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Manipulating The Deck In Online Poker

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I don’t know who the first person was who claimed online poker was rigged, but I’m pretty sure they’re older than the Baby Jesus. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous wolf-criers and Chicken Littles have turned any claim that online poker is “rigged” into a bad joke in the eyes of many people.

While the vast majority of accusations about boomswitches and doomswitches are likely unfounded, the possibility of altered or manipulated deals is real. If you play online poker seriously, I would suggest that you approach any claims of nefariousness with a healthy dose of skepticism – but also an open mind.

Today I wanted to talk about two recent 2+2 threads related to these issues.

Triple Draw at PokerStars

According to this thread, with confirmation from PokerStars representative Alex Scott, PokerStars has altered their deal in triple draw.

In non-community card games, it’s frequently possible to run out of cards. For instance, if you play an 8-handed stud game, if every player were to see the river it would require 56 cards (plus burn cards). In a 6-handed triple draw game, theoretically speaking each player could consume up to 20 cards each (drawing five cards on each of the three draws), requiring potentially up to 120 cards total (plus burn cards).

Now obviously we’re never likely to see a legitimate hand of triple draw that consumes anywhere near 120 cards. But occasionally more than 52 cards are consumed. In that case, the accepted protocol is to reshuffle the muck and use the discards to complete all the draws.

PokerStars has chosen to alter this protocol slightly. They reshuffle the muck as you would in a brick and mortar game, but they deal out the cards such that no one will receive a card that they have previously discarded. Presumably, before they deal a card to you, they check to make sure you haven’t gotten it already… and if you have, then they deal you the next card.

Quoting Alex Scott:

I can confirm that this is correct. It is not possible to draw a card which you have already discarded at PokerStars, even in Triple Draw.

and

It’s not an error – the decision was made after much discussion and consultation with Team PokerStars (in fact, the original suggestion came from one of the most respected pros on the team). The theory is that no player would want one of their previous discards back, but there is no way to achieve that in a live game. Online, it’s easy, so why not do it?

I have to say, I think this is really quite a bad decision on PokerStars’s part. Here’s why:

  1. Online poker is designed as an explicit analog to brick and mortar poker. In other words, by explicitly mimicking the look of a live game (using the same deck, same table look, same deal, same betting structures and rules, even going so far sometimes as to recreate fake dealer boxes), online poker sites are also making implied assurances that the game will behave like a live game as well. In other words, that the cards will be dealt in a random manner and that each card is equally likely.
  2. In a live game you could (and would) never deal the cards according to the rules PokerStars now uses for triple draw.
  3. Therefore, this rule change betrays the implied assurance that PokerStars accurately simulates live play.

I find Scott’s shrugging rationalization bothersome: “The theory is that no player would want one of their previous discards back…”

Well, no player wants to get dealt 7-2 in hold’em either. Maybe PokerStars would be more fun if no one ever got dealt offsuit trash hands.

Now one might quibble with my analogy in that removing offsuit trash hands would have a huge effect on the game while this alteration to the rules of triple draw is (admittedly) a pretty minor one. But I think the difference between the two is in degree, but not in kind. They are altering the deal to juice the game – albeit in an extremely minor and subtle way.

If you are tempted to ask, “Why not? What harm could it do?” I would ask, “Why?” If the change is minor and subtle, why make it at all? Why break that implied principle that online poker should simulate live poker for such a silly reason?

I see no reason to manipulate the deal in this way or any other for any reason. Making players happier is a terrible reason to manipulate the deal. Indeed, the rule change itself bothers me less than the justification of it. The same justification could be made to support other deal manipulations that could have effects the PokerStars people don’t fully comprehend… or that they do comprehend and benefit from. In my opinion it’s best not to open that can of worms at all.

A Doomswitch For Regulars?

PokerStars gets the finger in another 2+2 thread. This time some regular posters are suggesting that they and some of their friends who are also regular players experience significantly worse than expected results in all-in pots. Basically the thread raises the question that perhaps PokerStars has a built-in doomswitch designed to cut into the winrates of successful regular players by intentionally screwing them sometimes when it deals out cards in all-in pots.

I have seen no evidence thus far that convinces me in any way that PokerStars has implemented this policy.

I don’t really want to talk about the murmurings on 2+2 about PokerStars and regular players because I have no documentation or specific knowledge with which to pursue that topic. But I do want to talk in more general terms about deal manipulation.

There’s two things I’m pretty sure about:

  1. Manipulating the deal in software is a nearly trivial task.
  2. Poker rooms have both a short and long term financial incentive to tweak the outcomes of hands.

The first point is relatively simple. Any logic that you can think of regarding who should get what cards and how often and in what situations these tweaks should occur can be translated relatively easily into code. To implement most tweaks, it would require less than one day of work for just one developer. If the code needs to be hidden, that could take a little bit of doing, but there are numerous available ways to hide code that are clever and nearly undetectable.

Simply put, it’s entirely doable for any online poker room to “alter” its deal in any way it sees fit and also to hide those changes effectively from a standard, moderately thorough third party audit or inspection.

Can they? Yes, they can.

Would they? In my opinion, they might.

No-limit hold’em is the most popular online poker game right now, and online poker rooms are stuck spreading it whether they like it or not. So far it’s done well for poker rooms, but at the same time it’s not a perfect game from their perspective… assuming a perfect game would generate the maximum possible revenue for them over the medium-to-long term.

I’ve seen it suggested numerous times that online poker rooms would like to see the “fish” come out better than they do in a typical online no-limit game. The theory is that the longer the fish stay in action, the more tables will be going at a time, and therefore the more rake the cardroom will net.

I think the actual dynamics are a little more complex than that, but it seems a relatively easy conclusion that there are some tweaks that a cardroom could make to the game to improve its profitability. Whether that might be tweaking the game to favor fish or some other change, I think it’s essentially undeniable that cardrooms do have some financial interest in altering their games to improve profitability.

So they can do it, and doing it (intelligently) would probably make them more profitable. Sounds like something most businesses would jump at. Yet we online poker players generally assume that no poker rooms are, indeed, altering their deals. Why do we assume that?

Do we think the guys that own these sites would never stoop to something so dishonest? Probably some owners are honest enough, but obviously it’s laughable to assume that all owners of online poker rooms are cut from the most ethically upright cloth available.

Do we assume that the risk of getting caught wouldn’t be worth the extra profit? Many people do assume that, but I think the assumption is flawed for two reasons. First, greed commonly overcomes common sense. Even if it were true that the risk would be too risky, that’s not going to stop some people. Second, I don’t think it’s necessarily true that it’s too risky. If the tweaks were subtle enough, and possibly if they were varied from time to time, it could be very difficult to detect them to any reasonable level of confidence just by analyzing collected hand histories. It’s entirely possible they could do it for years and years and never really risk getting caught.

Bottom line. Do I think online poker is rigged? Not really at the moment. At least good players can still pull a very nice (and fairly consistent) winrate out of the games. But there’s probably some cheating and botting that cuts into any regular player’s winrate. And there may be some subtle deal manipulation on some sites that also cuts into regular players’ winrates as well. I really don’t know, and frankly no one else does either.

I do know that manipulating the deal is relatively easy to do, and I also know that it quite possibly could be profitable to cardrooms to do it. Do I trust them not to try? Frankly, I don’t.

I see no reason to strip naked and go running through the streets screaming, “OMG IT’S RIGGED!!!1″ But I think it’s entirely responsible for all regular players to examine the data periodically and try to uncover any irregularities. If you don’t find anything, great. But I won’t be too shocked if one day we find out that someone, somewhere, has been playing some tricks with the deck all these years.

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294 Responses to “Manipulating The Deck In Online Poker”

degenerate bluffer
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:54:11 AM
1

Ed I think you are right on the money here in terms of your analysis of the incentives for the card rooms. Keep the money sloshing around.

I have no hard evidence but I swear there must be a three-outer/dominated hand algorithm in place for heads up no limit at Poker Stars. It feels like 70% of the time I get all the money in and get called by a dominated hand (AK vs A5) for example the three-outer will hit. In the long run I should win in this spot about 70% of the time but I only seem to win about 30% which is really flipped odds wise. The phenomenon is so uncanny and consistent that I am afraid to get my money in even if I am really confident that my starting hand dominates my opponents likely calling range. It makes playing big aces really scary in heads up.

Daniel Stutzbach
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:03:59 PM
2

I’m not sure how third-party auditors examine an online poker room, but if I were an auditor, I wouldn’t just look at the code. I’d also examine the results of all the all-in situations and perform statistical tests for bias. On sites that allow data-mining, virtually anyone could perform this kind of analysis.

Nico
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 01:59:31 PM
3

“occasionally more than 52 cards are consumed”

Please let us know how often this occurs.

“Therefore, this rule change betrays the implied assurance that PokerStars accurately simulates live play.”

I have a much bigger problem with sites that do not handle blind/button logic correctly.

Also, ever bet 194.53 in a live tournament or cash game? Didn’t think so.

Up to now, you posts have been pretty good. But this entire post is just not sitting well with me.

And your first two commenters are not helping.

Diz
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 04:20:31 PM
4

Well, pokerstars is not only poker room. I dont know so much about virtual poker bussines background, BUT lot of rooms have not own software, they even dont manage money resources at all. Todays poker rooms are just marketing departments. (Titan, Expekt, TonyG or Marmaid, Heaven, Paradise) If there is separation between these blocks its much harder to manipulate it (of course still posible)

ad reality simulation, bossmedia’s software limit holdem, unlimited raise count is really horrible

JJ
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 04:58:35 PM
5

i notice on pokerstars, it seems the Chip Leader in a heads up pot usually wins the hand…you can have 92 vs 55 and the 9 will hit for the chip leader the majority of the time.
I’ve seen it happen way too often that it seems rigged….but either way, I still play because it’s fun.

MJS
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 05:03:55 PM
6

I think this is just a small effect that exerts itself continuously over small samples.

Here is my post on the 2p2 thread:
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/28/internet-gambling/official-poker-site-data-analysis-discussion-thread-264915/index24.html#post6293682

JJS
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 06:20:49 PM
7

Ed> “…greed commonly overcomes common sense.”

Certainly true, as seen by the UB super-user scandal. Common sense dictates that you don’t call a huge all-in with only a 10 high and expect that no one will ask questions, but they did it and got found out because of it.

That kind of blatant cheating can be found out, but other lesser things are probably easier to hide. So yes, they very well could be doing some things to increase their profit and we would never know.

Lorin
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 06:40:54 PM
8

Ed,

I have to agree with Nico here. I think pretty much everyone understands the financial incentive for the online sites to tweak the deck and although it was informative from a purely academic standpoint, your most recent post is only adding fuel to the fire for the conspiracy theorists who prefer to make claims of cheating rather than focus on improving their game. I think it is safe to assume that the anecdotal posts from “degenerate bluffer” and “JJ” are just the first drips of a coming cascade of ridiculous claims that will now seem justifiable because a noted poker authority has given them weight.

Although it is clearly not your job to corral the fish for the sharks, unnecessarily scaring them without any kind of evidence is counter-productive. In fact, although I agree that it is possible, I hear this claim over and over again mostly from lousy players who could only beat a weak home game at best– pretty much all of whom have never bothered to track their online results. I think that this kind of anecdotal evidence speaks volumes more than what is “theoretically possible.”

Joe Knott
@ Wed Sep 24, 2008 08:17:42 PM
9

hey.

all these stories about how this or that pokerroom is rigged sound really funny to me, actually. look. namely pokerstars generate profit of definitely millions of dollars per day and there is just no reason to believe that they have any interest in getting $10.000 at max (the effect can’t really be much better than this – cutting the winrate of regulars has just some kind of semi-effect by giving the money to worse players who will put the money into the rake a bit more likely, not for sure though) for ANY kind of risk… that’s just SO ridiculous.

but then again, i just lost with my pocket kings against pocket eights when another king appeared on the flop… with two eights along.

RIGGED definitely.

Greyzy
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 02:31:40 AM
10

Ed,

I like your analysis. There’s one aspect you haven’t touched: the programmer.

If an executive gave a programmer the task to implement those “rigging algorithms” (and also to hide them) wouldn’t that make the executive vulnerable to blackmail by the programmer? Imagine the huge loss a site would have once a proof of rigging would materialize (especially if the proof is presented by the guy who wrote the code).
What if the programmer gets the order but chooses to inform the media instead of implementing the code?

Thinking about it: if I ran such a site I would try to have some kind of check in place that prevents the programmers from implementing code so that a single player (they themself or someone they collude with) can manipulate the game. Do you know if there are such processes in place?

Greyzy

Eric
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 05:39:36 AM
11

When people tell me that online is rigged, obviously, duh… I think to some of the nearly impossible hands I’ve seen in live play recently ..

QJ flops AKT, K9 goes all in, QJ calls, turn 9 river K
K4 goes all in to my AA, board runs 44KKK
44 goes all in to AA, board runs A44xx

of course there’s the quad Aces against Royal on TV that everyone’s been talking about …

Eric
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 05:43:56 AM
12

“Common sense dictates that you don’t call a huge all-in with only a 10 high and expect that no one will ask questions, but they did it and got found out because of it.”

Apparently you don’t play much poker :D

Ben Attenborough
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 08:58:27 AM
13

Ed, I think we have to be a bit careful about this. You mentioned going through hand histories looking for anything suspicious but it’s very hard to know what is shady from what is not. The other night I had pocket kings beaten by AK twice (all-in preflop) and pocket queens beaten by pocket 77s (also all-in preflop). This happened at the same table within 20 minutes. suspicious? Or just an unfortunate set of events?
At the end of the day some incredible bad beats happen in poker, and you will see loads of them if you multi-table online. Something may have a 0.05% chance of happening but that doesn’t mean it was cheating.

pablo
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:52:33 AM
14

I do trust them. They would probably love to tweak the games, but I would say “additional winnings by tweaking” is lower than “probability of getting caught * consequences of getting caught”.

On the other hand, it is extremely unlikely that a player can detect those little unfair adjustments, if there were any, so I wouldn’t bother making statistical data mining on your playing logs.

ShoNuffHarlem
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:58:12 AM
15

The one problem is when you say they have a financial incentive to alter the code to alter the deal in some instances. I disagree with a large site (such as a FTP or PokerStars).

The value of a little incremental profit could be no where NEAR the potential catastrophic loss if this was ever proven. Its hard to argue that a business making over $50 million in profit a year, based entirely on the trust of their “game”, would risk that for an incidental (what are we saying here? 2%? 5%) amount of extra profits. Its possible with a smaller poker room, but you have to impute very good business sense on the biggest of poker rooms – and this equation is easy for them to make.

That being said, there should be outside auditing companies for additional verification.

Ed Miller
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:24:14 PM
16

Ok, a few thoughts:

1. Detecting a tweaked or manipulated deal is likely to be essentially impossible without running a statistical analysis over very large numbers of hands.

To the guys who said that the deal “feels” rigged because this or that improbable thing always seems to happen… unfortunately the human brain is notoriously bad at correctly evaluating statistical data on the fly. The data always tend to “feel” more improbable or outrageous than they actually are if you analyze them objectively with a computer.

In fact, I would go so far as to say to the guys that suspect their deal may be rigged that you are almost certainly NOT on to something.

And likewise, to the people that suggested that you can’t accuse a site of being rigged based on a few hand histories… I’m with you 100%. All sorts of strange things will happen when you play a legit, unrigged game of poker, and I would actually be more concerned if nothing strange ever seemed to happen.

(FWIW, even though any particular strange event might be highly improbable, there are millions of distinct strange events that could occur… and the chance that one of those millions of events occurs is actually not very unlikely.)

2. I reject the argument that my post could damage poker by adding fuel to the cries of “OMG IT’S RIGGED!!!!” First, I pretty clearly said that the vast majority of these accusations are unfounded, so it’s hard to see how I could be supporting them. And beyond that, the “it’s rigged” people aren’t going to change their minds no matter what I say.

3. I also emphatically reject the argument that the risk/reward ratio isn’t there for poker rooms to try this, so they wouldn’t dare. History is buried waste-deep in stories of people who did indeed risk it all for that extra 5%, that extra 10%, and lost spectacularly. Greed is nearly all-powerful with some people.

Even if YOU would never, ever make the decision to risk your company for extra profit, I think it’s extremely presumptuous to assume that NO ONE would.

Beyond that, I’m not sure we’re talking about just an extra 5% profit. In the short term we probably are. But over the long term we could be talking about the difference between the critical mass of no-limit games drying up in a few years and the games lasting significantly longer than that. The future of online no-limit in the 3-5 year term is far from clear at this point. It could still be big business, or it could be almost gone.

Say a poker room manager (even at an enormous room) noticed that their games were slowly drying up. From that fact they predicted that most of their games would be gone within two years. You don’t think that some managers might resort to tweaking the deal to try to prevent that from happening? I (perhaps cynically) think that the majority of them would do just that if they felt it was the best way to try to sustain their business.

4. Finally, to address Greyzy… the amount of coding we’re talking about is likely quite minor. Any of tens of millions of people would be qualified to do it. I believe in many cases the original coders of the poker software also hold equity stakes in the cardroom businesses… so naturally they would be the perfect insiders to implement the changes. But failing that, I think a resourceful ownership could likely find a “safe” way to get this up and running.

I don’t think the sky is falling by any stretch. But I also don’t want to see a large segment of the poker community stick their heads in the sand about this sort of thing. The number of “this could never happen” comments I got to this post suggests to me that this topic is worth discussing.

Ed Miller
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:34:38 PM
17

Nico,

I have no data about how frequently a reshuffle happens online. The best I can say is that it definitely does happen sometimes.

Agree that the blind/button issue is bigger. That one is a real stinker. However at least that one is out in the open. I dislike the shuffle getting mucked with because it’s hugely unobvious.

Interesting point about the betting increments. It’s funny because, coming from a predominantly live game background, the betting down to the penny actually used to annoy me a fair bit. But then I realized that online you never have the arguments about which chips are in play and which ones aren’t (in a $5-$10 game played mostly with $10 chips, generally speaking $5 chips play but $1 and $2 chips don’t, which can get confusing). So I somewhat grudgingly accept that this difference has merit. And, again, it’s out in the open, not hidden like an altered deal.

FWIW, I don’t think the triple draw thing is a huge issue… but to me it was a bad decision made for a bad reason, and I just felt the urge to write about it.

Pim
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 03:44:01 PM
18

It is a fact that the rooms have an interest in having a large pool of players in their room.

It is also a fact that the rooms can manipulate play in such a way that players will stay in their room as long as possible.

It is a fact that pokerrooms make enormous profits with online poker.

In such an environment pokerrooms are automatically suspicious without independant supervision. It is not without reason that even state lotteries are supervised by a notary.

To think that these offshore pokerrooms with million (billion?) dollars interests and no notary supervision will not manipulate is very naive.

Natcheztoo
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 06:04:48 PM
19

My concerns are much more mundane than all the the ones above.

I have asked sites about the randomness of the deal. They all say it is random. But, every time I fold a good hand in early position and I see that I would have busted someone, I wonder. Are they really random.

A collory to this is: If Hold’em is so easy to code and deal online, why do away with the burn cards? Doesn’t that affect the so called randomization? Come on! The burn cards could be popped out there so fast that the players would hardly know the difference in time.

How could the hand or deck be right without the burn cards coming out?

Even if they dealt the burn cards all you’d have is their word that the deck was randomized.

Just make it look more kosher to make me feel better: put the burn cards on the table.

Natcheztoo

JJS
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 07:11:09 PM
20

Eric>”Apparently you don’t play much poker :D”

Well yes, anyone who has read my previous posts knows that I don’t have as much time to play as I would like. But that doesn’t matter here, because what I said above is factually true.

The UB superusers were found out when one of them, it might have been NioNio but I’m not sure, called a heads-up all-in bluff with only 10 high and won. He knew his 10 high was good because he could see his opponent’s cards.

And that’s just one example. These guys pulled moves like this all the time. After the above move, the other guy got suspicious and asked for the hand histories for the whole tournament. It was this that led to the discovery that NioNio could see everyone’s cards.

Their cheating was so blatant that anyone with any common sense at all would know that they couldn’t get away with it forever. Nevertheless, they still did it. That was the point I was trying to make.

DR. DOOMSWITCH
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 08:55:04 PM
21

I have been following the 2+2 “DOOMSWITCH FOR REGULARS” discussion a bit.

Here is my theoretical question :

If it was really true that the winning regulars are constantly beeing sucked out in all-in situations vs. losing players that make a -EV all-in push or call, how would this affect this winning players longterm winrate ?

Would this really be a “cut into the winrate” of the winning player, for the benefit of the fish and the pokersite ?

This manipulation would protect the fishes from going broke to soon, maybe making them believe they crush the game for a while.
The later they go broke, the more time they had feelings of success, the more likely they will come back making a new deposit.

So on second sight, wouldnt this manipulation be in favor of the winning player, secretly increasing his winrate by making fishes come back, come back, come back, … ?

Lorin
@ Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:00:53 PM
22

To address the last post by JJS, the reason that those cheaters were caught were because of the reason stated above. But yet how often have you ever had your bluff sniffed out in an all-in pot by 10 high? Myself? Never. It might happen occasionally where a min-bet was made simply so someone could see your cards- in fact, I have done this myself on occasion.

But let me actually add something here: the reason I don’t like this post is because I have a close personal involvement with the subject matter. You see, both my father and uncle were pretty much some of the pioneers of online poker and both of them won big back in the old days. They both each read Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones and Hold’em for Advanced Players by S&M. They played tighter than the other players, kicked some ass and took names, and then pretty much sat around and expected the same results over the years even though they stopped actively trying to improve.

Neither one of them has ever posted or read anything on forums, has not kept up with the literature, never done a simulation, tracked results, or just about anything that someone who is expecting to achieve professional results would do. Now they both play at the lowest limits they ever had and bounce around from site to site every time they lose with AA twice in one day.

Why? It’s rigged! That is what I hear over and over again and I constantly find myself defending the integrity of the sites and point out to them the things that I do differently that they choose not to do and the much more difficult nature of the modern online game.

But they keep choosing to take their business elsewhere in search of the elusive “random shuffle.” Bottom line? Selective memory of this type CAN cause a site to lose business.

This leads to my second point that I am sure that you (Ed Miller) will agree with. A site NEEDS to have winning regular players to start games and keep them going. If the regulars keep getting cheated by the doom-switch, they will probably eventually get suspicious and take their business elsewhere.

While I certainly can not prove which direction is true, I don’t like the idea of propagating conspiracy theories because new players already have enough reasons to fear putting their money online and getting started.

http://smallstakeshero.blogspot.com

Bill Rini
@ Fri Sep 26, 2008 08:48:45 AM
23

Hi Ed,

Interesting article. Almost everthing has some sort of incentive. I need money, the bank has money, so there exists a financial incentive for me to rob the bank.

The issue is whether the reward is worth the risk. And for most companies, it is not.

As anybody who has worked in technology can attest; everything is possible in theory. Your example of how a room could fix the game does work in theory. But as Greyzy points out, now you have greed factored in. The programmer blackmails the CEO (or whoever ordered it) which would ultimately negate the benefits of having done it in the first place.

Whenever I’ve had this discussion with someone I’ve noticed that it looks true at 50,000 feet but when you start asking questions of exactly how one would go about it then things start to get murky and eventually the other person simply declares “I’m sure there’s some way to do it.”

The one question that nobody can seem to answer for me is; how do you make a change that is so small it would be impossible or difficult to detect yet would produce such an outcome that would have some sort of substantial impact on company performance?

It is very easy to rig a single hand. It is more difficult but relatively easy to rig the game for a specific player. However it is far, far more complex to rig the game in favor of thousands of poor players.

You’re not fixing a single hand. That would do very little to extend the life of a poor player. So you would have to fix many hands in order to keep the guy in the game. Likewise, fixing the game for a single player would have very little impact on your bottm line numbers so you would have to fix the game for thousands and thousands of players.

So now you’re rigging tens or hundreds of thousands of hands a day. I don’t think you can hide that. Or if you could, your entire poker room would be devoted to keeping track of what was dealt to every player so you could try to balance out the fixed hands.

Until someone can answer those types of questions I have a hard time buying the rigged deck argument.

Bill

Ben Attenborough
@ Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:01:24 AM
24

So the question is what should we do to protective ourselves?
I believe the Ulimate Bet and Absolute Poker issues have shown us the industry needs more regulation and the poker sites’s inner workings need to be open to more scrutiny. Clearly this is going to be difficult to achieve especially in America where the Government’s standpoint is to ban rather than regulate.
I believe that the Poker Players’ Alliance should be lobbeying not just for online poker to be legalised but also to be regulated.
Individuals on 2+2 and other forums have done a great job uncovering bad practises but the sort of potential skullduggery that Ed alludes to would be enormously difficult to discover without a regulator being able to examine the poker sites’ inner workings. Would you trust your money in an licensed gambling den? Is there any difference to an online site? I’ll continue to be playing poker online but I think we all need to lobbey harder to get some regulation in place.

fsp
@ Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:36:50 AM
25

First of all, sorry for my english….

I am a small stakes player of cash games and tournaments and this is my opinion :

POKERSTARS is a clear clear CLEAR manipulated site and I think most of the sites i have played it happens just the same but a a bit less scandalous.

I am not talking about probability of wining or not a hand in a all in being clear favourite (80% or more). I am talking about loose a BIG POT AGAINST A BIG UNDERDOG … this is the most frequent fact that happens in POKERSTARS, specially in tournaments. Like some comments say you have AK and the other have Ax and x appears lot of timess (not just 3 of 10 times), and if the pot is big it is very common that AQ wins AK by example. Another clear situation in Pstars is that almos never QQ wins Ax, or almost never AK wins 44-55-66 ….

In cash games, you can see how every fish or maniac get money quickly; probably he loose then in the next hour but HIS STUPIDS CALLS OR MOVES WITH 2-3 OUTS CONTRIBUTES TO GENERATE RAKE. THAT IS THE ONLY THING POKERSTARS WANT : RAKE !!!

If you observe tables, let´s say a very tight table, it is very common some players get big hands: AA vs QQ vs AK or some like that. Really, a few players see flop but MORE REALLY is that 2 of the players get big hands both of them.

If table is loose or semiloose, every draw is favoured. A common case is that you re-raise a limper with your big hand and he calls every raise (it is just the same 4bb or 20bb) and he get piece on flop: with 2 suited cards the donk call any bent and get the draw ALWAYS and ALMOST ALWAYS get his flush or straight, being the same if you protect your hand or not. Or if he has some like Ax he get A on flop. Or if he has Ax and you have AK, he get 2 pair… it is so outrageous !!!!!

In PokerStars this situations happens continuously, at least in small stakes, and I think they manipulated game to generate the maximum possible rake.

My question is:

Is there some decent investigations about ODDS AND BIG POTS in Pstars or in other poker room ???

Why the fish or maniac in poker online connect flop almost alwawys and not 33% of times ?

Is there some public inform confirming with real data that plays aren´t pre-defined ??

Greetins for all of readers and thanks to Ed Miller by his bright and useful blog

Sam
@ Fri Sep 26, 2008 09:17:52 PM
26

I don’t believe that online poker rooms have the integrity of the game at heart. I think it’s far easier to say that the online rooms are after one thing…money. I agree with ed’s points, but there is a much bigger and more obvious problem to worry about, online collusion. While I have never personally seen, I have heard 3rd hand from a few people who have been over at a friend’s house, seen several guys with laptops and sat cards. Sat cards from what I understand assign each card a separate IP address for each computer. The people in question may even have more than one type of internet connection…dial up/dsl, cable, satellite, etc. And then all that has to happen is have the group sit at one table together. This is one of the major reasons why the only thing I play online anymore are MTT…between the possibility of collusion and the possiblity of people cracking the algorithim, an altered deal, etc…which I would have no way of avoiding anyway…it seems to me the “fairest” game is a MTT. Can anybody suggest some software that I can use to find out how often a 70/30, or 80/20, etc hand holds up. Barring the selectivity of the human memory, it does strike me as strange that the odds don’t seem to hold once the majority of the money has gone in the pot. OTOH, suckouts will always happen. It’s hard to know and I don’t know if any statistical analysis I could/would bother to do would have any meaning. *shrug* It’s just one of the reasons I don’t mind driving to the local cardroom and playing for larger stakes b/c I feel the game is much more secure and a lot more fun and social as well…which is a part of the enjoyment factor for me, besides all the strategy that goes into the game.

Slide
@ Sat Sep 27, 2008 05:59:10 PM
27


“It is very easy to rig a single hand. It is more difficult but relatively easy to rig the game for a specific player. However it is far, far more complex to rig the game in favor of thousands of poor players.”

Rigging the game for thousands of players would be a peace of cake. Anyone who has some experience in programming knows this.

Slide
@ Sat Sep 27, 2008 06:14:41 PM
28


It is very easy to rig a single hand. It is more difficult but relatively easy to rig the game for a specific player. However it is far, far more complex to rig the game in favor of thousands of poor players.

Rigging the hands of thousands of players would be a peace of cake. Anyone with a little expirience in programming knows this.

Lorin
@ Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:07:38 PM
29

To address fsp’s post about big pots- this is only “natural selection.” The reason is that the bigger a player’s hand, the more money he is likely to wager on it. If another hand actually GOES to showdown, then the player’s opponent is more likely to have caught at that point.

Ask yourselves this: how often have you been pushing a strong hand like 2 pair or better to the river and gotten heavy action, only to have that other player fold for one more bet? You might be puzzled at the time and then quickly conclude that he must have missed his draw. These hands are then mentally filed away and tend to be forgotten rather quickly. Take this for example:

You raise AK and get called by one opponent. The flop comes A94. You bet 2/3 pot and he calls. Now a 7 falls. Again you bet 2/3 and he calls. A 3 comes on the river and your opponent only has 1 pot sized bet left, so you put him all in. He thinks and then decides that his A5 is no good so he folds. You will never get to see this hand so it becomes rather insignificant. But now suppose that 5 falls on the river and you put him all in and he wins with his 3-outer. This will sting and you will probably curse and claim that these things always happen.

But do they? Just remember that are LUCKY to have the opportunity to see any hand that does not go to showdown. We only see the ones that do, and therefore if a hand goes to showdown, most un-showdown worthy hands or hands that have not improved have already been weeded out by the intense betting, so naturally many of these suck-outs will seem more frequent than they actually are.

http://smallstakeshero.blogspot.com

degenerate bluffer
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 01:23:12 AM
30

Lorin–

Your arrogance is so cute, i just love it when people talk like they are god’s gift to poker. Feel free to insult me all you want if it makes you feel superior. However, you do raise good points. And I can’t comment on fsp’s scenario. But the situation I am taking about is much different. I am not talking about overlooking the fact that people fold their missed draws for one more bet on the river. The scenario I am referring to is very specific. Headups, preflop shove with with a hand that is likely dominating your opponents range. AK vs. A3, or AJ vs A10 for examples. The three outer where they were “drawing” preflop when they put all their money in. And heads up most people seam to play any Ace like it is pocket Aces. This three outer is a situation where the dominating hand should win 70% or more of the time but “seems” to lose about 70% of the time. I am keeping a tracker of this scenario but I would have to play a lifetime of poker to create a hand history that is even relevant for discussion. And moreover this scenario is so common for me that the only way to improve my headsup game is to avoid this scenario altogether. And that means not even shoving with pocket Aces. Wait for two pair or better before I make all in decisions. Which is probably sound advice. The biggest leak in my heads up game is not necessarily playing at negative EV, but rather front loading my play too much and playing more preflop when I should make most of the stack decisions post flop or on the turn. This is a lesson that unfortunately has cost me a lot of money to learn. But it is learned.

Ed–

I fully accept your premise that psychological bias is a factor. Am I am not stupid or ignorant. I am a dye in the wool David Humean empiricist. I need analyzable and verifiable facts. And statistical analysis of large sets of hand histories is the only methodologically correct way to verify malfeasance. But as it is we don’t have this currently so the card rooms must be treated as suspect. I am also a skeptic, like the philosopher David Hume seems to be. I would love to see a regulatory agency publish statistical analysis of hand histories for all hands in a given online card room. The technical feasibility is trivial and the datasets are well within the means of any modern data center’s ability to archive.

To Bill who earlier said that it would take “rigging tens or hundreds of thousands of hands a day.”. Sure why not? The problem as I see it is that poker is not a game of massive edges but rather small edges. Barry Greenstein famously said in his book that he believes has a 3% edge over his game and that this is enough to provide a very comfortable living so long as he is sufficiently bankrolled to play at high enough stakes. So we are talking about small edges here. So again I say why not? The algorithm could be very subtle and not a 100%. Implement the doom switch even 60% of the time and you are going to slosh around quite a bit of money over the long term. The casinos make money with small edges distributed over a very large amount of action. Why wouldn’t the same hold true for online poker? Anyone, who says it is only 5% therefore doesn’t really mean we should be worried, simply doesn’t understand the power of large numbers.

The strongest claim against the conspiracy theory is the blackmail factor. But anybody has their price. And sometimes it doesn’t involve cash, but all means of coercion. The programmer who implements a doomswitch has lots of incentives to stay in the fold and perhaps less incentives to deviate. And more over if the problem is relegated to a small number of actual programmers it is all the more unlikely that they can blow the whistle anonymously. Perhaps it is a dangerous game they play but but the risk to reward ratio does not that often lean towards the the side of good. Just look at the pressures any whistle blower undergoes. It is even worse in an unregulated industry.

That being said I do think Ed and other overestimate the downside risk of malfeasance. Perhaps there is a major risk posed to the online poker industry as a whole. But individual card rooms? What’s the real risk? Say they get caught. Big deal. Close shop and reopen a completely different branded card room and even hire new management to obscure the audit trail. The barriers to entry in this market are not that great if you have the resources to write good software. Poker rooms are a dime a dozen and opening new one is really only a marketing exercise away. In fact I think the competition is so fierce and margins to small that it amplifies the upside more than the downside.

And finally, this is not to be construed as a grand conspiracy theory. I make no such claims because I don’t have empirical facts to support any such claim. I just think the discussion like any discussion about bots or collusion is healthy. It provides the thinking player tools to protect him or herself. And anyone who suggests that we shouldn’t have a conversation like this in the open likely has an agenda. And I am sorry, “don’t scare the fish” is not a legitimate reason to avoid this conversation.

degenerate bluffer
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 01:34:03 AM
31

Ed — it looks like someone is copying your work without credit or attribution.

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.gambling.poker/browse_thread/thread/4f6baad319d20ce3/145f809e0df31f36?lnk=raot

Bill Rini
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 03:50:47 AM
32

@Ben Attenborough: Excellent point and that is one of the reasons why I’m not all that excited about many of these legislative half-measures.

Many of the bills going before Congress basically get us to a point where the federal government won’t enforce the UIGEA. That does nothing towards legalizing it. Without legalization the US can’t regulate it.

Bill Rini
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 04:02:08 AM
33

@Slide: Okay, maybe I should have made it more clear that you need to show your work. :-) I’ve been involved with software development for 17 years and I can assure you that it is not as easy as your two sentence response seems to indicate.

Like I said, everybody is quick to say that it’s trivial to do but nobody can seem to explain how they would do it. I’m not saying that it is impossible but what I am saying is that it’s a lot harder to do successfully than people like yourself make it out to be.

Just walk us through the major considerations and how you would solve them. I think once you get past level one thinking you’ll realize that this is a massively complex problem to solve if you want to remain undetected.

Sam
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 05:23:07 AM
34

Well said degenerate bluffer. I’ve pretty much given up on online poker all together….while hard core statistical analysis is the only way to know for sure…and it could and should be done since it is so easy to do. However until this happens, the only thing we have to go on is our own experience…and I can say that through my own experience there are far too many times my opponent is catching after enough money has gone into the pot to prevent any other outcome than the mathimatically expected one. When I play online I seriously expect to lose 60-70% of the time when I have an all in showdown and have my opponent dominated by anything less than the stone cold nuts. Most of the time this is happening when I have an overpair or a two pair plus hand and they catch trips or two pair on the river. When by all accounts even the stupidest of players should’ve let their hand go at that point. It’s the combined “stupidity” of the players, which may or may not be authentic, and the mathematical improbability of these “random” players hitting miracle cards all too often. Not only can I say that it doesn’t happen all that often in a B&M casino, but the times it does happen tend to happen with the correct frequency, no matter how much they sting. Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that a casino will risk it’s reputation to have dealers rigging the deck for any specific players, as any players would have to be in on it as the rake is the only money the house collects from each deal.

Eric
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 02:47:07 PM
35

@sam and degenerate bluffer:

You guys are just spouting off. There are people with millions of hands in their databases, who have shown no statistical anomalies.

also, sam, the exact reason you say the casinos wouldn’t rig their games, is the exact same reason why the online card rooms would? what?

disingenuous.

Chris K
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 05:28:01 PM
36

I’ve lost a lot of money to people who play any two lately. Overpairs against two undercards that make 2 pair. My winrate has been getting crushed but still play the same game. It just seems when all the money goes in, I lose too often.

Lorin
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 07:00:26 PM
37

In response to degenerate bluffer-

I apologize if it came across that I was including you in the so-called pool of fish. I was not referring to anyone who posted here as such, just referencing those who have never tried it or are just beginning. But I do stand by what I had said concerning anecdotal evidence- which all of it is.

The truth of the matter, at least as it stands now is that until someone actually comes out with the hard numbers, ALL of it is anecdotal evidence. Notice how every post on here is claiming a different sort of deck manipulation. Notice further that if the deck is truly being manipulated, than that money must, by definition, be going to SOMEONE. Yet you never hear the stories from anyone about how incredibly lucky they are at online, or how a miracle card fell down from the sky to save them in a pot that would have completely crippled their bankroll.

http://smallstakeshero.blogspot.com

Eric
@ Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:51:49 PM
38

well, I can say, that as of today, my bankroll has been crippled by four other people hitting miracle cards falling from the sky.

On the bright side, I did manage to NOT get drawn out once today, and that was when I flopped a royal. But I was playing 2c/4c NL and only made about $1.

Sam
@ Mon Sep 29, 2008 02:03:22 AM
39

Lorin, seriously why would you hear those stories? Assuming for a moment that something not completely kosher is happening, through one or more of the possible ways that manipulation could be happening, the people benefiting are highly unlikely to post anything about it…and that’s assuming that they are aware of it. In the case of a theoretical doomswitch, from what I understand in this thread, the concept is not that it is player specific, but that it gives that person that is behind and unrealistically high probability of taking the lead on whatever street it is. This would naturally affect better players more of the time as they will be getting their money is as what they will percieve to be “good” most of the time…and will usually be very far ahead unless their opponent was playing any two and completely outflopped them and crushed them.

One of the common arguements made in online poker’s defense is that b/c you are seeing many more hands in a given time period that you will experience the swings that much quicker…if that is true than the collary is also true that the results should even themselves out that much quicker and the better players should be getting the fruits of their results that much quicker as well. But this isn’t what appears to be happening…and I must say after checking out your blog and having yourself state that you’ve only had 3 losing months out of 46 (correct me if I’m wrong on that)…I would say you haven’t really experienced a downswing…at least not the kind that most of the people here are talking about that has made us so cynical about online poker. I think the only reason you’re not that cynical is based on your results…but when you are continually confronted with all in situations where you get your money is as no less than a 70/30 favorite over the hand that manages to somehow beat you way more than 30 percent of the time, something starts to smell bad. You make a good point about this being anecdotal…could you (or anybody reading this) point us to a program that we can use to do some statistical analysis…as I stated in an earlier post I would love to perform some analysis on my own hand histories but really do not have the computer savvy to write my own program with the formulas to know how to do this. Having a program that could do this sort of analysis for me would be a great help and timesaver.

What about you Ed? Do you have any resources to such a program? This conversation is a worthy one and if what we need is hard facts let us in the poker community start number crunching and combining our data analysis. After all the poker sites aren’t going to do it for us.

degenerate bluffer
@ Mon Sep 29, 2008 04:52:35 AM
40

Lorin — Apology taken. I did not mean to overreact. It is just sucks to watch suckout after suckout happen.

Anyway, you raise some interesting points here. But in some respect I think you might be missing the larger point. These moments of luck are not bankroll making or breaking moments. In fact there are very few of those kinds of moments in poker. A single bad beat isn’t going to break most players. And beside who plays that way? I mean if you have several thousand in an online account it is not like you are playing $4000 sit and goes. More likely one is playing a small percentage of their bankroll in any given moment. About the only exception to this is the player who deposits a $100 in an account and sets it all on the line in a 1-2 no limit game. But at that point if $100 truly represents someone’s bankroll then they probably should not be playing at those stakes unless they purely want to gamble. But what many of us are talking about is specific scenarios that appear to deviate from the mean in terms of outcome. Of course we don’t have the statistical means to fully investigate this. But that is part of the point. The card rooms don’t make that readily available. And until then I think it is healthy to discuss the potential motivations in order to understand how these mechanisms of malfeasance might work.

So specifically to your point the money must “by definition go to someone”.Yes that is true. This is not a matter of my money being shipped to a player who works for the card room. The online card rooms are not conspiring against me to take all my money each hand and put it in there pockets. Mechanism works through the rake. Think of it this way. Say you and I each have $10,000. And we decide to play a series of matches (cash or heads up tourney doesn’t matter but let’s use tourney for simpler math). Each match costs us each $10 in fees so $20 total to the cardroom. Now after a series of matches it appears that theoretically speaking we are both evenly matched. Both have an equal grasp of odds, strategy and equal commitment to playing optimal poker. Is it a good bet for us to continue playing each other online? No. And here is why. Over the long run the casino or card room is going to take all of our $20,000 (10k each). In this specific scenario it would take a 1000 iterations at $20 a piece. But statistically speaking if we are equally matched the variance is negligible compared to the downside risk of both losing $10k in rake. We would be fools to continue playing each other under those conditions. Now obviously the real world doesn’t work that way. There are players of varying skill and so we all look for edges in the game and moments we can exploit that make it worth our time. Otherwise it is purely gambling, no different than playing slots or the lotto. And what we are talking about here is not simple theft in that the card room is taking money from a player directly for their benefit. But sure you don’t hear stories of people getting incredibly lucky and with a miracle turn of the cards that makes their bankroll. But incrementally people get “lucky” all the time. The money gets sloshed around. And through the slow persistent force of the rake the card rooms are enriched. And that is something not as many people notice.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not fundamentally opposed to a rake. Dealers need to feed their families and software developers need to feed theirs. I appreciate the service they provide. What disturbs me is the idea that the random might not be random. Therefore obliterating any ability to have an edge in the game. But let me say that from a game theory perspective this situation is not entirely insurmountable. If I know that there might be “a three-outer alogrithm” in the game I can work around it strategically. The net result is that it just reduces my overall edge in the game. I can no longer depend on those spots where I know I am a 70/30 favorite. But if the conditions are such that I can’t even beat the rake then it is time to move on. And online poker has gotten to that point for me unfortunately. Maybe there are better bots and players out there that are more patient and more skilled than me that are able to turn a profit. Good for them.

@ Mon Sep 29, 2008 01:48:20 PM
41

[…] Whole thing here. […]

Eric
@ Mon Sep 29, 2008 03:18:30 PM
42

degenerate bluffer,

personally, i’m not anywhere near a fantastic player, but i still make hundreds to thousands a month, playing stakes from 0.25-0.50 to 1/2. If you can’t beat a $3 rake, well… they say that there’s always a fish at the table…

DA
@ Mon Sep 29, 2008 05:18:49 PM
43

To implement most tweaks, it would require less than one day of work for just one developer.

It would also take one disgruntled developer one our to spill the beans about what his employer told him to do therefore your arguements are errant.

Lorin
@ Tue Sep 30, 2008 05:39:46 AM
44

To the last two people who I replied to my messages:

This will be fairly brief as I am ready to pack it in for the night and will probably have more to say tomorrow, but here goes:

I should admit that I have had many of those same frustrations, believe me. I used to believe the stories that my father told me, and here is where it first started. 5 years ago when I first started playing, I deposited at UB. My dad was highly successful for a part time player and was playing at some site that no longer exists today, but I was modeling my future career after him. I asked him to help out my bankroll at the time and he agreed to play on my UB account for a few hours. While he had managed to ring it up a few hundred bucks, he told me that he did not like the site because he felt that it dealt out too many pocket pairs to players, and thus would tie them to the pot and thereby generate more rake for the site. Can someone actually infer this from playing for just a few hours? Surely not. But over the years, I had watched the man who’s game I had originally admired’s results tail off his with work ethic. While I would be telling him about the great pots and reads that I had won, I would only hear about the “bad beats” he could not overcome and why his bankroll was going bust over and over again. But then again, if you are playing $50/100 limit with a $1,200 bankroll, how many beats can you really manage to handle? Furthermore, the last time we had had this exhaustive conversation, he was bitching to me how he had gotten tired of poker on Carbon Poker one evening and decided to play Caribbean Stud. He was complaining how the deal was dealt a pair EVERY single hand (true? I don’t know) and blew through $500 in short order.

I then threw back at him, “so let me get this straight: you play a well known sucker’s game and you are bitching about getting cheated? The house edge in that game is a sickening 5%, they will get your money in no time, so why would they cheat? And if you felt you were getting cheated, why did you continue to play?”

Not that is necessarily indicative of poker, but it certainly raises the question: if you seriously concerned that you are getting cheated, why would you not only continue playing there, but do you really trust them enough to park thousands of dollars at their site?!

But anyways, here is a concept that I have been rolling over in my head lately: good players NEVER put bad beats on anyone! I don’t mean this in traditional terms as in being ahead most of the time. The last time that YOU put a bad beat on someone, tell me if you didn’t say one of these things to yourself (be honest):

1) I couldn’t possibly fold that hand, I had set.

i.e. you had bottom set on a 875 board and your opponent flopped a straight, or even worse, you hit a one-outer against a bigger set.

2) I had pocket aces, he never should have called my pre-flop raise with that trash!

i.e. your opponent held 5-3 and the flop was 5-3-3 and you rivered your ace.

3) You should have have raised bigger before the flop.

i.e. your opponent held aces and you cracked him with 87s.

4) I thought he was bluffing.

i.e. you check raised all in with 98 on a JhTh4c board when your opponent held KhQh and you spiked an off-suit 8 to win the hand.

5) I was short-stacked!

i.e. in a tournament your opponent raises QQ and you call for your remaining chips with 75o when you only have 3 BB’s left in the BB and you hit 2 pair.

6) I had 14 outs!

(self-explanatory)

These are only a few examples, but ego defense plays a large role. We have to suffer a bit to realize when we made a bad call or play and got lucky. Admitting to getting lucky means we have to admit that we either have a lack of skill or got outplayed. Not necessarily, I say. In fact, in order to win, I have ultimately determined that you have to not only play well, but you must get the amount of luck over time that you are entitled to. In other words, we have to hit our 3-outers and win our races when we have somewhat the worst of it.

When it comes to tracking, I can say this much: I hear often in casinos that aces never win or ridiculous things like “I would rather have JJ than AA.” After looking through my results on pokertracker, there is one thing that I see time and time again, and that is:

1) I make far more money with AA than with any other hand, no matter the limit or type of game.

2) I make the second most amount of money with KK.

http://smallstakeshero.blogspot.com

SteadyPlayer
@ Wed Oct 01, 2008 02:36:41 PM
45

Hi,

First my english is poor:)

I played over 3 000 000 hands since 3 years, easy to see it is rigged :)

you get to a situation you know you will not win this pot… before seeing the river… and you cannot fold.

Why? because you are $ ahead and you have a winning account.

It is a pattern.

Your hands hold the first 20 minutes to make you believe it will be a good day and after that it is the setup, then you are frustrated by the weird play who just bad beat you. You continue to play and you realize suddenly you are playing since 4 hours and you are even.

90% of the time you play more than 4 hours you lose and 90% of the time you are ahead in the first 30 minutes..very frustrating to not be able to put the hours in a game you like.

yes i can beat the game, you need to beat the software not the players.

When i ask the poker room why my account is rigged the first thing they say is “You are a winning player!” the only thing i can reply to them is “Do i need a losing account to have my share of luck?”

Try to gamble 10 hands in a row with a player who have a VPI$ 50+ and is willing to call. he will take you your last 3 days of winnings so fast.

Anyways easy to see it is rigged, i think the only way to prove it is to have a programmer telling it. Maybe if we build a jackpot who increase by 100$ each time a player join until a programmer cannot resist when he see the jackpot is 120 000$ and prove it :)

“The more you suck the more you flop”

Suedhead
@ Wed Oct 01, 2008 05:04:19 PM
46

Ed, thanks for discussing this issue which not many people employed in the poker industry seem to want to. I agree the incentive is there, you just have to look at the amount of money sites spend on trying to sign people up in the first place. The other major challenge for them is holding onto players. Anyone who’s ever kept a buddy-list of soft players can see how the sites suffer from quickly losing existing players. Considering how much they spend signing players up, they must’ve thought of ways of better holding onto players.

As a programmer, I also agree it is trivial to implement. Let’s say I’m a winning player and I get all-in against a weak player the site wants to keep around a bit longer. X cards in the deck help my opponent, Y cards help me. The software can simply move one of my cards to the bottom of the deck, so now it’s X vs. Y-1, and deal the rest of the hand out randomly. It’s very hard to prove because I’m still winning the hand a certain amount of the time, just not as much as I should.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but the answer to the questions, do the sites have:
a) the motivation
b) the means

The answer to both is yes.

Lorin
@ Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:52:37 AM
47

To degenerate bluffer:

Yes, I understand the theory behind the cheating scandal. Players stay around longer because they get the occasional suckout. And I agree with Ed that if this were happening, it would be undetectable. But what I am trying to say is that people everywhere (and on this site) are claiming that it IS detectable and are offering varied scenarios. If this were indeed true, then there should be an army of lucky losers who can also stand up and say that they do better and get luckier online than they do in B&M’s.

But as everyone here knows, this never occurs. It is a one-sided argument and everyone is claiming to get cheated- no one remembers their lucky hands or as stated in my last post, good players always have a justification for sucking out. The argument of cheating being possible is strong, but the argument of it actually happening as of this moment is very weak.

Whistleblower
@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 01:33:41 AM
48

Loren states “The argument of cheating being possible is strong, but the argument of it actually happening as of this moment is very weak.” This is absolutely true. The reason for this is quite simple. Sam’s previous request for what software exists that can analyize hand histories for statistical abnormalities went unanswered. Perhaps this is because such software does not exist. If this software indeed does not exist it is likely because while there are many poker players who are also experts in the field of statistical analysis or in the field of software engineering, there are very few individuals who are experts in BOTH fields (who also have the time to develop such software). So, what we need to actually perform some kind of concrete statistical analysis as to whether online cardrooms are manipulating the deal or as to whether they do have doom switches that they can turn on and off for individual players is first for some poker players who are also experts in statistical analysis to propose a series of tests that can be applied to a collection of hand histories that will definitively show some sort of statistical abnormality (including how many hands would be necessary to prove this). Once we have that, then the software experts among us can actually develop some software that will perform these tests on a collection of hand histories. Once this software has been run on some acceptable data set, we will have our definitive answer for any specific cardroom!

Eric
@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 04:10:44 AM
49

You don’t think Poker Tracker would be able to come up with the data that you want?

Seriously – what would you want to test for? I bet that you can probably phrase a database query that’ll come up with the answer.

jb
@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 06:04:24 PM
50

the most logical, rational article i’ve seen on the topic. kudos and you’re right. it is every players responsibility…thank you very much, will spread this around

SteadyPlayer
@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 08:58:56 PM
51

Just a thought, i am not a programmer or a mathematician :)

I think the software should analyse statistical versus the size of the pot, if your hand held 60% of the time and its normal, then it only depend when it held.

Andy
@ Thu Oct 09, 2008 09:58:14 PM
52

Ok I play online for really, really, really small stakes and often used to think that sites were rigged, then decided they were not, then decided they were etc etc. Anyhoo, after almost giving up on poker all together I decided to stop playing like a donk and either get better or just give it up for good (hard to get rake of me if I don’t play). Now my win rate has improved and i still get the bad beats (it happens). As someone else said previously and I agree with and have seen, the beats in live play are just the same. Give it enough time.

Now as to how would you rig a game so that you can favor one player over another. Well this I have given some thought (not much mind you) and I don’t think it is necessarily that hard of a thing to do surely. In fact it doesn’t even require a site to have to mess with there deal per se, and it would also allow an independent auditor to examine the deal for fairness, honesty yada yada yada. So how would I do this?

Well, I would have my RNG deal me up millions and millions (dare I say billions mu ha ha ha) of hands and store then away in a nice database. Now these hands (and flops, turns, rivers) which have been generated with an honest-to-goodness RNG are legitimate hands, but how I allocate them to a table and to who I allocate the hands within a given round are up to me. So now I can start to do some really fancy stuff with the database to get me that little bit of extra rake, or more importantly, in the event that games seems to be drying up, how I give the cards out in the round.

Combined with my in-house pokertracker stats (mu ha ha ha again: cause ya know they keep stats. I would) I can take some hand (legitimatley generated) where AA gets cracked by some freakin dork of a hand. And who do I give the AA too? Well I give that to the TAG. And the dork of a hand? I give that to some huge VPIP calling station who chases draws. So now the winning TAG has had his stats confirmed and his AA has fallen into the 20% loss crack while the calling station has triumphed with his superior play and knowledge of how to crack aces (I felt my draw was gonna come in, or I knew i was gonna flop a str8 with my 85o)

Now in most cases only one hand wins (sometimes we get ties), so it doesn’t matter if others come along for the ride since we know that ultimately they wont win if they have the courage to hang till the end. In fact we have just made a little bit more in rake :) sweet!

Of course there is a wild card amongst all of this and that is the players themselves. We can deal someone the winning hand and for whatever reason they may fold it and not win. Sweet again! More statistical randomness in the mix (keeps it real to all those dataminers etc).

So now my programmer isn’t trying to rig deals he/she is tracking players stats and allocating the hands from within a pre-dealt hand accordingly. And if I am the site who does this I can send the cards for a round out in whatever order i want e.g. 1) i dont actually care just send em, 2) I care. Send em so the guy who always reloads from off site funds will have to do that :), 3) send em so the games dont dry up (artificially feed the fish), 4) make sure my pros and whales dont leave (dont see the big names or anyone for that matter complain when they win a ton through suckouts and the like. I certainly dont).

For the most part i would be doing number 1) from that list since the game will generate me a ton of rake anyway if i am big enough, but if I do the others only 1-2% of the time then I can hide it in statistical noise and really make a sizeable difference to not only my rake, but more importantly who stays and goes and who is happy on the site. Since ultimately the greater the player numbers the greater the rake and less of 2),3), and 4) I have to do.

And lastly since the hands have come from an honest to goodness RNG an independent auditor can check the deals and will find nothing wrong. Sweet once again.

Anyhoo…..If I was going to rig a site thats how I would do it. No need to get complicated and rig RNG etc.

lovey doves
Andrew

53

[…] Whole thing here. […]

Eric
@ Fri Oct 10, 2008 01:40:08 AM
54

Just to keep the numbers small, say you have a small site with 10 tables running, and a $3 max rake. You’re dealing a slow-ish 60 hands per hour (online sites advertise that they pop 120 an hour, right? well, that’s generally bullshiat, but whatever). Presuming every round around the table, someone is going to get uppity and make a pot with a max rake, so you have a max rake every minute. Your site is pulling in $3 per minute. That’s 180 per hour, 4320 per day, 30240 per week, 1.5Million Dollars per year.

Now, I happen to be online on a fairly sizeable site, Cake, right now. Cake claims to have 288 tables with players seated, at this exact moment. 64 of those tables are below 25c/50c, so probably not likely to ever hit max rake. But they are still generating some rake. So, we’ll take our 10 table figure out to (288 – 64) tables, that’s 224 tables. I’ll just round it down to 200, so the math is easier (and you’ll figure some of those other tables aren’t going to hit max rake every once around anyway) ..

200 tables, with 60 hands an hour, and 1 hand going to max rake every round around, gives us $60 per minute, $3600 per hour, 86400 per day, 604K per week, for $32M per year.

This is downtime for Cake right now, most of their players are on during US Day time.

Think about that – making 30+ million a year with your expenses consisting primarily of staff and fraud detection/preventing. It costs you virtually nothing to add in more tables (in fact, every time someone sits at an empty table at Cake, a new one is automatically created). You have your fixed bandwidth and computer costs, and your payroll costs, and that’s probably somewhere along the lines of about everything.

A medium sized site like Cake is pulling in just incredible amounts of money. Why would a site even bother cheating, unless they were right from their humble beginnings? They’ve got a license to print money as it is .. although i’m sure they’d like a license to print double the money, why bother?

Andy
@ Fri Oct 10, 2008 09:05:11 PM
55

I totally agree with you Eric,

if those numbers are correct then the owners of somewhere like Cake are rolling in it. And as you said with numbers like those I sure as hell wouldn’t risk killing my cash cow. Hmmm maybe I should start a poker client :) I could do with a few million here and there.

Andy

Eric
@ Sat Oct 11, 2008 04:04:58 AM
56

well, I can’t say that those numbers are totally correct, i mean, i was going on an assumption that a significant number of tables are pulling in a max rake every 10 hands, which might or might not be ludicrous, for all i know. but, any sizeable poker site does basically have a license to print money.

Harold
@ Mon Oct 20, 2008 04:51:08 AM
57

Hi,
Being an online small stakes poker player since the early party-poker days (somewhere 2003), there is 1 incident that still today is in the back of my mind:
beating the low-limit games (limit holdem) at that time on party-poker, a railbird (or observer, not a seated player) called my hole-cards twice in row (after the hand) and made the following comment ‘there is no lemon pie to be had on the side of the road'; English is not my native language so i asked for an explanation; he said ‘bananas don’t fly’. What was that!? Someone can see my hole-cards? Someone was trying to scare me, warn me? They don’t like players that beat the game (and take money fast from the lesser players)? Looking back at the hand histories, none of the chat was there!

On rigging the deck:
if a card-room was to ‘deal a second’ every hand on the river in limit holdem for example (discard the one that is supposed to come up but not helping the fish), i.m.o you would never be able to proof this with hand histories. You may find things that deviate (maybe a lot) from the mean, but never something that is impossible (if red comes 22 times in a row on a roulette wheel, that isn’t proof the wheel is crooked, for it is possible). On the other hand, it are people that code the programs; it would surprise me if not a single coder would have opened his mouth by now if the software actively rigged the deck.

SteadyPlayer
@ Wed Oct 29, 2008 02:08:46 PM
58

dont play at ipoker, i am doing a test since 2 month, i am a regular winner since 3 years and i see a lot of people asking if rigged or not.

then i decided to make a test if they can make someone lose and the best way was to give them hard time.

what i have done since 2 month i started insulting the support until they ban my chat and support, i didnt stop by emailing them.

the result lost 5000$ in a row in .50 / 1$
easy to see nera impossible to win now.

if someone want to have my HH to verify let me know, you will see by yourself Ipoker can rigg account.

Got Nutz
@ Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:30:06 PM
59

Thank you . I posted on 2+2 asking if there was any rigged discussion that was legit . Someone posted I should look here , and I am glad I did . Thanks for the discussion !! Really needed.

Just Rounding
@ Wed Nov 12, 2008 01:00:17 AM
60

I’ve been playing poker now for about 7 years. I would consider myself a very decent player. I have beat the NL cash games at the casinos for quite some time along with local tourneys that I’ve been playing in, all said I’m easily 30k plus winner. About 4 years ago I started playing online and at this present time I’m a 12k loser. I honestly have never seen such BS in my 7 years of playing poker live as I have online. I don’t really want to hear about the “you’re seeing more hands per hour” and stuff. I know just like some others have posted when I’m a huge favorite in a hand and this foolish villian just keeps coming and runs me right down. Does this happen live? bet your ass it does, but not nearley as much as it does online. I mean if it did I must be one of the most lucky losers playing live. I cant seem to figure it out, I’ve got peoples betting patterns down cold to the point I’m knowing what cards there holding, but It just doesn’t seem to matter as long as they are chasing that long shot gut draw without even having odds to call It never fails, that lovely river brings this donk moron just what he was looking for. I would be a liar If I said my hand doesn’t hold up alot of times either, but for me anyway in the long run It’s all this sort of crap that’s got me a loser online, and I refuse to accept that it’s me when I’m chalking wins in for the day live. So as I see it YES there is something most definately wrong with online pokers RNG

karbyn
@ Wed Nov 12, 2008 09:03:28 AM
61

> Eric:
>of course there’s the quad Aces against Royal
>on TV that everyone’s been talking about …
OMG … TV poker is rigged!!!

>“Common sense dictates that you don’t call a huge
>all-in with only a 10 high and expect that no one
>will ask questions, but they did it and got found
>out because of it.”
The thing about common sense is that it isn’t so common.

karbyn
@ Wed Nov 12, 2008 09:10:17 AM
62

I think the bad beats happen more often online, simply because players are looser. Looser starting hands, looser calls after the flop, then hit with the trash hand they started with. Generally, and I mean generally, live play is $1/$2 and up. Most online play is much smaller. With smaller stakes, people are more willing to gamble.

In the 100,000 hands I’ve played online, a much higher percentage of the “bad beats” happen at the lower limits.

In fact, I used to play .05/.10 trying to beat that consistently before I moved up. Hard as hell to get from $50 to $200. I quit trying at $120, and I went to .10/.25, where my win rate went up. Not necessarily less fish, just less PF call, flop call, turn call, hit river and blatantly bet. The crap is weeded out sooner. Not always, just more often.

*That* is why I think the “OMG online poker is rigged” philosophy thrives.

kevin123
@ Thu Dec 25, 2008 04:01:40 PM
63

Some VERY strange things happen..

I was in the top 20 in the $50 buy in NL Hold em… The tournament started with about 200 players..We were playing for about 2 hours.

The player next to me was a safe player, and had a chip stack similar to mine. I was waiting a long time for a good hand to play.

I was dealt AA. He went all in ahead of me.. I went all in.

He chose to go all in with 8 4 offsuit..the flop comes.. 44884.

On the next hand he went in with 2 3 .. The flop? 23223

What on Earth are the chances of that? Why would he decide to go all in with 8 4 for no reason? And then again with 23??

Glen
@ Fri Dec 26, 2008 04:28:27 AM
64

Hi,I have been playing holdem for over 30 years played games in the casinos and poker rooms in California when they only spread stud and lowball I know all the odds and statistics on poker seen it go from good players playing to these horrific loose players but thats ok I have taken that into account and changed my play accordingly I have had my ups and downs in poker over the years and could tell you nightmare stories about the game I take my poker serious love it and will never quit it I understand everything you commented about in your article and I have sent countless e-mails for years expressing myself that no matter how good you play certain accounts will never win and I have told them that they have there software manipulated in a way that bad players get rewarded because there the ones that generate all the money for there sites I just want to make sense of all this so if someone can e-mail me and help me with this so I can start playing on line again I would be thankfull the comment is this I get over 50 bad beats a day playing I miss every draw I play I get outdrawn not out played everytime to 3% suckouts outs I play 27 Ive been dealt the second pat hand 3 times in a row and get beat by the same player with a pat hand I can tell you the players they let win all the time when I am not playing I watch and they dont impress me Iam an above average player and have never once cashed out in all the years of playing on line so tell me if its not being manipulated and if its so random like they say how is this possible the same loose players making a living in this and I lose all the time I have told my friends and floorman where I play live and they even say that this is impossible how I play I am well respected where I play if I had alot of money I would challenge any pro to a prop bet that they couldnt win playing under my name because I strongly beleive they cheat e-mail gle698@aol.com

Eric
@ Fri Dec 26, 2008 06:59:12 AM
65

Glen,

How could you be a winning player, if you can’t even properly punctuate and space a message, so that someone can understand it without having to read through it three times?

Here’s what I get out of your message:

“Online poker sites must be cheating because I can never win”

This probably has to do with you not being a winning player.

Glen
@ Sat Dec 27, 2008 05:10:48 AM
66

Eric,is this better I never replied to a blog before sorry for being so inept.I guess your a person who looks for flaws and likes to insult people this is why people stop writing to blogs this is my last 1 for me didnt come on to be insulted only to get some helpfull hints.Ive been playing in live casinos for a living for 30 years and have a wife and 2 children and have done well.I take my poker serious I just dont go on line and play for the rush, because thats how alot of people play on line because its so fast and addicting.When I go on line I look for a table that suits the way I play and that I am by far the better player at the table to give me a fighting chance.I have been playing long enough to know when I am being cold decked to get 50 or more bad beats a day is bs I have tried changing the way I play dosent help.To see a player that dosent play many hands out of know where 3 bet a rock like myself into pocket Ks with 62 off and flop comes Q22 is bs then the player dosent play a hand again for at least a half hour that raises some red flags for me.So tell me Einstein, is it my imagination, no it is not if a well known site like absolutepoker can find a way of cheating these other sites can do the same, by the way I knew they were cheating before they were caught because I would watch the grinder,and Mark Seif play and they would call and cap hands that was not like them when they were house pros for absolutepoker,where are they now after the scandall they dont play there anymore.Thanks for letting me know that my grammar,and punctuation wasnt to good because I havent wrote a reply or letter in over 30 years but I suppose even with this blog you will find something wrong with it because I am guessing thats your personality to find fault and ridicule people you dont know to try to show that your better then they are.BUT THANKS KID FOR THE ADVICE

Eric
@ Sat Dec 27, 2008 09:43:31 AM
67

You’ve never seen anyone do that live? Play like a rock for hours, then call in with some BS, and stack someone (or several someones)?

I just saw that last night. A guy that I KNOW almost only ever plays JJ+, calls a $12 pre-flop raise (1/2) with 2-3off, flops 622, and two guys shove at him, he stacks them both.

This was in a live game.

Actually, right after he did that, I said “Oh My God, Live Poker is SO rigged.” since there was a guy earlier at the table complaining how rigged online poker is.

What you are saying, is that every site online, that you have ever played on, is rigged against you specifically, and that just doesn’t make any sense at all.

Eric
@ Sat Dec 27, 2008 09:49:50 AM
68

By the way, Glen, I apologise for the grammar comment, that was totally unfair, and uncalled for. I had worked more than a full day, and was tired and cranky. Again, I’m sorry on that.

Bill Rini
@ Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:29:14 AM
69

So tell me Einstein, is it my imagination, no it is not if a well known site like absolutepoker can find a way of cheating

Actually Absolute and UB got caught with a flaw in their software that allowed players to cheat. And what they did was not rigging the game. Rigging the game is when the house profits from cheating. Being cheated by another player is being cheated. It happens in live games too. So to say online poker is rigged makes as much sense as saying all poker is rigged.

And for everyone who claims certain things never happen in live games . . . I’ve almost always seen worse in a live game. Watch the televised poker and see massive bad beats.

What about the first hand of the 2003 WSOP with Farah and Hudson with AT against TT. Flop comes AAT? What about High Stakes Poker and Daniel walking into monster hands against the nuts?

Crazy shit happens. Yes a rock might play all night in a tournament and then decide if he can’t get a good stack of chips going he might as well bust and go to bed. He pushes in with a weak hand and hopes for the best. To his surprise the cards go his way and he’s got some chips to play with so he goes back into conservative mode. I’ve done it. I just get bored and figure if I can’t make something happen then I might as well go to bed. The vast majority of the time I lose and I go to bed. Every so often the cards flop my way and I have enough to make me want to play again.

I have said this on my own blog over and over and over and over and over . . . if you think online poker is rigged then show us the stats to prove it. It’s that simple. Show us the stats. UB and Absolute got called out when the hand histories showed win rates of certain players that were nearly statistically impossible. Of the thousand or even tens of thousands of people who claim online poker is rigged not one single person has presented credible proof. Not a single person!

I think one of the things that leads for people to have a gut feeling online poker is rigged is that they don’t get to see their opponents. By that, I mean you watch a player playing really tight now knowing that he’s watching his favorite TV program while playing and can’t be bothered to mix it up in a hand unless it’s a premium hand but his show is over and he’s bored and he starts playing like a donkey. You note a player is playing tight but you don’t see that he’s drinking at his computer and as the night wears on he gets looser and looser. You just remember him laying down some good hands earlier and figure he must be a good player. Or you can’t see his wife just got home and told him that if he’s not in bed in 10 minutes he can sleep on the couch. Maybe he’s been playing solid all night and then he got an email telling him a business deal fell through and he’s on major tilt. Or even though it’s against most TOS policies he decides to run down to the store and pick up some munchies and tells his wife to play for him and she’s a donkey.

All these things you can observe in live play. Online you don’t know what’s happening.

SMOKEY
@ Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:59:27 AM
70

Wow I just have to say as a regular on pokerstars, the triple draw >52 cards news is very disturbing. I’m going to contact support right now and tell them at least from my point of view that i really dislike the ruling of no repeates in a 52+ reshuffle. Yuck!!

acapn
@ Sat Jan 24, 2009 07:48:49 PM
71

Yes, some of the anecdotal evidence is weak. These things happen. Just not so often or systematically. On every site I’ve played on there is a definite point, where my win % goes from over 85% to under 5%. I only play SNG’s and tourney’s and I’m counting any cash as a win. Also, what are the odds of entering a razz tourney and bringing in 30 of the first 60 hands? What are the odds of entering your next tourney, also razz, and bringing in 23 of the first 54 hands? Well, that’s happened to me on FTP. Don’t think it’s rigged? Try trading screen names. 13 people became suspicious. We kept track of our ROI’s and win %’s for 3 months. Then we drew screennames out of a hat and played under them for 1 month. The ROI’s were a little crazy, but the win %’s were far more consistent for the screenname’s than the person playing them. Interesting? Apparently it’s not the people but the avatars that are good or bad players. And I thought they were fictional representations of the people playing them.

Honesty
@ Mon Jan 26, 2009 02:06:18 PM
72

No doubt in my mind the dweck is rigged to reward players with chips over those without.

I am a victom and a benficiary of this fake deck at party Poker. Again and again the hesitation before dealing the river card, and up comes the perfect card to reward the player with the most chips. This ends the game quicker, which provides the site with more money. Theoretically tourney could last for many extra hours, they never do because the deck is rigged. Yesterday I had a pair of three’s all in against the chip eader with a pair of twos. You guessed it, nothing, then the hesitation before the river and out comnes the improbable 2 to knock me out. Happens I would say about 70-80 percent of the time that the chip leader who is behind gets a perfect river card – str8 flush, whatever. I now know if I am ahead, bet recklessly and Party Poker will reward.

bill wade
@ Tue Mar 10, 2009 07:58:39 AM
73

I have played limit holdem for quite a while and have never seen the boom/ bust cycle like there is online. Its not the number of hands per hour.
I do believe there is manipulation going on but you wont find irregularities. One thing I find interesting in what I call a bust cycle is that
you will get big hands quite frequently where the rest of the table folds. I know this sounds a little parinoid but if you are being dealt aces
and kings and everyone else is getting 7-2 off suit etc no one is going to play that hand yet your statistics will look normal as far as distribution of hands.(there are other things like this happening) Im sure at the higher levels things are normal,(30/60 -up) but after doing my own analysis I will not play online anymore.
Im glad to see someone who has some credibility
in the industry at least opening up the dialog.
Thanks for writing about it.

Eric
@ Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:18:44 AM
74

Bill wade,

You’ve never raised live and had everyone fold?

Lee Ace
@ Tue Apr 28, 2009 01:26:23 AM
75

I read the beginning of this page, and yet to read all the response postings.

I have ONE thing to say to everybody!!!!!
ONLINE POKER IS DEFINITELY 100% RIGGED!!!!!!!

I HAVE EVIDENCE!!!! FACTUAL EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE RIGGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

TRUST ME!

I am a statistician in the computer science department at MIT, and I have been playing for the last year and I have noticed a trend. I don’t have time to get into that or I would be here all night. So, I will get to the point. Not only is online poker rigged against you, but it can on the RARE occassion be rigged FOR YOU!!! I always believed and finally I could test my theory out. Remember, my theory had been developing over a long period of time. Anyway, I won a tourney from a site that gave me “free money” b/c they wanted my business back. Basically, I got 10 bucks, and was told this in an email from Absolute Poker, and I went back and played. Well, actually my spouse played first and told me that she was winning, I then took the “play” over from her. I will tell you that I won EVERYHAND!!! It didn’t matter what I had I WON, WON WON. I looked back in the hand history, and I showed in one istant that I won over 15 hands in a row on a 9 person table!!! This is Statically unlikely!!! So much so, that i took advantage on my “hunch/new-founded knowledge.” Here is an example, because I was winniing every hand I decided to call everything. In one instant, somebody raised a 3rd of his stack, and just to prove my point, I called with a 2.4. Well, the flop was KJ927, the person raised me all the way down to the river,and at that point pushed me all in!! Guess what?????? I called!!!!!! This person had AQ. I KNEW I WOULD WIN!!!! I was the short stack at that moment because I would lose only sometimes, and it was ALWAYS to a SMALLER stack!!!!

PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! BELIEVE IT!!!!! IT is 100% RIGGED!!!!

And the evidence is there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stastically speaking against 9 players it is a mathematically impossibility for EVERYHAND of mine to win 15 times in a row!!!! This example is ONLY a sequence of many sequences of what happened throughout the entire tourney!!! I knew I would win the tourney when I noticed that my odds were set to win!! I was hitting EVERY FLOP, and when I didn’t, I would call ANYWAY, b/c based on replay history, I was winning everyhand!!!

RIGGED!!
RIGGED!!!!
RIGGED!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS IS 100% the GODS TRUTH!!!!!! I am so certain, that God can strike me down with lightning if I am wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From
Lee Ace

100% CERTAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! NO DOUBT!!!!!! NO DOUBT AT ALL!!!!!

Bill Rini
@ Tue Apr 28, 2009 01:46:33 AM
76

The last comment makes me wonder what how many standard deviations that comment is from the norm in terms of capital letter and exclamation mark usage.

Typical reply though. Well within the norms :-) It’s the “I have proof but I won’t present it. Trust me because of my credentials.” argument.

Okay then. That’s all the proof I need.

I love it when he says “I don’t have time to get into that or I would be here all night.”

Yeah, because only the most earth shattering news that could ever hit regarding online poker isn’t important enough to waste your time presenting. Far better use of your time to hold down the cap lock key and repeatedly press shift + 1.

Listen guys, I just cured cancer. I won’t go into details because that would take too long so just trust me on it because I took a biology course at university and I’m pretty much an expert on medicine.

hmmmmm . . . .

Lee Ace
@ Tue Apr 28, 2009 02:03:03 AM
77

Okay, I am sharing another post again. I am an MIT statistician. And again it is RIGGED!!!

I finally read most of the post. The point that people are missing that believe this is rigged is that they believe that the “deck is manipulate.”

The DECK is NOT manipulated!!!!! It is the INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS that are manipulated! I believe 100% that odds are discretionarily placed according to many things. If you are a new player, your odds will be set to 75% or more the favor to win on the board. Thus you will hit one or more of the 5 cards and that many times above the next player, IRRESPECTIVE of what he is holding. Thus is you have an AQ and go all in, as I did in the aboved mentioned tourney that I played. I knew I was going to win HANDS DOWN!!!! Even when he showed me that he had AK, I knew I would win!!! i amazed my wife!!! She didn’t believe me when both our hole cdards were displayed before the flop. Well, low and behold, I hit the Q. This went on the WHOLE tourney!! I noticed players whose odds matched mine and i noticed player who never hit no matter what! Some of those people had LARGE STACKS!!!!! Yes, that’s right! Large stacks!! They had these stacks b/c of bluffs!! It was the only way they could win!! These players NEVER hit!!

Odds can be set for you or against you! I played on Poker Stars and after winning a tourney, I consistently was losing EVERYHAND!!!!! I would get one here and there, but far and few in between!! No card, nothing!

Okay, here is the scoop: Sites ADJUST THE ODDS of INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY SLOT MACHINES ARE ADJUSTED!!!! AS WE ALL KNOW SLOTS are adjusted and set to whatever odds that they law allows or without discretion can be set any old way. If you have ever played a “tight” slot in a casino, then you know what I am talking about!!

Well, with that said, there maybe no where in overseas regulation where it says that individualy odds can be set discretionary.

Okay, to address why they do this!! They do this so that they can get “YOU” to spend more money. What happens at first is your odds are TWEAK high to win, and when you do, you have a false sense or confidence!! Once you have this it’s liek a “crack high” that you are still looking for. I equate the “crack high” to that “FIRST WIN,” which is usually obtained very soon after you sign up. Then it is down hill. Your odds will get worse until you lose that money, and then deposit some. Only have you done that does the odds get tweaked back up. I have noticed that trend too. After I lose all my “win money.” I noticed at PokerStars that it takes a deposit of 25 bucks for 5 times before I will win another tourney. And then the cycle repeats again and again.

Anyway, ONLINE POKER is RIGGED. The cards are NOT manipulated “per se;” It is the individual odds that are tweak like a slot machine is, to whatever odds they deem to fit to maximize their profitability, which again is down by installing a false sense of confidence.

Funny thing is that players scream that only loser think it is rigged. Well, finally hear it from a WINNER!!! IT IS RIGGED!!!!!!!! 100%

If they didn’t instill the false sense of confidence in most players, then they would LOSE alot of people. They also pick on people who they know will consitently rebuy, to rebuy, and only to rebuy again. NO matter what hand they are holding. They have software devices that track those that are willing to rebuy. Also, do NOT keep money in your account!! Cash OUT instantly!!! I am not sure that it really matters as the computer software tracking device that can set discretionary odds, probably already picked that up! Now they want there money back.

OMG, it is getting late. I have been writing this for a very FAST hour!! OMG

RIGGED! anybody want to debate it with me, bring it on!I have the evidence, the math, experience, and the insite! Statistics do NOT lie!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is NOT just a hunch! please trust a winner to tell you it is rigged!
Ty,
Lee

Eric
@ Tue Apr 28, 2009 08:02:50 AM
78

lol, retardoments.

Lee Ace
@ Mon May 04, 2009 08:28:42 PM
79

One more thing!!! If you chat online in the poker rooms and state that the site is rigged, you will BE SET TO LOSE!!!!!! TRY IT!!!! If you do NOT believe me, then do IT!!!!!!!
LOL!!!!
By the way, I have no idea what it takes to become one of the sites “fav” players. I suppose if you refer enough people you will be one of the few that gets the supertweaked up odds in their favor. I have no idea. But, I do know this, there are peeps on there that consistently win. And it is NOT b/c they are such great players!!! It is impossible to be great when the game is rigged!!! Or it is impossible to be “bad” when rigged in ones favor. The players are NOT the cheaters!! THE COMPANY IS CHEATING!!!!! AND THEY ARE DOING IT BIG TIME!!!!!! MAY GOD STIKE MY AZZ DEAD IF THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!! And i want to live!!!! LOL!!

Folks!!! HANDS DOWN!!!! IT IS 100% RIGGED!!!! If you have any questions email at mitmathprofessor@yahoo.com!

Thanks,
LEE

Helpme
@ Wed Jul 01, 2009 09:46:06 PM
80

Just started again at UB. Three tournies so far, and here is how I went out VERY EARLY in each one.

I have JJ. Raise in front of me. I reraise, another player pushes all in. A raise, then a reraise, and the guy pushes all in with A4, and flops three fours. I had 210 left, waited for A7 to push, flop was AQQ, he had the Q. So thats two hands Ive played, and trips both times for my opponent.

Second I have QQ on button. I raise 3X, of course, BB pushes his monster A8, and flops an ace. Shit. “Unlucky” again.

Today. A8 limp. You know if I raise A8, Im kicked every time. Flop comes AJ8. Pot bet, everyone folds but one guy. Im telling EVERYONE at the table how rigged UB is. Just coincidence I suppose that the next card was a J and my opponent held it.

Now you tell me, when you flop aces and eights, what is your first thought? Live, my first thought is how can I get every penny from this sucker. Online, my first thought is how will they screw me this time.

How did (seeing now the online player database has dwindled significantly) the Mircogaming network clear a 12000 player free roll in around 5 hours EVERY SINGLE TIME?

How come I watch A4 suckout all day, but AA cant win online? HMMMMMM?

How come, at a certain poker room, I played three MTTs as soon as I signed up there, got second, second again,(two river beats of course), and seventh, won 800 bucks, cashed out 700 of it, and I havent won a penny in three years since? Forgot how to play? Bad run? Guaranteed Variance? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Here are some final table beats:

UB. Three left. I get AA. I lost of course he had 66 and flopped a six. Then AK, I lost again of course, as he called my push with K2, at a final table, and turns a 2, Im out.

Poker Room. AQ. Raise, flop is rainbow with an ace. I push. He has A9 clubs. Like is it REALLY so far fetched to imagine that NONE of the other four players have an ace? You got it, turn club, river club, Im out.

Next night. Four left, I get another ace to flop, this time he runs a gutshot straight. Im out.

Now correct me if Im wrong, but wouldnt most people fold K2 on a final table at UB? Isnt the play supposed to get BETTER the further you get into a tourney? So lets recap, final table UB, three left, I get AA and AK and I lost all my chips. What, wait for a god damned royal before I bet?

Hundreds and hundreds of online poker is rigged threads, each and every one of those players just cant play, right?

So, Im up 700 bucks at this one poker room, but I STILL KNOW its rigged. And I am a WINNING PLAYER SINCE I BEGAN. Including a contract worth 5 grand of buy ins that fell through when the States pulled out.

I really like the morons who defend it. Yeah, it only took me one hand to figure out it was rigged, dummy. Or the OMG my AA lost to 55 OMG sarcasm.

Go ahead. Read Harrington’s books, then play that way online. Guaranteed YOU LOSE YOUR MONEY.

Every single on line poker room is optimized for maximum profit. Unless Bill Rini says it isnt.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:09:39 PM
81

Now that you have expended all of that effort, give us the equal details of all of the times where you have sucked out on an opponent. Guaranteed, your opponent told all of his friends the same thing you just said.

If you feel you are being cheated, stop playing online. Would you ever return to a stranger’s home game where you were even suspicious of being cheated?

http://smallstakeshero.blogspot.com

Anonymous
@ Fri Jul 03, 2009 09:13:38 PM
82

If you cannot feel it is rigged it is because you are a bad player

Lorin Yelle
@ Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:19:03 AM
83

Maybe you are right. I guess the only reason that I win every month is because my 33 beats AA 75% of the time. All that bad beat money must be going somewhere, right?

Dr Zen
@ Wed Jul 08, 2009 01:01:07 AM
84

I play lowstakes STTs. The fish who suck out on me lose shitloads. If Stars is rigging it in their favour, it’s not doing a very good job of it.

Tilt, mind you…

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon Sep 07, 2009 08:58:51 AM
85

I have performed a starting hand analysis for big pair -vs- big pair. These seem to come up often online. The results of this study are here: http://www.securecarddealer.com/presentations/BigHandAnalysisReport.pdf

Compare them with your own personal experience. Let me know what you think.

Regards
Nick

JB Rock
@ Sun Dec 06, 2009 07:11:21 PM
86

Unfortunately you guys are right & wrong at the same time…online poker is rigged…but not exactly how you think…google Paul Westin & discover the truth. The poker sites are not capable of generating every possible scenario that may come up…yes they do favor the fish…in a way. They generically distribute wins equally throughout most of a given tourney…then do give “inducer” hands that are destined to lose to any random hand if it’s not your turn to win…ie KK loses to 68u…I personally railbirded while Paul took 2nd in a random 27 man sng… I wish it were not the case, but online poker ain’t nothing like the real thing…on the other hand, yes it can be beaten…you just have to play it differently…It is predictably random & if you’ve won 2 out of the last 5 hands…better play your premium hands very cautiously.

Eric
@ Sun Dec 06, 2009 08:40:41 PM
87

JB Rock,

Please. Go play some cards in real life, and stay off the Internet.

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon Dec 07, 2009 09:04:23 PM
88

Much like the Wild West, online poker needs a sort of regulation to allow player to know they have not been played. Just like some casinos used to cheat their customers, someone needs to step in with some real regulation. Online gaming in general needs an unbiased 3rd party to generate the randomness of each game. In real life natural law dictates randomness, in the electronic world an independent 3rd party should be involved.

Eric
@ Mon Dec 07, 2009 09:34:42 PM
89

Of course, you’re selling that solution for a problem that only exists in your own mind…

Nick Maiorana
@ Sun Dec 13, 2009 05:28:09 PM
90

You are correct. I did come up with a solution to the problem (or potential problem) in which my partners and I developed the software for. This software not only provides assurance that the card rooms can’t manipulate or control the outcome of a game, it also keeps their employees from exploiting the information about a game (see UB and Absolute Poker for examples of this.)

Are you saying that as the inventor of a solution I should not allow other players to know that there is a way to solve this problem or appearance of one?

Eric, I’m sorry the rest of us are not as brilliant as you and may be overly skeptical of the activities surrounding online poker. But your only contribution to this discussion has been to poke fun at a problem that needs to be addressed. And as they say, if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

All I want is to be able to play online and know that the cards have not been stacked. Today, there is no way of knowing that unless a group of players get lucky and discover an anomaly. I would rather have something in place that does not need such external policing of the situation and is based on solid technology, not luck.

Nick Maiorana
@ Sun Dec 13, 2009 05:34:37 PM
91

Lee Ace, I would like to discuss some of your findings. Please send me an email. You can find it on my website.

Jasper
@ Sun Dec 13, 2009 05:37:48 PM
92

Hello,

Today I had an interesting experience at Pokerstars. I was on a play money table and wrote this down in the chat screen:

(Moderator) Hello all, let me remind you that playing cash games will result in loss of money due to scam practices.
(Moderator) Thank you for thinking about it and enjoy the game!

Result 1: I get anm email from the support team which says my chat is suspended 24 hours and that my account will possibly be deleted due to ‘taking the unpermitted role of an employee’.
Result 2: I lost the 11 pots after the email with incredible suck outs. Like getting AAA and losing on the river by 44AAA.

Conclusion: Pokerstars didnt see the humor and I quit playing online poker because I like a fair game and don’t want my game to controlled by the manipulation of a corrupt online pokersite.

Eric
@ Sun Dec 13, 2009 09:13:54 PM
93

Nick,

Right, but (a) you can’t prove a negative and (b) even if we assumed that this problem was in fact omnipresent, which it’s not, the only proof that you have shown is that you have a significantly flawed dealing algorithm, that uses “security by obscurity” principles to guarantee that no one within or out of your organization can get into it to cheat.

Also, you can pretty safely ignore Lee Ace. “MIT statisticians” will have email addresses @mit.edu not @yahoo.com. They also act like adults.

Jasper,

Ever impersonate a police officer? A fireman? A floor guy at a casino? The guy at the 7-11 ? I don’t think any of those people would be amused by you acting like an idiot.

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon Dec 14, 2009 08:35:44 PM
94

Back to the taking cards from the muck, but determining not to give you back cards you have mucked. That right there demonstrates that they have the technology to deal cards in any order they want. That is precisely what we don’t want card rooms to have the ability to do. Would you trust a BlackJack game where the house had the ability to deal the cards as they see fit? I think not…

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon Dec 14, 2009 08:40:49 PM
95

In addition to this, I don’t like the use of Random Card Generators. If the deck is not shuffled and set before the hand starts, then cards can be manipulated later in the hand.

Nick Maiorana
@ Wed Dec 16, 2009 06:02:56 PM
96

Eric, you might be a bit misinformed. We are not providing “security by obscurity” we have a patent pending process that allows a 3rd party to shuffle and distribute cards for online gaming sites. Our system uses symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms to allow information to pass from us to the player secretly via the online gaming site. We have not opened up our implementation since it not just as easy as slapping together various technologies and calling it a solution. If someone wants to build a similar solution, they can do so without looking into our specific implementation.

In addition to providing a secure method of dealing cards to players, our service also uses an id mechanism which allows us not tie the information about a hand to a specific hand in a card room. This keeps potential internal fraudsters on our site and the gaming site from being able to determine which cards have been dealt to the any of the poker rooms active hands. UB and Absolute would have prevented what happened if they had employed our services.

We have open sourced our shuffling libraries and they can be downloaded, used and inspected at Source Forge.

Jasper
@ Wed Dec 23, 2009 04:44:40 AM
97

Erik, are you working for Pokersites? :-P

I red on a website an interesting article. With reference to a former staffmember of Pokerstars:

”Starting off, when you first registered the account, the program give nice hands (AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ…) The money flows in. Then after the first cash out, shitty hands (62, 72,32,k2) show up constantly. doesn’t matter what hand you call with, you lose all the money back plus the cash out amount before it even get to your bank. This happens everytime.

The “cash out” process also is designed to make you lose more before the money get to your account. What comes in = “good”, money that goes out = “bad”, they want to slow it down as much as possible.

The poker software is rigged in a clever way to keep the balance of cash flow into their site as much as possible. The outcomes are predetermined. Newcomers always are in favored so that they remain on the site. The experienced players or the people who actually win some money are repeatedly get sucked out so that they will try to win their money back, thus, still remains on the site. It’s all psychology…
The software is also good at memorizing your playing pattern which makes it easy to setup hands for you to lose. If you fold hand after hand, The system pulls up from memory the cards that you will most likely to call and give you those hands repeatedly until you call but give then your opponent, who for some reason must win, a bigger hand.

It’s going to be hard to resist playing a pocket Jack or AK suited or sometimes pocket Aces in extreme cases only to get sucked out by a smaller pocket or a bullshit hand. Also, they keep track of your earnings and if you win too much, they will make sure you lose all of it back slowly before you can start making any money again”

check also: http://www.ripoffreport.com/Search/Company/Pokerstars.aspx

—-

Jasper
@ Wed Dec 23, 2009 05:12:20 AM
98

Eric, you are like an irritating bug that flies around your head after a hot sunny day and is drinking your blood :-@

Barracuda
@ Sat Mar 13, 2010 01:06:59 PM
99

The poker engine I use is definitely rigged. Including all of the above-mentioned odd-defying observations, many players have noticed that after withdrawing from their poker accounts, they suffer a ridiculous number of bad beats.

Also, often in a multi-table tournament, the software literally picks off the small stacks. A few times, I’ve seen the tourney stats update to reflect one less player just as a small stack’s all-in is called (slightly dodgy).

Nick Maiorana
@ Thu Mar 18, 2010 07:27:13 PM
100

OK. This is going to sound like a complete sales pitch, and maybe it is. But for 2 years now I have been trying to promote a product I developed which will end the question of online poker corruption. The product is DealGuardian and what it does is take away the shuffling and dealing from the card room.

DealGuardian is an independent 3rd party not benefiting from the outcome of a hand or from players going broke. The card rooms can run their games, just let DealGaurdian do the shuffling and dealing for the games.

Now, the rooms have too much business to need a product like ours, so our requests to meet with them have fallen on deaf ears. It’s up to the players to start requesting the rooms look into using a product like DealGaurdian in order to bring peace of mind to the online poker community.

Sorry for the sales pitch, but when you have a solution to a problem, you want the ones suffering from the problem to know about it.

Thanks

Nick

Eric Blade
@ Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:34:51 AM
101

The poker sites do not benefit from the outcome of a hand or from players going broke. The only people that receive any benefit whatsoever from Nick’s proposed “solution” (to a problem that doesn’t exist) is Nick and his people.

No, I don’t work for poker sites. I am apparently just intelligent enough to realise that Nick is trying to sell snake oil.

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon Mar 22, 2010 08:00:20 PM
102

Hello Eric, nice to chat with you again.

The people posting to this site obviously feel there is an issue with online poker. Unless you want to contribute something of value that answers the question of fair and unbiased online play, I suggest you post elsewhere. Since you are so trusting of the sites and believe that there is no wrongdoing, why would you subscribe to this post?

BTW, that’s what everyone was being told about UB and Absolute. As for poker rooms not benefiting from players going broke, where do you think all that cash that people deposit is sitting? They are not paying players interest on their deposits, but my guess is that those monies are invested somewhere. And if they can get you to deposit more and not be able to withdraw any, does this not benefit the sites?

Eric Blade
@ Tue Mar 23, 2010 01:26:23 PM
103

Nick,

You still haven’t given any reason whatsoever that actually makes sense to anyone, as to why or how, sites would be “cheating”. There is no question, in the minds of sane individuals that aren’t really terrible at poker, as to the fairness of the game. It’s just not even a point.

I think if Ed Miller, the host of this blog, wanted me to post elsewhere, he’d have already asked me to himself, but thank you for inviting me to leave. As far as I can tell, the reason why you would ask me that, is because I’m one of the people who’s actually asking you questions (that you can’t answer with anything other than rhetoric), instead of just flat out ignoring you.

The cheat at UB/AP was not cheating -for the site-. There is no possible way that you can provide a way to guarantee with 100% certainty that that is not happening anywhere. And, by adding in a third point of entry to the system (“DealGuardian”), you’re adding in another point of failure to the security of the system, as well as leaving even more people to be trusted.

I don’t know about you, but I’m good enough that I do get interest on my player accounts. I’ve never seen you play poker, but I’d just have to guess that you’re not good enough to be a consistent winner. And that’s why you think that all the online sites are cheating.

IMO, you should find something else to do with your time, because you’re not going to find anything more than a handful of terrible poker players, who are willing to hang with you on this.

Pim
@ Tue Mar 30, 2010 03:26:28 AM
104

@ Eric

This is how the online poker rooms can cheat, in fact, anyone who organizes a poker game with a rake can cheat this way.

I will make the game simple to demonstrate the incentive for the beneficiary of the rake, let’s call him Cheat.

Let’s say there are 2 players in this game, A and B, and Cheat is the non-playing dealer. Both players start with 100 dollar. Player A is a fulltime professional and player B has never played poker in his life. The blinds are 0,50 – 1 dollar. Statistically, you would expect that, after a certain time of play, player A has 80-90 dollar and player B has lost 100 dollar and the remaining goes to Cheat.
However, if the 2 players have exactly the same skill of play the result would be significantly different.
Statistically, the result would be 50-50. Then after a certain time of play (which would be much longer than in our uneven match) the money would be decided as follows:
Player A or B wins the last hand and the remaining goes to Cheat. Statistically this last hand is the closest number to zero. Therefore, in this scenario of an even match, the (almost)total of the money that has been brought to the table will go to Cheat.

If you are Cheat and you organize a poker game you want/wish the players to be of the same level. You can manipulate this to give the poorer players better cards to even the level out.
Since poker is subject to variance it is very difficult to detect.

Eric Blade
@ Tue Mar 30, 2010 01:23:19 PM
105

Pim,

So what you are suggesting, is that the poker sites analyse the play of the players, determine who is a better player, and give everyone else better cards?

That is probably the second or third most retarded thing I’ve ever read.

Pim
@ Thu Apr 01, 2010 02:41:54 AM
106

You don’t have to analyse the play of the players.
Let’s say player A has 10 outs and player B has 5 outs than it is easy for a softwareprogram to eliminate 5 outs for player A from the deck.

And thank you for calling my thinking retarded. Feedback is breakfast for champions.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Apr 03, 2010 01:05:46 AM
107

That doesn’t even relate to what you said at first – you said at first, that it would give worse players better cards.

Pim
@ Tue Apr 06, 2010 01:51:48 AM
108

@ Eric

No? Don’t you think the bad players are much more often in worse shape (= less outs), especially if the hands get big?

Pim
@ Tue Apr 06, 2010 02:12:00 AM
109

By the way Eric. My point is that this manipulation (eliminating outs) results in the game evening out per hand played. That doesn’t necesarilly mean that the worse player always gets an advantage per hand. Depending on the hand played it can also be the better player who gets an advantage.

But I have never said that the online poker rooms are manipulating the games. I am just saying how it can be done.

James
@ Thu May 06, 2010 02:51:00 PM
110

If you see the “dealer” hesitate for a long time before the river and then deals a 3-outer, I’d say that means there’s a roughly 93% chance the site is rigged (the probability of dealing any other card after the suspicious hesitation).

Eric Blade
@ Thu May 06, 2010 03:13:28 PM
111

lol, what about when the “dealer” “hesitates” for a “long time” before the river, and then deals a blank ?

I’m not sure there’s a single one of you involved in this topic, that know anything about computers, networking, businesses, poker sites, or possibly even poker itself.

Stan
@ Sun May 09, 2010 04:41:04 AM
112

Pretty sure PokerStars is rigged. Have played more than 500 000 hands. NL, FL, PLO, Tournaments … Way below EV especially in big pots against fishes.

not even close
@ Sun May 30, 2010 12:59:56 PM
113

Please read all of this and reply if you like.

At every one, but mostly at Eric

How can you even debate the fact that online poker is rigged. Of course its rigged, the whole world is rigged why wouldnt poker be.

If politians that suppose to run your country are thieves, what makes you think some crimeboss who ownes a bunch of pokersites is honest.

You think once the programmer gets told to rig a site he’s not either a friend who gets paid very well, an unknown who doesnt give a shit because he just got half a million or possible fears for his life if he says something. Endless different reasons behind why we poker players dont hear something.

Why would a pokersite do such a thing? Are you serious!!! Look at pokerstars for example( these figures may be wrong, feel free to give me your insight on what these figures should be). Lets say they have 300.000 people playing, how many are regs and how many are fish.

I would say that about 10% are regs 30k and 90% 270k fish(Im pretty sure there are more fish than regs), you think they give a rats ass about any reg. NO they would rather see you go play elsewhere.

Fish bring in the money and thats why good players cant make a living. Much better to see fish playing fish as the money will always stay at pokerstars and the rake will always carry on.

If it was an honest deal the fish would lose over time to the regs and the site would be left with 30k regs who for 1 dont want to play on tables with 4/5 other regs and 2 instead of making say 1 million a day in rake they make 30k a day. Why rig the deck I wonder?

No point in putting up hands on here, if you just know that your getting rigged. I have played both live and online for a few years, I have to say that the things I see online is just mind boggling.

I have played a live tourney and got dealt pocket AA 3 times in 30 mins and lost all 3 times. Do I think that is rigged, NO, do I think its unlikely YES. It will most likely never happen again, just one of those things. I was dealing the cards so it couldnt be rigged either.

The problem starts though when you start comparing live to online beats/cold decks etc and writing em off as ‘one of those things’. Yes you take a few bad beats here and there online, no problem ‘ one of those things’ right. Having experienced online badbeats/colddecks and bad players calling it of with king high no pair no draw and winning makes you second guess the fairness of the game.

When I hear people say Pokerstars and such have everything to lose and only a little to gain by rigging the deck. I think they have it mixed up, they have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If they dont rig the deck they have no players or next to no players.

Of course pokersites dont want outside programs to regulate the way in that they deal the cards, they wouldnt have any more fish by the end of the year. A fair deck would leave them crippled.

Big sites are regulated? Anybody has a price, you pay these people enough they keep there mouths shut. Iam pretty sure the mafia/crimebosses run these kind of businesses and that us regular people cant do much about it.

Why hasnt someone properly looked into online poker? We as players know we cant beat casino games but we know we can beat poker when playing against weaker players, not online though.

There are players out there who are winning players, sites must have some winners not to make it obvious.

Anyway to cut a long story short if you add everything up and logically think about it, it is practically imposible to think you get a fair deal online.

I am talking about all sites I have played on which include Stars, Full Tilt, Titan, Party Poker, Ladbrokes and a few other smaller sites over a course of a few years. I havent got the exact number of hands but i figure it to be over a million hands both cash games and tourney’s.

One thing I should mention is that I find mtt’s less rigged than cashgames.

I am a winning player but feel I should be winning a lot more as to what I have won.

not even close
@ Sun May 30, 2010 01:25:35 PM
114

A few other things

Yes, if you withdraw money you are likely to start losing.

Yes when you 1st sign up you are a winning player regardless if u can play or not. Looks like they want to lure you in like they would with any casino game(get you hooked so to speak)

Yes I do still play online and consider myself to be addicted. I think the majority of players are addicted and thats why pokersites can get away with this kind of stuff.

Yes I do have hope I’ll get a fair deal eventually.

Yes if you email support about their deal/talk shit in chat/talk shit about oppenents in chat you are likely to start losing.

No you shouldnt have to beat the system ie owh this guy just started playing so i will have to fold aa because i know the site will rig it in his favor etc etc.

No i do not agree with people who say that i cannot beat the game online because my oppenents have gotten stronger. I have improved my game aswell, I look for players I can beat by analyzing their game ie in cashgames micro stakes that should be fairly simple.

No i do not agree with people who say its variance. Poker is a sport like any other, take chess for example. Do you really think a beginner in chess can win a game playing against a tough opponent or even an average opponent. Get real of course they cant. A beginner doesnt even know the moves much like beginning players in poker dont know the moves.

Yes I have played against beginning players in live games. CAn they beat me, of course they can if its down to luck, poker has a luck factor and any given opponent can beat you. Did they have the chips by the end of the evening of course they didnt.

Do i have the chips with online poker at the end of the evening, of course i dont, huh why? BECAUSE IT IS RIGGED..

Eric Blade
@ Mon May 31, 2010 03:09:11 AM
115

re: Not Even Close

You overlook the obvious answer to your last question — because you’re not as good as you think you are.

George Carlin’s quip about the unifying factor that ties all humans together could almost truly be applied to poker (except for a small handful of players) ..

(Carlin’s quip is [paraphrased] that the one unifying factor that ties all people in the world together is that every single one of us believes we are an above average driver)

Sub “driver” for “poker player”.

If it was rigged, why are there specific people that are making a living playing poker online? I’ve done it.
The probabilities and actualities don’t add up to an indication of cheating. You can’t cheat math.

I’ve never had a winning session on Full Tilt, but I hardly ever lose when I play at another specific site. It’s not because FT is rigged against me, and the other site is rigged for me. It’s because FT players are far better than the players at the other site that I play at, and I don’t compensate well for it.

Nick Maiorana
@ Mon May 31, 2010 10:36:09 AM
116

Yeah, the biggest reason to rig a hand in poker is to make sure a player’s money never leaves the site. Once it’s in the site’s account, I’m sure it’s being invested in some way and that produces a significant revenue stream for the site. In fact, poor investment decisions have left a few sites insolvent over the past couple of years. Insolvency only becomes an issue when your customers want their funds back. But if you can keep the “virtual” funds circulating through the system…

We have tried to get a number of the sites to consider using our software. Your right, they have not interest in either ensuring an honest game or allowing their patrons to believe they are getting a fair game. Why Have you read about UB and Absolute internal fraudulent activities? Do you know that their membership increased after the scandal was revealed?

So why would the sites want the extra protection for their players when players keep funding their on line accounts? I know from experience, they don’t.

Eric Blade
@ Mon May 31, 2010 02:50:21 PM
117

Nick, I don’t think you have any idea how poker sites, or any other businesses operate …

not even close
@ Tue Jun 01, 2010 07:31:35 PM
118

Eric

I do not feel im an above average driver as i have only been driving 6 months. It is very clear to me that some 1 with more experience is defo a better driver. I see it all the time on the road. Judge gaps better, are faster away from lights etc etc etc etc.

Must be the same with poker though, although when i play online and aa.kk, whatever hand and all the money goes in, i lose.

Maybe you havent experienced what i do every single day. You think im talking about a few hands, think again buddy.

Another thing to note that even if i check hand histories and all seems fine, you cant deny the fact that i only win small pots with aa,kk they dont hit or they outdraw me like always. Comlete joke if u ask me

Eric Blade
@ Tue Jun 01, 2010 08:01:15 PM
119

For 4 years, I was a professional low stakes online poker player. 4 to 8 tables for 8 to 10 hours a day, every day. Thousands of hands a day.

I’m also a card dealer.

Everything you ever see online, also happens offline. Just slower.

not even close
@ Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:15:49 PM
120

Eric

You cant deny the flop textures online, so unreal, just admit that the only way sites make money is to induce action.

Eric Blade
@ Wed Jun 02, 2010 01:30:48 AM
121

No, I can deny that.

How do poker rooms and casino poker games make money for their owners?

They make money nearly every single hand that is played.

I once sat down and actually figured out the regular numbers, I don’t have the specific ones I figured out anymore, but even smallish poker sites can make 5 figure numbers per month.

The vast majority of games out there are max rake as soon as a flop is seen.

It’s not the site’s problem that you aren’t as good at the game as you think you are.

Nick Maiorana
@ Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:15:00 AM
122

Eric, are you trying to say that UB and Absolute did not have internal fraudulent activity? And what do you think happens with your deposit and any cash you win, but keep at the site? Does the site stuff it under a mattress until your ready to withdraw it?

Lookup Linx Media Group and Tusk Investment Corp. These are companies that ran sites and lost deposits through poor investment decisions. Players lost their bankrolls and the companies had to liquidate due to insolvency.

Yes Eric, there are large corporations behind these sites and their primary purpose is to be as profitable as possible. Since most of them are unregulated, your deposits are a source of revenue for them and they don’t want you to cash out.

Eric Blade
@ Wed Jun 02, 2010 04:53:04 AM
123

I’ve had enough of this discussion — over the course of the two years we’ve been bantering back and forth now, it has become obvious that no amount of logic and real world experience is going to sway you from your delusions, Nick.

I haven’t said one word about the Cereus issue, as that doesn’t have anything to do with rigging the deck.

Bad decisions of companies that are no longer in business are pretty much irrelevant to rigging the deck, too. But, on that topic, virtually all of the sites that are still out there have player funds completely seperated from any other things that they are doing. Operational and investment funds are dealt with in entirely seperate accounts. That’s one of the requirements to be licensed in virtually every part of the world that offers licensing for online gaming.

You can continue to argue as much as you want, that it is all unfairly rigged, but there is not one shred of evidence that points to that, and there’s no sane reason why anyone would bother rigging it. You’ll be preaching to a choir of terrible poker players who can’t believe that their losses are because they are terrible players.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Jun 02, 2010 08:16:39 AM
124

I told myself that I was going to stay out of this, but I have to say this one thing:

For those who are arguing that you can not pull money off the site, I will not argue that you are bad players (though you most certainly are), but you CAN NOT maintain this argument with a professional. Eric Blade, bless his heart, has stated that he has played professionally for 4 years. I have also played professionally now for 5 years, and I can guarantee you that we have not been paying our bills with our EV graph.

Also, what about players who make large scores in tournaments? Many of them are taking massive amounts of money off the site. How will the sites stop them from doing this?

Nick Maiorana
@ Wed Jun 02, 2010 06:01:51 PM
125

Thanks for joining the fray! Welcome!

I did not say the sites could stop you from pulling winnings off the site, I was making a statement as to why a site would want you to keep your winnings in your online account.

Ask yourself this question: Do the sites profit from online deposits? If the answer to that question is yes, then you can certainly see why a site would profit from juicing decks and keeping the cash circulating through their system, rather than being removed once someones bankroll gets big enough.

As for the big payoffs. The amounts being payed off is relatively small compared to the amounts owned by all the players at the site.

Now I have to agree with you all that there is no proof that any of this is going on. You can’t look at the electronic data and definitively say one way or the other that something is amiss with the games being dealt at one site or another. Since only one entity has access to how the data was generated and controls who gets to see the data, you just don’t know.

What needs to be done is an independent 3rd party be in charge of generating the data and allow the site to simply run the games. If the sites are making all their profits from the games they deal, why not have an active party do all the auditing work live and remove the question of legitimacy?

Businesses use 3rd parties to transact between multiple entities all the time. It allows the transaction to be fair and unbiased. Why should this be any different?

William
@ Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:39:43 AM
126

The better you are at poker, the more noticeable it will be once you’ve reached the win limit ratio. All the people that say it’s not RIGGED have an agenda so it’s no use arguing with them. Just keep careful records and see for yourself. My history on 6max NL holdem tables at actionpoker network have over 2000 situations where I was allin preflop with the dominating hand vs 1 other caller (eg AA vs AK, AK vs KJ, etc). I win only 25% of the time for what should be over 75%. Opponents hands will always be made with miracles on the turn or river. The nuthuggers of these sites can deny it all they want but deep down inside, they know it’s RIGGED!

Pim
@ Sat Sep 11, 2010 06:35:04 AM
127

Some people have this idea/dream to become rich with playing poker.
You won’t get a fair chance to becoming rich if the pokerrooms are cheating.
That’s why IMO people cling on (hopefully)to the thought that the pokerrooms are fair, otherwise they would have to give up on their dream.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Sep 11, 2010 03:05:52 PM
128

What kind of an agenda would I have? I don’t work for any sites, but I did play semi-professionally for 6 years, after my employer dumped me. On a total deposit amount of my own cash, of $100, from mid 2003 to 2009, I cashed out over $85k. Obviously I was making only slightly more than minimum wage, but I was doing it.

I stopped playing semi-professionally, when I got a job offer from a video game studio.

Anonymous
@ Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:12:18 PM
129

try pkr.com ,There its so obvious its as retarded as eric ..final table I get AA all in sb folds bb folds the only player with out a chip in the pot calls all in with Q4 off and hits trip 4’s,im left with 1 bb from being 2nd chip leader . i saw this player make strange calls and sucked out nearly every hand as soon as i asked him how he lasted 3 hrs playing like that he started 2 lose.why would any 1 risk being knocked out with q 4 off when the prize diffrence was so big. and by the way he was 3rd chip leader and we had a massive lead over the other 3 players.Another time iI got down to the last 30 from a field of 2000 table connection 100% then suddenly I am the only player disconected and when i finaly get back on I had 1 bb left , i was 8th before I got disconected.same when i was cold decked I finaly got a strong hand AQs disconected woulda had nut flush this happened for the nxt 3 hands and i woulda won all 3,but was blinded out. so eric is it co-incidence that i only get disconected when I have the winning hand or am dominating the table with agressive play ? in other words playing my opponents and the board more than my cards and the sites dnt like me taking control from them

Anonymous
@ Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:24:01 PM
130

online poker is so rigged!! and before any 1 starts I am a winning player on and off line.But imo online the odds feel backwards,and I couldnt rig a real deck 2 set every 1 up in the hand with a monster hand or draw any better. and yes 2 the post above check this site out ”omfg there is worse poker software than pacific” the founder of pkr.com even states that online poker is not ment 2 b realistic, its aimed not at serious players but at the T.v audiences that love 2 watch poker ( around the time they named the sudden interest in poker the money maker effect after chris moneymaker won the wsop) so they have made it more exciting because apparently that what we want .hmmm no we want a fair game that the sites claim they spread.

Eric Blade
@ Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:19:12 AM
131

Any of you ever shove all-in pre-flop in a live game with AA, and get beat by 6-2o ?

I guess live games are rigged too.

I guess the guy that shoved all-in without even looking today on my live game, and took down a $1200 pot, had a rigged game too.

Eric Blade
@ Tue Sep 14, 2010 08:26:59 PM
132

I got an email that someone posted this, but it seems to be gone:

“Some people have this idea/dream to become rich with playing poker.
You won’t get a fair chance to becoming rich if the pokerrooms are cheating.
That’s why IMO people cling on (hopefully)to the thought that the pokerrooms are fair, otherwise they would have to give up on their dream.”

… i take it you’re not aware of any of the dozens to hundreds of professional online players?

Nick
@ Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:31:38 AM
133

There are 100s of thousands of players online, yet only a small percentage of them make a living of it. I don’t intend to quit my day job, however I don’t want to be cheated when I play. Kinda takes the fun out of it.

Can poker rooms cheat? Yes. They have in the past (UB and Absolute) and they may continue to do it now. The problem is, you can’t see electronic data. You can’t tell if someone is looking at the data or if someone messed with the shuffle (another thing that happens in the real world, but we are shocked that someone would do it via software.)

The players that caught the cheaters at UB and Absolute investigated what was going on based on a hunch. They felt like something in the games were off. They got lucky when internal personnel disclosed private information about the players or the tournament event that was involved. My guess is players will not be getting so lucky in the future.

The only way to ensure a fair and unbiased game is to have an independent 3rd party intervene. This is done in business all the time to make sure companies don’t cheat each other during financial transactions. Our solution is an independent card shuffling/dealing service which represents the players and the poker room.

The software is available. Until players start demanding a change either by writing their poker rooms or not depositing, the rooms are going to stick with status quo.

Eric Blade
@ Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:40:53 PM
134

Why would we trust Nick any more than we trust FT or Absolute or UB or Cake or anyone else?

Of course, the three known breaches, not a one of them had anything whatsoever to do with the site itself cheating.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Sep 22, 2010 03:48:24 PM
135

Though he can get a little crude at times, Eric makes a fine point. If the deal is handed off to a third party, we still have no control or sight over the outcome. Being that most people’s complaints are anecdotal in nature (i.e. I lost with my aces 6 out of the last 8 times) and these so-called statistical aberrations keep happening, the conspiracy theories will only get more complex but still continue nonetheless. Complaints will now arise that the outside dealer is just a straw man agency set up by Stars, they are tweaking the deal and getting handed money under the table, etc.

I have to admit that the guy who created this idea just embarked on a fool’s errand. If the deal was, in fact, tweaked then they would have no incentive to involve an outside source, especially since said conspiracy theorists like to argue yet still login every day and business is booming as usual.

Nick
@ Wed Sep 22, 2010 07:20:34 PM
136

Well for one thing, the 3rd party has no benefit to juicing the deck. There is no financial gain in doing so. The rooms on the other hand, gain from the outcome of the hands played at their room in many different ways.

Say what you want about foolishness, but at this time the player has no one backing the fairness and legitimacy of a game. As long as a single party controls the randomness, game play and financial benefit of the hands being played then the potential problem will exist and people will have the right to complain.

And the Eric, the sites themselves were involved with the corrupt practices. The active hand data was stored at the site available for insiders to exploit. Our solution removes this information from the site until the end of a hand.

Why do people read these boards if they don’t believe there is a problem and why when a solution is presented do people not pursue it?

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Sep 22, 2010 08:11:55 PM
137

Nick, you clearly missed my point. Whether or not your company has a financial incentive to juice the deck is completely irrelevant. What matter is what people are willing to believe. I doubt that you are so naive as to think that should all shuffling be outsourced to your company that all complaints of a rigged deck would completely disappear. For starters, peoples’ complaints of the rigged deck lack any logical consistency. Here is a good example:

Bobby plays often and has hit a bad run. He is nearing the end of his bankroll and manages to get all in with his AA against a dimwit’s 75s and the dimwit wins. Bobby feels he has been cheated because, as he says “the fish suck out so that they don’t go broke so often and then the site makes more rake”.

Do you see the problem here?

Bobby plays a lot so his business is more valuable than a fish who might deposit one time and go bust and never be seen again. By dealing a break to the fish, we now will soon have two broke players rather than one. Since Bobby’s business is valuable, the site can not risk him getting angry and taking his volume to a competitor.

You hear this story often from players who go broke. Should this be true, it should not matter who the better player is, it should only matter who is closer to the end of his roll.

I could rattle on for hours like this, but instead, I will point out this simple truth:

Nick, YOU have a financial incentive to spread the fear that the sites are crooked. Why should we believe YOU, particularly when you have yet to provide any smoking gun proof?

Nick
@ Thu Sep 23, 2010 06:11:22 AM
138

Well, I get your point. But I think we may be dealing with more than just rigged decks. One of the benefits of our service is that no one has the ability to see what cards are coming or know what is in another player’s hand.

This is how they cheated at Ultimate Bet and Absolute. Certain players had information about other players cards and/or the order of the cards to come off the deck. You can’t deny it. I’m not spreading fear, it happened in real life. It’s documented fact.

Another added side benefit of our service is that you also take all interested parties out of the randomness of the game and let it be handled by an independent 3rd party. At real poker tables, this is done by our physical environment. Electronic is a different story and requires added measures to provide the same fair environment.

It’s like before they started using cameras in casinos to catch cheats or before regulators came around to validate a casino’s gaming practices. If there is a hole, it will get exploited until a solution is presented and used to plug the hole. In the real world we put these anti-cheating mechanisms in place and we value their use. So why should on-line be any different?

Lorin Yelle
@ Thu Sep 23, 2010 09:41:03 AM
139

There is a difference between being trustworthy and being trusted. Any time you are not physically dealing the cards yourself, there is always the possibility of being cheated. Have you ever played in a home game and gotten up to go to the bathroom only to come back and wonder if any of your friends have tampered with the deck?

Supposing that your software does what it is supposed to do, it will certainly involve a lot of technicalities that even if you were to try and explain them the way you would to a 5 year old, many people simply would still not understand. Any time that people are forced in a bargaining situation in which they knowingly feel ignorant about a subject, they will worry that they might be getting hoodwinked. This happens when people buy cars, take out loans for mortgages, or take their computer to get fixed. Anything that happens that is fishy in the interim will automatically be seen as suspect.

So how does this pertain to you? When said complainant loses with his aces four times in row (which will eventually happen regardless of who is doing the shuffling) he will STILL feel cheated. Now we are back where we started, only the company getting the cheating complaints will be yours. How do you plan on dealing with this problem?

Nick
@ Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:28:14 AM
140

I agree with your take on the human thought process and emotions. The only thing to add is that the independent 3rd party has not stake in the outcome of the game.

If that is truly the case, as it would be with SCD, there is no reason to suspect them of cheating. Now, will there be complaints about the random distribution of cards? Yes, most likely.

Explaining our service can be done simply, without the technical details. Such as the service is setup in such a way that we don’t know which hands/players/tables we are dealing for, so it is technically impossible for us to manipulate a specific hand to benefit one or more players.

Now the technical explanation of how that is accomplished is much more detailed than any average player cares to know. But, it will be provided for the curious.

Lastly I would like to say that I personally know I was cheated at Absolute poker. That’s what planted the seed that the hand played online can be manipulated or the information provided to give certain players an unfair advantage. I racked my brain around what it would take for me to trust that I wasn’t being duped when I played online. And, because of the electronic nature of the data used to play the games, an independent entity was the best I could come up with.

Let me ask you this. Would you prefer to play at a site with such anti-cheating measures or would you just like to leave everything as status quo?

Benefits:
– Only You know what your down cards are (just like B&M)
– The deck is generated by a trustworthy random event generator (players at a B&M can see the deck being shuffled when it’s manual)
– No one knows the order of the deck (Just like it should be)

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:39:49 PM
141

Nick, in the end, the people would be forced to choose whether or not to believe that your firm can not see the cards or where they are going, and it is my official claim that many will not.

I do concede that you make a fine point that card rooms tainted by cheating scandals might be better off by accepting your service. In so doing, though, I realized that all others would not.

Consider this scenario: Cereus network accepts your service because of player demand and past cheating scandals. Now other rooms such as Tilt and Stars would avoid it like the plague because to do otherwise would be to put themselves in the same league as disreputable card rooms and would give the appearance of guilt, even though there has never been any evidence of wrongdoing.

As for your last question, I am perfectly happy with the status quo. I have made quite a living off this game and my numbers haves matched up with EV projections over time. I am a small to middle stakes pro with no aspirations of ever playing in games large enough to attract site operated cheating scandals and therefore my only real concerns are pay out times and making sure that operators keep marketing to the fish.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:46:40 AM
142

Simple facts of the matter, are that Nick’s papers have demonstrable problems in the solutions that they propose (such as a shuffler that is demonstrably not particularly close to random – we went over this on the Poker Players Alliance forums, where a couple of math guys utterly destroyed his results, and he refuted them by simply telling them they were wrong, much as he does here), and with his solution of moving all of the card dealing to a third party, suddenly he becomes the third party responsible for making sure there are no security holes .. and now he has access to the information of every hand being dealt by every site that would subscribe to his service.

Virtually every site has a governing body that oversees their shuffling algos and other such things. The places that provide them with their licenses to operate in various locales. Maybe you’re not aware of this, Nick. Or maybe you’re just being willfully ignorant of it.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:47:11 AM
143

So, Nick, what do your lifetime Poker Tracker stats tell us about your play?

Nick
@ Wed Sep 29, 2010 05:27:59 PM
144

Eric, as usual you are wrong about everything. So, which poker room are you representing?

Eric Blade
@ Fri Oct 01, 2010 01:01:12 AM
145

You cannot demonstrate that I am wrong, in any way whatsoever that shows anything even resembling reality.

When you actually build your system, and then release it for others to review, is the only way your system can be 100% reliable. You’ll need to get all of the governing bodies that oversee all of the other sites, to verify your algos, and such. You should know this.

Randy “coddfish” Codd
@ Sun Oct 03, 2010 04:18:29 AM
146

I have been playing poker (live) for over 40 years mostly at B&M casinos in Gardena, California. For the last 3 years I have been playing online at a variety of sites…

I would estimate that I have played somewhere between 3 and 4 million hands online ( several sites tracked the hands played, so I know this figure is an accurate estimation).

First off, I would like to say that I do not believe that the online games I have participated in were “rigged”…. That is , not favoring (or being against) any specific player.

That being said, there is no way I can compare the online poker experience to live play. No, I’m not talking about being able to play in your underwear in your easy chair… I’m talking about the difference in the run of the cards!

If you analyze live play vs online play, there are several obvious differences… First, the number of “suited” flops online is WAY out of proportion to live play. This results in many more flushes. Also, the “quality” of a winning hand is much greater online compared to live… One and two paired hands win the majority of hands live, but not so online. I’m not saying these hands never win online, just much less than they should. Lastly, runner-runner “miracle”
cards hit WAY more often online than live.

I have also noticed that online poker seems to be “action” rigged for flops. Crazy things happen in poker, I think we all agree with that… To me, they just seem to happen about twice as much online.

And to you people out there that say “you see more hands playing online than live so you are bound to see more crazy things”. Those that believe that nonsense just don’t understand probability… The more hands we see, the MORE the percentages should reflect reality. In my humble opinion, that just isn’t the case online.

I’m not writing this to convince anyone of anything… Just some observations of mine I wanted to share with you!

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Oct 03, 2010 02:22:14 PM
147

This is exactly the sort of anecdotal commentary I was referring to. This adds no value whatsoever to the discussion. If you are going to make such a claim, please provide actual numerical evidence.

Eric Blade
@ Sun Oct 03, 2010 06:28:30 PM
148

Simply put, in general, online players are far “better” than live players. Better, in that they generally play for better hands than live players do.

Pump your hands into poker tracker, calculate the odds, you’ll find that the odds of getting suited flops, or getting paired or double paired boards, are no different than in a live game.

Things like this entry from my poker blog, from September 23rd, happen far more in micro/low stakes online games, and live games, than they do in anything over like 50c/1 NL online .. although that depends on where you play. The online site I still play at has players this terrible at all levels.

This is a summary of a 4-hour live session:

Today, 3/6 FL Holdem w/ Kill, downtown Detroit.

I start with AK, win pot. A couple hands later, I get AK, win pot. 4 hands before the button comes around to me again, I get TT, win pot, next hand I get KK, win pot, now i’m on the Kill, I get QQ, win pot, still on the Kill, and I get AA. At this point, the entire table is pissed at me, people are out to get me, first lady in calls the $6 kill, next raises, next raises, there’s a call, and I cap. Lady calls $18 preflop (in addition to the $6 she’d already called) with J8o. I don’t remember the flop, I lead out, she raises, two calls, I raise, she caps. Turn, I don’t remember either, but I lead out again, she raises, I re-raise, she’s all in on the call, and there’s a third person in the hand that re-raises all-in for the cap.

Long story short: She caught 9T or T9 on the turn/river, to make a double-gutshot straight. I win the $24 side pot, lose the $250-ish main pot. I’m up $10 after getting the sickest run of cards I’ve seen in months of both live and online play. Next hand, I get AK, win a small one. By the next time I’m button, lady who double-gutshotted has busted, and reloaded. By the next time after that, she’s busted and gone. I didn’t win another hand that night. The night ended about 4 hours after the AA pot, on a flop of T62, me with 66, cap flop, cap and i’m all-in on the turn, I’m against TT and 22, and 22 hits the quads on the river.

I love poker.

karbyn
@ Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:57:21 PM
149

I have spent the last year working on a solution to the problem you have identified to Nick, and the one problem that seems to be stifling his business growth. That is, what shall you (the online poker community) do once the masses start faulting Nick for their bad runs and terrible play? Isn’t he responsible for fair play and random deals?

This is a big problem. However, the solution seems quite simple. I mean come on. Am I the only one who sees it?

Obviously the solution is to introduce my company’s services. We provide completely neutral 4th party monitoring. We don’t take any interest in any one poker site. In fact, we don’t even know about what sites the 3rd party software is installed on, because we focus solely on providing monitoring of 3rd party software.

But we are coming up to a point where we need to have income. Our investors are getting itchy to see the massive returns on their dollars. We need to get 3rd party software installed on sites, *and* encourage lots of play. Otherwise, you see, there will be not enough so called “anecdotal” data, and there will not be enough fear in the community to demand our services.

So please please lobby your site to get Nick’s company involved. Please get in touch with him right away. Of course, you will find his contact information above. … Won’t you?

Anonymous
@ Sun Nov 14, 2010 07:15:04 PM
150

When you know its rigged you just know right… you dont need any tracker to show just how rigged online poker is. I do have proof but I dont need to prove it to some donky on here who has a clear interest that online poker should continue the way it is.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 14, 2010 08:57:46 PM
151

I don’t mean to talk down to anyone, but you clearly have no idea just how ignorant that statement is. Of course a tracker is needed because, unlike the human brain, it can crunch large numbers of hands and equity percentages in mere seconds or minutes. After all, would you trust your banker to be able to instantly figure out the interest you owe on your home via a mental calculation, or would you demand that she at least pull out a calculator and confirm her answer?

Ballpark estimations are useless if you are talking about hundreds of thousands of hands, which is the amount you would need to only BEGIN to prove that online poker is rigged.

Eric
@ Mon Nov 15, 2010 01:55:28 AM
152

As a former professional online player, I had a vested interest in making sure that people would come and play poker, and attract more people to play poker.

As a professional poker dealer, I have a vested interest in making sure that people come and play poker, and attract more people to play poker.

As a former professional businessperson, I know damn well that there is no reason, whatsoever, as to why a poker room would rig anything for anyone.

As a now recreational player, if anyone could prove any site was rigged, at any point anytime, I would do my best to make damn sure no one played that site. (AP/UB doesn’t count, their former owner presumably installed a backdoor before giving the keys over, and I have faith in the new owners .. but I don’t play AP/UB)

WOW
@ Tue Nov 16, 2010 07:23:32 PM
153

You have to be kidding me Eric,thats like saying that AP/UB is the only site that cheated and scammed there customers and will never happen again.lets see since then theres been several other sites that have been caught cheating and shut down which havent been told to the public because theres to much money at stake when the bill passes for online gambling.Just keep this in mind as long as theres big money involved there will be always cheating its in our nature its called GREED.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:31:40 AM
154

But that’s precisely the point: it is survival of the fittest as it applies to businesses. Sure, there have been tiny sites that have popped up over the years acting as a front to scam peoples money and nothing more. As you point out yourself, they don’t exist anymore. Either they cut and ran or were lured as such and were forced to close down. The business as a whole has matured as with that came safer, more reputable places to play and those are the ones who have survived.

Eric
@ Thu Nov 18, 2010 08:48:09 PM
155

WOW ..

Name one? Caught cheating and shut down, without being told to the public … right? Do you even consider what you’re typing before you hit submit?

Does that make sense in ANY way?

WOW
@ Fri Nov 19, 2010 07:40:49 PM
156

Eric,I think I have been playing this game alot longer then you and I have seen all types of cheating over the years,in the past it was easier to get away with it then now but beleive me they still try to do it.I have been at major events where cheaters tried to cheat but got caught and thrown out and never mentioned in any poker magazine because they dont want a bad mark against poker.If I wasnt there I wouldnt beleive they would even try, at my local casino I play at 2 players were caught exchanging cards at a n/l game and were arrested.All I was doing is pointing out that AP was not an isolated incident and wont be the last by the way I will give you 1 that only the players knew they were shut down because of cheating and no poker magazine or newspaper wrote about it because they dont want anymore bad marks against poker until it is passed.(Pitbullpoker)I wouldnt call someone a liar until I prove them wrong get your facts right actually do some research before you make a judgement against someone.

WOW
@ Fri Nov 19, 2010 07:45:42 PM
157

Eric,I know you will respond to this with insults like bad grammar and spelling like you do with all the posters, I am alot older then you and lucky to be typing with all the health problems I have I know its hard for you but please try to be nice

Eric
@ Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:08:09 PM
158

WOW, well, you named one, which is what I challenged you to do. Your original statement, didn’t make sense, though, implying that there are poker sites out there that have been shut down for cheating, but no one knew about it. Therefore, how would you have known about it?

I haven’t followed the story from Pitbull.

Onto the original topic of this message, it’s still not a rigged deck, even if there is someone out there who can see all of the cards. Individual players cheating is an entirely different thing than having some kind of “tweaked deal”, which makes little sense.

I don’t recall getting on people about grammar and spelling, unless it was to the point where their message was difficult or impossible to understand, but this thread has been running for a bit over 2 years now.

Nick has been arguing with me for almost 3 years, I think, over whether he provides a service that is even remotely useful to anyone.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:06:51 AM
159

Even if you were to play at a site with a superuser, it is 99% unlikely that it will ever affect you. Why? Superusers don’t play in small stakes games. Even still, I can’t really sympathize much with someone who says they got ripped off by a place called Pitbull Poker. It just screams of fly-by-night operation.

Several years ago, I was a highly successful blackjack bonus whore. As I began to run out of places to play, I began searching for more and more obscure places that weren’t a part of the forum that I belonged to. Incidentally, I found a place called Casino Joe’s. The website didn’t look too professional (though it didn’t look BAD either). I was slightly skeptical because the concept seemed rinky-dink, but my greed at their generous bonus eventually overwhelmed my good senses.

I lost my deposit there a couple of times, but after I finally won money, the operation shut down and stopped answering my emails before running off with my money. Of course, I don’t agree with this morally but ultimately the fault was my own as this is the sort of thing that happens when you stray from the beaten path.

After all, if a guy named Sal offers to sell you blue chip stock out of the trunk of his Camaro and rips you off, can you really claim no fault of your own?

One last thing: since everyone seems to be ignoring it, I would like to point to Eric’s original point that this thread was never about the existence or possibility of super users. We understand this and the guys in question have been caught. What we are talking about is a manipulated deck and complete industry wide fraud, not just the actions of a few crooked individuals. Comparing the two is ridiculous: it is no different than saying that every single person who works on Wall Street is just like Bernie Madoff and that they are all complicit in a massive conspiracy to steal your money whilst there exists no proof of this anywhere.

WOW
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:06:23 PM
160

Well Lorin,and Eric maybe I am paranoid I have been playing this game for over 30 years and I know when I am being cold decked.Lets see I will give you an example that happened to me on a well known estabilished,poker site which happened for 100s of sessions but never said or complained about it just took my beatings like a man after this incident I will never play on line again I had AA deep in a tourney was deep stacked I raised got 5 callers flop came 883 I checked everybody else checked A came on turn I went allin 1 player calls with 84 off I told my son watch 8 will come on river boom 8 comes,now I am not out of tourney next hand I have KK raise allin same guy calls with KQ off of course K on flop 3 running diamonds get there to beat me.Now I am so pissed at this after getting cold decked for months I call the site and swear and complain like a baby told them they were cheating and in the 2 years of playing there never once had quads they aked for my on site name I was so pissed I gave it to me after they tried to tell me they could not or would not cheat I hung up.I then played live 3rd hand I played I had A8 suited remmember never had quads in my life on this site the flop comes 888 hmmmm just got beat by quad 8s never had them before and get the same quads that just beat me after calling them what a coincedence I guess I am paranoid lmfao

WOW
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:28:23 PM
161

1 more example and I am done with this,beleive me I am well known in the east coast as a solid player and have won coutless tourneys at my local casino and even asked floormen,dealers,and players which is in the 100s is it possible the way I play to lose 1000s of sessions with 0 wins they said no.I even changed the way I play the stakes,games,to take in consideration the many hands played on the internet and how loose they play nothing worked got over 50 bad beats a day.Here it is again on another site never won or cashed out here before I refered a player he bounced a $1000 e-check said he wont play on line anymore that saturday they had there 100 point freeroll 1st prize was around $2800 guess what I won it. I played alittle and lost $600 I tried to cash out they gave me hell said your freind owes $1000 and I had to cover it or him or I could not cash out after submitting countless Ids and paying his $1000 finally cashed out never played there again they are in another country and do what they want to do.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:35:11 PM
162

WOW, this anecdotal story only tells me that A) you don’t play much online poker.
I have played approximately 4 million hands online and have only lost with a clean aces full (meaning I had two aces in the hole) only twice and I have yet to lose with quads.

B) I can’t imagine why a rigged deck would cause “exotic” bad beats that would draw attention to itself. If you have something like Holdem Manager that tracks your play, you will see that a huge percentage of your winnings comes from premium hands like AK and QQ+. Everyone in the entire world wins with these hands, despite skill level. If I were to rig the deck, I would simply deal out more of these hands to guys whose bankroll is short. Skill level should have nothing to do with it, as good players are capable of playing badly and making poor bankroll decisions, and vice versa concerning the fish. You don’t need to create an aces full losing to quads scenario. Just deal the “fish” aces and the “good” player kings and let nature take its course.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:52:40 PM
163

In response to your second post, first of all I would like to have your name. If you are well known on the East Coast, then surely we can do a background check. Both Eric Blade and myself post under our real names, as we have nothing to hide. Google us both and you will quickly see that we are established in the online poker community.

Eric has stated that he played professionally online for a few years. I have been playing online professionally for almost 6 years at a variety of different sites and have been a winner at all of them. If the sites were rigged, I would be a target for it for sure. I am a hated short stacker. I eat away at the fish and regulars slowly, keep the chat off at all times, and otherwise do everything to make sure that playing against me is as miserable of an experience as possible, yet I continue to only have just a handful of losing weeks per year.

WOW
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 01:09:42 PM
164

Lorin,its pointless to keep going around in circles with you already have your mind made up maybe your 1 of those lucky 1s that they let win beleive me played on every site played as many hands as you maybe more.And I have not won with my premium hands like the stats dictate I should beleive me I am not saying these things after playing a few times been playing online poker since day 1 put in my time and money and waiting to have it turn around but never does never had a rush I am not a new kid on the block I study and watch when I am not playing and I hardly win with QQ because I rarely play it because if you researched hands you would know out of all the pocket pair premium hands QQ has a -$ winning percentage then any other premium pocket pair which has a +$winning percentage.Also when I went to AC which I know some of the pros I play with them alot I have given them a prop bet that I will play them and give them 3 to 1 on a bet that they cant beat me even when I have never won on line before.The catch was that they had to play under my name and I play under theres I asked 3 pros and all 3 declined hmmmmmmmmm.I played big stakes over 25 years ago no longer only play small tourneys have a family you cant google me I am only known amongst the players and dealers and floormen in AC and mohegan sun but they will tell you I win alot of tourneys there because I am a tight player against the maniacs.I would love to talk to you maybe it is me and you can educate me after talking to me if you feel I am so paranoid I am just another bad player maybe after playing 30 years I should not play any longer I will do that please e-mail me Eric and Lorin I will give you my number so we can talk gle698@aol.com

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 04:36:24 PM
165

You are officially scaring the crap out of me….

WOW
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 06:57:08 PM
166

I didnt mean to do that I am not a freak or a perv. I am married with 2 teenage kids just love poker I have no family members or freinds that play thought it would be nice to converse with someone who knows the game.I extend the invitation to any one that loves the game of poker who whats to discuss how poker has changed from before televison exposure to now and the rise of internet playing.Been playing holdem since 1980 and beleive me there is a big change how people play the hands now like AK players years ago never 3 or 4 bet this hand because we all knew it was just a drawing hand only big pocket pairs 3 bet.Again sorry if I scared you it was not intended to do this just an attempt to reach out to some very intelegent poker players I wont be responding anymore you have me thinking I did something wrong like the so called fair,honest,random poker sites.BYE

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Nov 21, 2010 08:17:35 PM
167

Not implying that you are any of those things, but your tone is becoming increasingly frantic and desperate. However, what really began to concern and convince me that you have nothing of value to add to this conversation was when you told me that you rarely play QQ and thus hardly ever win with it and that my track record must be the result of being one of online poker’s “Chosen Ones.”

I think the reason that this subject really gets under my skin is because my father and uncle who used to be very successful pre-UIGEA began making such obnoxious claims even as I pleaded with them that the game had changed and they had best hit the books if they wanted to keep winning. Call it a coincidence, but our paths diverged sharply as I continued to be a student of the game when they only wanted to cry foul. As I slowly became an expert, it was plain to see what their problem was…they just weren’t very good poker players. Imagine that?

Nick
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 05:14:47 AM
168

Question: How do you know that the deck is not being juiced? That there are still no super user types out there?

Yes, I’ll bring up UB again. You say the super users were not at the smaller limit tables? I disagree. I know I was a victim at UB because of some of the ridiculous calls that were made and ended up winning large pots. Like 9-4 off, getting all in against my KK pre-flop and spiking a full house. How does anyone in their right mind play 9-4 for most of all their chips pre-flop? Someone who knows what cards are coming. That’s just one example and one reason I won’t put any money in at UB. I have other examples at Absolute, so my guess is that they had super users as well. But nobody ever caught them.

Point is this: People were crying wolf for a good long while before UB and Absolute got caught. And in both instances, it was luck, not process that exposed the fraud. So I ask again. How do you know?

Lorin Yelle
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 08:05:40 AM
169

The super users did NOT know what cards were coming off the deck.

Why would someone play 94o? Why would two girls eat from one cup?

Nick
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 04:18:07 PM
170

I see you refuse to answer my question because I suspect you don’t know what is going on in the digital back room of any poker site.

And how do you know the extent of the super user fraud? For Absolute, the end user was getting the entire hand information so he knew when to play/not play.

Again, you don’t know. You can only trust that someone is doing the proper thing.

Lorin Yelle
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 05:26:01 PM
171

You didn’t answer MY question either.

But you are right….I don’t know. Here is a short list of other things I don’t know but choose to believe based on substantial evidence:

1. People have walked on the moon.
2. That there are 600 billion stars in our galaxy.
3. Gravity.
4. That the Holocaust was real.
5. That people who believe the deck is rigged are likely poor, if not terrible, players, but certainly appear, on average, to have a poor grasp of the English language.
6. That your business idea was not very well thought out and will never be implemented.

Nick
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 06:07:48 PM
172

Now I will answer your question. Why would someone risk their stack on 94o? There is no sane reason. And I would be OK with donkeys playing that hand against me all day long. The problem I have is that those donkeys did play those sorts of hand and won, practically every time. So my only guess is that they had some information pre-flop that their hand was going to be the winner.

As for the girls…I guess some people will do anything for fame. Even bad fame.

As for my idea to secure the game. It makes perfect sense for any establishment that wants to ensure a fair/fraud free game.

If someone offered you this:

You transfer $100 into an account, they flip a coin where you are not present, and if it comes up heads they will transfer $300 back to you. They will email you the results when they flip the coin. Would you take this bet? It’s pretty good odds. My guess is that you would not. How about if a 3rd person, one neutral to both of you offers to flip the coin and send you both the results. Wouldn’t that be more appealing?

I do agree that at this time the rooms have no reason to add a higher level of integrity to their sites. Even without it they are attracting a good deal of customers. Even if people are unsure, they will still drop money to play – just like the Casino Joe’s incident.

Sorry so long.

Lorin Yelle
@ Mon Nov 22, 2010 06:28:20 PM
173

Even though I was making light of the situation, my point about the two girls and one cup is that not everyone does reasonable things. Just because you or I would never play 94o that way, doesn’t mean that others won’t. If the world were full of reasonable people, Vegas would not exist.

In regards to your second question, YES, I would take that bet. In fact, playing blackjack on the Internet is the exact situation that you describe. As I had said, I was a highly successful blackjack bonus whore for about two year’s time. I had made over $50,000 blatantly abusing online casinos who DID have a vested interest in cheating me. They clearly knew what I was up to but obviously figured that withholding my winnings would not be worth the potential bad press, EVEN THOUGH IT CLEARLY STATED IN THE T&C THAT THEY HAD THE RIGHT TO DO SO IN CASES OF ABUSE. I only had them withheld one time when I was caught multi accounting, but they were even so kind as to refund my deposit.

In regards to the second part of your question, I would be very concerned about having that coin passed off to a neutral party if I had NO CHOICE about who that party was. Also, were it not requested, I would be curious as to why it would be necessary in the first place. While you might come back with that notion that your shuffle would only be implemented should the people call for it, than I shall cast my vote right now: I am happy with the status quo and reject your offer of paranoia validation.

Eric
@ Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:17:46 AM
174

Nick,

Again, have you ever played live poker, in a real casino, or even a charity game, or whatever? Not amongst your poker buddies who have some vague idea of how to play the game.

I see people call EVERYTHING, as a charity dealer. Even at 2/5 stakes. In fact, even more so at 2/5 stakes. I’ve been hit by 85o for $500 pre-flop at 1/2. Hell, I dealt a hand where a guy with 85o called a $100 pre-flop raise at 1/2, with 5 other calls, and he flopped quads, and stacked the entire table.

Eric
@ Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:21:15 AM
175

WOW,
Let’s see screenshots of your poker tracker database info.

Anonymous
@ Mon Jan 10, 2011 09:32:47 PM
176

you know lorin gets paid by pokersites to stand up for em

Anonymous
@ Mon Jan 10, 2011 09:41:45 PM
177

do u really think some 1 is stupid enough to carry on playing on a site that they’re losing at. How on earth would 1 be able to gather 1million hands, you’d have to be a bloody zillionaire. Get your head out ur ass and legalise poker or have 3rd party organisations involved. the next problem is integrity, how much is a 3rd party willing to except in order to keep their mouths shut. This is exactly why poker rooms dont have 3rd party companies involved, and why should they be spending more money when they can achieve the same result for nothing. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Lorin Yelle
@ Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:57:22 AM
178

You just outed yourself. Many pros put in that kind of volume in a single year- it’s not a big deal.

Also, keep your circular argument going. Any time someone comes up with a bunkerbuster post like my last one, someone attempts to divert it by saying that we work for the poker sites. This is how all conspiracy theories are perpetuated. Enjoy your losses :)

Anonymous
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 06:50:10 PM
179

The whole world is correct except online poker….really get a life Lorin

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 06:52:44 PM
180

That didn’t make any sense. Have you been hanging out with Jared Loughner?

Anonymous
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 07:05:18 PM
181

I have done the whole 1 million hands a year, how have i outed myself. All im saying is that you would be an idiot to ride it out on a site that is cleary rigged. Just because some other fool hasnt gone through what I consider a rigged dechk doesnt mean the site is legit.

Personally I just quit the site if I feel im being cheated, I aint gunna chase my losses bro, but of course that is what you are promoting.
Why on earth would i risk hopin that I stop getting terible beats and hope my luck has changed when luck in itself has nothing to do with poker.

All I can say is if something looks suspicious its because it probarly is. How is it that you defend poker sites to the end without any proper evidence that a pokersite is legit.

On a final note, I was playing this guy who cold called a 3bet, im 2nd to act he is in middle pos. I bet pot on flop he calls, on the turn he makes trips holding pocket 3’s. Now obv he makes a terrible call preflop but why would he continue on the flop?????He holds pocket 3’s preflop but calls a pot size bet on the flop…WHY??? Funny thing is a week later he does exactly the same thing and BAM he hits his 2 outer again on the turn>>>> REALLY NOT RIGGED HUH. Just of the 100’s of examples I have encountered.

Anonymous
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 07:11:39 PM
182

I ask you Lorin why would I be happy with 1million profit as opposed to 100 million? Of course you would settle for 1 mill and not 100 mill of course everybody would.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 08:11:41 PM
183

I play for a living, I don’t get paid by the sites. I have been a winner at every site I have played at.

BTW, I was the guy holding pocket 3’s. That’s a winning play, it’s just over your head.

Anonymous
@ Wed Jan 12, 2011 08:37:40 PM
184

you must be one of those guys who get paid to keep posting in forums.. 50cts a pop is it. the nonsense you come up with.

avoid all questions as you know online is rigged

Lorin Yelle
@ Thu Jan 13, 2011 04:06:22 AM
185

You ignore all evidence because you know that it is not. Speaking of which, what site has me on their payroll?

Eric Blade
@ Thu Jan 13, 2011 08:04:13 AM
186

Why would you have played 1 million hands, if you feel that all the sites are rigged and cheating?

Your logic, it hurts.

Anonymous
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 02:33:25 AM
187

@ Lorin, ahh ask a question instead of answering mine. Show me your evidence that sites are not cheating/or people are not cheating on these sites. You can’t and you know it.

@ Eric i have played over 1 million hands, you ask why, simple cuz I am still able to make money, but if I wasnt playing bots and riggy decks I would probably be makin a ton more.

Its a simple fact that without rigging the deck big sites would not be making mega bucks and there’s your prove. The only reason a fish can carry on playing there is to win near 50% of hands against a good player.

Poker is a business not a charity, if you want a succesful site you’ll make damn sure it doesnt only contain a handful of pro’s. Goodday

Anonymous
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 02:44:35 AM
188

must be a coincidence that when you chat offensive language in the chatbox you immediately go on a losing streak. Happens to near everybody who posts this on the internet, google it if u dont believe me.

Pokerstars even admit to monitor tables for abusive chat. Sure they could do something about it aswell like influence your future win/loss.

Eric Blade
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 06:44:00 AM
189

Can you possibly explain to me, how it would be possible for a bot to win, if it was rigged? How could super tight players win consistently if it was rigged? How could -anyone- win consistently?

What is it rigged TO DO?

How would big sites not be making mega bucks, if there was no rigging?

You don’t even –have– an argument.

Lorin Yelle
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 07:25:52 AM
190

So you willingly support sites with your rake dollars that you believe are cheating because it is in your financial interest? Clearly you are not morally against the practice and that makes you far worse than anyone you believe to be ignorantly supporting sites that they believe to be fair.

Shame on you.

Anonymous
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:29:38 PM
191

Lol, better than being a stubborn person who just believes sites are legit without any evidence whatsoever because you might be seen as someone you descibe me to be.

Shame on me for needing a business that handles money to be regulated. Shame on me indeed.

And you still jump through hoops not providing any evidence whatsoever, but blatantly continue to argue your point that online poker is NOT rigged.

Anonymous
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:30:55 PM
192

Poker sites use thier own bots to scam people out of their money, another way to make money. Especially when taking rake is way to slow.

Lorin Yelle
@ Thu Feb 03, 2011 02:07:17 PM
193

Here is the evidence you requested:

http://img823.imageshack.us/i/whjr.jpg/

These are my results for past 182k hands. Notice that the EV graph in red matches up almost perfectly with the actual winnings, in green.

Winnings: $16,815
EV adjusted: $17,329

Though it is slightly behind, I have at times run a few thousand dollars over EV in this stretch. Basically, this means that luck has run approximately even in this time period, especially when you take into consideration that I ran hot in $2/4, yet fairly poor in both $3/6 and $5/10 over a small sample.

If you want to continue this discussion, please provide the same evidence of your play as you have demanded of me.

I also request that you stop posting anonymously, as both Eric and I have posted under our real names and therefore held ourselves personally responsible for what we say. Please do us the same favor.

Nick
@ Fri Feb 04, 2011 08:40:05 PM
194

How do we know the evidence you provided is real? Do you have any proof that the graph is not made up? It’s electronic data. It can be manipulated just as easy as the cards from some of these sites.

Randy “coddfish” Codd
@ Fri Feb 04, 2011 09:50:26 PM
195

The “Great Debate” rages on !!! This is without a doubt the most interesting thread of all time… OK, I don’t get out as much as I should… Keep it going, I haven’t had as much fun in years !@!!

coddfish

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Feb 04, 2011 09:53:03 PM
196

Ah, thems is fightin words, Nick.

How do you even know I’m real? Maybe this is just a giant Turing test designed by the poker sites to further figure out how to cheat rednecks?

What you say is interesting because had I posted a graph that was negative on the EV scale, would you question it’s authenticity or would you hold it up as proof that we need your services? Though I already knew you were biased, I hadn’t expected this pseudo-intellectual response from you, but rather, from any one of the other grammatically challenged folk who choose to post here.

Of course this could be a potential fraud, as it really is just pixels on a screen, but let’s take a harder look at it, shall we?

The example provided is still $500 below EV, so using this example (which was used because this is as far as my database goes on my new PC) still can add some (albeit flimsy) fuel to your fire. “See, he’s not winning as much as he should be!”

As stated, if I really wanted to fudge the results just to prove a point, I would have trimmed the graph to a point in early January where I was running hot by about $3,000 for the sample. That would have been unnecessary and unethical. I thought it better to provide a larger hand sample instead.

Perhaps more relevant would be to show the HEM breakdown of how often I should be winning with each hand, like AA, or a set. I will be happy to provide this, but only after your “team” begins bringing something to the table. I would love to see your evidence, and here is a short list of what is not acceptable:

1. I’ve played over a million hands and should have made way more than I have.
2. I’ve lost with AA six times in a row in a single day!
3. I’ve never seen quads beaten as often as I have online.
4. I’ve played live for 20 years and when you get online, you are getting cheated, you just know it!

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:09:29 PM
197

Hey Coddfish!

Good to know that something productive is coming out of all this!

Hey, if you are still interested in getting coached from an imaginary player, email me and I will tell you about the video set that I am working on.

Randy “coddfish” Codd
@ Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:17:27 PM
198

Hi Lorin !!!

When, and if I should choose you use a coach… You are at the top of my list… In the mean time… I have gone to work for the best new place to play online… Grrrinders.com
‘Beta testing right now… And should be up and running on Valentines day… Come check us out…

coddfish

Nick
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:23:24 AM
199

Well now we at least know you are on these sites to peddle your services. At least my services are a solution to the problem being discussed here.

So all knowing and powerful Lorin, are you saying that there is no possibility that any only poker site may have security flaws that are being exploited?

Eric Blade
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:40:28 AM
200

Oh Jesus Christ, Nick, of course it’s possible. But WHY? No one can explain any logical reason as to WHY a site would rig their cards in any player’s favor. Fish don’t stop playing because they lose their money, they reload. If that weren’t the case, then no one who was good at the game would ever bother playing.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 09:08:03 AM
201

No Nick, that is WHY you are here. I am here to battle ignorance, but should I see an opportunity, I am going to seize it. It’s like going to a high school reunion to meet old friends, only to end up seeing someone you think you can network with: don’t see a problem here and this doesn’t detract from the quality of my arguments.

If you are asking if there is a possibility that perhaps every single person in this forum is getting scammed by poker sites EXCEPT me, because as one person said, perhaps I am one of the “Chosen Ones”? Technically this IS “possible”, but it is far more LIKELY to be “ludicrous”, than “possible.”

Nick, scroll up and see exactly the sort of people who want your service. Now imagine that they are all good poker players. You can’t. If you compare the obvious intelligence/sanity gap between their posts and the posts of people who also claim to be winning and that the sites are fair, a very clear picture emerges: we are much smarter (and coherent and less sloppy) and that would naturally lead to better play, on average. Not being crazy helps, too. Should your service ever be implemented, these are the people who will be forming the lynch mob to get you when they still keep sucking. Are you prepared for this?

Being that the service that you are here to peddle requires that this fear must be
spread, it is time for YOU of all people to begin producing the evidence to contrary, rather than taking weak shots at the true evidence of others.

So I ask you Nick, Where’s the Beef?

Nick
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:21:32 PM
202

Lorin my good friend, do you know anything about computer security and/or threats? If you do, then you know that electronic crime is easily performed without the slightest trace of evidence.

None of the online sites are currently regulated in any way. Sure they can get their software tested and approved by 3rd party certification firms, but who is there to make sure the software that was certified is the only version deployed? No one.

In normally regulated industries such as banking and brokerage firms, there are all kinds of checks and balances to ensure fairness to all parties involved in transactions. So why do you believe that the online poker industry is any different?

We don’t have the proof. The only thing we have to go on are tell tale patterns noticed by hundreds of players. These patterns have been well documented and personally I have seen them myself. Are these patterns just fate or is something fishy going on? I don’t know, you don’t know and the players posting here don’t either. Why, because all of the data which would tell us is out of our hands.

You can comment on my playing ability if you want, but seriously that’s not my day job. I’m just a recreational player who want’s to play at a site that gives me more than their word that I won’t be scammed. I make a pretty good living at software engineering and design. I think I know a thing or two about software fraud and security leaks.

Thank you for your time.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:58:16 PM
203

Where are the patterns? I am sure you know more about computer security than I do, but I also know far more about poker than you or the vast number of people who feel victimized and come here looking for a sympathetic ear.

Your team can’t seem to agree on anything other than
A) they somehow feel cheated
B) they think they are awesome at poker
C) they have no evidence of that cheating
D) they have embarrassingly poor grammar and by implication, aren’t particularly well-educated

So if I were examining the evidence, it looks more like your band of merry men are the Tea Party and you are Glenn Beck.

Anonymous
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 01:33:42 PM
204

You seem like a poker stars support worker

Nick
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 01:36:05 PM
205

For Full Tilt here is the pattern I have noticed:

– Make a deposit
– Double the balance in your account in a couple of days
– Begin a relentless series of losing streaks where most of the time you get in ahead, and lose.
– Deplete account
– Rinse/Repeat (but only so many times)

I know not even AA is a lock to win a hand, but when you go against crap like 92off, you first scratch your head and wonder why someone would call an all-in with that. Then they end up hitting full house or something like that.

The simplest explanation is that the person does not know any better and just played 92 like it was a good hand.

The other, slightly more complicated yet plausible explanation is that the person knew something about the cards that had been dealt and are yet to come.

If I were talking about a few incidents, then yes fate/bad luck would be my explanation. But it happens way to often and far too long for it to be just pure random events.

So, that’s the pattern. I’ve seen it. My fiends have seen it and it’s posted on various discussion boards on the web.

Something else to consider. Since you appear to be doing this professionally I’m guessing your not playing at the low stakes tables. A majority of the players play more at the stakes I play at. What if the cheating/fraud were only available at the lower levels? I don’t want to speculate about this too much, but it could explain why you are not having an issue and the rest of us low stakes players are.

Food for thought.

Anonymous
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 01:36:37 PM
206

Is that evidence that sites dont scam? A EV Graph?

Lorin Yelle
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 02:47:32 PM
207

I didn’t say it was the smoking gun, but it sure is a start. PLEASE start offering something substantial to support your claims. After all, the burden of proof lies on the person challenging the status quo, NOT the person in support of it.

Nick- there are also $1/2 and $.50/1 games mixed in there as well, so that argument is faltering as well. If you want to see the actual breakdown by stakes, I will post that as well, but ONLY after your side starts producing something. Otherwise, this is nothing more than a Darwinist/Creationist debate.

The results you see are all at Full Tilt. I would also be more than happy to show you some hand histories in which players got all in with complete non-sense against me and lost the way they should have. Even better, I have hands where I sucked out horribly against the fish and guess what they all had to say: “it’s rigged!” (Even good players are allowed to suck out, I might add)

So unless you are willing to go the “you are one of the Chosen Ones” route (I’m not a poker Jesus), you must acknowledge that I don’t have some sort of 8 year horseshoe lodged up my butt. I have been playing professionally for 6 years and there is a reason for it.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 06:13:13 PM
208

Nick,

You still haven’t, over the course of the –3 years– we’ve been having this discussion, been able to provide a single bit of proof to support your point, nor even a logical reasoning behind your conjecture. You’re accusing everyone of lying to you for the sake of “making more money”, without being able to even describe how it is that they would be “making more money” by “rigging”, or describing HOW it would be “rigged”.

Years ago, we knew how bad your supposed shuffling algorithm and security methods were — if you make a living writing software like that, I feel really sorry for the recipients/users of your code.

The 92-o winning vs AA happens every single day in every casino in the world, in every poker room in the world. There are people who play EVERY HAND. There are people who ONLY PLAY JUNK HANDS. There are people who just don’t care. They will beat you, you will complain for weeks, because you are a BAD POKER PLAYER.

Eric Blade
@ Sat Feb 05, 2011 06:19:11 PM
209

btw, after having won consistently across 3 vastly different sites for the first 6 years I played online, for the last 2, I’ve been a consistent loser on all 3 of them – ever since I stopped playing as my sole means of income. Oh, yeah, I’ve been losing live over this time too, whereas I used to win consistently live.

I guess I’m losing now because the sites and the casinos are now rigged against me, rather than that players are playing better, and I’m not.

Anonymous
@ Sun Feb 06, 2011 09:32:12 PM
210

Ye you are right, you have provided evidence. you have a winning record and thus all online poker sites are legit.

Thanks for clearing this up.

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Feb 06, 2011 09:43:51 PM
211

Still waiting on your much more comprehensive data. :)

Lorin Yelle
@ Sun Feb 06, 2011 09:47:33 PM
212

I stand corrected: only sites and stakes that I play at are fair. :)

LMFAO
@ Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:04:37 PM
213

I have never posted but think its funny how you guys fight whether the sites are honest or not,Just tell me 1 thing if there so honest why when I deposit on my statement it says I bought e-books right from the go they are stealing money from the US government using 2nd,3rd even 4th party billing because its illegal to play in the USA.If they were so honest they wouldnt have to use any billing methods except there own so hmmmm if there doing this why is it unthinkable that there not also manipulating the software????

Eric
@ Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:38:57 AM
214

It’s not illegal to play in the US, it is however, against credit card regulations within the US to use funds for -any- gambling purpose. (this is why when you buy lottery tickets at the grocery store, you get charged for “misc goods”, if they allow it)

Nick
@ Mon Feb 07, 2011 04:50:09 PM
215

Hi guys. As for the definitive proof you are all seeking, it’s unobtainable. In order for anyone to provide proof it would take an extensive full time audit of the systems providing these games. Sorry, but I do not have the authority to gather the information you need.

And that’s the point. As I stated above, no one knows how legit the hands are. In business, transactions are brokered by 3rd parties to ensure fairness. Why is this so different? Here it’s the brokering of cards which result in the movement of money from one account to another. All I’m asking for is that same type of assurance that no one involved in the transaction can cheat.

Nick
@ Mon Feb 07, 2011 04:53:54 PM
216

Now, speaking of the DealGuardian shuffling algorithm. The software is sound and produces the results one would expect from an random card generator.

Eric, have you even looked at the software? We posted it on Source Forge quite some time ago and we have not had any complaints.

Nick
@ Mon Feb 07, 2011 05:01:55 PM
217

Speaking of how online sites can profit from making players go broke. I have stated this before and it’s worth looking into. But the more cash a site is given to invest, the more revenue they can generate from their investment.

That’s right Eric, these funds are not sitting in some protected savings account. The funds are used to generate interest revenue for the site. Already a couple of sites have become insolvent by making poor investment decisions with player’s bank roles.

In order to protect themselves from getting called on players w/drawing funds, it would work in their favor by having players bust out. If this is not the case then why is the minimum deposit like $25 but the minimum withdrawal $100?

Anyway, open your mind a bit and you will see that in the past unregulated companies have done underhanded things to boost their profits. If this is a surprise to you, then this conversation is over because you refuse to get it.

Eric
@ Mon Feb 07, 2011 07:46:01 PM
218

It’s not unobtainable, Nick.

Take your millions of hands of hand history, give it to PokerTracker, and LET IT TELL YOU.

Of course I haven’t looked at it, I don’t go searching randomly for card shuffling software, last I knew you were banned from twoplustwo, and you stopped going to the PPA forums presumably because there are people there who have a much better knowledge of algorithms than myself, who were able to call you on your bullshit, and show proof of it.

All you’re suggesting, is a way for every site to hand the deal off to you, and.. what then? I’d presume that you would then rig the deal for you.

Nick
@ Tue Feb 08, 2011 05:18:51 PM
219

Do you have a million hands to run through? Do these hands provide all the hole cards?

Now I see the problem. I believe you have to investigate the software to determine fairness, you think you can gather data from a single individual and analyse the data. I bet I can write software that can cheat and still provide the proper statistics.

A winning hand does not need to be a monster to provide a bad beat, it just needs to be better than the guy being cheated.

Lorin Yelle
@ Tue Feb 08, 2011 05:36:28 PM
220

What I never understood about your argument is why a bad beat ever need be delivered at all. Why not deal coolers instead? Every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world will win money with KK and AA. Why not deal more of these hands to players who are in trouble and let nature take it’s course?

If this were done, there would never be any suspicion at all and the guy getting the cooler could console himself by feeling that he was really the victim of bad luck, not a tweaked system designed to know him off his imaginary pedestal.

You keep raising the bar on the evidence needed. A single player’s own personal hold cards are all that is necessary because all these guys are apparently the star in their own cheating scandal and claim at they are getting drawn out on more than their share. If this is the case, we have everything we need available right now, yet no one has stepped forward and shown that this has happened over a statistically relevant sample in a statistically relevant fashion.

Lorin Yelle
@ Tue Feb 08, 2011 05:38:09 PM
221

Also, if a winning hand does not need to be a monster to be a bad beat, make sure to let everyone else on this forum know. They can’t seem to tell the difference.

Nick
@ Tue Feb 08, 2011 06:26:18 PM
222

You keep asking me to answer your questions, yet you fail to answer all of mine.

If standard operating procedures for regulated companies are to use brokers to ensure fairness in financial transactions, why are these sites immune to such processes?

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:32:32 AM
223

There already is regulation. What you are offering is not regulation. What you are offering is just another hand in the pot- another middle man. When I deposit money at the bank, what I want is to be able to trust MY BANK, not have them keep handing off the cash to somebody else. In fact, as Eric pointed out, the more people touch the cards, the more likely a player is to get screwed. If your company deals out the cards, now we need yet another company to keep watch over yours, ad infinitum. Where does it stop?

As you yourself acknowledged, the complaints of cheating are inevitable. Few people really understand the odds, and still fewer of those keep accurate records. Eventually those complaints would fall unto you and the only reassurance you could offer is that you don’t know where the cards are going. People willing to stick up for your service will be accused of being in cahoots with you and we will end up where we are right now, except with the possibility of one notable difference- we will be forced to pay extra compensation to outsource a service that we were already getting for free. That means less rakeback and rewards. Thanks, but no thanks.

Randy “coddfish” Codd
@ Wed Feb 09, 2011 01:55:09 AM
224

My god… I have stated this before and I state it again… This is the most interesting thread of ALL TIME !!! Primarily thanks to Nick, Eric and Lorin… But here’s the real skinny…

I am a sucessful poker player, at low to mid stakes games(online)… I (like Lorin) have won at EVERY site I’ve played on… But here’s the honest truth… I am skeptical of ALL online play… Something just doesn’t feel right… Ok. maybe I’m dumb, or maybe I’m not… The fact remains that I have won online wherever I’ve played… But I’m not convinced that online play is as fair as live play…

Lorin, you referred to an earlier blog as annectdotal… Perhaps you consider this one to be the same… I don’t know… I just am trying to share with you my feelings.. Right or wrong…

Randy”coddfish”Codd

Oh, By the way… Grrrinders.com(note the three r’s) Is the best new place to play online… It is a subscription site… With Pro sponsorship available… Up and running on Valentines day !!! Gl e1 !!!

coddfish

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Feb 09, 2011 04:24:32 AM
225

Randy, I appreciate your offer, but I am unwillingly to play at your site unless you outsource your shuffle. As a fledgling company, it is clearly not in your best interest to establish your image with honor, respect, and trustworthiness. The only way you will be able to create a long lasting and profitable site is to make sure that you deliver unrealistic bad beats to your core clientele and do everything possible in your power to make sure that no one ever cashes out so you can reinvest their money into finding more effective ways to deliver unrealistic bad beats to your core clientele. You will also need to maintain enough on hand cash to hire folk to defend your site on obscure forum threads and to deliver packets of drugged KoolAid to those who become wary of your
ways to make sure they keep depositing and playing on your site.

Actually, that last expense can probably be eliminated as most people would prefer to keep depositing anyhow and share their grievances on said obscure forum threads.

Anonymous
@ Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:25:24 PM
226

Hi

I am new here, and even though it does sound proposturus that gaming sites rig there deck, I do feel thaat online poker plays differently. It might just be the fact that I see more hand, however the flop textures and the donks always outdrawing me makes feel a little wary of the whole situation.

Maybe online poker isnt for me.

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:52:01 AM
227

That’s the most reasonable thing I have heard from your camp. Why can’t all you other guys do this?

Randy”coddfish”Codd
@ Fri Mar 04, 2011 01:12:49 AM
228

Keep on keepin’ on… The great debate rages on !!! I was off on the opening of Grrrinders.com…. Any day now…. I invite all of you to come and check us out… FREE of charge… We have cash and some great prizes up for grabs.. That is… if you can take down coddfish ! Check us out Lorin and e1…

Randy”coddfish”Codd

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Mar 04, 2011 06:10:55 AM
229

I actually plan on giving it a shot, I want to be pro, yo. Do I have to leave a deposit for the boomswitch?

Anonymous
@ Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:27:13 AM
230

@ Lorin, you say you play poker with this name, Funny how I cant find you on pokertable ratings.

Lorin Yelle
@ Fri Mar 25, 2011 06:23:01 AM
231

Never said I play poker under this name. This is me. I don’t think Eric Blade plays under his real name either.

Randy”coddfish”Codd
@ Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:47:37 PM
232

I just submitted a comment and it is gone !!! Maybe the Feds have cracked down on this thread as well…

Randy”coddfish”Codd

LMFO
@ Mon Apr 18, 2011 05:24:43 PM
233

LMAO,I guess we were right all along where is Blade and Lorin,I think putting there heads between there legs.Wow,since my last post what I was accusing the sites for came to pass and we know what happened to them haaaa.I guess the next thing that will come to pass is they were manipulating the software I guess I did know what I was talking about.I think you should apolgize for insulting people that they didnt know as much as you guys and we were all paranoid dillusional morons compared to you, but it is ok for you to be naive I wont hold that against you.I think I can sell you the eiffel tower for scrap metal it was done twice why not try it agian LMFAO

Randy”coddfish”Codd
@ Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:47:57 PM
234

Really LMAO???

Let’s get real here… What happened last Friday had absolutely NOTHING to do with Eric and Lorin’s position on the topic of ‘Manipulating the Deck in Online Poker”. The Feds cracked down on Poker Stars, Full Tilt and Absolute/Ultimate Bet for MONEY LAUNDERING AND BANK FRAUD, not operating rigged poker games… How silly you look blaming Lorin and Eric for something they had NOTHING to do with…

I’ll be inviting you all to the best place now to play LEGAL online poker in the good old USA soon !

Randy”coddfish”Codd

Nick
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 04:49:08 AM
235

I doubt that Eric and Lorin had any thing to do with the sites. However, if the sites are indeed money laundering, Eric and Lorin can no longer call them legitimate, upstanding businesses. And if they are willing to perform such illicit acts, then it would be safe to assume that they are also involved with other forms of less than scrupulous activities, such as deck rigging and so forth.

Lorin Yelle
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 05:42:55 AM
236

@ LMFO and Nick

There is a serious non-sequitur here. How does this make sense:

Sites resorting to illicit means to ensure players get paid = sites must be resorting to illicit means to ensure players are getting screwed.

People feel very differently from a moral perspective when it comes to the issues of hiding money from the government vs. deliberately cheating and harming their fellow citizens. If you believe that the statement in the first paragraph does make sense, then ask yourself if this makes sense:

Your neighbor on the left was convicted of tax evasion, therefore he is more likely than your neighbor on the right to be in the possession of child pornography.

Don’t get me wrong- they are guilty of this and they should be punished under the law. A friend of mine received a poker cash out from George’s Flowers in Florida several years ago. So as much as you would like to believe that I have had my head in the sand, this news strikes me as anything but surprising.

The reason this is happening is because the DOJ had sufficient evidence of these crimes. We are still, however, waiting for your evidence.

Eric
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 06:14:36 PM
237

Sorry, I’ve been busy with my day-job dealing at a live room, and playing a ton on the sites that are still up. I might un-retire from professional play at this point, because the games on the small sites are suddenly awesome.

Eric
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 06:21:07 PM
238

btw, coddfish, welcome to what might possibly be the longest running single thread on the internet .. certainly the longest running one that i’ve ever been involved in.

LMAO
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 06:24:18 PM
239

I never once said they were to blame.but to be so arrogant and say there is no way that they could possibly rig the decks but to steal millions is absurd. I wonder how many of these sites that USA players still had money in there accounts that actually will get it back hmmm. I dont have to try to prove myself I have a winning record and been playing with the big boys for over 30 years and like alot of the top players who dont play on line anymore but did for awhile have come to the conclusion that they were manipulating the deck and beleive me this will come out also.I cant wait to see what happens to some of the over rated so called Pro endorsed players from these sites, when there not beeing endorsed anymore most of them will be broke in about 3 years or less but morons like me lmao will still be playing for a living.

Randy”coddfish”Codd
@ Tue Apr 19, 2011 09:23:11 PM
240

I stand corrected LMAO… ‘Blame” was a poor choice of words on my part. I respect Lorin and Eric’s position just as I do yours. This thread has been fun to follow for some time now… I hope it continues even though the major players(sites) in question may have vanished, at least for the time being…

Nick
@ Wed Apr 20, 2011 04:42:44 PM
241

Really Lorin? Money laundering is serious. Someone who launders money is doing it to hide some illegal activity. Could be drugs, terrorism or something else. So you still stand there and say that a company that would do such things would most definitely not cheat players to take their bankrolls?

I recall that in the early forms of gambling establishments, those same kinds of people rigged their games and cheated their customers. This is not speculation, this is fact. Not until hard regulation and constant supervision did the legit operations come out. I think we are just experiencing history repeat itself.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Apr 20, 2011 08:03:47 PM
242

Nick, I agree that money laundering is used for nefarious activities such as hiding drug money and terrorism funds. Apparently, it is also used for illegally moving money through channels in the pursuit of a business that was obtaining the money in a legal way.

You are making a fallacious comparison by stating that there is a logical step from protecting a legal business to outright theft. Under this form of logic, you might as well state that they are, in fact, engaging in drug smuggling and the funding of terrorism. Basically, you are back to speculating because there is no mention whatsoever in the DOJ indictment of deck tampering for the purposes of cheating. With the tens of thousands of man hours and millions of dollars that were contributed to putting together this case, I can guarantee you that they would have LOVED to cram in multiple charges of rampant cheating which would have only required the efforts of a few MIT geeks crammed into a studio apartment running some hands through a HEM database and applying some simple statistical analysis.

I don’t think I ever claimed that this was beyond the abilities or morals of unscrupulous poker room operators. My claim is that it has not, nor is it actually happening. As I have stated before, my profits and win rates have matched up with EV projections over time. I have also witnessed many times more bad beats than the posters on this site over a career that has spanned about 4 millions hands. However, I understand their place and probability of happening and the lack of productivity in complaining about said hands in public.

I have a million hands in my recent database if anyone cares to look, yet I am still waiting on seeing something similar from your bench. The only thing I could find was this:

http://fulltiltpokerrigged.blogspot.com/

I invite anyone who is interested in human folly to peruse this site, as it boggles the rational mind. Anyone who cares enough to post about such issues for three years while still playing there should be willing to buy some scrap metal from LMFO.

Though I often get annoyed by the stuff I read in this thread, I don’t think that the people who are writing it are necessarily stupid, but it’s clear by the content that they just aren’t experts at poker and they have no idea to what extent they don’t understand it.

I

WE ARE ALL MORONS AND STUPID EXCEPT LORIN
@ Wed Apr 20, 2011 09:17:45 PM
243

Blah,Blah,and more double talk I came to the conclusion that your arrogant, stuck on yourself and by far the most intelegent in poker on this site probably the world.You say you have nothing to prove but always want to show your hand histories of course there going to have a few success stories or it wouldnt work just like Madoff a few get paid. I have asked several endorsed pros when I was playing in Vegas, that said nobody could beat them on line I said to them thats because they cheat.Then I asked if it is so random like you say how can someone like Durrrr give up so much handicapp to other Pros who are equal to him but wont give the same in live play.Then I made a prop bet to 5 pros that are endorsed by 2 big sites that they couldnt beat me on line and I would put up a million to there 500 thousand and they said lets play.Then I said 1 catch to this prop to prove that the sites are legit like you guys say it is I will play under your name and you on mine in a controlled room monitored by people of there choosing boy the tune changed they all declined hmmmmm what difference who’s name you play under if you have a fish with money.

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Apr 20, 2011 09:42:40 PM
244

I remember you. You posted as “WOW” a few months ago, but some of the details are beginning to look like a fisherman’s tale. Here is what you said the last time:

Also when I went to AC which I know some of the pros I play with them alot I have given them a prop bet that I will play them and give them 3 to 1 on a bet that they cant beat me even when I have never won on line before.The catch was that they had to play under my name and I play under theres I asked 3 pros and all 3 declined hmmmmmmmmm.I played big stakes over 25 years ago no longer only play small tourneys have a family you cant google me I am only known amongst the players and dealers and floormen in AC and mohegan sun but they will tell you I win alot of tourneys there because I am a tight player against the maniacs.I would love to talk to you maybe it is me and you can educate me after talking to me if you feel I am so paranoid I am just another bad player maybe after playing 30 years I should not play any longer I will do that please e-mail me Eric and Lorin I will give you my number so we can talk gle698@aol.com

So at what point was AC no longer good enough for the new version of the story, and at what point did you realize that you had an “oops” moment and forgot to mention that it was a 1mil:500k prop bet?

Lorin Yelle
@ Wed Apr 20, 2011 09:44:27 PM
245

Also, being an arrogant know-it-all does not in itself disqualify me from being correct :)

Eric
@ Sun Apr 24, 2011 04:04:50 PM
246

” Anyone who cares enough to post about such issues for three years while still playing there should be willing to buy some scrap metal from LMFO.”

Lorin, I’ve been on this thread for about that long now. Yeesh.

“WE ARE ALL MORONS” should’ve ended his post right after those words, because everything in that message is absolutely beyond comprehension to a sane mind.

Eric
@ Sun Apr 24, 2011 04:05:32 PM
247

oh, and anyone who’s still using AOL for email, deserves everything in life that comes to them.

Laughing Assassin
@ Sat Jun 11, 2011 08:34:36 AM
248

I agree with this article – I’m not sure whether online poker is rigged but it could be. Also, it’s not enough to just accept that it is fair – we should be examining our hand histories to try to find anomalies.

So I’ve run some tests to see if good players get more bad beats than poor players. So far 1 million hands on Stars SnGs and 1.2 million hands on Party cash tables… more to come.

I want this info to be available to everyone so I’ve put the results on:

http://www.onlinepokerwatchdog.com

There are also downloads available on the site so anyone with Poker Tracker can run this test on their own hand histories.

249

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DigDug
@ Sat Aug 27, 2011 03:58:07 AM
250

Poker players want the online game to be real. Until they lose, then they want it to be fake. Either way they keep playing.

“Did you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” – John Lydon

haywood jebolmee
@ Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:59:24 AM
251

i’m slowly figuring out how to beat the so called rng in sit & go games.

Yo lorin
@ Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:29:29 PM
252

What happened did pokerstars and fulltilt cheat!!!!!! Are they doing something fishy????Why would they risk it I hear you ask. HAHAHAHHA fkn moron.

Yo lorin
@ Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:32:17 PM
253

How are you correct foool. Just because the head of a pokersite like pokerstars does not want to cheat because it will hurt his business, does not mean that the 1000’s of people that work their share the same view.

@ Thu Oct 27, 2011 01:09:02 PM
254

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author
@ Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:22:51 PM
255

comment

Vini
@ Wed Aug 22, 2012 09:29:39 AM
256

First, sorry for my poor english.

I starded to play online just a year ago. First in PartyPoker and then in 888. Well, I don’t have statistics to show but I hust wanna share an impression.

I see a lot of times, I mean A LOT, when a player get a good hand and lose with, in the very next hand they get a favorable board regardless of the cards he has. Could be just my brain…. but it looks like there’s a “compensation” macanism in these sites.

George
@ Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:05:59 AM
257

6 years of playing. 3-6outers should fall 7-13% of time. Let’s take just preflop allins and just RIVERS where these 3-6outers are to come or not to come. Pokersite: Pokerstars. These numbers go from 7-13% to…. like 35%? I do remember that in my biggest pots ever these 3-6 outers came 100%. Yeah yeah, I was on that side where I was favourite until river. So how about Barry Greensteins 3% edge he has to have to make a good living at gigh stakes. With suchdistributios plus relatively higher rake on small stakes I do kiss profit goodbye and keep on breaking even forever. I put my time into it, and I realised now, that this is a game of psychology …..stars are playing, they manipulate players, they claim they are poker and output the pokername in their title, this is the highest form of disrispect for people. Will it ever change…. Well, 6years gone. Am I a donk? Well, I finished best shcol in my country, and I was 1st from boys. I guess I am a donk, because I played online.

btkqhadmhzwb
@ Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:55:22 AM
258

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Randy “coddfish” Codd
@ Sat Apr 13, 2013 01:06:23 AM
259

Geez, almost seven months between comments… to Lorin and Eric… thank you for the most entertaining thread of all time ! I guess we are near (or at) the end.

I hope to see you all down the “poker road” !

Randy “coddfish” Codd

Hugh
@ Fri Apr 26, 2013 03:11:43 PM
260

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petar
@ Sun Jan 05, 2014 01:57:40 AM
266

lol i have read tread in two days,was interesting for me,lot of time has gone by-I am just curious for Lorin ,is he still a winning player after all this time- he seemed like a really good player and if you read this LORIN PLEASE SAY 1 SHORT YES OR NO THANKS

@ Fri Jun 27, 2014 03:53:01 PM
267

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Randy Codd
@ Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:42:43 AM
271

I guess this thread if officially dead. It was fun while it lasted!

Randy “coddfish” Codd

Bob C
@ Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:30:52 PM
272

Play PS all the time. Can’t play real$ cause I’m in U of S. Recently did a count of number of pairs hit in flop. It was a big 42.3% of the flops. If it’s not intentional then it’s a flaw in the algorithm (that could be fixed).

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273

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Manipulating The Deck In Online Poker – Ed Miller – poker ebooks, poker coaching, poker articles from the noted poker authority

rigomat
@ Sat Sep 27, 2014 05:48:57 PM
274

Guys, save your money and don’t try to find proof for rigging. The software is designed to keep all players at the same winrate. They bend the odds within mathematical probabilities, therefore you will not find hard proof with your own sample since you are missing information. The only way to find proof is to sit with 8 other players fullring, play all hands to the river, merge handhistories and check on:

A) Outcome for any player who has bet preflop (including SB/BB)

vs

B) Any player who has folded preflop without betting

Randy Codd
@ Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:11:52 PM
275

This may be the most definitive answer I have ever seen in the several years I have followed this thread and I totally agree. Although it is not in the best interest of any poker site to “manipulate” the deck in any way to favor any (one) player, it is in the best interest of ALL poker sites to keep as many players in the games as possible. ‘Pretty simple logic and thanks to rigomat for pointing out the obvious.

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@ Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:48:40 PM
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Mario
@ Sun Mar 15, 2015 04:13:22 PM
277

Guys I play since 2007 now, most of the time for a living. I would say I am a mtt pro from Germany. I made about 150K $ net profit, and had winnings about 700K $ or so. Thats not much If u devide this by the years, I would have been much better of, by working at some rubbish job.
Is online poker rigged:
You can bet ur butt on that it’s rigged as hell!
If it wouldn’t I’d already be a millionaire by now.
Instead I barley made the living. Went broke three times, cause the income/winnings weren’t enough to make a living and keep the roll at the same time.
You win some and then you go on an abnormal super hardcore downswing. Every river crushes you. AQ/AK always looses vs Ax, the flush always arrives. If one sucks out himself, it’s only random and for the statistic, but never if its really importand for your roll.
I was once 250 buyins under EV on sngs tracked on my Holdem Manager. All variance . Yeah of course, tell that your ugly granny. I tried to do the boku87 challenge (a german grinder,who once played 50 tables at a time) and, where he managed to make 10K from 100$ in 2 weeks. U can bet ur ass that dude was pushed by Pokerstars for promotional purposes. If you try it yourself, you go on a Superman downswing!
The sites don’t let the pros win what they should win. Otherwise, the fish pool would be dry within a year. There wouldn’t be fish anymore online. The owners know that, and make break even players to loosing players, and winners to break even players. There are some winners. They run hot as fugg, cause they have winning accounts. This is the way the money is kept in the system. The only one who really wins are the owners and some chosen ones!
Seriously, when I hear people like Lorin who says: “People loose because they don’t work at their game…”
Are you kidding me? Seriously??? Thats your typical forum nerd argument? I worked at my game all the time! I am a pokerstrategy.de member, I am at deucescracked, I’ve read almost all important pokerbooks on the market, read strategy articles, watched tons of videos, u can bet ur friggin ass that, I fuggn crush my limit and my opponents, and you always see that, when I am allin! Cause I am almost most of the time ahead, which btw is the sense of this game. Putting ur money in when u are ahead. God Its most of the time as if I can see the cards of my opponents, cause the play soo soo bad …and if I really could see I them, I wouldnt jam my stack in differently!!! And now u arrogant chosen winning account players tell me I need to work at my game. Ofc you need to work at it every week, but seriously people, thats not the reason. People always say: “Online poker got harder to beat” LOL???
I laugh my ass off. The people I play with are the same donkeys as they have been in 07. People got better? They are sometimes even worse than whenever No Limit came out. Complete retards at the table. This argument looks like it’s made up by the online industry to brainwash the nerds, who believe in online poker.
And ofc sure I build a big stack by crushing the retardet dumb fish at the sites, in the early stages, but it wont help anyway. At some point you have to jam it in, and thats when u get shaved hard. Dry no scum!
Tell me how live player can make a living in mtts? They play maybe 1 mtt per week. Dude I play 30 in one night! Thats 600 a months!!!! And still I dont win big.
I tell u people who believe I shall work more on my game and its my fault: You come to my home, which sucks btw, and play on my computer, on my account, on my limits, with my volume, and you will experience the livetime downswing of you freaking carreer. While doing that you will have to get along with the money I have per month. You will freak out. The pressure will be high, and you will never ever say again, that online poker is not rigged. And btw, I still beat it. I am winning, but boy, I still drive no Aston Martin, have no house. Actually I dont even have a car, and am a victim of my hope, to finally cash in on on site, that has mercy, to lets me win at least 30-50K sothat I can use that money to crush live poker or invest in a small business. Thats the only reason I am still in with it. Actually I don’t need it, cause I hate sitting at the pc day in and out, just like a slave of the online business robbed and scammed about my skills, energy and honor. I only do it cause thats the only sight to get some money in my live after I dumbed my college. To get a small win that people like Ivey Zigmund and Co and flip and threebet at their rediculous tables.
Cheers
A winning online player
And no, I dont have big HM statistics anymore, because I changed my pc twice, and also played on different names, to get a winning acc. My names at sharkscope are mostly blocked, because of the german tax law.

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278

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@ Sat Jul 18, 2015 08:48:54 PM
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@ Sat Aug 08, 2015 06:21:27 PM
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already been caught cheating
@ Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:15:05 AM
281

your completely wrong no proof of online cheating 100% proof. Pot ripper was caught and was caught in a tournament. Also neo neo and a few other players. They were used by workers for the site to clean people out at all levels not just high stakes and not just cash games. How were they caught? Security denied any allegation and also said they went through hand history which is a complete lie. A worker accidently sent the entire hand history of pot rippers tournament to a player who had no idea what it was was just asking for certain hands played. A engineer looked at it reconcstructed it to a youtube video showing pot ripper saw all the hands. So the gaming commission is useless, their security is useless and they were caught be a player who got a email from a worker by accident of the entire tournament. That is 100% proof the yare cheating and doing it on all sites. And they are making a killing off everyone. Tehy are in costa rica in some basement drooling at everyone sitting down with real money they are about to clean out cause the ycan see the cards.

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@ Tue Mar 28, 2017 01:02:14 AM
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Spider
@ Sun Apr 02, 2017 02:32:40 AM
291

Very informative post. Good information. Many thanks.

roboter
@ Wed Apr 12, 2017 01:01:13 AM
292

I want to see these numbers by means of hand history. E.g. How often did someone meet flsuhdraw or openend or better when I had set on the flop? How often is 9TJ on the flop when I reked with KK and someone had Qx? Or how often was 9Tx on the flop when 2 players were there and one 87 and the other had QJ? How often are four cards of a color or ordered on the board and how many times do I have AA or KK? How do you look at 3-bet flops pre-flops? Botton vs. Blinds Raises? Hit ratio of individual cards by positions? Should be the same in all positions. I can not have more flushes with Axs at the Botton than under the gun, although I Axs at Botton more often than UTG I mean here the average number. Is the random distribution dependent on the bets? Do not see such figures nowhere! Lots of mathematics professors here! Would be nice if the times who shows me or how to calculate the self. And in the end, the same number of cards should be given live and the same analysis will be made and compared.

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