GGPoker to address rampant tourney late-registration/stalling abuse in upcoming software update

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: October 04, 2023 09:17 PDT

Complaints from players on GGPoker about widespread maximum late-registration and maximum stalling tactics employed by large numbers of tournament players will be addressed in a near-future software update, the company has disclosed.

In an adjustment designed in the spirit of fair play and with the intent of improving the overall game-play experience, GGPoker will adjust how it assigns players to tables as late registration for tourneys enters its final levels, distributing players more widely and readjusting tables even if it means more movement for players already seated.

"Unfortunately, this issue has been a rampant problem in MTTs both online and offline worldwide, and the abuse reported has not been limited to players from certain countries," a GGPoker spokesman stated to PokerOrg. "A [good] way of viewing the problem is that this predatory behavior is more rampant among MTT regulars, rather than recreational friends who may join a game simultaneously.

"GGPoker has warned players suspected of this behavior for quite some time, and our warnings usually have been heard and acted upon. However, to solve this issue more decisively, we will release a software update sometime this month to ensure that every player registering late will be seated randomly, including at tournament tables that are full at that point."

GGPoker tournament lobby showing MTTS you can late reg to GGPoker aims to stop abuse of late-regging in MTTs in a future update

GGPoker solution for 'integrity of the game'

Traditionally, on most online-poker sites, new tables must be created to handle the surge of entering players that occurs as the late-registration period nears its end. It's normally most efficient from a programming and resource standpoint to open extra tables and simply add those newly-entering players to those empty tables.

However, in this long-running situation, larger numbers of players have discovered an exploit, if they land on a table of similarly new, max-late-registering entrants. If all or almost all of the new players stall every hand to the full extent of their action clocks, then a majority of the players are likely to make it into the money at that point. A min-cash might be worth twice the entry fee, making the gambit profitable overall for those who employ it.

Instead, GGPoker is proposing an enhanced seating process, that will insert late-registering players into full tables, and bump others already seated

The GGPoker spokesperson detailed how the upcoming change will work:

"For example, if there are three nine-handed tables in a running tournament:

  • Table A - 9/9
  • Table B - 9/9
  • Table C - 8/9

Currently in both online and offline MTTs, tournament directors would place the next late registering player into the empty seat at table C to avoid unnecessary seat movement. However, this standard procedure could be exploited by some MTT regulars, and is what has been happening to date. Our new process for seating late-registering players will mean that these players will be randomly seated at table A, B or C, even if that means someone playing at the fully-occupied tables A or B will have to be moved to table C to accommodate the new arrival."

The enhanced seating process naturally requires additional coding to adjust what has always been an acceptable industry standard, too. It's an issue that tends to be more noticeable in the largest-field tourneys on the largest sites, which definitely includes GGPoker.

"We understand this update may annoy some players due to more frequent table movement, but GGPoker believes it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the game," the spokesman concluded. A specific date for the software update to go live has not yet been set.