If you’re an online poker player you may have, at times, noticed a user sitting at a number of heads-up tables, often waiting and clogging up space.
They are known as hoggers to some, bumhunters to others and other unprintable words to other poker players still. They are, in essence, playing the lottery on an online poker service; waiting to see the type of players they draw at the many tables they sit at.
If they get a shark, they have not won the lottery, so they either don’t play or they leave the table for potential ‘greener pastures’. If they get a fish that means, in their minds, they have won since they see their opponent as ‘easy money’.
They are disliked, quite justifiably, by most of the poker community as their actions are akin to a big muscular bully picking on a smaller, harmless person. Sure, we all encounter a fish or ten when we play poker online, but that is a different scenario to the bumhunters who will only play those they deem to be fishes.
Bumhunting/hogging practices on heads-up tables are set to be a little more difficult to execute on all iPoker networks, however. It comes thanks to a mechanism known as ‘Heads-Up Hogging Prevention’ that was introduced by the network to all of its .com skins
The way the Heads-Up Hogging Prevention works is via a tracking system on the network, which allows iPoker to see if there are certain players engaging in hogging at heads-up tables. Players found to be hogging will have their access to the network restricted and any repeat offenders could possibly be banned.
Such active moves to curtail bumhunters and their practices are welcomed and are mutually beneficial to online poker players, the site and online poker. For players, the mechanism is set to open up a few more heads-up spots to those who want to actually play poker for the sake of playing the game.
For the site, it gives them a greater chance of making a bit more money as spots usually taken by inactive hoggers will be taken by players who are constantly posting blinds and playing hands. Being active against the practice of heads-up hogging may also attract more players to its site.
For online poker, the move also enhances its reputation as a game open to all, pros and novices. Many poker players learnt the game from playing online, mainly by observing and playing with those who welcomed them into the online poker world. Heads-up hogging exploits those who come on want to learn how to play the game, thereby turning people off the game.
As well as Heads-Up Hogging Prevention, iPoker has introduced a few other features. Such features include giving players the capability to sync the poker lobby’s time to their own time zone and the ability for tournaments to have breaks lasting for two days or more.