PokerStars Considers Forced Play Option to Avoid Heads-Up Hogging
PokerStars is leaning towards a “forced play” option to try and combat the problem with heads-up hogging, otherwise known as bumhunting.
Heads-up hogging is when a players sits at a number of heads-up tables and waits for an opponent, assesses their skill level and using information from tracking software and online resources decides whether to play the opponent or leave the table.
The problem has become so widespread that a number of sites have taken measures against it. For instance, Microgaming has removed traditional heads-up tables and replaced them with a rush poker variant, Hu 8-man Blaze, that forces players to play against each of the seven other players in the pool.
PokerStars has proposed two possible solutions. The first is a modified version of King of the Hill where PokerStars would hide most of the tables in the lobby; this would result in a smaller lobby forcing players to compete for one of the top tables.
The other option is forced play tables, this would require players to play a minimum number of hands with any opponent at the table. Failure to do so would cost the player a small number of blinds however, busting before the minimum criteria is met would not result in a penalty for leaving.
A final decision on which system to adopt is not expected until 2014.