PokerStars Trying to Limit Seating Scripts

Date: 2014-12-04
Author: Jason Glatzer

Seating scripts such as Table Scanner 2 and TableTracker can help any online poker player find the most profitable tables and are accepted on most major online poker networks.  Even a losing recreational player can benefit from table selection software since he or she can bleed money at a slower pace at a table of weaker opponents.

Many argue that seating scripts are potentially hurting the game and are questioning whether they should be allowed.  PokerStars hasn't outlawed seating scripts yet, but the site is taking steps to minimize their effectiveness.

A PokerStars VIP rep announced on the 2+2 poker forum last month that he is "managing a project to review the seat scripting issues on PokerStars."

Since that announcement, PokerStars rolled out a new measure to curb the effectiveness of seating scripts, limiting the number of times a player can reserve a seat at a given table without playing.  If a player has three reservations in a six-hour period without playing a hand, he or she will be required to wait until the six-hour period has expired before being allowed to reserve seats again.

The reason this measure should cut down on the effectiveness of seating scripts is that many of them allow players to reserve seats at an alarming rate, then scan the table, choosing at that point whether to sit in or out.  This not only causes the fish to be highly targeted, but also has a freezing effect on games if too many players are running these scripts at the same time.

Many players feel this will just change player habits and not come close to eliminating the problem in the long-term since players can play an orbit and sit out or find other solutions to the problem.  Many believe that seating scripts can only be truly eliminated if they are disallowed via the TOCs and blocked via a software solution.

PokerStars also believes this is just the first step in protecting its recreational players from seating scripts and has asked the 2+2 community for help on further examining the situation and see what further action, if any, should be taken.

The PokerStars rep outlined criteria any proposal for change must have: preventative, not punitive, robust, simple, bias toward players who want to play, and a minimal amount of disruption.

PokerStars hopes to include at least two players in discussions with programmers on January 16 and 19 in Toronto.  If you are in or near Toronto and are interested in attending, you can email PokerStars Chris at

Even if you do not live in Toronto, if you feel strongly about this topic one way or the other, you should consider posting in the 2+2 thread since PokerStars will be reading each one and commenting.

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