PokerStars has been working hard to refine its range of products in order to match the needs of recreational players. The most recent move in this regard was the introduction of table caps on ring games, a move that they say is set to significantly increase the speed of gameplay. The drastic change that has been made to the cash game offerings involves the reduction of the maximum number of ring game tables players can play simultaneously from 24 to 4.
This new multi-table limit policy officially came into effect on August 20 across all stakes – however, it has only been applied to regular cash games including full-ring, heads-up and 6-max. The poker operator’s other game formats including Multi-Table Tournaments, Spin & Go’s, Sit & Gos and Zoom will retain the previously existing simultaneous table cap policy.
In a PokerStars blog post where the change was announced, Severin Rasset, the Managing Director & Commercial Officer of Poker, said that they understand the fact that the change will have a very real impact on most of its players. This especially applies to the players who play poker professionally and rely on multi-tabling. He further noted that due to that fact, he further noted that the company is confident that the decision was the right move for the future of online poker on the platform.
“Without careful management, we risk ending up with an environment where the majority of players find themselves at tables disproportionately populated by multi-tabling players. This can lead to a difficult playing experience. Action at the tables can be regularly interrupted, and many players can feel outmatched and that their chances of winning are diminished,” Rasset explained.
All in all, the goal of the new table cap policy is to ensure that the poker platform develops into “a sustainable poker ecosystem.”
Backlash from the Poker Community
Unsurprisingly, the poker community was not pleased with the new development. Many poker professionals have speculated that the move is nothing more than a monetary decision made by PokerStars to benefit itself. This is a rather reasonable argument especially considering the fact that recreational players are usually more profitable than poker professionals. That said, it is likely that most professional poker players will have to find other online poker rooms to play.
The backlash aside, there are a few poker players who have welcomed the change. They, like Rasset, believe that by changing the table cap policy, skilled players will see higher win rates in order to make up for lower volumes.