- PokerStars announces plans to launch anonymous tables
- An initiative to stop collusion and make players feel safe
- Hand histories with screennames will still be available
PokerStars has always remained committed to its policy that requires players to have fixed usernames, but that will soon change. In the coming months, the operator will testing out anonymous tables that will allow players to compete in poker games without having a screenname attached to their activity.
According to PokerStars, anonymous tables will help to protect the integrity of the game. It has the potential to stop collusion between players, which is a problem in the online poker market.
This isn’t the first time that a major poker operator has tested anonymous tables. Unibet was the pioneer of this practice in 2014, while Winamax followed suit and adopted anonymous games later that year.
PokerStars is the biggest name in the online poker world, so this shift is likely to have a bigger impact than when it was implemented on other sites five years ago. This is surely going to be an interesting initiative, and it will certainly have an effect on how players behave when in an anonymous environment.
It’s likely that players will feel more comfortable playing loosely at anonymous poker tables. The average pot size could increase and we could see more players getting involved in hands. However, there’s no telling how players will react – so, it would be great if PokerStars were to release statistics on player behaviour once the testing period has finished.
What About Hand Histories?
Even though players will be able to take part in poker games anonymously, hand histories will remain the same. 24 hours after the hand was played, players will be able to take a look at the hand history with their screennames on them.
This exception has been made so that players can still feel safe and secure while playing poker online. Hand histories are used to identify bots and suspicious player behaviour, and PokerStars has made it so that this won’t change once anonymous tables are active.
Anonymous tables will be tested over the course of the next few months, and PokerStars will be monitoring them closely. The site wants to ensure that the new tables will provide players with a good online gaming experience and not cause any harm to the “poker ecosystem”.