Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't Play Online Poker Again Until You Read This!

I am one of those poker players who is skeptical about online poker sites. I almost never play online poker anymore because...well, I don't think it's a totally level playing field.

While there have been newsworthy cheating scandals by players (I have also run into collusion between players), I believe that something more insidious is going on.

On top of my list is that there are far too many big hands dealt and far too many bad beats as a result. I don't buy the nonsense that you see more hands dealt online. That argument is so bogus. You don't need to see many hands online to see that it's just not real.

It's one thing to complain about it and it's another thing to do something about it.

I discovered a company that may have actually identified why the poker sites have an incentive to cheat, how their RNG's can be manipulated and most importantly, they are going to come out with a solution.

You must check out this company before you play online poker again!

Note: I do not have anything to do with this firm, and no incentive to promote their business.

The Online Bad Beat Phenomena

An editorial from Gene Gioia, Founder of Gioia Systems, and architect of the Cut N’ Shuffle™ and Game Check™ systems

Many online poker players have observed noticeably more bad beats online then in live poker room games. The common explanation for this is that online players see more hands online then in live games.

Many online poker players believe that the starting hands online are noticeably better then their experiences in live games.

When taking these two factors into account, along with the fact that all online poker rooms generate their revenue from the size of the pots at games (the larger the pot, the more the rake), I can come up with an alternate theory for the seemingly larger number of “bad beats” and “draws” experienced by online poker players.

I am told that the Nevada Gaming approved that standard Random Number Generators (RNGs) have 12 lines of code. Online poker operators claim to be spending millions on the development of random number generators. Why?

Considering the recent news that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet had software installed that gave certain players the ability to see other players’ hole cards, why should I think that programming random number generators to appear random while creating significantly more “draw” hands is out of the realm of possibility?

A random number generator is, after all, a computer program, that will do whatever it is programmed to do. Poker is such a unique game because it creates a virtually unlimited number of possible outcomes. This opens the door for any number of possibilities for anyone wanting to exploit this fact to their advantage.

What is preventing online operators from developing or using RNGs that are programmed to create, whenever desired, a series of hands that encourage a greater number of players participating in any given game, to stay in because of the possibility of achieving a really “monster” hand? If you have played online for any length of time, you probably can relate to what I am saying and why I am saying this.

By using computer programming to create desirable starting hands, it stands to reason that you would also be creating a significantly higher number of finishing hands. In the process, the pots for those games would be significantly higher; therefore the amount of rack per game increases.

Three years ago, Sports Illustrated published, in their May issue, an article about online poker. That article pointed to an April study by an online tracking company. This study concluded that there was approximately $200 million dollars per day being bet in online poker pots. It also estimated that online sites were generating about $5 million per day in rake revenue. At these levels of pots, an imperceptible change could result in a huge increase in annual revenue. If the average rake is 2.5% of the pot size (as the April study suggested), the effect of one quarter of 1% (very possible and easily done with programming) results in an increase of $500,000 per day or $182.5 million dollars annually in rake revenue. And who pays for this, the players of course. The rake is a necessary part of the game, but should not result from manipulation of any kind.

So, you’re thinking that random number generators are safe. Think again.


WeirdRash said...

nice story. I have always thought that AA vs KK or QQ preflop comes up far too often online.

There is a clear incentive for the poker sites to generate an RNG that produces these competing hands more often because they are both likely to get all-in preflop creating a big pot.

Nice to see someone is finally doing some analytical work on this.

curtom said...


Great post my friend. I gotta tell you that I play online 3 nights a week. Sometimes a little more depending on what I have to do. Anyhow, I can certainly see your argument from a cash game perspective and the rake. However, it doesn't explain this phenomenon in regards to poker tournaments.

The same incentive is not there due to the juice being taken from each tournament fee up front.

Great Job!


sugardayfox said...

Great post,
I will surely keep it high up as a 'torch' on the long run.
Only I don't have enough live experience to judge.
Online I mostly play Sit and Go tournaments. Sometimes fixed limit. Thus, I am more afraid of collusion - i.e. had some strange feeling sometimes with me country fellowmen chating not aware of my nationality.
Keep up the ante,


Mitchell said...

That's why I starting to prefer online poker for heads-up games. No chance of collusion:)

Best Poker Listing said...

Thank you for your hard work and sharing it with us. It goes well appreciated in my book.

Best Poker Listing said...

Thank you for your hard work and sharing it with us. It goes well appreciated in my book.

What's Your Poker IQ?