Party Poker released the latest version of its software this week, implementing several changes intended to make the gaming experience better for its players.

The most significant change won’t actually kick in until mid-April.  Following the leads of Full Tilt Poker and the Cake Poker Network, Party Poker is removing short-stackers from the No Limit cash game tables traditionally populated by those who prefer to play with full stacks.  This will be done by relegating short-stackers to their own tables.  When the changes take effect, there will be two types of No Limit tables.  Short-stackers will be able to play at tables with a 20 big blind minimum buy-in and a maximum buy-in of 60 big blinds.  People who prefer to play a more traditional style of No Limit game using full stacks can play at tables with a 35 big blind minimum buy-in and a 100 big blind maximum.  Tables with 50 big blind minimums will be eliminated.

The 20 big blind minimum tables will have the prefix “Short” added to their names.  The 35 big blind minimum tables will have no prefix, as  Party Poker considers these to be “Standard” tables.

Short-stacking No Limit cash games has become one of the most controversial subjects of online poker during the past year.  Many players despise short-stackers because they play an extremely tight, all-in or fold pre-flop style of play, taking away any possibility of post-flop play.  There is no incentive to call a short-stacker’s pre-flop raise with a marginal hand because the amount of money to be won is not worth the price.  Additionally, most short-stackers leave the table once they are up a certain amount, giving their opponents no opportunity to win their money back. 

Other new features that are not as dramatic include:

  • Players who prefer the Classic table view over the now standard New view will be able to use the preferred seating option.  This feature was previously available only to New view users.
  • The time bank can now be activated any time during a player’s turn to act.  Previously, a player had to wait until there were only six seconds left to act before accessing the time bank.
  • A fix has been made to prevent the table name from disappearing when a player is moved to a different table during a tournament.
  • In tournaments, player notes will be saved automatically when the event goes on break.  

There have been some hiccups since the software updates were implemented.  Some people have had the Party Poker client crash upon opening tables.  It appears that the Normal and Jackpot tables might be the problem, as those who have reported issues have said that they can open Speed tables just fine.  Other players have reported a less serious problem of the software not remembering their login name and password since the update.

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