As players at partypoker prepare themselves for the upcoming ecology changes that will force them to change their screen names and put a ban on third-party tools, the room announces yet another significant measure to its cash games that is expected to be implemented soon.
Today, partypoker officially announced that by the end of the month all cash games including FastForward games (the operator’s fast-fold cash game variant) will have a fixed buy-in of 100 big blinds instead of the traditional buy-in system that allows players to sit in at the tables short-stacked.
While the room has not announced an official date for its implementation, the fixed buy-in at cash games will be introduced by the end of this month.
Fixed Buy-in at Cash Games Slowly Becoming Industry Standard
The fixed buy-in is being implemented presumably to protect recreational or weaker players. By forcing players to play with a fixed 100 big blinds, they will be less likely to buy-in at higher stakes with a short stack and thus help protect their bankrolls.
Additionally, the move will also prevent predatory behaviors such as *short-stacking and ratholing*—a practice of leaving a cash game and rebuying with a shorter stack.
Over the past year, there has been a growing movement in the online poker industry to implement fixed buy-ins. The newly launched Run It Once Poker, headed by Phil Galfond, was among the first online poker rooms to introduce this functionality. The room implemented fixed buy-in to “force bankroll management” among both recreational and professional poker players and to “help encourage fairer games.”
888Poker also recently introduced semi-fixed buy-in as a part of its recent new software upgrade. Players at 888 have three buy-in options: Minimum (40 bbs), Middle (70 bbs), and Maximum (100 bbs). Players can enter the table with only those three buy-in options and not any other.
PokerStars too adopted fixed buy-in functionality for some of its new cash game novelties such as Split Hold’em, Showtime Hold’em, Fusion, and Unfold. However, the room has yet to introduce this functionality across its regular cash games.
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Nearly 50 More Ecology Changes to Come
Fixed buy-in functionality is partypoker’s “first of a number of cash game ecology measures coming” in the next six to nine months.
“[O]ver the coming months we are revamping our Cash games,” wrote Colette Stewart, a partypoker representative on its official Discord channel. “First job on the list – changing the games to add a min buy requirement of 100xBB.”
Earlier this month, in a podcast with Jeff Gross, partypoker partner and the man responsible for these ecology changes, Rob Yong, talked about a number of initiatives that the site will be taking in the coming months including the most intriguing change—the use of real names in place of players’ screen names at high-stakes and heads-up tables as well as in partypoker’s satellites to live tournaments.
“We’re committed to [making] a number of changes over the next six [to] nine months,” said Yong to Gross in the podcast.
Yong revealed that the room has planned nearly 50 changes with the objective “to make the games as ethical and straight and trustworthy” as they would be in a live environment.
June 17 Changes
Though the buy-in policy change is being touted by the operator as being “first,” it has been confirmed that on June 17, party will begin the process of its complete overhaul of the cash games starting with the alias change. On that date, players will be asked to choose a new screen name. To accompany the name changing process, the room will be running a “Race to Alias” promotion giving away $500,000 via “Click Cards” and freerolls.
In addition, players will no longer be able to use third-party tracking tools including HUDs as they will become illegal to use on the site. Furthermore, the ability to download hand histories has been removed, and player notes will be reset.
Additionally, country indicator flags (a feature that shows where the player is registered) will be removed from Monday, June 17 to prevent players hailing from small countries from being recognized.
Some ecology changes were already implemented last month. On May 28, partypoker introduced a redesigned hand replayer and added a new simplified dashboard to help players jump quickly to recently played hands.
The room also made the cash game lobby “blind” by removing the option to observe cash games except for featured tables. As per the new rules, players can now only view cash game tables as long as they are sitting at a table with a stack. Multi-table tournaments are still allowed to be observed.
Correction: This article initially said the notes functionality was to be removed; in fact, notes will be wiped, but the feature will remain.