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Buy in obligations. Are they fair or is it discrimination???

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  • Buy in obligations. Are they fair or is it discrimination???

    Ok so i recently encountered pokerstars new buy-in obligations feature that has been introduced as a measure against the so called "ratholers".
    As a short stack player though i am now wondering if this is fair or if it is discrimination.
    After reading many comments on various threads on this forum and a couple of others i can see why "ratholing" is a problem. I am especially sympathetic in zoom as staying in the same player pool but constantly taking the winnings off is more prevalent.
    What i can't understand is why us real shortstackers have been punished because of these "ratholers".

    Instead of buy-in obligations why didn't pokerstars offer a wider selection of buy-in types to cater to all players instead of punishing one group of players at another group of players request.
    If there were 3 table types, 1 for short stackers where everyone buys in for 40bb, 1 for full ringers where everyone has to buy in for 100bb and one for people who don't mind either so you can choose your buying within the 40-100bb range, not only would the people get what they want but myself and i'm sure more like me would not effectively be punished for doing what we do best.
    I am good at managing a short stack for some reason and i tend to lose more when i have a large stack. That is the reason i sit short.

    Even in tournaments i tend to be short stacked most of the way through weather i bust out early or make the final table so it is what it is.

    Obviously i should work on it and change it but why should pokerstars get involved and effectively punish me for being good at what i am good at.
    What gives pokerstars the right to offer a buy in range then punish those that succeed at the lower end of the range by making them buy in for more and more and more.
    If they want full ring players only why is there even a buy-in range?

    It seems to me at least that pokerstars have stepped into the mirky world of discrimination without realising it and all at the behest of the full ring players and their complaints.

    I understand the complaints and that is why i think ps have handled this in completely the wrong manner.

    What do you guys think.
    Is it fair to enforce a rule that discriminates or do you think that to offer the different options i've stated above would have been a better way to deal with the problem?
    Last edited by thephoenix11; Sat Jul 12, 2014, 07:20 AM. Reason: dunno

  • #2
    The rule is not discriminatory at all IMO.

    There was a very lengthy thread about it on 2+2 where the arguments were rehashed a few thousand times so I won't bother going through all that again.

    To encounter the BIO do you not have to have created 24 identities or something? That seems fairly hard to do if you aren't ratholing (I mean 'you' in the wider sense) so the odd time someone may inadvertently get caught up in this but the vast majority of people caught will be ratholers.

    As for playing short because you don't want to lose your entire stack etc. Why not play CAP games? Everyone is in the same boat as you and you don't inconvenience full stack players by getting in between them with your annoying stack (Annoying to players who are deep but have to sum up whether their hand is good enough to play for 40-50bb because good shorties have reasonably wide ranges and know how to exploit their advantage).

    So, I think it's fine what they are doing.

    'CAP is the newest form of betting limit offered at PokerStars. CAP games limit the amount each player can wager per hand. Once that limit is reached, the player is treated as all-in.
    The betting cap is the same for every player, so all players who start the hand with stack sizes equal to or greater than the cap will end up all-in after wagering the same amount. Players who start the hand with a stack size smaller than the cap will be treated as all-in when they have wagered their entire stack.
    The cap restriction on betting is a modification to the normal Pot Limit or No Limit betting rules. All other betting restrictions and rules not directly affected by the cap restriction remain in place as they would on a regular No Limit or Pot Limit table.
    The cap on betting is often expressed in terms of big blinds (bb). For example, on a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em table, ‘20 bb CAP’ would mean that each player can wager no more than $40 on each hand: 20 big blinds x $2 big blind = $40 cap.'


    • #3
      I haven't been keeping up with his ratholer thing, but I have to agree with phoenix here. I have never considered 40 bbs to be a short stack at a cash table. it seems to me that if u can play a decent enough stack well, u have every right to play against bigger stacks and not be restricted just because deep stack players have problems adjusting to the smaller stacks. playing cap games is not a viable solution to dealing with this kind of change because that vastly changes the game dynamic. if ps insists of changing cash game buyin requirements to the point where short stackers are put at a disadvantage, they really would do better off creating a tiered system of tables with different buyin requirements as phoenix suggested.


      • #4
        And short stackers are allowed to play against full stackers. They just aren't allowed to repeatedly double up, leave, and rejoin with the shorter stack ad nauseum.


        • #5
          Originally posted by bhoylegend View Post
          The rule is not discriminatory at all IMO.

          and you don't inconvenience full stack players by getting in between them with your annoying stack (Annoying to players who are deep but have to sum up whether their hand is good enough to play for 40-50bb because good shorties have reasonably wide ranges and know how to exploit their advantage).

          Exactly. This would be descrimination would it not? effecting one player at the behest of another player? I.E. forcing a good short stack player to sit with a bigger stack so as to not annoy others?

          this got a lol from me.

          Ok so the rule is "if you sit for less than the full amount allowed and leave the table after winning to rejoin another table with a lesser amound EIGHT, that's 8 times in a rolling 20 hour period (it's 4 for zoom fyi) then your mininmum buy-in will be increased to the lowest amount you left a table with but not more than the max buy in for that level. This will also effect upper levels.

          So if you leave your lowest 3 tables after buying in for 40bb with say 70bb, 68bb and 72bb. your lowest buy in will be 68bb. AT ANY LEVEL. that means if you are blowing off steam at 2nl then go to 20nl your buy in will be 68bb at 20nl.

          Now you say it's not that hard to do. Well i've already encountered it 3 times and i only play 1 table at a time. Imagine what the good short stackers that sit with 8, 10 or 16 tables open are going to be like.

          As i've said i understand it in zoom because you are sitting in the same player pool but for the wider tables i don't get it. Ratholing was why you have to give a certain amount of time before returning to the same table. Why does it now encorporate all tables.

          Why am i punished because of the, as you put it, "annoyance of full ring players".


          • #6
            Originally posted by bhoylegend View Post
            And short stackers are allowed to play against full stackers. They just aren't allowed to repeatedly double up, leave, and rejoin with the shorter stack ad nauseum.
            So if they are allowed to play with them why does their result at one table then go on to effect their choices at another. I.E. they followed good brm. Are on a good run and are now forced to either break their brm in order to continue playing or stop playing so as to keep their brm in good order.

            I would ask what happens if someone sitting full ring continuously sits, wins a couple blinds, bolts to another table to repeat. Are they subject to this as effectively they are doing the same as the ratholers. Well the answer is no they are not because they won't force someone to sit with more than the max buy in.

            A little unfair if you ask me.


            • #7
              FWIW, I've never had a problem playing with short stackers, most of them are pretty awful players (At the micros, where most full stackers are less than average too) and easy to play against. I've never lobbied for this to happen but I can certainly see the advantages to it for full stacked players.

              I still don't see how it is 'discrimination'.

              There are rule updates on a periodic basis and this is the newest of them that has had an actual impact. PLO players also claim discrimination because of rake. Micro players are raked higher % than small and medium stakes that's also open to being called discrimination.

              Everyone will see negatives in things they don't like.

              The rule, overall, seems to have been accepted.

              Frankly, I'm not sure I care either way anymore, I haven't played poker in more than two weeks and I'm not sure when I will again. So it doesn't even affect me anymore.


              • #8
                Ok i had to think about this for a while.

                Rake is not discrimination. It's not discrimination because it doesn't effect anyone. The option is there for micro players to play at the higher levels and enjoy the lower rake as is the option for higher level players to lower their stakes and pay more rake.
                It's like when shops put special offers on and say if you buy 3 instead of 2 we'll give you 1 half price. The person can argue that it's unfair against those that only want to buy 1 but the offer is open to them and there is no restriction on them taking the offer or rejecting it.

                The buy in obligations are discrimination because they take the freedom of choice away from a player. At zoom tables i think it is a fair rule because you are effectively winning money from a player and not giving them the option to win it back by reentering and banking the profit. I've always agreed with this at all tables. If someone wins then they either leave that table (or player pool in the case of zoom) and join another.
                To say to short stack players that you can play short, but if you win 8 times then you're going to have to buy in for more is to discriminate against short stack players. Big stack players don't have to buy in for more if they win.
                Thus to treat short stack players differently to big stack players is to discriminate against them.

                Ratholing is a zoom problem because players we're able to re-enter at the min buy in whilst banking their profits which is why i'm in full support of this rule to zoom. But on the single tables then the old rule was fair and effective buy not letting you sit at the same table you won from for less than you took from the table.

                Now these buy-in obligations are in force, i am discriminated against and if i have a successful day i have to end my day early unless i wish to play in a way i don't wish to because my choice has been removed from me for no other reason than i have won.

                It may not affect you but imagine if it was ruled as discrimination and you came back to see that if you sat full ring and won 8 times then any further games would have to have a higher than the max buy in for you? i think you would have a problem with that especially since in most instances the players are not buying into the same table they are moving to a new table with new players and new stacks.


                • #9
                  I wasn't arguing that rake being higher as a % at 2NL than it is at 50NL IS discrimination. I'm merely saying that we could also make that argument because it is perceived to be unfair by those it affects the most (Incidentally, they are the least likely to be aware of the rake trap).

                  I've googled the exact definition of the word discrimination and really, to apply it to the BIO is a little fanciful, people still have the choice to buy-in short a lot of times. They've just had the freedom to do it and leave with a double up more than eight times taken away. That's fair to me.

                  To use an analogy of my own, ISP's offer unlimited internet, the ability to surf everything you conceivably can for a certain price and time period, however, that is always subject to their 'fair usage' policy. If you take it to the extreme then limits are placed on you to either stop or reduce your ability to do what you had been doing because frankly it is taking the piss a bit.

                  I assume you've talked to legal counsel regarding the discrimination aspect? I'm pretty sure some on 2+2 said they were going to but never seemed to follow through on it.

                  Speaking of 2+2, they had a 400+ post thread on it, much the same back and forth but it went quiet long ago. I think most people have just accepted that it is happening.

                  EDIT: Just need to point out that you keep mentioning full-ring. I know you mean full stacked but your posts might make less sense to others when you use that term. Full ring is 9 seat poker,


                  • #10
                    Firstly thank you for pointing out my grammatical error. Indeed i do meen full stacked.

                    Secondly it is discrimination but the reason people are unlikely to take action is probably because of the cost and time it would involve. I know myself that i cannot afford legal council to the standard that would be required to take on a major company such as pokerstars. You have to think of the "what if you lose" scenario. If you win then all is well and good as i believe costs are covered by the losing party in cases such as this would be but on the likely scenario that you lost then covering the costs out of your own pocket would not be affordable.
                    Unfortunately i do not make my money from poker at this time so in effect it does not affect my bottom line immediately. thus to take a case i would have to argue along the lines of "it is damaging my profits" which as i'm not making substantial profits as yet, it would be hard to argue.

                    Now i need to point out the distinction between unfair and discrimination. I think this rule is unfair because it is discriminatory not because i feel it is damaging my game.
                    If the rule we're applied to full stack players as well as short stacked players then i would argue that it was unfair but i would also accept it because it would then be a rule that covers the entire community. But because it is a rule that only covers short stacked players then it is discriminatory and it is unfair because of that.
                    Much the same as rake. It is unfair because it targets the poorer players or it targets the lower limit players but it targets them all without exception. This rule targets one group of players within a wider group so picks them out.

                    As i say if i had the time, money and access, i would probably take this up on a legal level but unfortunately i don't have the time and resources to do so.

                    I will however go onto this 2+2 site and have a flick through the thread to see what other's opinions are.

                    Whilst my opinions are from a short stacked players perspective i also take the full stack players point's of view into account when voicing my concerns. I understand that full stack players may find short stack players annoying or disruptive but it is part of the game. If a full stack player cannot, or does not wish to play with short stack players then the short stack players cannot and should not be punished because of this.

                    I feel that this is what has happened. Applying the rule to zoom is fine as it's to prevent ratholing but i reiterate that to apply it to the single tables is discriminatory and the old rule of not being allowed back for less than you took on a particular table was fair. I also argue that offering the options outlined in my OP would have been the fair and unbiased way of giving the full stack players the options they apparently want without discriminating against other players.


                    • #11
                      Here's the 2+2 thread, or, one of them anyway:


                      There were many over the last few years, as you can see, all the arguements are well rehearsed in the thread.


                      • #12
                        Thank you i will give this a read.


                        • #13
                          After reading 15 pages of "crap" i have given up with this thread but i have come away from it with a "glimpse" of what the problem for full stack players is.
                          RATHOLING aka in the short stack community as WINNING is annoying. I can see how sitting with 40bb and doubling up to 80bb then leaving is annoying to someone sitting with 100bb but at the end of the day any good poker player knows that trying to achieve more than a double up is a very unlikely outcome. I myself being a short stack player would try to achieve a treble up before leaving so i would be looking to go from 40 bb to 120 bb before leaving. I was only breaking even so i changed to buy in +50% so go from 40 bb to 60bb. Much better winrate.
                          So if i was to play at 100bb i would be looking to leave at 150bb. So if i'm sitting at 40-100bb tables and i sit with 100bb and leave every time i hit my target of 150bb am i going to be called a ratholer? well likely no as i will not be noticed. So basically people only notice ratholers because of the stack they sit with and the stack they tend to leave with.

                          This 2+2 thread repeatedly goes off topic and i didn't see one example of discrimination being brought up. if you know where that argument is based i will gladly read it but for the most part the folks of 2+2 we're mixed between full stackers in support of the new rule, people who had troulbe making their point in english and folks more interested in rubbishing anyone and everyone's comments for no reason than to try and score some hilarity points.

                          My point is very specific. It's about the discrimination this rule brings and the mirky waters pokerstars seem to have dipped their toe into. I have voiced my concerns, and also my proposed solutions in the interests of fairness, equality and giving people what they want. Weather they will be brought about is something only time will be able to tell.

                          Right now though i'm interested in what people think of the rule purely from the discriminatory/fairness angle and not having it erupt, as on 2+2, into a slagging match between full stackers and short stackers.


                          • #14
                            I'll make this my last post in this thread, because I don't really have much else to say/offer, that thread wasn't the best I could have posted but I couldn't find another one that I had read.

                            It actually did a much better job of explaining why a lot of people have a problem with it.

                            Its not simply the double up and leave. There's more of a mathematical slant to the well thought out argument against people being allowed to shortstack professionally. I understand that's not everyone's motivation and most wont even understand it either because recreational shortstackers are doing it because they are scared of losing a full stack.

                            Anyway, I'm out (Unless I find the other thread).


                            • #15
                              You are right. It did provide a better "glimpse" of why people do not like it but even those with good examples failed to produce them in an appropriate manner and degraded into the slanging of others.
                              I did see a couple posts saying something about a mathmatical advantage and i suppose i agree slightly with them. It is easier to get +50% stack with a short stack than it is with a full stack because of the difference. But at the end of the day the short stack has to play the same as the full stack so posting blinds, playing their cards, keeping out of trouble etc etc.

                              As i have also said i would be ok (not liking but ok) with the rule if it was applied to the full field and not discriminatory as i'm sure there are full stack ratholers too who go unpunished.

                              I myself sit short atm because of my bankroll. It doesn't support full stack play yet and partially because my full stack management seems to lack a certain plug. I seem to have some leeks even though i play no different. It is something to work on but i shouldn't be forced to work on it before my br supports it jst because some full stack folk don't like this little shortie taking their money.

                              I would welcome the info if you can find a better thread that goes through it without as much of the slagging match the other post as i am genuinely interested in other people's thoughts on the subject but i don't want to sift through dozens of slagging posts to find the reasonable arguments.

                              If anyone else has better explanations i welcome them as for now all i can see is the discrimination this rule brings and fail to see the fairness of it.



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