Party Poker Winning Players Quietly Have Table Access Restricted

Party Poker Winning Players Quietly Have Table Access Restricted

Party Poker launched an update to their software recently.  It was later discovered that the update restricted the access winning players have to players with a lower skill level.  This was done without any announcement and has been called underhanded and shady by many regular Party Poker players.

This feature appears to only affect cash games not tied to FastForward.  Players appear to be divided into multiple groups depending on their past results.  New players are entered into the lowest tier of rated players.  These players have access to all tables.  As a player’s rating goes up, their table selection goes down.  High ranked players are unable to see tables that are full of players that are ranked below them.  There is no known criteria for ranking players.

The only hope that higher ranked players have is to play a table where the rotation includes lower ranked players when others leave.  In reality, many of the affected players will just stop playing on the Party Poker Network.

There has been some speculation that the partnership between bwin.partypoker and Zynga may have led to this.  Zynga will launch a real money online poker room available to UK players in the near future.  This feature may protect those players transitioning from social gaming to real money poker.  The Party Poker Network already had a Welcome Lounge that provides new players with tables only available to beginners.

Players may consider filing a complaint against Party Poker through their gaming commission.  Unfortunately, Party Poker is licensed in Gibraltar.  This is the same jurisdiction that has yet to publicly respond to rigged games offered by Betfred and subsidiaries of Lottomattica.  One has to wonder how a more involved gaming commission might react to this type of player discrimination.

Below is a YouTube video posted by one of the first players to discover the new ratings system:

This action means more than winning players having their win rate affected.  It goes well beyond that.

The Party Poker Network created this system without any disclosure to players.  It was discovered in multiple online poker forums where players were comparing notes.  Even after being called out, a Party Poker rep at the Two Plus Two forum did not directly answer the question about what had changed.  This move puts the Party Poker Network reputation in doubt.  If the network is not being forthcoming about this then what else are they being dishonest about?

Poker is a game if skill.  This move essentially removes skill from the Party Poker Network.  Players will be matched mostly on their skill level now.  That means that winning will be closely tied to variance and not skill.  This will create just one winner over time.  That winner is the rake taken out of every pot by the Party Poker Network.


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