August 18, 2020 Poker Gossip, Poker News Graham

Why Bum Hunting Is Hurting Online Cash Games

Bum hunting is making headlines in the poker media with many complaining about how it hurts online cash games. Predatory behaviour is now seen as a negative for the industry rather than a shrewd strategy to maximise win rates.

Bum Hunting to Be Stamped Out

When the poker boom was in full swing the amount of strategy information available for budding poker players increased massively. However, many soon realised that it was more effective to focus on who you were actually playing against rather than fine tuning your lines.

This game of cat and mouse saw the regs fighting for the best seats at every table, but given how soft the games were back then nobody cared. It was just how things were.

Table selection is crucially important the coaches would tell you. If you don’t do it then you aren’t trying hard enough.

Post Black Friday the scene changed beyond belief. The American player pool was shifted away from the mainstream platforms and all games became much tougher.

Now table selection was mandatory for many to squeeze out a profit. If they didn’t practice it, they would lose money. Bum hunting was now a key strategy.

Bum Hunting

Change of Attitudes

With the new landscape being much tougher than before there was a distinct change in online cash games. Regs would instantly sit out if the table fish lef and the game would break up.

An average reg would also get up and leave if a good reg sat to their left.

This dynamic meant that it was tough to keep a table going enough to really enjoy the dynamics of observing your opponents. In other words, it detracted from the overall playing experience. This isn’t good.

Seating scripts were the next step. Bespoke software would use database information to scan the tables and select the best seats. This ruthless approach was taken to ridiculous heights by the high stakes players.

They wouldn’t even use off the shelf programs. They would pay software developers insane sums to have the fastest algorithms.

All of this led to the best regs being able to exploit the recreational players at an unprecedented rate. Money was flowing out of the ecosystem like never before because of bum hunting.

Bum Hunting Not Acceptable

With most real money poker rooms now focussing on the playing experience for recreational players the attitude towards predatory practices is negative.

Players understand the need not to kill the golden goose.

Some sites, such as

Tobias Duthweiler, a high stakes player from Germany, was recently banned due to being excluded from the Natural8 skin for bumhunting, and then making a new account on GGPoker contrary to site regulations.

Fedor Holz explained,

“Dudd1 has been banned initially 2016 from Natural8 with a warning to not attempt to play at “GGNetwork” again. GGs standard procedure after this initial warning is to confiscate funds to disincentivize banned players to return, otherwise there would be no effect.”

While extreme, this policy is purely for the protection of the other players and to increase security.

Bum hunting isn’t wanted anymore.

Hopefully in the near future all real money poker sites will allocate a seat to any player wishing to sit, taking the choice away from them completely.

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