Online poker players beware! Exploiting PokerStars software can and will result in a permanent ban.
Mega-site PokerStars is taking a strict stance against what online players call “buttoning.” Just today, a mid to high stakes player who goes by the online name of Jama-dharma was dealt a lifetime ban for abusing the PokerStars software configuration.
On PokerStars, when a new table begins play, the six seat is automatically rewarded the button. Astute players have noticed this and instead of picking a random seat, always try to reserve the coveted six seat. This way, they do not have to pay blinds for an entire round, which gives them an advantage. However, some players turn what amounts to a marginal edge into a huge one by only playing until their big blind and leaving.
Jama-dharma, who is also a frequent contributor on the 2+2 forums, would frequently sit at several new tables, wait until action started and leave without ever playing a blind. PokerStars warned him on numerous occasions not to do this, but the young pro failed to listen. On four different occasions, players reported Jama-dharma for buttoning. Finally, the site took action against the player, handing him an irreversible ban.
It is not known if PokerStars seized Jama-dharma’s bankroll. What is known is that the player would commonly play Fixed Limit Hold’em games ranging from $10/$20 all the way up to nosebleed stakes ($1000/$2000).
It seems as though PokerStars will continue its strong stance against software exploitation. According to the site, leaving a game when the seats fill up is ok, as is buttoning on occasion. But they clearly state that egregious abuse of the system will result in a ban. Unfortunately, the vernacular concerning what is and is not a violation is a bit vague, which could result in occasional violators receiving unfair penalties.
PokerStars also stated that angle shooting in any way is a violation of the Terms of Service and will not be tolerated.
In a normal game, players are required to either post their big blind or wait until the button passes them to play. Either way, they are required to pay at least one big bet to sit at the table. New tables are the exception to this rule.
Although, if PokerStars were serious about ridding buttoning, why wouldn’t they simply choose who gets the button at random? Seems like a logical solution.