Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tracking Online Cheaters in Poker

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the dirty-way-to-play dept.

Security 150

prostoalex writes "MSNBC has a special report on discovering online cheats at AbsolutePoker.com. A Costa Rican company belonging to a Canadian tribe at first denied all the accusations of any cheating going on, but after Serge Ravitch made a scrupulous analysis of the games' events, the reputation of AbsolutePoker.com was at stake. A detailed log file provided investigators with necessary details: an employee and partial owner of the site was one of the players involved, and having direct access to other players' cards allowed him to improve his game substantially."

cancel ×

150 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

that reminds me of a similar situation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051367)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

xot (663131) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051371)

first post.

Re:fp (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051393)

wow beaten by the copy and paste troll

how's that feel?

Re:fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052751)

> wow beaten by the copy and paste troll
>how's that feel?

(+6, Beer's just as hard to get out of my keyboard as coffee.)

You, sir, fucking rock.

I actually wouldn't mind the scat pr0n troll if he'd just post different every time. How hard could it be to modify the script to pick a story at random and pipe it through sed to replace the names of the story's characters with the names of Slashdot personalities before piping it to the postbot?

That'd be funny for at least a week.

Better yet, slip a paragraph of it in, at random, from the results of a wget on the original article text.

CAPTCHA: "culpable". Heh.

Silly gamblers (1, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051413)

Cards are out. Sports are in. Bet on horse racing, football, and dogfighting - the holy trinity.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

arootbeer (808234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051453)

Football players are racing now? What is the world coming to?

Why isn't this modded funny? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21054057)

Re:Silly gamblers (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051463)

Cards are out. Sports are in. Bet on horse racing, football, and dogfighting - the holy trinity.

All online games are easy to fix but I think people who play online poker are crazy. The whole point of the game is making judgements about the cards people are holding from their behaviour. If you can't see them, or even be sure that they are members of your species, why would you play?

Re:Silly gamblers (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051513)

True, true. ...the whole thing is shady from the get-go. Online gambling is already in a large grey area of international law. Shit, if somebody absolutely had to gamble, then couldn't they do so at an analog casino(which would be a much more difficult to cheat)?

Re:Silly gamblers (2, Insightful)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052345)

At a real casino the casino is ALWAYS going to be cheating you, online you at least have a chance.

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Insightful)

bluekanoodle (672900) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052851)

In a real casino, you don't play against the house in poker, you play against the other player. The casino takes a cut of the rake for providing the atmosphere, the table, and the dealer. As in onlone and "analog" play, it is in the casino's best interest to ensure fair play at a poker table. If players don't feel the play is fair, they'll go somewhere else, and if they go somewhere else, the other players will follow the action. As far as table games go, where you are playing against the house, why is it 'cheating" when the casino provides a game that statistically you are bound to lose, and yet you still play? Disclaimer, I work in the Casino indistry, but I also know better to play the games, because the odds aren't in my favor.

Re:Silly gamblers (0, Offtopic)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053893)

providing the atmosphere

I just got back from a Slashdot 10th anniversary get-together in Calgary with ~15 other fellow geeks (the story about living with two sword-wielding lesbian nudists just HAS to be a troll) and I'd like to thank Taco for the stunning blonde at the table across the way.

Actually, I was expecting a bunch of laptop-equipped nerdy guys with live video cams.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053715)

This is a stupid post. Casino's don't cheat anyone. Why would they cheat you when they make plenty of money off of you without cheating?

So, you're telling me you would rather play a black box game for money than a transparent one in a casino?

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053789)

Insightful? Idiotic more like.

The odds might be against you in a casino but that's not cheating. That's totally transparent and in the open. If you choose to play knowing that it's your decision. But the casinos don't cheat.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

Best ID Ever! (712255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053261)

Nearest B&M casino to me: 1.5 hours. Thanks, but I think I'd rather stay home and play poker online.

There are online poker rooms with very good reputations among avid poker players; Absolute Poker, despite its size, is not one of them.

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051537)

I guess its for people who cant make a poker face then. :)

Re:Silly gamblers (1, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051545)

They play for the same reason that people play slot machine games against a computer programmed to make a profit... addiction

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051679)

I think people who play online poker are crazy. The whole point of the game is making judgements about the cards people are holding from their behaviour.
A large part of their behavior is how they bet and how long they take to do it. That's still visible. Believe it or not, most decent poker players have a pretty good "poker face". It's not like you gain much insight at live poker looking for twitching eyelids and nervous ball-scratching.

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Informative)

stirfry714 (410701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051705)

"Making reads on people" is only a small part of the game. Sure it's an important part to make certain borderline decisions, but there are far more important considerations - hand selection, betting strategies, pot odds, etc...

Yes, playing online takes away non-verbal tells. But it also gives you ammo in the form of hand histories, betting patterns, etc. You can gain far more information about an opponent if you know how he's played in the past than you ever could off a potentially deceptive tell.

Also, if you're wondering why some people play online, it's because there's far more diversity of games - typical live poker rooms these days are just $1/$2 NL HoldEm fests, with very few other tables. Plus many players enjoy the faster rate of the game, and some even multitable, having numerous tables open at once. You can play *far* more hands per hour online than in a live game.

With that said, I do enjoy live poker more, and I would play it more often - if only it was legal and regulated in my state. Too bad I have to drive three hours to find the closest poker room.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#21054133)

So, are stats programs not considered cheating then? I always thought part of the skill of poker was to be able to calculate odds and use that information, as well as what you know about your opponents and their tendencies, to win. Real life casinos wouldn't let you use a computer to do that, but it's okay online?

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051719)

In both online and offline poker, the biggest clues to your opponents are *not* facial or body language tells. Those are too easy to fake. The real clues are betting patterns and logic. Those are not only obvious online, they're easier to spot. Bots are actually fairly easy to beat, they can't use second order logic (playing your opponents tendencies, not just your cards)

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051853)

Ahh the bot dilemma. A good bot will be able to follow your tendencies and play against them. Don't believe me? Ever play Any console fighting games on super hard modes? We had the tech to do that in the 90's imagine what is available to an enterprising person or (business for that matter.)

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051895)

First off- video games don't do it very well. Secondly, they're games of perfect information- the games know all the variables of past attacks. They don't know all of it in poker, so they do an even worse job. Trust me, as someone who's made several thousand dollars on online poker- I'll play at a table of bots all day long, its free money.

Re:Silly gamblers (4, Insightful)

RCSInfo (847666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052099)

Here is my reservation with online poker - what if instead of a table of bots, you were playing a single bot holding 4 hands? The bot still doesn't have perfect information, but can now factor in all of the cards from all hands that it sees. For that matter, what keeps a human player from starting a 2nd account and playing two hands at the same table?

Re:Silly gamblers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052329)

I haven't played many recent console fighters, but I know that instead of learning your playing style, earlier ones actually read your input and reacted. You could use this to outwit the computer if you found errors in the reaction AI. A common one was doing something like walking towards your opponent or sometimes just standing, which given the right criteria would have the computer not attack you (letting you win by time out).

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

karmatic (776420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053347)

Bots are actually fairly easy to beat, they can't use second order logic (playing your opponents tendencies, not just your cards).

Bad bots don't do second order logic.

As anyone who has played any poker knows, there are a variety of strategies one can do in poker, affecting everything from when to bluff or fold, raise or call, etc. It's relatively trivial to have a bot that can try different techniques depending on who it's playing against, and learn what works and doesn't.

Furthermore (and especially at high levels, where there are fewer players, who each play more games than at lower levels), the bot potentially has access to the complete history of every visible card from every game ever played by the bot. So, even for hands the bot did not participate in (or folded early, or whatever), a bot can still analyze which of it's strategies most corresponded to the methods employed by opponents against the target, and determine their effectiveness against said target. Simple probabilistic analysis.

For unknown opponents, one can take the the database of played hands, and determine which strategies are most effective against each other. Default to a random choice of the better (on average) performing techniques, then analyze every hand to see which playing style(s) most correspond to the players in the current hand. As their techniques become more or less like ones in the database, adjust the playing style of the bot to most counter the playing styler of the other players.

Where it gets really difficult is playing against an opponent who knows you are playing his tendencies. It's possible to "bait" a bot like this by (for example) bluffing a bunch of small hands (and getting caught), then trying to convince the bot you are doing the same thing with a good hand and a larger pot.

If you're looking to build a really nice poker bot, I would recommend using a FANN [leenissen.dk] -based neural network. It does a pretty good job of handling probabilistic analysis for you, if you train the net properly and have good inputs. Neural networks are pretty good at coming up with good answers for unknowns, when properly implemented.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

jaffray (6665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052023)

I think people who play online poker are crazy. The whole point of the game is making judgements about the cards people are holding from their behaviour.
Perhaps you should learn a little bit about poker before making such declarations about the sanity of others. Physical tells are a very small component of the game.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051693)

I prefer stocks. Just as thrilling, and you get to earn (or lose) as much as you want, with none of the ethical or moral issues.

And of course you get to laugh at all the people on the wrong side of the fence on a day like today, and take their money!

Re:Silly gamblers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21053189)

You consider playing stock a gamble? What a pussy. Stock is like a poker table where each player gets 20% of chips that they currently have every round.

Unless you take crazy risks (or just play stupidly), there is no way you can lose.

It's not a gamble at all.

Re:Silly gamblers (-1, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051873)

what cards? Online casinos can program it so deal you a seventeen of circles "card" if they want. They're ALL a scam. You can program them to do anything and you can't see if your other players are who they say they are or if they even exist at all! I can right now make a casino where nobody ever wins and people would fall for it for a while. All of them should be outlawed everywhere.

Re:Silly gamblers (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053027)

As I'm sure somebody has said.. Poker is a game of SKILL not a game of CHANCE.

There is a very simple test..

Football fans know the top 20 football players, it's a game of skill.
Baseball fans know the top 20 baseball players, it's a game of skill.
Poker fans know the top 20 poker players, it's a game of skill.

See the pattern? Now, tell me:

Name the top 20 craps players in the world
Name the top 20 slots players in the world
Name the top 20 roulette players in the world.

Yes, poker has an element of luck: You can often get your money in with the best hand early on in a hand, only to have your opponent improve his hand as the hand plays out. But there are techniques to mitigate that, computing pot and implied odds and determine the Expected Value of a given bet.

what is the best way? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051441)

"This is literally a geek trying to prove to senior management that they were wrong and he took it too far," he said.

So you know there is a problem and management refuses to believe it. What's the best course of action? Ignore it (and potentially looking like an idiot and getting fired when it's discovered)? Show that it's a problem (and potentially be fired)?

Re:what is the best way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051745)

"This is literally a geek trying to prove to senior management that they were wrong and he took it too far," he said.

So you know there is a problem and management refuses to believe it. What's the best course of action? Ignore it (and potentially looking like an idiot and getting fired when it's discovered)? Show that it's a problem (and potentially be fired and/or go to jail)?
You left out something,,,,

"You got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away and know when to RUN, You never count your money while your sitting at the table, there will be time enough for countin when the dealins done, Now evry gambler knows that the secret to survivin, Is knowin what to throw away and knowing what to keep. cause evry hands a winner and evry hands a loser, And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep"

"Hey, Pop"
"Yeah?"
"That time you hit Hazen in the mouth, was it worth it? Was it worth thirty years?"
"Yeah, for me it was."

With apologies to Kenny Rogers and the creators of The Longest Yard, let your conscious be your guide and you might smile more when you get to your rocking chair, if you live that long.

Re:what is the best way? (2, Informative)

Best ID Ever! (712255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053299)

This "geek" claim may actually be false. The cheater's IP address was linked to a founder of Absolute, and now they are claiming that a disgruntled geek tried to frame the founder. Given that they have stonewalled and seemingly lied throughout the amateur investigation, I'd take the story with a grain of salt.

ORLY? (-1, Flamebait)

omgamibig (977963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051459)

Playing poker online is just asking for being cheated, no?

Re:ORLY? (0)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053057)

No.

view source (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051471)

<Understatement>
and having direct access to other players' cards allowed him to improve his game substantially.
</Understatement>

Careful man (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053437)

That source stuff is copyrighted.

Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (5, Insightful)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051473)

Is anyone surprised? Off-shore gambling sites have no real oversight whatsoever as far as I know (unless Vegas, et.al.). Of COURSE people are going to get ripped off. As much as gambling on the cards, people are gambling on the site itself - and in this case - the guilty parties were gambling that no one would notice. Gambling all the way around. This is just one of many reasons why the U.S. is just out and out foolish to continue banning on-line gaming, when instead, it could bring it to shore, charge gazillions for licenses, tax the proceeds (for both the house and the gamers), and as an added bonus, enact various certification and oversight requirements that would provide some measure of protection while allowing government to do what it does best - grow even larger.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051569)

Good Idea. They could use a portion of the (probably sizeable) proceeds for gambling rehabilitation. If only the US gov't would do same with Marijuana sales ;)

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051863)

Good Idea. They could use a portion of the (probably sizeable) proceeds for gambling rehabilitation. If only the US gov't would do same with Marijuana sales ;)

I know lots of stoners that wouldn't care for the marijuana rehabilitation part...

...but yeah, I darn near guarantee they could tax the sales of it at triple the rate of cigarettes and still have lines out the door and around the block. Same age limits as alcohol, with "dry" regions allowable with medical exceptions. HUGE tax windfall, and if they're smart, it could save the dying walrus that is Social Security. Goo goo g'joob.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not arguing the obvious hazards of inhaling ANY type of particulate matter. I'd just like to quote Winston Churchill who, when queried as to his booze consumption, said "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

Just like gambling, food, sex, water, [wikipedia.org] and work, almost anything can be harmful when misused and abused.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052307)

Dire Straits said it best:

Last time I was sober, man I felt bad
Worst hangover that I ever had
Took six hamburgers, scotch all night
Nicotine for breakfast just to put me right

If you wanna run cool, you've got to run on Heavy Fuel.

If it wasn't for drinking and smoking, fucking and toking, there'd be no reason for working and eating.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052865)

Then they would have to change the acronym BATF to something else, like BAMTF, or something.
Perhaps this could be the next /. poll?

If you could walk into the convenience store/gas station and ask for and get a 'pack of Northern Lights 100's', then I might warm up to my job as a convenience store clerk.

Why yes, I frequently post while drunk!

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (2, Interesting)

stirfry714 (410701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051727)

Yup, it should be legal, licensed, and regulated. Exactly right.

And they should allow cardrooms in all states, just like California does. Basically, if you aren't playing against the house (playing only against other players), it should be a legal game to spread. That's generally how it works in California (overgeneralizing here, but you get my point). No slots, no blackjack, roulette, etc, but poker and other card games where you play other players only.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1)

SierraPete (834755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052113)

You want the government to try to regulate electronic gambling? Hell, they can't even manage to create a fair and unhackable playing ground on something unimportant like, ya know, Voting. No randomization, just tiny amounts of personal information, and no personal funds up for grabs (unless you count the lobbyists and the corporations that benefit from legislation, but that's another story...).

Online gambling for large sums of money is just plain stupid. Online gambling on sports matches is getting to be as stupid, especially if it's the NBA and their [cough][sarcasm]lone crooked ref[/cough][/sarcasm].

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052471)

Gambling all the way around. This is just one of many reasons why the U.S. is just out and out foolish to continue banning on-line gaming, when instead, it could bring it to shore, charge gazillions for licenses, tax the proceeds (for both the house and the gamers), and as an added bonus, enact various certification and oversight requirements that would provide some measure of protection while allowing government to do what it does best - grow even larger.

I think I'm missing something in your logic...

If the US is going to charge gazillions for licenses and tax the proceeds, where's the incentive to move their operations to the US instrad of leaving them offshore?

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052617)

most of these sites are not dodgy - simply based offshore. most of these sites are based in the UK or its' territories/dependants - as well as being listed - the UK has very strict gambling laws which these sites must abide by.

it's not a gamble to play on the sites, it's a gamble to play if you're not very good.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (4, Informative)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052749)

First, AP's wasn't offshore. It was run out of Kahnawake. Which is in Canada. (Okay, Quebec, so it's SORTA in Canada).

Second, there is oversight. There's the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. [kahnawake.com] But, admittedly, they blow at customer relations. But with their backs against the server-room, they're actually doing something about this one. They're commissioning an independent investigation to see what's going on. Again-- because it would be bad PR otherwise.

And that's where the real oversight comes in. The players are what keep the online casinos "honest". Players like those who discovered the AP cheats. People who know how the games should be running, and know when things aren't being run correctly. Then there's player run oversight groups like Casinomeister [casinomeister.com] . And there's also people who have put up tons of statistical information about online games, like The Wizard of Odds [wizardofodds.com]

A casino with a bad reputation gets spotted, gets talked about, and goes out of business. The online gambling world's potential playerbase is relatively small, and there's a LOT of businesses who want a piece of their action. Screw up once, and every single player has five hundred other places they can go to.

Re:Well, duh! That's why it is called "gambling" (0)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053083)

As other have said, you've got it wrong.

The largest of the online poker rooms are publicly traded companies with market caps in billions of pounds.

These sites make an absurd amount of cash. It's truly exceptional. It's easy to underestimate it. Millions of dollars an hour in revenue, just rolling in as rake. Cheating would be rocking the boat and it just doesn't make sense.

This is really an example of a true free market. Regulation isn't needed because the dynamics of the marketplace keep it honest. In fact, this disproves your point as the cheating was discovered! An imbalance ocurred in the marketplace and the market reacted to heal itself.

collusion (4, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051475)

This particular story has to do with a security hole in the computer software, but in general, my understanding of the logic of the game is that online poker is potentially the only way to get a guaranteed honest game with strangers. In a meatspace game with strangers, the problem that basically can't be solved is collusion. Player A and player B both walk into the casino, and pretend they don't know each other. In reality, they've arranged certain secret signals in advance, to be used in hands where the pot gets big. One signal might mean "I'm bluffing," and another might mean "I'm not bluffing." Over time, this gives them a huge systematic advantage. An online poker system, on the other hand, can at least potentially be set up so that A and B can't get themselves into the same game together -- you just have to have a large enough pool of users, and assign them randomly to games. The other reason I'd never play in a casino game is that the house's take is big enough that you're practically guaranteed to lose money in the long run, unless you somehow manage to get into games where your skills are extremely high in comparison to your competitors'.

Re:collusion (4, Insightful)

Astarica (986098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051521)

The problem is that as you move higher and higher stakes there are increasingly few players so it is easier and easier to get you and your friend on the same table. Assuming you and your friend are at least no worse than the average player of that level, it has to be the case that you'd win if you collude, so the only thing that holds you back is your capital. I believe the statistics say that the knowledge of 2 extra cards is basically insurmountable over the long run in poker. And in online there's nothing stopping me from calling my friend and say I got these cards, what do you got? And there's no way anyone can catch that. If you try to cheat in a real casino, people would eventually notice. But that isn't possible for online.

Re:collusion (4, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051777)

And in online there's nothing stopping me from calling my friend and say I got these cards, what do you got?

Isn't calling out on the same phone line your modem is using a bit difficult?

If you try to cheat in a real casino, people would eventually notice.

I'm not sure how. For example, if you and your friend sit at the same table in the casino, and you've worked up a system where he plays very tight (comes in with nothing less than a 10-10 or A-K), he can explain his play as following one of the books (Helmuth, I think). Before he folds he plays with his chips, just like everyone else does, and uses the chips to signal to you what he has. Maybe makes two stacks of the appropriate height. Since the casino does not know what he folded, they cannot coorelate his actions with specific values of cards.

If he doesn't fold, he uses different chips for card protectors depending on what he has.

Of course, you cannot sit and stare at him until he plays with his chips, or ask him to do it again, and he cannot be obvious about counting out how many chips or you might get caught as being just plain suspicious. Otherwise, you'd blend into the normal pattern of play.

Re:collusion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051833)

To gain an advantage, eventually you have to make a move that would otherwise not make sense. Make enough of these moves, and people begin to notice.

Online poker sites keep records of every hand that is played for money. They can go back and check hand histories to look for collusion. Most the time the people doing it are quite amateur, and their play reveals what they are doing. The hand histories of online poker sites theoretically make it much easier to catch collusion online than in B&M poker.

Re:collusion (4, Funny)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051905)

And in online there's nothing stopping me from calling my friend and say I got these cards, what do you got?

Isn't calling out on the same phone line your modem is using a bit difficult?

Yeah, maybe if it's 1996.

Re:collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051963)

Yea, because no one's ever heard of Multiple phone lines, cell phones, ISDN, DSL, Cable, T1/T3, ATM or anything of the sort.

You'd have to have enough different signals that the same one is not used in the space of a few hours. They *DO* notice these things on tables with meaningful stakes.

Re:collusion (1)

balthan (130165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051999)

Who uses a phone line to access the internet? What are we? Savages?

Re:collusion (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052155)

Who even use one to make phone calls?

I've been living here for 7 years now I think and I have never had a phone line.

Also I can start as many outgoing phone calls as I feel for =P (well, the client may have a limit.)

Re:collusion (4, Insightful)

jaffray (6665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051975)

It's much easier to catch colluding cheats online than in a live game.

Online poker sites have vast quantities of forensic evidence - complete hand histories, including the actions and hole cards of all players involved, for every hand ever played. Easy to datamine for suspicious patterns, and sites like PokerStars have people doing that full time. Surveillance video of live games isn't as complete, isn't stored for as long, doesn't include hole card data, and is vastly more difficult to review.

I routinely play for thousands of dollars both live and online. I'm not too concerned about being cheated in either, but I'm more concerned about the live games than the online ones on trusted sites.

Re:collusion (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21054047)

I still don't see how you would stop collusion via phone, or just having multiple computers with different providers so you could hold two or three hands at a table. As an earlier poster said, there's only so many players in the high stakes games and only so many rooms to fill, randomization alone can't stop these behaviours.

Why can't they do that online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051563)

You say that like you can't do that online, too? Maybe it COULD be done better online, but you still have to trust the casino.

And unless this is a completely different story than the one I saw, the problem here was that the house was crooked--they had a superuser type account that could see everyone's hole cards. Someone then gave this information to an outside party, who used it to rake in the cash.

Clearly, if the house is unscrupulous, having it electronic only makes it more difficult for you to know if they're cheating. You might see someone looking over your shoulder and at your hole cards, but you won't see it if the internet gambling site is feeding it to someone over the internet. As for collusion, you might not know the other players, but that doesn't mean the poker site doesn't. They could, if they wanted to, arrange things so that it was even easier to collude online than offline.

In other words, when it comes to playing for money, you really can't trust anyone.

Re:collusion (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051565)

The other reason I'd never play in a casino game is that the house's take is big enough that you're practically guaranteed to lose money in the long run, unless you somehow manage to get into games where your skills are extremely high in comparison to your competitors'.
why do you think online casinos are any more "loose" as they say than physical casinos? What prevents online casinos from using software that gives them the same advantages statistically as real world casinos? For that matter, many online casinos are hosted in other countries, some of which don't have the same laws in regards to gambling. why isn't that a concern as well?

Re:collusion (5, Informative)

stirfry714 (410701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051767)

Umm, poker rooms (whether live or online) have no "advantage" statistically. They aren't "loose" or "tight" like you'd think of in slots.

The house takes a fixed amount of every pot, called the "rake". Sure, some casinos take more than others, but it's not because the software is fixed one way or the other - it's because they've said upfront that they are going to take X% out of every pot.

That's a big reason a lot of us love poker - you aren't playing against the house. *Any* game you play against the house, you will be losing money in the long run - a casino isn't going to spread a game that it will statistically lose money on. (Card counters in blackjack being a rare exception, where they can eak out an overall 1% return on investment if they get away with it).

Poker you play against other players. Sure, there's luck and variance involved, but in the long-term if you are more skillful at the game than other players enough to beat the rake, you will make money, guaranteed. That's why there are professional poker players - they are good enough to make a consistent living at the game. No such thing as professional roulette or slots players - as much as some people might try! :)

Re:collusion (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052963)

Card counters in blackjack being a rare exception, where they can eak out an overall 1% return on investment if they get away with it
Completely agree with what you said, but this statement needs clarifying. That 1% isn't really the ROI because it's a 1% edge per dollar bet and the total bets in a session will be many times the investment (bankroll). A counter wouldn't start a session with $100 and expect to end with $101 on average. There'd be no point if it were that low a return.

You seem to be making some big assumptions... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21053435)

You seem to be making some big assumptions when you talk about how online poker rooms don't have an "advantage". The major assumptions you seem to be making are that the dealing is fair and that the people you're playing against aren't shills or even bots. In an online poker game, it's pretty hard to prove when the dealing is fair. I do remember an article on slashdot from years back where the author statistically examined the deals from an online poker site and concluded that they were dealing from the bottom of the deck but obviously statistics can't be easily used as hard proof, so the online poker room can deal unfairly all they want.

Now, maybe there's some sort of authentication system to make sure that none of the other players are shills or robots, in which case you seem to be claiming that there's no reason to cheat on dealing. I still don't think that's true. Now, you know a lot more about online poker rooms than I do, so maybe there are safeguards against this that you haven't mentioned, but, since you didn't mention them... You said that the room takes a percentage of the pot in each hand, so the obvious ways for them to make more money from the same game are to manipulate events to increase the number of hands played, and to increase the size of every pot. It's been mentioned again and again that the online poker sites have complete hand histories as if this is protection to the player against a crooked site. It seems to me that if you want to socially engineer someone to keep gambling past the point where they would normally stop, etc. having that kind of information to know how to manipulate them would be very useful. Armed with that kind of information, there should be ways to alter peoples hands to, for example, make them more likely to raise the stakes, increasing the size of the pot and therefore the size the "rake". The other thing that could be done by a crooked site is to cycle the winner on each hand, making sure that no-one ever ends up down by too much, that way people are likely to play more hands hoping to win back their money/win more money/do better than break even, whatever. Something like that is a win for the poker site since everyone more or less breaks even, but pays to the site for every hand and when they finally leave, they end up feeling like they were so very close to winnning big.


Frankly, now that I write this down, it doesn't seem that different than what casinos do legally. They're allowed to rig the games as long as the odds end up matching some particular agreed upon number. And, naturally, they skew things to keep people thinking like they're going to win big. The anecdotal person who wins big isn't really someone who "beat the odds" they're part of the casinos advertising. Frankly, the gambling industry in general makes me kind of sick.


Anyway, what I've speculated above is based on fairly poor knowledge of how online poker rooms work. If I'm wrong about how they could cheat the players, please tell me in what way I'm wrong and then I'll have learned something new.

Re:collusion (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051829)

It's poker, it's not played against the house. Online poker has much lower rakes than physical casinos and hence there's more money left for the winning players.

Re:collusion (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051879)

too bad you can't delete comments like that... what has been said cannot be un-said

Re:collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051593)

Umm.. Call on phone and tell each other your cards while your playing? Its harder to cheat irl..

Re:collusion (1, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051917)

You realize that half the people you're playing against online could be sitting right next to each other, right?

Re:collusion (1)

Womens Shoes (1175311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052195)

I think that's why he mentioned the "large pool" and "random assignement". That would make it unlikely that two people in the same room could get into the same hand.

Re:collusion (1)

tshak (173364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052103)

Over time, this gives them a huge systematic advantage.

With just two people? Not usually. The forms of collusion which have a meaningful impact usually involve having over half the table in on it. Software can detect betting patterns, IP addresses, and other heuristics to catch most of this. Alert players can also smell a rat, online or in real life.

Re:collusion (1)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052257)

You are correct that with this model, you can reduce the odds of player collusion to practically zero (especially on a site with 10 million plus players). However, no poker site actually uses this model, and for a good reason. All sites offer many varieties of poker (hold 'em, draw, stud, HORSE, etc) as well as different game conditions (number of players, cash games vs sit n' go games vs tournament, number of players, buy-in, fixed limit vs pot limit vs no limit, etc). For a specific choice of these options, say a 9 person 10 dollar buy in no limit hold 'em sit n' go, there are only one or two tables available to register at at a given time*, so assigning people randomly is not the advantage you think it is. As well, you certainly WANT to be able to choose which table you sit down at. If you know that user NOOB15 is an amateur player who doesn't know the odds, you'd prefer to sit down at a table with him than one where you don't know anyone, or one where you know the competition is tough (and if you've been playing the same games at the same buy-in level for a while, you get to know the people you play with). As far as casino games go, perhaps you're right. I've only played online and with friends. But I can tell you that the rake (as the poker site's take is called) is only around 10% of your buy in for tournaments and sit n' go's, and even less for cash games. The minimum pay out for finishing in the money is always more than that, usually significantly more. So as long as you win, even if you're making the minimum possible, you shouldn't be put off by the rake.

* The site I play at is Pokerstars, the largest of the poker sites in terms of membership. And even for the cheap games, which the most people play, registration is usually open only for one game at a time. So it's certainly easy enough for collusion to happen. On other sites, it should be even easier. On the other hand, collusion is swiftly punished and rarely happens. Especially when you're only playing 5$ games which last an hour. It's just not worth your time (ex. 9 player 5$ sit n go and the best case scenario of colluding players finish 1st and second means that they make a grand total of 13$ an hour each. And that best case scenario rarely happens. Most likely, they'd be earning just above minimum wage.)

Re:collusion (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052895)

Over time, this gives them a huge systematic advantage.

No it doesn't. It gives them a small advantage. Statistically, little.

collusion actually causes you to risk more (combined money of those involved), to win less (winnings is split) for a slight increase in odds.

And they do this online as well. Only they're on the phone and they know exactly what cards each other have. It's not as big a deal as you make it out to be. Generally, you need to be very good players, and play against not so good players, for it to really matter. And then guess what? If that's the case chances are you're going to take their money anyways. Sure, it helps. But "huge" it is not.

Re:collusion (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053207)

It is even easier for two people to do that online. They can even talk on the phone and don't need secret signals.

cheating has to happen (4, Interesting)

Astarica (986098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051477)

The stakes of online gambling is simply too high, and it's far easy to cheat. If I simply call a friend who lives in another location and exchange information, how will you catch that? Many of the high stakes table only has 1 table so it's not hard to get on the same table. If you assume the cheaters are actually good players then it is also not necessary that you always play on the same table. Poker is a game of information, and knowing even 2 more cards compared to others give you a huge advantage.

Re:cheating has to happen (1)

surgen (1145449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051541)

I've even seen people get 3 or 4 people on laptops in the same room playing the same table.

Re:cheating has to happen (1)

stirfry714 (410701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051787)

The "stakes" are only as high as you make them. If someone has a foolproof method to cheat and make money, I can *guarantee* they are playing at higher limits than I play online. :) The cheating in this case was on tables where hundreds of thousands of dollars was being wagered.

Re:cheating has to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052233)

I wouldn't be to sure about that. I was playing in a freeroll on absolute when 'potripper' was dominating one of my tables. His play was memorable even in a freeroll let me tell ya, never lost money and had about 10 times what the largest stack had. When I read the story and found out that was one of the aliases used I almost shat myself :)

Re:cheating has to happen (1)

tshak (173364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052133)

The stakes of online gambling is simply too high, and it's far easy to cheat.
Do you have evidence of this? This is only the second major case of cheating that I know of, and in both cases players are having the money confiscated. Sure, you can't prove that cheating isn't happening, but I know many people (outside the US, of course, unfortunately we can't play anymore) who play online and make a killing at it. There simply isn't evidence that people are getting cheated out of their money with any kind of meaningful frequency.

Poker is a game of information, and knowing even 2 more cards compared to others give you a huge advantage.
This is a common myth. There is plenty written about this issue and having the knowledge of two dead cards simply does not give you that big of an advantage.

Re:cheating has to happen (3, Interesting)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052979)

The stakes of online gambling is simply too high, and it's far easy to cheat. If I simply call a friend who lives in another location and exchange information, how will you catch that?

Because each of you two individually suck at poker, but observably improve when you're at the same table?

Me too. (2, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051503)

"...and having direct access to other players' cards allowed him to improve his game substantially."

Yeah, I find knowing the other players cards helps my game as well. Go figure...

More greedy or stupid? Probably stupid. (1)

heyguy (981995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051507)

They could have made tons and tons more money if they were just patient. The way the hands played out, there were only two possibilities: 1. They're cheating, or 2. They're luckiest SOBs ever.

Here are some of the damning hand histories: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=beats&Number=12493401&page=0&fpart=1 [twoplustwo.com]

Re:More greedy or stupid? Probably stupid. (2, Insightful)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051555)

Jails are full of stupid people who thought they were actually smarter than everyone else.

Re:More greedy or stupid? Probably stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052455)

der durrr durrr der der der criminals.

Offtopic (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051875)

Looking at the link... what is it with assholes who need 800kb avatars? They post three or four times and the poor schmuck with dial up spends sixty seconds downloading text.

For those who don't want to read through that... (2, Interesting)

FiniteElementalist (1073824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052013)

...here is a snippet one of the really damning hand histories (the cheat is POTRIPPER):

POKERME420 - Posts small blind $150
JINXY_MONKEY - Posts big blind $300
*** POCKET CARDS ***
Dealt to AUTOSMOKE [7c 4h]
Dealt to OBV_DONK [Js 5h]
Dealt to POTR0AST [6h 4c]
Dealt to POTRIPPER [Ks Qd]
Dealt to POKERME420 [10d Qs]
Dealt to JINXY_MONKEY [Ah As]
Dealt to CLOVER777 [Kh Jd]
Dealt to SCARFACE_79 [7s 3h]
SCARFACE_79 - Folds
CLOVER777 - Calls $300
OBV_DONK - Folds
AUTOSMOKE - Folds
POTR0AST - Folds
POTRIPPER - Folds
POKERME420 - Raises $450 to $600
JINXY_MONKEY - Raises $1500 to $1800
CLOVER777 - Folds
POKERME420 - Calls $1200
*** FLOP *** [10h 10c 9s]
POKERME420 - Checks
JINXY_MONKEY - Bets $1800
POKERME420 - Calls $1800
*** TURN *** [10h 10c 9s] [5c] ...

He folds KQo unraised preflop ahead of AA when there was a grand total of ONE HAND in the whole collection he folded preflop where an opponent didn't have JJ or better. A few hands prior he raised 62o under the gun.

I guess if you are going to cheat, you are going to need to not be so obvious as to never fold _except_ when your opponents have something.

Remember, students... (4, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051539)

...this is what happens when you make your data members public.

,ep! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21051845)

With the laundry To work i'm doing,

Tip of the Iceberg (5, Interesting)

posdnous (469992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051929)

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

from the article, it mentions that the cheater was so blatant at cheating because they had a personal vendetta to prove to the company about it's flawed security. Basically the cheater told the company that it's systems were vulnerable and they wouldn't listen, so he set out to prove a point to them. Only after basically being so blatant at cheating that people thought he was god, and complained umpteen times to Absolute Poker did they do anything about it.

Basically what this proves is that, there is no way a real cheater will be caught. A real cheater is not going to do things to draw attention to themselves, if they can gain a 100% edge by cheating, they won't press it to it's maximum, they'll only press it slightly so that they only have a 55% edge, time and compounding will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams, and NO ONE will be the wiser.

Re:Tip of the Iceberg (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052403)

I'm going to have to call BS. The cheater did not have to play more than one hand for the other players to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was cheating. I assume that these games have some kind of chat functionality, yes? If so, he could have just typed, "Nice pair of Aces you have there."

If they don't have a chat function, please disregard this post.

Re:Tip of the Iceberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052421)

I'm surprised there aren't online poker rooms yet using mental poker [wikipedia.org] algorithms.

Was the employee a shill who was playing for the.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21051969)

Was the employee a shill who was playing for the house?

why..... (-1, Troll)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052035)

why..... WHY.... Its what Mr Smith said in the matrix... its why i don't play online poker its why i hope no serious amount of resources has gone to helping the victims of their own stupidity of allowing themselves to be cheated through the intertubes.. I mean come on trust, tcp/ip, a web browser, anonymous users, http, and a web server with your information??? money???? time???? WHY! .... i wonder if there was any encryption at all of the card/hand data... maybe it was all written in javascript... i mean COME ON WHY!!!!!!!!! WHY NEO WHY!

Re:why..... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053365)

omg.... im a troll for pointing out that its not smart to trust technology made by humans, for humans, to do stupid human things... dood...

Re:why..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21054069)

Firstly, 'omg' isn't a word. Secondly, you end sentences with a single period. Thirdly, you capitalize 'I' as it is a proper noun, and insert an apostrophe as I'm is a contraction of I am. Lastly, dude is not a palindrome. Don't get me started on your initial post. Regards, your local grammar nazi.

A very good summary (5, Informative)

bgspence (155914) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052043)

http://casinosmack.com/blog/the-absolute-poker-scandal/ [casinosmack.com]

The Absolute Poker Scandal
October 16th, 2007 5 Comments

Is AbsolutePoker.com rigged?

Either way, the company is in big trouble. What follows in this post is huge news in the world of online poker and online casinos.

Our story begins in 2003. Absolute Poker's software is in development and many test accounts are created to make sure the program is working correctly. One of these test accounts, known as account #363, can see the hole cards at any table. This test account can not be used to play in real money games, it is only used for development purposes to see that pots are distributed correctly. The id number of this account being #363 is important because this tells us that this was one of the first accounts ever opened in AbsolutePoker, making it very likely the person in control of this account is someone with intimate ties with the company (owner, founder, employee, programmer, shareholder, etc.)

Follow with me to the opening of Absolute Poker (AP). Four people in different parts of the United States open up accounts at Absolute Poker. These four individuals do not know each other. The names in question are Graycat, Steamroller, DoubleDrag, and Potripper. They play in Absolute Poker for a bit, but they don't do well and their accounts are not logged into for many months. These are actual and real players, they are not fake players, they do not know each other, and they are not cheaters.

Key moment in the development of Absolute Poker: a major software upgrade is in process in 2007. The company hires programmers from many areas, including Costa Rica. Our villain in this scandal comes across the test account #363 with hole card access. Visions of big money flash in front of his eyes as he envisions hacking his way to big casino cash. He hatches a plan.

He finds inactive accounts at Absolute Poker and changes the password to these accounts at the server level. He opens test account 363 at a separate computer which allows him to see all the hole cards at the table. He then gets family and friends to cash out his winnings to. The way he does this is after he gets a big amount of cash at the poker tables, he plays against his relatives and buddies and loses all his cash to them. DoubleDrag loses to Reymnaldo, Graycat loses to SupercardM55, and Steamroller and Potripper lose to other various friend and family controlled accounts.

September comes, and as the money piles up, so does the ego and greed. Other poker players make comments in chat that they suspect there is cheating and collusion involved. He logs in as DoubleDrag and then loses every hand intentionally in No-Limit in an attempt to cover up his scam as he senses other players may be on to him.

September 12th. A well-known online poker tournament player named Marco Johnson, who plays under the screen name CrazyMarco plays in a $1000 buy-in tournament at AbsolutePoker.com. Cheat account Potripper is also playing in this tournament. CrazyMarco loses a head-to-head battle with Potripper when Potripper and asks for the hand history of the final table.

September 17th. The four Absolute Poker accounts (Graycat, Steamroller, DoubleDrag, and Potripper) are suspended and frozen.

September 21st. AbsolutePoker sends CrazyMarco a huge Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file (10MB and a full 65,536 rows, which is limit in Excel for most current versions). The spreadsheet is too complicated and scrambled to look into, so he saves it and decides to analyze it later.

October 12th. An AbsolutePoker.com official statement is released with their official comments on the cheating rumors, gossip, controversy, and overall poker community outrage. The company has been made aware of the poker blogs, chatrooms, and online casino discussion forums that are talking about this situation and they state that they take these allegations "extremely seriously". They have "determined with reasonable certainty" that no can see the hole cards, and thus there is no superuser account. Their poker security algorithms have allegedly not been compromised and have admitted that "allegations that the player accounts at issue 'always guessed right' are unfounded". On allegations this player exhibited "infinite river agression" (the player never called on the river cards, he only raised or folded), AbsolutePoker.com feels this is "also without merit". The online casino has admitted that chip dumping did occur and will "investigate this issue".

October 13th. Flashback to the huge Excel spreadsheet file AbsolutePoker sends to poker player CrazyMarco. TheWacoKidd, at PocketFives, reveals that Absolute Poker had accidentally sent hand histories of the entire tournament and of all the player's hole cards. Looking through the play of PotRipper, it is obvious to see that he could see the hole cards of the other players due to his impeccable decision making, even in the face of ridiculous odds. As an example, Potripper routinely plays hands such as 2/7, but then folds cards such as KQ when AA is dealt to another player.

Breaking news: October 16th and 17th. 2+2 reports that Potripper's email address is scott@rivieraltd.com. According to a 2+2 member, the IP address (a unique address that computer electronic devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other) cross references to a cable modem owned by Scott Tom, who is a co-owner of Absolute Poker and their President since 2005. The Potripper account is now thought to belong to AJ Green, who is a former Director of Operations at AbsolutePoker.com and Scott Tom's best friend. AJ Green is the current Vice President of Operations at nine.com. The domain rivieratld.com points to a mail server which is on an IP address allocated to Absolute Entertainment SA, at a data center owned by Mohawk Internet Technologies (originally thought to be the Kahnawake Gaming Commission).

Mohawk Internet Technologies MIT-BLK-01 (NET-66-212-224-0-1)
66.212.224.0 - 66.212.255.255

Absolute Entertainment S.A. MIT-ABPOK-02 (NET-66-212-244-128-1)
66.212.244.128 - 66.212.244.255

About 2 hours after the results of this investigation is revealed on the internet, the DNS (domain name server) information for rivieraltd.com is deleted. Absolute Poker claims Scott Tom has not been employed by the company for over a year.

Big thanks to Justin Goff, twoplustwo.com, natarem.com, and neverwinpoker.com.

Deja vu (1)

jaffray (6665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21052179)

It seems like every time online poker is mentioned on Slashdot, there's a chorus of "What kind of fool would play poker online?! Cheaters, bots, hackers, oh my!"

Granted, this particular incident does give a black eye to the industry, but I can't help thinking back to the mid-nineties. Every once in a while there'd be a news story about some online store or other leaking credit card information, or closing up shop and keeping customer money without delivering the goods, or some other scandal. And every time there'd be a chorus of "What kind of fool would give away their credit card number online?" "Well, what do you expect when you send money off to some website, who knows where they even are or if they'll ship what you bought?"

I think online poker is about where e-commerce was ten years ago. And if those arguments against e-commerce sound silly to you, well, that's what your blanket statements about online poker sound like to those of us who play online on a weekly or daily basis, and rarely if ever encounter any problems.

(The biggest problem I've ever had is the US Attorney's Office deciding that money on deposit to NETeller by US customers was "evidence", and holding on to my $9000 for six months while conducting their grandstanding crusade against the company. As for online cheating, while I'm sure it's happened to me occasionally, I'm not arrogant enough to think I could win the amount I have over the last few years against consistently crooked opposition. No one is that good, certainly not me.)

Re:Deja vu (1)

jacks0n (112153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21053145)

Imagine how painful it would sound to hear a bunch of poker players discuss programming.

Um.... DUH! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21052183)

I write webapps for a living. I know how easy it would be to sneak in a back door, and so do many of you. I cannot believe that anyone with enough internet savvy to play online poker wouldn't be aware of this possibility.

Just.
Plain.
Stupid.

I guess that stupid people get what they deserve.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?