Many sit-and-go grinders at PokerStars need to change the way they play now that the online poker room has edited its rules to outlaw a category of software.In an effort to make sure all play is made by humans and not machines, PokerStars has banned the use of independent chip model calculators.

Independent chip model calculators, or ICM calculators, are software programs that aid players in making all-in or fold decisions in sit-and-go tournaments.In a nutshell, the player enters information relevant to the current hand, including things such as his hole cards, players’ chip stacks, blinds, and pot size.The calculator then makes a determination on whether or not the player should push or fold, depending on the looseness of the table.

The problem PokerStars has with ICM calculators is that they are pushing the boundaries of automating decision making.Sure, the player must actually enter the information, but the software makes the decisions.The poker room has no problem with the use of these calculators when the Stars client is not running if the player wants to evaluate his play after the fact, but players may not have an ICM calculator running at the same time as the PokerStars software.

There will be a grace period as PokerStars works on informing its players of the change, but eventually warnings will be issued for violators.Further violations could result in account suspension or even closure.

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