PokerStars “Rise to the Challenge” to Combat Cheating and Real-Time Support

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In a recent special edition of the PokerFuse podcastPokerStars Director of Online Poker Experience Chris Straghalis was interviewed about his work at PokerStars, discussing a variety of topics from the integrity of the game to the poker product itself.

Over the course of an hour, Straghalis explained how PokerStars operates when it comes to game integrity, as well as what players can expect in future online tournaments.

From poker product management to poker operations, Straghalis was able to pull back the curtain and talk about the inner workings of PokerStars. Listen to the full episode by clicking here!

Chris Straghalis
Straghalis in action at the poker tables

The importance of game integrity

Hosts of the Pokerfuse Podcast, gentle miguel Y Nick Jones they were eager to learn more about how the integrity side of the Straghalis job game worked.

“When I say I’m responsible for game integrity, it’s not just about the operational side of our game integrity. […] but we also have amazing tools in our backend that help us detect these things. We are always improving them. We’ve made big improvements and expanded the range of things we can detect next to it.

PokerStars logo

“We are also very motivated to keep our games incredibly secure”

“It’s an arms race. You’re fighting against some very motivated people to try and implement software that can help them make more money, but we’re also very motivated to keep our games incredibly secure. It’s harder, but we’re up to the challenge, and I am confident in our abilities to continue to detect these things proactively.”

What is Real Time Assistance (RTA)? Is it legit?

One thing that came up in the discussion was real time assistance and how players can use it to cheat while at the tables.

“Real Time Assistance (RTA) is not necessarily new to [PokerStars]” Straghalis said. “It’s an acronym that has now caught on. Basically, we don’t allow anything to help you make a decision. You are not allowed to use any software that helps you make a decision that is not entirely your own. You can’t use graphics, you can’t use anything to give you advice, you can’t even use random timer software that allows you to randomize how you make your betting decisions. […] all of those things constitute some level of real-time assistance.

“Even if you’re the one actually in control, if you’re getting outside influence in real time, while our client is open, it’s not allowed.”

Solvers are allowed, Straghalis said, but only once your session is complete and, perhaps most importantly, with the PokerStars client shut down. Otherwise, it will be caught and other action taken, something Straghalis says PokerStars is “very adamant” about.

What is the ghost? Multi-accounting? Collusion? Online poker cheats explained

Why Players Love Spin & Gos

One of the most exciting parts of Straghalis’s job was the introduction of new poker products, such as 6+ Hold’em, or innovating on existing elements. One of those items was twists and gos. These three-hand jackpot Sit & Go tournaments have become a staple of online poker rooms, and Straghalis says they’re perfect for the modern online poker player.

“When you ask players, and we’ve surveyed our players to say, ‘Why do you like Spin & Go? What is your main reason for playing?” You may be surprised that the chance of a big jackpot is not the main reason people play.”

The 2022 Guide to PokerStars Spin and Go Poker

Instead, it’s the pace of play that makes them an attractive proposition, not just the big jackpots that can await them.

“When a beginning poker player plays poker, what’s the biggest mistake they make? They’re impatient. They play too many hands. In Spin & Go, it’s not so wrong to play too many hands. You want people to play more hands. In Actually, it’s the right thing to do, be more aggressive.It’s interesting to me that as people play them, they find that their preference for them changes from what might have originally appealed to them.

“I know I’m only going to play for a short period of time, because remember, time is precious. We know it’s a gift we get when people choose to play with us, but sometimes, we don’t have all the time.” time in the world. It’s also, “I only have to play two players. I only have to beat two people, and I can play forever.”

W.C.O.O.P. 2022

Being “adventurous” with the online tournament series

Either SCOOP or WCOOP, pokerstars has a reputation for major online tournament series that ooze prestige. Straghalis says that in the future, PokerStars may look less serious.

“SCOOP and WCOOP, those are our serious tournaments. They have amazing structures. I think that’s what you want when you’re at the top of the crème de la crème. You want the skill level and the big names to come to the top.” top because that’s what draws people to poker, that aspiration to be a champion makes all the difference and it’s significant.

“While our other tournaments, like MicroMillions or our next series that we haven’t announced details about, I’ll give you a sneak peek that our winter series will be a little more fun this year.”

“What I’ll tell you is that what we’re going to do a little more with our tournament series is take some of them and be a little more fun with them and do more adventurous things.”

Combination of live and online tournament experiences

EPT Characteristics Table

The recent announcement of the EPT 2023 schedule reinforced the strength of PokerStars’ live product, but Straghalis says that linking this with the online product will help strengthen both at the same time.

“Nothing makes me want to play poker more than watching it,” he said, referring to the live EPT broadcast with commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. “We just ran a Mini EPT for EPT London. This was the first time we tried this. is not the same as EPTs onlinewhich we did last year, but really, in conjunction with EPT London.

“[It was] a miniature version of the London series time to coincide with our Twitch stream, to allow players to participate while watching and playing a very similar event. With the overall champion receiving a package to EPT Prague.”

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will shillibier

EU Executive Editor

Will Shillibier is based in the UK. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a BA in German and then studied for an NCTJ diploma in sports journalism at Sportsbeat in Manchester. He previously worked as a live freelance reporter and video presenter for the World Poker Tour.

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