Ed Miller: Online poker possibly rigged

laptopIt’s a little strange to see these opinions from a generally sober corner of the pokerverse, but after the last year with the scandals at UB and Absolute, it’s pretty hard for anyone to not have had their faith in the integrity of online poker shaken. While he stopped short of confirming the existence of a doomswitch at PokerStars, 2+2 author Ed Miller posited in a recent (lengthy) lengthy blog post that the chance of widespread manipulation in online poker is larger than some might think.

An excerpt:

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

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

Whole thing here.

Over to Bill Rini’s blog, where Bill takes exception to Ed’s conclusions, especially the idea that poker rooms would ever attempt to balance games in favor of poor players:

I’ll repeat a point I made in Ed’s comments. It is very easy to rig a single hand. It is more difficult but relatively easy to rig the game for a specific player. However it is far, far more complex to rig the game in favor of thousands of poor players.

Just think about the number of hands that have to be rigged. Every time you rig a hand you have to create one or more offsetting rigs so as not to create easily detectable patterns. Eventually, you’re rigging the outcome of every hand dealt.

I do agree that it is possible. I’m sure if you designed an entire system around rigging games it could be done. Like they say about almost anything in technology; given enough time, money, and resources anything is possible. The question is whether or not it’s practical.

Whole thing here.

UPDATE: Miller responds to Rini with, more or less, a blueprint of exactly how to run a crooked card room and avoid detection. Thanks, Ed.

Read the rest here:
Ed Miller: Online poker possibly rigged

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