Update on PokerStars Changes for Third-Party Software

Date: 2015-06-29
Author: Jason Glatzer

On June 11, Steve Day, the Director of Poker Room Operations at PokerStars, announced to the poker community in a thread on TwoPlusTwo that PokerStars was strongly tightening its terms of service to prohibit some third-party software.
It is believed by many in the industry that the proposed changes are a potential reaction to a couple of recent issues, including PokerStars player Skier_5 utilizing an aid he developed to help win at heads-up sit and gos and a suspected Russian-based PLO bot ring winning over $1.4 million.
Assuming what was suggested eventually becomes adopted by PokerStars, tools that share hole card data among multiple players, software operating off a centralized player profile database, tools such as bots and auto-folders that reduce the need for human intervention, observing tables to data mine, and tools that give players real-time advice based off the current state of play will all be prohibited.
Originally, we were led to believe that the changes could have come as soon as June 21, or 10 days after the thread was created based off Day telling the poker community, "Before implementing any new rules, we would like to hear from you, the players, as to what you think about the proposed changes. We will give you a period of 10 days for you to discuss and share opinions before we make a final decision."
It took two weeks, or a few days more than the 10 days mentioned, before Day posted again in the thread.  It appears Day is happy with the feedback in the more than 1,800 posts, stating, "Thanks to all for your input.  The 10 days allowed for input have concluded and we are now discussing internally.  There is quite a lot to read and consider.  I expect a conclusion next week."
PokerStars Head of Public Relations Michael Josem independently echoed Day's thoughts to PokerSoftware.  "We are grateful to benefit from the perspectives of many players while we considered our rules on third-party programs," said Josem.  "Now that we've completed our consultation process, we will review and analyze the feedback of players and use that to come to a final decision in coming weeks."
One poster hopes regardless of what is decided, there will be complete transparency with any rules changes as it relates to third-party software.  TwoPlusTwo's AfricanAnimal posted, "I would love to see PokerStars itself provide all of the tools that it deems are allowable and ban all third-party software whilst the client is running, thereby providing a completely level playing field for anyone determined enough to learn how to use them."

While the client is not running, then of course players can do whatever they want, but it will make it much harder for them to use information they didn't collect.

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