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(MSNBC)   "I am shocked, shocked to find cheating going on at a poker website"   (msnbc.msn.com ) divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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15724 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Sep 2008 at 3:19 PM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-09-18 03:52:40 PM  
This is what happens when you have gambling without a good gaming control board.
 
2008-09-18 03:53:03 PM  
amiker77

We've tried most of the sites but always end up back at PokerStars, even though the hands people catch there are astronomically against the odds.

You really define Astronomically in a new and interesting way. The fact is, most poker hands, your advantage is NOT THAT BIG, even in the best of situations...What is best preflop...about 3-1 or 4-1? Sure there are 1 outers on the river or runner runners, but still, a 5 in 100 shot is not exactly an uncommon hit when you are playing 50-60 hands an hour on one table. That would take two to three times as long to do at a real table, which is why it "seems" like some of the catches are just too crazy.

I have logged many hours online playing poker. I do not play high stakes though so I have likely never really been taken by this extreme of cheating. Sure, maybe a couple of people knew each other at the table and were talking hands while playing, but nothing so complex as what the article is referring to probably happens at the levels I have played.
 
2008-09-18 03:53:28 PM  

deeoh1: This will absolutely destroy them. My friends and I (all online gamblers) have discussed how the poker sites have the proverbial golden goose and it is in their absolute best interest to run a legit operation. If people lose that trust they are dead.


I didn't trust them to begin with. Even if they're running an honest operation, it's too easy for other players to cheat.
 
2008-09-18 03:55:49 PM  

captain_heroic44: You have to be basically retarded to play online for money. If you're not the one doing the cheating, guess what...


WHAT? Finish the sentence, goddamn it!
 
2008-09-18 03:57:08 PM  

Ready_Cents: I trust online more than live casinos actually. As long as the site I am playing at creates a hand history file for every hand I play, there is a record that can be used for any investigation.

That's how AP/UB got caught. Players got suspicious and investigated. These sites didn't come out and admit to it until the evidence was 100% damning. There have been a ton of times that people were suspicious and when they presented their evidence to the community it was found to be without merit and life went on for everyone.

What if some punk dealer at a "real" casino decides to deal a set up hand with his buddy being dealt in the next seat? Not much I can do there and chances are I won't even notice.


You're only seeing the cheaters who got caught.
 
2008-09-18 03:57:33 PM  

srhp29: I have logged many hours online playing poker. I do not play high stakes though so I have likely never really been taken by this extreme of cheating. Sure, maybe a couple of people knew each other at the table and were talking hands while playing, but nothing so complex as what the article is referring to probably happens at the levels I have played.


Same for me. I play quite a bit, but I stick to heads-up sit & go for fairly low stakes (most I've ever played for is $200). You eliminate the risk of collusion when heads-up and at the stakes I play it's probably not worth the risk to cheat.
 
2008-09-18 03:57:34 PM  

amiker77: My boyfriend and I play online poker (VERY small stakes games, like $5 buy-in, tops) most evenings, for fun. We've tried most of the sites but always end up back at PokerStars, even though the hands people catch there are astronomically against the odds.

PokerStars updates its software regularly, but just last night, there was a guy on my bf's table who was winning every hand he played. He folded preflop when my bf had a pair (even when no one had raised yet), and he would call bets after the flop with a small pair as if he knew that the other guys hadn't made so much as a pair. He lost one hand the entire game. I don't think he knew what cards were coming out, but I think he knew what everyone's hole cards were.

My bf said it felt like he was playing for second place the whole time. He asked the guy, "What software are you using?" The guy just typed back "LOL." Neither of us had ever seen anything like it. I don't doubt the guy was cheating somehow.


I won a single table SNG a couple of weeks ago, and I only lost 1 hand at showdown.
 
2008-09-18 03:58:35 PM  
srhp29:

Sorry, when I talked about the odds and "astronomically," I meant it slightly tongue-in-cheek. But even WITH the number of hands played, it sometimes seems silly when certain hands come out. For example, in one 6-man turbo I played, four-of-a-kind came out in three hands in the same game. I'd call that pretty unlikely. And that sort of weirdness seems to happen quite a bit on there. Not enough to keep me from playing, but enough for a lot of people to call it "JokerStars."

I don't know why the guy cheating last night was doing it on such a low-stakes table... Or maybe he really was just THAT lucky. Who knows?

Maybe I'll just go back to play money and not worry about it!
 
2008-09-18 04:00:37 PM  
Does this mean I get back my Pogo tokens I lost playing poker?
 
2008-09-18 04:00:58 PM  

deeoh1: srhp29: I have logged many hours online playing poker. I do not play high stakes though so I have likely never really been taken by this extreme of cheating. Sure, maybe a couple of people knew each other at the table and were talking hands while playing, but nothing so complex as what the article is referring to probably happens at the levels I have played.

Same for me. I play quite a bit, but I stick to heads-up sit & go for fairly low stakes (most I've ever played for is $200). You eliminate the risk of collusion when heads-up and at the stakes I play it's probably not worth the risk to cheat.


If you can win $200 per night and play 5 nights a week that amounts to $52,000 per year.
 
2008-09-18 04:01:10 PM  
I give a 100% chance someone will have their sphincter violated beacuse of this.
 
2008-09-18 04:01:16 PM  
will someone PLEASE think of the children?!
 
2008-09-18 04:01:26 PM  

amiker77: Sorry, when I talked about the odds and "astronomically," I meant it slightly tongue-in-cheek. But even WITH the number of hands played, it sometimes seems silly when certain hands come out. For example, in one 6-man turbo I played, four-of-a-kind came out in three hands in the same game. I'd call that pretty unlikely. And that sort of weirdness seems to happen quite a bit on there. Not enough to keep me from playing, but enough for a lot of people to call it "JokerStars."

I don't know why the guy cheating last night was doing it on such a low-stakes table... Or maybe he really was just THAT lucky. Who knows?

Maybe I'll just go back to play money and not worry about it!



I've been playing on Pokerstars causally for a couple of years. Yeah, I've seen some pretty weird sh*t on there, but I've seen incredibly weird sh*t happen live too.

Here's my favorite example:

Stampede Casino, 60-player $50 freezeout. Final table.

Small stack shoves with 10-10, gets called by the big stack with Q-Q.

Board comes:

10-3-10-Q-Q

Sick.
 
2008-09-18 04:02:26 PM  

amiker77: srhp29:

Sorry, when I talked about the odds and "astronomically," I meant it slightly tongue-in-cheek. But even WITH the number of hands played, it sometimes seems silly when certain hands come out. For example, in one 6-man turbo I played, four-of-a-kind came out in three hands in the same game. I'd call that pretty unlikely. And that sort of weirdness seems to happen quite a bit on there. Not enough to keep me from playing, but enough for a lot of people to call it "JokerStars."

I don't know why the guy cheating last night was doing it on such a low-stakes table... Or maybe he really was just THAT lucky. Who knows?

Maybe I'll just go back to play money and not worry about it!


Maybe he was testing his software before taking it to the bigtime. Or maybe he thinks staying low stakes will help him avoid detection and prosecution. He might figure he can make a few hundreds bucks a month extra with small time stuff that there's very little chance the FBI or anyone will care about. Or he can go with a bigtime scheme, and risk real wrath if he gets caught. Any number of reasons.

Point is, you have to be nuts to gamble online. It's hard enough to detect cheating in real life. There are too many other ways to cheat online.
 
2008-09-18 04:02:54 PM  
I play online for a living, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

I stopped playing at UB over a year ago, and play at Full Tilt and PStars mostly now.

And no, there's no good evidence that the cards themselves are "rigged" to pit the best hands against each other to encourage action. There's software out there tracking every hand dealt on these sites, and, after billions of hands are broken down, the software doesn't see anything unusual.

Crazy shiat happens in live games, too. Just watch this year's WSOP Main Event: during filming, a guy rivered 4 Aces, and that same Ace gave the other guy a Royal. That's a billion-to-one shot.
 
2008-09-18 04:04:46 PM  

Ready_Cents: Befuddled: People are actually dumb enough to gamble online?

Yeah because going to the casino and dropping a couple of hundred at the blackjack table is so smart, right? I guess those billion dollar casinos in Vegas were built by a bunch of geniuses.

Please teach me how to be as big of a genius as you are. God, you're so awesome. Is it ok if I call you God? Do you prefer Dius Fidus perhaps? How long is your nose that you apparently look down the whole world through? Must be pretty big since you seem to have so much perspective? How can I grow up to be just like you? I'm not that smart since I've gambled online before but if I do some sort of penance do I still have a chance?



Because the casinos have over-sight from the various states where they are located. Because every player can see what the dealer and other players are doing. None of the anonymity of the internet.

Sitting at home on your computer you are trusting that the web site you are visiting is legit. You are trusting that they haven't been hacked.

Someone else posted how a relative sat there with three computers in one room playing poker knowing what three hands were changed the outcome. And that's not even a difficult cheat.

/yes I do work for a casino
 
2008-09-18 04:04:50 PM  

captain_heroic44: You have to be basically retarded to play online for money. If you're not the one doing the cheating, guess what...


There are ways for people to cheat online, but there are many ways to minimize your exposure to it.

Like has been said before, poker sites have all the incentive in the world to run a legit site, not a crooked one. I've heard all this sh*t about action flops and miracle runner-runners to bust people in tournaments, but the more you think about it, the less it makes sense for the site. And there's one simple reason:

The site gets paid no matter who wins, so why rig it in favor of anyone?.
 
2008-09-18 04:05:12 PM  

deeoh1: This will absolutely destroy them. My friends and I (all online gamblers) have discussed how the poker sites have the proverbial golden goose and it is in their absolute best interest to run a legit operation. If people lose that trust they are dead.


This. The "lololol people think poker sites are legit" people are off-base here. Yes, you'll find scammers everywhere, but on a functional level, generally no.

I'm writing a doctoral dissertation on this stuff, so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about.
 
2008-09-18 04:05:51 PM  
Rev.K:

Wow. Now THAT'S a hand. I feel bad for the guy with 10's... I'd be that person, if I were in that hand. Luck isn't usually on my team.

Luck is, however, best friends with my son. I taught him 5-card draw (no betting, just playing for fun), and he plays wheels-off and still wins. He discarded two cards the other day in an effort to catch a spade flushiatold him patiently that the odds were very against him drawing two spades, but he insisted on it. I dealt him his two cards, and of course, they were spades. Urgh. He draws into full houses and straights all the time, too. I think he can pay for his own college someday.
 
2008-09-18 04:07:50 PM  
Never play in a rigged game, unless you rig it yourself!!
 
2008-09-18 04:07:51 PM  

deeoh1: Same for me. I play quite a bit, but I stick to heads-up sit & go for fairly low stakes (most I've ever played for is $200). You eliminate the risk of collusion when heads-up and at the stakes I play it's probably not worth the risk to cheat.


Hopefully you play no-limit, since computers have all but 'solved' heads-up limit. The U of Alberta research team has a heads-up limit poker bot that is playing near break-even against some very, very good players in 'duplicate poker' formats, and it's only gonna get better.

Duke_leto_Atredes: Befuddled: People are actually dumb enough to gamble

Blackjack in a 6 deck shoe is the most level form of gaming there is, this is why casino operators hate card counters.

// on the black list for 25 years


Wouldn't a card counter that's been barred for 25 years have been around long enough to know that 1D H17 DOA is a far, far more 'level' game?
 
2008-09-18 04:08:13 PM  

bubbaprog: I'm writing a doctoral dissertation on this stuff, so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about.


Cool! What's it all about?
 
2008-09-18 04:08:26 PM  
I would like to know what site this "friend" was playing on with three computers. Was he using three different internet connections? Because the last time I checked, on any of the sites I've played on in the past 4 years, you couldn't sit at the same table as someone with the same IP address(in a cash game).
 
2008-09-18 04:09:05 PM  

Rev.K: captain_heroic44: You have to be basically retarded to play online for money. If you're not the one doing the cheating, guess what...

There are ways for people to cheat online, but there are many ways to minimize your exposure to it.

Like has been said before, poker sites have all the incentive in the world to run a legit site, not a crooked one. I've heard all this sh*t about action flops and miracle runner-runners to bust people in tournaments, but the more you think about it, the less it makes sense for the site. And there's one simple reason:

The site gets paid no matter who wins, so why rig it in favor of anyone?.


Fair enough. But can they realistically police every hacker sociopath with software that lets him see other players' hands? And the exact same dynamic you talk about--that perception of legitimacy--would serve to deter casinos from reporting much of the cheating that they catch, especially when they're unable to locate and punish the cheater (i.e., most of the time).
 
2008-09-18 04:09:43 PM  

rhyx: deeoh1: srhp29: I have logged many hours online playing poker. I do not play high stakes though so I have likely never really been taken by this extreme of cheating. Sure, maybe a couple of people knew each other at the table and were talking hands while playing, but nothing so complex as what the article is referring to probably happens at the levels I have played.

Same for me. I play quite a bit, but I stick to heads-up sit & go for fairly low stakes (most I've ever played for is $200). You eliminate the risk of collusion when heads-up and at the stakes I play it's probably not worth the risk to cheat.

If you can win $200 per night and play 5 nights a week that amounts to $52,000 per year.


It's rare that I play for that much, but I only play a couple of times a week and I'm banking, on average, a little under $300/wk. (yes, I keep track). I'm a pretty decent player and I've found that up to a certain buy-in I'm better than most of the players I run across, so I'm better off in the long run sticking to the lower stakes. That's why I like heads up sit & go - they're usually quick (I'm amazed at how many times games last less than 10 hands) so you can play several games in a couple of hours.
 
2008-09-18 04:10:15 PM  
Crazy shiat happens in live games, too. Just watch this year's WSOP Main Event: during filming, a guy rivered 4 Aces, and that same Ace gave the other guy a Royal. That's a billion-to-one shot.

Like I said, the stuff that seems to happen "too much" online is only an illusion due to being able to play so many more hands per hour as compared to a live game. I have seen some crazy happenings in live games as well.

Oliver Hudson v Sam Farha on the WSOP a couple years back is a good example. I think Hudson had 1010 vs Farha A10..the flop was AA10... On Stars the loser will say something like "Poker Stars Speical" after a hand like that.

It is easier to push blame onto a website and I generally notice that the only people who suspect cheating going on more than it really is are those whose stacks continue to get smaller and smaller.
 
2008-09-18 04:10:46 PM  
And here's an interesting scattergraph, guess who the yellow dot is?

img134.imageshack.us
 
2008-09-18 04:11:40 PM  

Rickenbacker: Can you really play poker for money online? From the US? I thought that was illegal.


No it's not illegal except for a few specific areas. The government passed some regulations that directly affect online poker, such as the UIGEA. However the UIGEA isn't followed by most banks due to the blatant vagueness of the bill.

Today the House Committee on Financial Services approved a new bill-HR 6870 that will effectively stop the impact (or potential impact) of UIGEA.

Much more information can be found at the Poker Players Alliance page. (new window)
 
2008-09-18 04:11:45 PM  
I played on PartyPoker for a while specifically because it wasn't real money. Then they had a huge influx of people who realized, "Hey! I can just tap the dealer for more money! BET EVERYTHING!" and would ramp the pot before the flop. We don't allow maniac betters at our real monthly table, I wasn't going to play against them online.
 
2008-09-18 04:12:22 PM  
SUPERUSER! Wee.
 
2008-09-18 04:13:01 PM  

Emcee_Squared: Hopefully you play no-limit, since computers have all but 'solved' heads-up limit. The U of Alberta research team has a heads-up limit poker bot that is playing near break-even against some very, very good players in 'duplicate poker' formats, and it's only gonna get better.


Yes, no-limit only. You get bigger fools in no-limit and they're easier to beat :)
 
2008-09-18 04:16:11 PM  

rubi_con_man: Tr0mBoNe: Online is fun for low stakes play when a real game isn't available. Anything more than $100 games and I go to the casino.

And if you really want some help, get PokerSpy to count your odds and remember all the actions the players take.

If you can do this, you will be 99% better at poke than I, the great distract-o is.


Is this you? Woof! Woof!

i225.photobucket.com
 
2008-09-18 04:16:22 PM  

Rev.K: captain_heroic44: You have to be basically retarded to play online for money. If you're not the one doing the cheating, guess what...

There are ways for people to cheat online, but there are many ways to minimize your exposure to it.

Like has been said before, poker sites have all the incentive in the world to run a legit site, not a crooked one. I've heard all this sh*t about action flops and miracle runner-runners to bust people in tournaments, but the more you think about it, the less it makes sense for the site. And there's one simple reason:

The site gets paid no matter who wins, so why rig it in favor of anyone?.


I could see individuals working for the site boosting their wages without the owners knowing for one obvious possibility.
 
2008-09-18 04:17:47 PM  
I try and stick to the MTTs at Pokerstars, I have known a person that suspected some people on a final table of collusion (sp?) and then PS reviewed the hands for the game and agreed, the whole prise structure was re-rewarded after taking that cheater out.
I try and play a bit of cash games but at lower stakes to pay for a few $4 180 man MTTs for the night.
 
2008-09-18 04:20:09 PM  

Crescent Fresh: Rickenbacker: Can you really play poker for money online? From the US? I thought that was illegal.

No it's not illegal except for a few specific areas. The government passed some regulations that directly affect online poker, such as the UIGEA. However the UIGEA isn't followed by most banks due to the blatant vagueness of the bill.

Today the House Committee on Financial Services approved a new bill-HR 6870 that will effectively stop the impact (or potential impact) of UIGEA.

Much more information can be found at the Poker Players Alliance page. (new window)


I will check that out. Thanks!!
 
2008-09-18 04:20:34 PM  
FTFA: Word of the $75 million U.S. claim ($80 million$8000 billion Canadian).

Fixed.
 
2008-09-18 04:21:35 PM  

SpaceLord: guess who the yellow dot is?


Your mom?
 
2008-09-18 04:21:50 PM  

deeoh1: Emcee_Squared: Hopefully you play no-limit, since computers have all but 'solved' heads-up limit. The U of Alberta research team has a heads-up limit poker bot that is playing near break-even against some very, very good players in 'duplicate poker' formats, and it's only gonna get better.

Yes, no-limit only. You get bigger fools in no-limit and they're easier to beat :)


Smart man. I like playing NL tourneys online, but the lower stakes ones are starting to become infested with Kill Phil / Sklansky System "push or fold preflop" players, if not bots themselves. As an experiment, I tried it myself, and managed to turn about a 10% ROI over 100 180-man SnGs with a strict push/fold strategy, and I'm sure I'm not the first guy who thought of it.
 
2008-09-18 04:22:31 PM  
Two of the players - known by the screen names "trambopoline" and "dlpnyc21" - reviewed their hand histories and found that one account in particular, using the screen name "NioNio," was making a killing, having banked an astonishing $300,000 profit in just 3,000 hands.

img257.imageshack.us


Do you believe it now Trinity? He is the One.
 
2008-09-18 04:24:32 PM  

emotion_lotion:
Fair enough. But can they realistically police every hacker sociopath with software that lets him see other players' hands? And the exact same dynamic you talk about--that perception of legitimacy--would serve to deter casinos from reporting much of the cheating that they catch, especially when they're unable to locate and punish the cheater (i.e., most of the time).


I haven't done it, but if you suspect some fishy business at the table, you can email Pokerstars and they will review the hand history in question.

I'm a frequent poster on pocketfives.com and I've seen several guys who emailed Pokerstars about some odd hands and have been refunded money because of it.

You do make a good point that there would be an incentive to hide any cheating that has occurred, but in an example like this, there's a victim to confront and provide an explanation to. As these unresolved complaints mount, the site's legitimacy would suffer, which would ultimately affect the bottom line.

Do I think there's cheating going on? Sure, out of 100,000 players there are likely more than a few who are squeezing out an additional edge or two. But it's not an epidemic, and at the stakes I play (micro-donk) I doubt it's happening all that much.
 
2008-09-18 04:24:47 PM  
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I actually noticed a problem with them back in December but nobody would believe when I told them I found a bug in the system. This is a different "bug" but it's still pretty coincidental.
 
2008-09-18 04:24:52 PM  
pity the poor sap in the upper left.
 
2008-09-18 04:26:00 PM  
As for the actual article:

$300,000 profit in 3,000 hands? Christ. Why not just send Absolute Poker an email that says:

I AM CHEATING ON YOUR SITE! LULZ!
 
2008-09-18 04:26:03 PM  

jaylectricity: PocketfullaSass: jaylectricity: I see two posters who got taken by a poker website.

Actually, you see one poster who was reminded of a previous story by the headline, then you see an ass cactus.

Does that help clarify?

So you're just biatchy? Telling you to read the article to answer your question is a pretty normal response. For you to take offense to it is to say that your original post was intentionally biatchy in the first place.


Goddamn! Who peed in your cornflakes this morning?
 
2008-09-18 04:26:36 PM  
kicker_conspiracy
I play poker recreationally - online I mostly play $100 or less sit-n-gos or sattelites, rarely, if ever cash games. Read about the January allegations, and discussed them with my live poker group. Anybody who follows this story more closely know who the poker pro ("the player") Greenstein and Sebok think might be involved?

I believe, based on internet searches and nothing more, that the suspect du jour is WSOP winner Russ Hamilton
 
2008-09-18 04:27:26 PM  

ThatGuyGreg: PocketfullaSass: Empty the sand out of your vag.

Wow - a little touchy, aren't we?

/want some cranberry juice?


That wasn't touchy. That was sassy. She has a pocket full.
 
2008-09-18 04:30:05 PM  
What is to stop someone from using poker hand analysis software on these sites? I used to play chess online and people using analysis software to make their moves for them was a huge problem.
 
2008-09-18 04:31:14 PM  

bubbaprog: I'm writing a doctoral dissertation on this stuff, so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about.


Is this a new meme I don't know about yet?
 
2008-09-18 04:34:14 PM  
QUESTION:

Where on the net can I legally bet on sports?

Anywhere?
 
2008-09-18 04:36:53 PM  

PocketfullaSass: jaylectricity: I see two posters who got taken by a poker website.

Actually, you see one poster who was reminded of a previous story by the headline, then you see an ass cactus.

Does that help clarify?


Got it, there is a poster who was reminded of a previous story and is an ass cactus...wait, weren't there two posters in this discussion?
 
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