Players Using Controversial Aid; Stars Clears Use
Recently a player aid developed by high stakes player skier_5 has come under intense scrutinity by the community and PokerStars.
Skier_5 has built a player aid that contains, but is not limited to, propogated preflop charts that assist in decision making in many situations. According to at least one player that uses this software, skier_5 has rented this software out in exchange for a % of the player's profits, depending on the specific buyin level that they play in.
Many players are in rage about the use of the player aid, and have observed previously lower stakes or struggling players move up several buyin levels in only a few months after using this player aid with practically identical preflop stats. The players using the aid have not as of yet revealed all the exact details of how it works or what it does when asked by fellow players.
In Defense Of The Player Aid
Some players that use the software have defended its use. The main defense of using the player aid stems from PokerStars approval of their playing habits. PokerStars investigated and concluded that the players aren't breaking any rules. A secondary defense has been that the players still have to make some difficult decisions. A third defense has mentioned charts such as nash being allowed in play.
The Case Against The Player Aid
The main case against the player aid is that it helps essentially automate many decisions. The proof set forth is that players known to use this aid, such as allingirl777, freechdogg and skier_5 (though several others are rumored to use it), have nearly identical stats in many situations, particularly preflop areas with large samples. Many players believe this crosses a line of fair play.
In recent times, preflop HUSNG poker has often been the deciding factor between a regular that can stay and succeed at the $200-500 level and one that becomes a target and is forced to quit playing or move down in stakes. Essentially automating preflop decisions in a successful strategical way takes a lot of potential decision making out of the game and can alter the actual game that you're playing from human vs human HUSNG to something a little different.
Nash charts don't actually give advice based on actual HUSNG poker. The situation that nash covers assumes your opponent plays perfect, and in the small blind does not take into account realistic actions such as limping or minraising.
The use of this player aid was reported to PokerStars in April 2015 by several players. PokerStars eventually ruled that the player methods were OK to use and did not violate the terms and conditions of the site.
The automated decision making software made by Skier poses a massive threat to online players everywhere. Poker is about making decisions and playing against other humans who are making decisions. When you play against a player who is using Skier's software, you are not playing against that player but instead against the software. When I play online I do not want to play against software--that's why I'm not playing one of the many poker video games, or playing against one of the many publically available bots. I want to play against a human who has to make his decisions himself, who has to think on the fly sometimes under great stress. It puts players who use the software on an unlevel playing field because they do not have to do the work themselves, and they do not succumb to challenges like tilt and mental focus. This type of automated software threatens the fundamental aspects of the game we love, and it needs to be banned. Players are not allowed to use ICMIZER or Coffeecalcs while playing, so why should they be allowed to use automated decision making software that effectively does all the work for them?
To The Community
Does this seem fair to you? Let PokerStars know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting that game integrity read your opinion on this being fair or unfair.