Poker players have been complaining for a long time about short stackers at their tables. Short stackers are “players” that buy into the table for 20 big blinds (compared to the standard 100 big blinds). After buying in for such a small amount, they would implement a system that would make their style of play almost unexploitable. Systems vary but the idea is to play premium hands and shove or fold preflop. This takes away postflop play from a hand and is very irritating to players that buy in for the full amount. It takes away any skill or postflop advantage another player may have. FlopTurnRiver’s own dranger7070 states that, “Having short stacks on your table forces you to adjust to their style of play.” In short, short stacking isn’t “real poker.”
Short stacking has become a growing problem with more and more tables being completely overrun by them. Hands are shorter, pots are smaller, and full stacks become irritated. The quality of the games has been decreasing and poker rooms have been flooded with complaints to do something about this problem. Full Tilt Poker, one of the best poker rooms on the internet, responded first by raising their minimum buy-in at their No Limit tables from 20 big blinds to 35 big blinds. This move has definitely sent shockwaves through the poker industry. Full stack players now had a poker room to go to if their home poker room did not respond quickly. Since short stacks are having such a detrimental effect on customer satisfaction, online poker rooms can no longer evade the subject.
Cake Poker is now the next to respond. Cake Poker’s card room manager, Lee Jones, has announced that the regular No-Limit Holdem tables at Cake Poker will raise its minimum buy-in to 30 big blinds starting April 8th. Shallow tables will allow buy-ins from 20-50 big blinds. Higher stakes games will remain unchanged since there are not enough players to support an increase of the minimum buy-in.
Short stackers are slowly being faded out of the game. With Full Tilt Poker, and now, Cake Poker joining the fight against short stackers, it is only a matter of time before other poker rooms get on board to rid their tables of pesky short stackers. PokerStars has said it’s discussing options to alleviate the short stack problem and will make an announcement in mid-April. Other poker rooms will most likely follow shortly. The games are sure to improve as the regular tables rid themselves of short stackers and short stackers are left to their own tables to play with themselves.