an experiment on December 1 in its PLO H/L (PLO8) games where players will only be able to buy-in for 100 big blinds.  These changes will affect a minority of the players' buying habits, since Scott mentioned that 85% of players are buying into games on the network for the full amount.
According to the blog, the experiment can lead to one of two outcomes.  If MPN feels the test was successful, it will gradually roll out the same changes for all its Pot Limit and No Limit Omaha and Texas Hold'em games.  However, if the test proves to be a failure, the network plans to quickly react and restore the current condition of the games where players can buy in for anywhere from 30 to 100 big blinds.
This has a few impacts from a third-party software perspective.  First off, it will make some of the features of advanced HUDs less likely to be used.  Many HUDs are designed to give you different stats based on how many big blinds an opponent has.  While it is true players can still be short-stacked if they lose a good amount of their stack and don't have an auto-rebuy feature set, the short-stacked stats contained in advanced HUDs will be used much less frequently with all players buying in for 100 big blinds.
Seating scripts and seat-finding software will also be impacted.  One reason online poker players use this software is to find tables without short-stackers.  If the changes are rolled out to all games throughout the network, this aspect of the software will no longer be relevant.
We can't imagine this is making Scott lose any sleep since he has previously shared his disdain for seat-scripts and, a couple of months ago, the network instituted a new policy allowing players to change their screen names the sooner of every month or every 1,000 real money hands.  The biggest reason sited was to reduce the effectiveness of predatory players using seating-scripts to quickly go to the games with the weakest players.

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