PokerStars Drops Multi-Table Cap from 24 to 4

PokerStars Multi-Table Cap
PokerStars’ new cap imposes a limit of playing at just four tables at once.

We’re seeing more and more poker sites make changes to improve the online gaming experience for recreational players. First, partypoker banned the use of HUDs and removed downloadable hand histories, and now PokerStars has made a drastic reduction in the number of tables that you can have open at once.

Previously, cash game players could multi-table up to 24 games. The cap on multi-tabling has now been reduced to 4. This has been hotly debated issue among the online poker community, and is a very contentious issue.

Faster, More Enjoyable Cash Games

While professional players who make their living from multi-tabling will not be happy with the new change, PokerStars has the best interests of recreational players in mind. The company has stated that its multi-table cap reduction has been designed to reduce decision time and improve the pace of its cash games.

“We haven’t taken this decision lightly, and we are confident this is the right thing to do for the future of the game. I hope that by focusing more on each table and winning more at those tables, you’ll find a way to adapt and continue as part of our community,” says Severin Rasset, director of poker innovations and operations for The Stars Group.

In a report from PokerStars last year, one of the biggest complaints from players was that cash games were too slow. Due to players taking too long to take their turn, the action in ring games was not fast-paced enough for most players’ liking.

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So, the company decided to do something about it. Although the team took a look at the site’s data and found that multi-tablers and single-tablers act at the same speed, multi-tablers are more likely to drastically reduce the speed of the action.

When you have a difficult decision at a table, it’s understandable that you’d take your time figuring out how to play your hand. When a single-tabler maxes out the clock, it only slows things down at their own table, but a multi-tabler stops the action for dozens of players at various tables.

The Poker Community Reacts to PokerStars’ Multi-Table Cap

As is the case with any big change at a major online poker site, PokerStars’ decision to reduce the multi-tabling cap has been pretty contentious. While some players want to have the freedom to play as many tables as they want, others are supportive of the move.

Most players believe that PokerStars should simply give them the freedom to play poker however they choose. Unlike HUDs, multi-tabling doesn’t give players an advantage over others – so, it shouldn’t be a priority to prevent players from competing in more than four tables at once, and players should be allowed to play at up to 24 tables if they so choose.

partypoker rep Rob Yong took to Twitter to poll players and find out if his site should follow suit. The majority of players are not in favour of partypoker also imposing a cap on multi-tabling:

Multi-table cap poll
Twitter users don’t want to see other poker sites adopt a similar multi-table cap.

An Increased Focus on Recreational Online Poker Players

All of the recent changes by major poker sites have been geared at helping recreational players have a more enjoyable experience. Reducing the multi-table cap makes for faster, more exciting games while the banning of HUDs prevents sharks from going after less experienced players.

However, it does neglect the needs of professional players. There are some individuals who play online poker for a living that wonder if theese sites will be making any changes to accomodate them. It’s going to be a very interesting transition, as players continue to react to PokerStars’ new cap on multi-tabling.

For all you multi-table grinders out there, what do you think of this developer?  Will it have a negative impact on your experience?

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