0955169704.01. AA240 SCLZZZZZZZ  Product Review:  Dirty PokerI can’t remember the last time I felt angry after reading a book but Richard Marcus’ “Dirty Poker” certainly did the trick. I was literally sitting there at time with my mouth open as I read statements that were so patently false that only someone completely unfamiliar with poker or a complete idiot would believe them.

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Late last year Marcus went on a mini media blitz telling anybody who would listen about how rampant cheating was online. Of course, he was setting the stage for his soon to be released book so I put it on my Amazon Wish List and just recently got around to reading it. I was, of course, somewhat skeptical of the many claims Marcus was making but I was hoping that it would have some enlightening information.

However, what the book really is is page after page of carefully worded nonsense mixed with a few pieces of helpful information about cheating at poker (which I don’t condone but think is important to recognize). Marcus is careful to change names of events and people in order to make outlandish claims that he can easily sidestep if the people and events being described are actually called into question. For instance, even before the book’s forward Marcus says the following:

A performing artist who has newly taken up tournament poker at about the same time she took up a tournament poker-playing boyfriend has stunned the poker world by winning the Ladies Championship at the recent World Super Bowl of Poker. Sounds like a great movie script, right?

Wrong!

It happened and it’s bullshit.

This win was bought and paid for with a little help from her poker-playing boyfriend and Hollywood contacts.

Now, it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to figure out this is Jennifer Tilly and Phil Laak. Of course, by saying that it was the World Super Bowl of Poker (which doesn’t exist) and staying just vague enough so that he isn’t naming names, he can make any claim he wants to without even the slightest shred of evidence. His proof is speculation on how the win would help revive her career. That’s it. No hard proof. Not even an unnamed source. His entire opinion is based on pure speculation.

Unfortunately, it rarely gets better than that. While I will give Marcus credit for defining the different kinds of scams that can be run at online and offline casinos, there’s not much more that can be said about the book that’s positive. The content of the book is primarily designed to do two things:

a) Wow you with the fact that Marcus is the self-proclaimed greatest casino cheat of all time.
b) Scare the hell out of beginner and novice players.

Now, one could easily write off the above citation as simply something that Marcus might be privy to but unable to get into details because his sources are too close to the people involved. Even if you buy that, what about when Marcus makes outlandish claims like:

It’s no secret that bots are used to fill up play-money tables on sites. They claim that it’s strictly a service for new players who want to practice playing online poker before venturing into the real-money games. And it is. People can play 24 hours a day on the play-money tables. In the long run, this service earns millions for the sites because nearly 100% of the play-money players graduate into real cash games.

First off, most sites don’t need bots to fill up the play money tables. The play money games fill themselves on the vast majority of sites. Go try to get in a SnG on a play money site and unless you have cat like reflexes you’re dead in the water because they fill up so quickly.

But the bigger issue here is the claim that nearly 100% of play-money players turn into real-money players. This is so far off from the mark that anybody who knows anything about online poker conversion rates has to fall out of their chairs reading that statement. This isn’t opinion, it’s a fact! Conversion rates for play-money to real-money play don’t even hit 50%. Hell, the online casinos would be drowning in money if anywhere near that percentage of people who opened real-money accounts actually made a successful deposit let alone converted from play-money to real-money.

On nearly every single page of Dirty Poker I ran across a statement, idea, or claim that I could take issue with. Page after page is filled with serious misrepresentations or bald faced lies like the one above. For instance, when discussing the motives for cheating at the WSOP Marcus says that 5600 people put up $10,000 for the Main Event. Not true. The vast majority won their way into the Main Event in smaller buy-in qualifiers. But once he’s made one misrepresentation he extrapolates on it to make a much grander point that falls apart if you catch on that his original premise is incorrect.

The entire 267 pages of Dirty Poker come down to the following concept:

In poker, online or offline, collusion is probably the only form of cheating you really need to concern yourself with.

Yes there are marked cards, card mechanic shuffles, and several other cheats but there are many factors that make these other forms of cheating relatively inconsequential to your bankroll. For instance, deck changes in brick and mortar casinos happen every thirty minutes to an hour which means just about the time that someone was done putting a nail print on all the key cards a new deck is coming in.

Yes, you’re always going to find the angle shooters out there and the guys who come to your home game as an invited guest of a friend of a friend who short the pot or pull some sort of cheat but for the most part the game is pretty safe. Sure, you might run into an elaborate cheat like pulled off in The Sting but if that’s the kind of stuff you’re worried about, Marcus’ book isn’t likely to help you much anyway.

One “cheat” Marcus describes that I did find amusing was using computers to keep track of cards played. After spending a paragraph or two using Hold ‘Em as an example of how you could signal your hole cards and the cards on the board to a computer that could signal back your odds, Marcus ends up admitting that this would be of little or no use to most cheats since so few cards are actually seen (and the math is simple to do in your head). He then goes on to say that it would be a fantastic tool in a 7 Card Stud game if everyone stayed in the pot until the final card. Again, he mentions these types of cheats to scare you when in reality the utility to an actual cheater is almost zero unless you play in a lot of 7 Card Stud games that have a family pot to seventh street.

And even if you’re only facing collusion, even Marcus claims that 90% of the games are legit. Given that Marcus’ estimates are usually pie in the sky and designed to promote the idea that cheating is fairly rampant, you have to figure that the number is probably closer to 98%.

Then there’s the part of the book where he drones on and on about how rampant collusion is at the WSOP, WPT, and major tournaments . . . by the top professionals. Of course, as usual, his proof is usually nothing stronger than the fact that the odds must be astronomical for a player to win two bracelets in a single WSOP. Even when he discusses hands that obviously prove that the fix was on, one could just as easily draw the conclusion that the pros in the hand made a completely reasonable play. Since he names no names or gives any details about the events themselves you just have to take it on faith that because he’s the greatest casino cheat in the world, his word should be enough proof.

The one thing that I did find somewhat interesting about the book was that Marcus almost completely discounts the online poker is rigged arguments. He does say that many people have told him that the random number generation (RNG) used by many sites isn’t truly random but anybody who knows anything about random number theory could tell you that there’s no such thing as a truly random number generation method, anywhere. When you see third party auditors like PriceWaterhouseCoopers certify that a game is legit, what they are usually saying is that they’ve audited the RNG and are satisfied that it produces sufficiently random results.

Marcus also claims that a friend of his ran one million hands through some analysis and found that the numbers showed a slight skew towards flush draws and putting pairs on the board. Now even if his friend were correct, and that’s questionable since other people have also run similar analysis and found no such statistical anomalies, Marcus fails to realize that nearly all online poker rooms buy their RNG from supposedly reputable third parties. For instance, many (if not most) poker rooms use hardware based RNG. That’s to say that some third party like Intel or VIA has a little PCI card you slip in your server and you write software that asks it to spit out a random number. These companies don’t just make these products for online gaming companies so any bias in their RNG is not designed to generate more flush draws or paired boards (if that claim is even true). It’s highly improbable that Intel and VIA are rigging their chips when these same chips are also used by the government, hard core mathematicians/researchers, and security related firms. So, if they games are skewed, it’s not by design.

In terms of online collusion while he admits that it’s easier for the online casinos to catch online colluders using IP addresses and such, he then goes on to explain an elaborate operation (he heard about) where people had seven phone lines dialing long-distance into ISP’s all over the world and were using identity theft to continuously create new accounts so they wouldn’t trip any collusion filters at the online casinos. Hey, if I’m being colluded against by guys who are going to that much trouble to win a few extra big bets per 100 hands then so be it.

The last of Marcus’ big accusations is that some guys have cracked the encryption for poker rooms and can see all of their opponent’s down cards. First off, I was a little skeptical of this one since he claimed that it worked on all sites. Since each site has its own SSL encryption values I find it hard to believe any single group of individuals has cracked the encryption for all the major poker rooms unless they’ve discovered a major flaw in the encryption algorithm that has gone unnoticed by the top security researchers in the world. Second, while I can’t attest for how all sites are architected, I do know that at least a few of the bigger ones don’t send all the cards to the client. If I sign in as billrini the game will only give me information about billrini’s hands. Even if the sites didn’t do it for security reasons, most would still do it because it would cut down dramatically on the amount of data that needs to be sent down the pipe.

Of course the program costs $30,000 and is only selectively sold to special people like his buddy who can be trusted not to get the ring busted by overusing it. Sure, sure. And I guess showing a system that’s supposed to be kept a bigger secret than the nuclear missile launch codes to a guy who writes books, makes television appearances, and does countless interviews about cheating counts as being trusted enough not to get the ring busted.

In summary, either Marcus’ paranoia is on par with people who wear tin foil hats to keep the government from stealing their thoughts or so far the greatest cheat he has ever accomplished is to get people to buy his book as non-fiction.

 Product Review:  Dirty Poker

About

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

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About Author

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(23) Readers Comments

  1. Always the same ghosts… I was going to read it and you saved me the effort. So thanks!

  2. He sounds like the author

  3. MadDeuces,

    Okay, I gave you the chance to take your licks and go no your merry way but you decided you needed to make one more attempt so excuse me if I don’t afford you the same benefit of the doubt I did in previous responses.

    Do you really, really think that the number of questions or criteria on a test is an indicator of how legit it is? Do you realize how stone-cold retarded that sounds? Because you know damn well that if they had 100 questions instead of 101 you would have found some other sliver of hope to hang your hat of doubt on.

    I’ll likely never know why you feel it necessary to keep this debate going but I do know that the desperation of your arguments helps validate everything I’ve ever said about the psychology of those who feel the need to believe that online poker is rigged. Facts be damned. You simply aren’t going to allow facts to get in the way of what you believe.

    I’m done commenting.

    Bill

  4. Bill,

    You made a good point here:

    “And it’s not their job to denounce anyone just as it is not the job of an accounting firm to turn you in to the tax authorities. They have the option of either validating the fairness of the game or not. If they don’t validate then the company does not say that it’s been validated. ”

    Just like the accounting firm is hired by you to do the job it is not a true auditing firm like the IRS. IF you don’t like how the accounting firm is handling your business you just go and hire another one. There lies the falicy in all this certification. A poker room could have gone through 100 of these different companies before they received a certification from one of them. Since none of these companies state how many certification companies they gone through or how many tests were done how do you know? When I go to a resturant and see the A,B,C signs from the health department I know it is a set of standards that meet some critieria. When a resturant gets it’s grade they can bribe the inspector, but they can’t say I want this or that company to grade me that would be biased in their favor.

    Here is a certification link from party poker:

    http://www.partypoker.com/images/docs/partypoker_card_analysis_report.pdf

    Since you are the expert. I would like to hear a good explaination for this one. In every test that I have taken. The exams questions are given usually an even number. Like 50, 100, 150, 200 etc.. These are standardized tests. Usually because it makes working with percentages easier than working with numbers like 101. What I see here is using a hand history number like 501925 so why didn’t they use an even 500,000 instead? The only thing I could come up with is they were using progressive statistics where they needed the 1925 extra hands to fit their 5% critieria.

    That’s a laugh I guess these so called experts the best in their field to once be hired by these companies are boneheads once someone else figures a way to exploit the site. The truth is there is no way to create a true randomness or a seeding that can’t be broken, especially if there is a insider who decides to cheat people.

    If these sites are exposed and players are using cheating programs that are able to predict the outcome of the cards. Then it could be the reason why the rngs seem skewed. Explaination:

    If even one player on a table is able to predict the outcome of cards and calls or fold knowing your AA will be cracked or not. For the legit player the statistics could be all off or seem skewed because they are taking heavy losses or not winning enough with the AA.

    The bottom line:

    I know there is a difference in profitability in online vs live playing the same limits. Hence when I refer to skewed statistics whether it’s because of people cheating or the rngs are all off. I know it’s harder online.

  5. Maddeuces,

    Don’t take this the wrong way but, you should really just quit. You don’t have any clue what you’re talking about and each post you make only adds to the snowball of misinformation.

    First off, not every company is audited by the same company. Paradise and others have certs on their sites indicating that their rng has passed the sniff test of companies like Price Waterhouse Coopers. The amount of money PWC makes from online gaming firms is a joke, so explain their motivation for turning a blind eye to cheating.

    And it’s not their job to denounce anyone just as it is not the job of an accounting firm to turn you in to the tax authorities. They have the option of either validating the fairness of the game or not. If they don’t validate then the company does not say that it’s been validated.

    And what in the hell does ZeeJustin cheating have to do with sites being rigged. Do you honestly think people can’t cheat at land based casinos? Literally, you’re now just throwing off chaff in the hopes of escaping this debate with some sort of small victory.

    Yes, there is no such thing as true, true randomness as far as computers are concerned. In fact, I don’t believe a random system of number generation can ever be created. Even in total chaos one can find patterns. So, again, what this really comes down to is whether or not it is random enough.

    Every busted RNG I’ve ever heard of usually involves someone first figuring out the RNG methodology being used and then somehow they are able to find a flaw that exposes the seeding. They recreate the seeding and thus can then predict the numbers the RNG will spit out. When it happens, it tends to be widely publicized which is why you heard about this keno exploit. Once discovered, the bonehead programmer who implemented the RNG is fired and someone who actually knows something about RNG is hired to implement it correctly.

    As far as your last paragraph, if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle. You can hypothesize all day but it doesn’t make any of your assertions correct.

    It would be really to your benefit to end the discussion here. Like I said, no disrespect intended, but you have more than proven that you bring to the table no special knowledge on the subject matter. That’s fine. I don’t know jack about architecture. In fact there are gobs of topics I don’t know anything about. The problem is, this happens to be one of the topics I do know something about so we have a bit of a problem here. You can continue to keep bringing up random pieces of information that you’ve cobbled together and I can keep pointing out the flaws in your arguments (which I can do all day long as I’ve heard all of your arguments a thousand times before) or we can agree to disagree and we can go on our merry ways each believing what we want to believe.

    Bill

  6. bill,

    I don’t which claim has been proven false, if you’re reffering to the rng certification stating it’s all good. Then yes my statements were proven false. However, these certification companies sole business revolve around certifying poker rooms. I don’t know of any of these companies branching off into other ventures to collect revenue. So if the majority of their income comes from the pokerrooms, I don’t see any positives in showing the rngs are bad hence cutting off their income. With so many pokerrooms out there I have yet to see a certification company denounce a pokerroom. So, am I to believe there is absolutely no flaw in all of these rooms not even one room? Also, the one criteria that is missing in all these certifications. Was it test # 1, 2, 3 or 4. In other words how many tries did they get before they passed. Did they have to get a new set of hand histories because they had failed the test previously or not? Yes, the 500k hands they tested is a good number, but how many tests were actually needed before making the passing grade.

    When the story first came out about zeejustin. I clearly recognized 3 id’s. That’s because I played on the step higher games on party poker. In tournament style poker especially sng. It takes only one hand to cost you a lot of money.

    I guess you did not see the episode or mis-read my comments. It was electronic keno. He was speaking of rngs specifically just like the rngs you have in electronic poker. You probably know all this, but I will say it anyways in an attempt to clarify my comments. He stated that computers cannot truly create random numbers so the rngs are created to prevent people from predicting the outcome. But guess what he predicted the outcome hence winning the jackpot..

    Maybe I went on a little tangent and did not stick to the original post about rng’s being skewed. However, one thing led to another and got to a point where we were discussing how the poker rooms could be compromised.

    Hence, do you really need to know a players hole cards to compromise the system? If there was a system to predict only the 5 key community cards that’s the only edge someone would need. I could care less if you had AA. If I had 2 7 and with relative accuracy knew the five community cards would come 2 2 x x x. I’d be the first one to push you all in with 27 and have you call with your AA preflop. To maximize profit at least two people have to play. This is the sure way to go in with the worst of it knowing you’d come out with the best of it.

  7. Maddeuces,

    The problem is, is not whether you call it potato or tomato. You made a very specific claim and that claim has proven to be false.

    If JJ got his bankroll via illegal activities, how does that change the odds against you if he’s not cheating?

    I don’t even understand your argument. Keno is not randon. Bingo is not random. Slots are not random. The only way a slot machine can claim it pays out 95% is to adjust the random behavior so it equals 95%. Poker doesn’t do any of that. If you get AA, you have the same odds as anyone else getting AA.

    Bill

  8. Bill,

    I grow tired of this too and know that it won’t be resolved by either of us debating the issue. So this will be my final note.

    “I call it potatoe you call it potato”. You know what I meant when I said multi tabling/ multi accounting. I’m writting all my post playing poker and yes sometimes words don’t come out right with windows popping up and multitasking. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty and evaluate where I dot my I’s or where I insert a commma or an exclaimation point that’s up to you.

    When you say you know JJ and Zee I don’t know if you know them personally or just on the forum. However, if these are the high limit players you refer too or similar group of people then they not only got their huge bankrolls by cheating, but are playing the high limits with cheated money. The bs Zee gave like i didn’t know it was wrong. For every two that are caught there are probably hundreds more that aren’t. As I have pointed out before it wasn’t the poker rooms that had to inform the players. It was the players who informed the poker rooms. So, if no one pointed it out no one would be the wiser. I know there is an article where Daniel Negraneau makes a claim that he lost to some players colluding. I don’t know if this was proven positive or negative. However, he did lose a good chunk of change.

    As far as the gambling code yes I might not be able to cite it or know the articles listed in them, but do I really have to know what’s in it? Do I really have to know it says you can’t bring in extra cards to know it’s wrong? Some things are common sense. Do I really have to read it in some bill or legislation that shooting people are against the law?

    Yes, and I know about luck. I’ve seen it in live games too. I’ve been at a casino where two jackpots happened within less than 20 minutes apart on the same table by the same two players with almost the same cards. So it does happen, but if you were to ask all the dealers, pit bosses, or employment would you see another circumstance like that again…they’d probably all agree no..

    Live i can play aggressive and to a fair degree have the 2 to 1 ratio hold up. There will always be luck and you’ll get bad beats no matter where you play. The degree of luck live vs online is what I question.

    It was a while back so I don’t remember all the details, but there was an episode on criminal masterminds where the former employee of the gaming commission decides to break the rng for the keno machines.

    The guy even stated that it’s amost impossible to break it even if the algorithems aren’t random due to encryption and such…etc.. I believe he said it increased his chances by a small percentage. I don’t even think it was even in the double digits until he bought mulitple tickets. Even then the probablilities were less than 80%. He took down the jackpot in about 3 tries.

    Just because it’s highly improbable doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

    The emphasis on being able to see the hole cards isn’t even the best way to profit. The best way is if a player was able to predict the 5 community cards. These are the only 5 key cards he would have to know. If he was able to with a fair degree of accuracy know the what cards would come then he could just push with the 2 7 knowing it would be getting trips. Have the worst of it to make the best hand.

  9. Hi Maddeuces,

    I’m really growing tired of this but I’ll entertain you.

    I Know ZeeJstin adn JJ, you might want to do a search on my site before asking. Its’ not that they were multi-tabling, it was they were multi-accounting.

    As far as regulation, can you cite Ca and NV gambiling code? I didn’t think so. You’re just poking around a topic you don’t know anything about. Do you want to hear about worse beats in live games? I lost a hand when I was a 97% favorite pre-flop. I lost the hand.

    Making adjustments is part of playing poker. If this is a new concept to you, you’re the newbie here.

    Contrary to your statments, you don’t need to lose a million to prove your point. Go on 2+2 and ask if any other high limit player thinks the game is riggged. You’ll get laughed out of there by guys who worked thier way up from .50/1 to 100/200 who think guys like you are the kooks.

  10. Bill,

    I’ve read some of the articles not all, but the first one shows that the video poker was cracked. The other article seems make fun of online poker being rigged. Another states that bots can be overcome..etc..

    I’m pretty sure you know of JJsProdigy and Zeejustin incident…they were multitabling…the only reason they got caught was because someone reported them. If no one had mentioned anything there is a good chance that they would still be cheating people. There are no real regulations in where these sites are located. They confiscated some of their money. Money they would have never had if they had played legit. The question lies in why did someone have to come foward before any action was taken. With all the security measures shouldn’t they have been the ones informing the players and not the other way around? On a side note: I heard that in the 2006 wsop 2.2 million in extra chips. Whether is was intentional or accident it has huge implications because more than likely it helped one player more than others..

    This is an old article that shows that one of the earlier poker rooms were cracked. I’m pretty sure you will make the claim that it’s old and outdated. The security measures they have in place now are much better etc.. The only thing I can say is it happened. I’m pretty sure back in 1999 these poker rooms made claims that their security measures were state of the art so it couldn’t be hacked into. Just like we may find out later down the line that the rooms we have now were really not secure at all.

    http://www.developer.com/java/other/article.php/616221

    Another article states why play if its rigged.

    I have racked up a lot of points playing these online rooms and while i’m playing these points i’m playing the cash games too. However, after I have used all my points there is a good possibility that I will be playing only live games because I believe the profitability is not there. Just 2 examples while writing this post.

    I had 10 10 2nd player last from the button. Everyone folded it’s to me. I call. Everyone folded, but the big blind decides to raise. I just call. Flop comes K 10 Q. The blind bets out. I tell myself if he has AJ I’ll pay him off i go all in. He thinks long…I don’t know what for only that he’s probably taken his share of bad beats. He calls. Sure enought he has AJ. Whether raised or not the result would have been the same.

    In another table i’m not in the hand, but this is what I observed. QQ decides to raise early on. 55 has the balls to reraise pretty big. The 55 gets quads this is probably within less than 20 min writing this post.

    On another hand if I had decided to raise with my KK in good position I would have gotten busted up real good by the big blind. He would have called with his suited cards hand hit trip 6′s on the flop. I would have lost a whole lot more if I had decided to raise or make some kind of aggressive play.

    I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments in my online and live play.

    There is on big problem in trying to prove if the game is rigged or not..That’s cash…Consider that you have to take every hand to the showdown to prove if your point. If your playing 100nl games to provide 10k hands you need a million dollars. Of course it may be less because you may actully win some back still even losing half is enormous sum even at a 100nl level

  11. I love how the entire first part of the post is about science and scientific method and then we boil it all down to:

    I know what my gut is telling me.

    Did you read any of my other posts like I recommended? The difference between me believing the moon is made of cheese and my belief that the games (for the most part) are fair is that there are mountains of facts to support the games are fair theory. You, like many, many before you, have it all come down to your gut feel. I’m sorry but the evidence doesn’t support your gut feel. You can tell me all of the sob stories and bad beats you want but until you can throw a statistically relevant sample size out there for someone to analyze and demonstrate a statistically significant anomaly from expected results . . . yours is the moon is made of cheese argument.

    Bill

  12. Bill,

    that 1 mil comment was in part supposed to be a sarcastic and rhetorical comment. I should have put an astronomical # in the end. However, since I am not able to revise it we’ll leave it at I lied.

    The second part of your comment that moon is made of cheese. Prove to me it isn’t made of cheese. I didn’t see you go up there and take a bite out of it see if it was made of cheese.

    Yes, the standard. The scientific community says it’s not made of cheese. So we should accept it. A fact is only a fact until a better theory comes along to change it.

    For the longest time in the so called “modern world” there was a conception in the scientific community that the world was flat. If u said it otherwise you would be branded a heretic or lunatic. However, in ancient Greece it was already known that the world was round they just could not prove it.

    I know what my gut is telling me. I win in both live and online games in the 100-200nl levels. However, my play in live and online games differ in style. I’ve become somewhat more passive in online games because there is a good chance that the hand heads up won’t hold up. In a live game i’d push all my chips in with the best hand hoping for that person to try and outdraw me. I go on a ratio of 2-1. If i lose 1 i expect to win 2. Online I expect to lose 3 if i win 7. At first I thought it might have to do with the blinds being different between the the tables at live games opposed to online. So I moved to the higher games online to try and compensate for the blinds being bigger on live games. The results are the same.

    From the results I know I have to be multitabling 3-4 tables in online games to get the same result on live games at the same limit.

    Yesterday, while i was playing 4 out 5 hands I lost within a short period. 3 times they hit sets and once 2 pairs on the flop. In live games I don’t don’t worry too much about someone hitting sets even with multiple players in the hand. Yes, they do hit it at times, but not like online where a reraise almost always means sets.

  13. Maddeuces,

    I don’t mean to create an enemy either however you’re making it very difficult to address your arguments in an intelligent and helpful way. Just read your last response:

    Yes, I just lied to you previously. I’ve never seen a million hand history database been told it’s too small.

    10K hands is too small. Do the math on standard deviations and you would know that. 10k – 20k is where you might, might start getting people to even take you seriously because everything can be explained via variance. You can measure how many hands needed to greatly reduce the potential for variance to be a factor and many people have run databases of hundreds of thousands and in some cases, millions of hands and they haven’t noted anything that would not be expected via normal variance.

    I heard from a guy who says he’s heard . . . .

    So if what this guy says is true . . .

    I heard the moon is made out of cheese. Until you prove me wrong (and I get to set the standard of proof) I can’t believe anything you say.

    What accurate data would you like them to provide? If they provided every hand history someone would say that it’s faked. If they brought you in and showed you every line of code you would claim that they have one piece of code they show people like you and the code they run the site off of.

    Look at this link and when you have information that either has not been covered in one of these articles or can actually prove something that’s been said to be incorrect, please follow up. Until then, I really can’t give your arguments too much credit as they’re mostly uninformed opinions.

    http://www.billrini.com/category/is-online-poker-rigged/

    Bill

  14. Bill,

    Not trying to make enemies, but sharing my point of view. I didn’t mean someone provided a 1 million sample, but when someone provide a 100k sample he was told it was too small and provide a 1 million sample size. I have seen plenty of sample size 10k and up..but as I have pointed out most will just say the sample size is too small whether it’s in the thousands 10k or 100k.

    Also, here is a comment by another poster on a different site. I have not verified the claim, but heres what he posted.

    “I agree for more reasons other than mathmatics! Try ->” Did you know iTech, the independent RNG auditor used by Party Poker is owned by iMedia which is owned by Party Poker.” I would like to have furthur communication with you. Please respond with request for my email or visit me at http://www.pokerconduct.com.”

    So if this is truly the case it’s like asking a brother or sister to vouch for you that you’re a good person. In which almost every case he’d agree unless you were some sort of criminal murderer.

    Also, as I have stated instead of spending money with independent auditors why not just spend that money to provide acurate data on their site?

  15. Maddeuces,

    I call BS on your hand history stuff. I’ve been playing online for years and have been reading 2+2, RGP, and misc other forums and I’ve never seen anyone with 100,000 hands being told the sample size is too small. I see plenty of people showing up with a few thousand hands and claiming their aces get cracked too often or some other BS but your claim of someone shooting down a database sample size of 1 million is complete crap.

    Bill

  16. Maddeuces,

    You’re right. It’s not easy. A much easier target would be banks and online banking.

    That still does not address the fact that you’re beginning to demonstrate you really don’t know much about what you’re talking about. I don’t mean that in a bad way but, hey, are you going to listen to a cryptographer or some guy who read about cryptography in a news article if your goal is to learn more about the subject? I’ve been doing security related stuff in ecommerce and other areas of the internet for 10+ years. I’ve had my software designs and architecture audited by some of the best in the business. So, should I rely on my experiences or your speculation when forming an opinion on this stuff?

    Yes, many government sites have been hacked into. Usually because some low level goofball chooses an insecure password or forgets to apply a patch that’s been available for months to a piece of software. The major difference in what we’re talking about here is that websites and online poker applications are two different beasts. One uses a proprietary protocol to supply a very well defined and specific service over an encrypted session and the other is meant to do everything from serving webpages to streaming video over unencrypted sessions. Comparing the two is apples and oranges.

    Actually the spyware you mention is to expose colluders and bots. And what most of them do is, yes, take screen shots, but they don’t normally do keylogs, they normally insert a hook into your system that can tell them if the commands are coming from the physical mouse device or are being sent via a program (like a bot). And again, yes, they would have to compromise the server. Actually, to be technically correct, they have to compromise either the client, the server, or the link between them. Since as I pointed out in a previous comment that finding out your information (the client) is difficult (if not impossible) for another player, they would have to either compromise the server or the communication between the server and the client. The communication is encrypted so we’re back to needing to compromise the server.

    Dude, you know what would be even easier? Just send people an email saying that you’re XYZ Poker’s customer support and you need them to log into a special site to redeem a free prize or to confirm your info. Even if they get a 1% response rate, that is far, far, far easier than hacking into someone’s system, figuring out a way to either bypass the software’s encryption or to actually crack the encryption, and then to wait around just to play against you.

    If someone was to go to all the trouble you describe, there are far more damaging things they could do.

    Chill out.

  17. I didn’t say it was easy, but if you had the knowledge or resources to buy the knowledge then yes it’s possible. When it comes to money people are willing to do almost anything.

    Alot of government websites have been hacked into. The only reason they come on the news is hackers defaced them and leave a calling card. If they didn’t do this most of us wouldn’t even know the site was hacked and go about our normal business.

    I read somewhere that many of the poker programs have spyware embedded in them to expose colluders. They are able to take screen shots and get key logs. If this is the case do the hackers really need to hack into the server or use this as a means to get the information.

    What you see is not what you get. Although windows xp and routers have firewalls how do you really know its active? The operating systems were made to make it user friendly, but underneath it all its all bits of code. You go to the processes and see IEXPLORE.EXE, but half of them you wouldn’t even recognize unless you were a programmer. One of them could be a virus that shows your firewall is enabled when in fact its not.

    When you installed the poker programs you allowed your firewall to allow information to be sent. If it’s true that these programs have spyware embedded in them I don’t know why a hacker could not use this part of the program to reveal your hole cards.

  18. Bill,

    I just wanted to address one comment. You pointed out that at some point the skewed rng will cancel out. There is a flaw in that logic. Of course it could cancel out if players played in the same manner. However, players don’t play the same hole cards in the same way.

    Quick example. Player A chases all his flush draws. Player B never chases the flush draw. Now if the odds to hit the flush draw increased by 5% who does it really help? Player B always folds his flush draw so that 5% never helped him. In fact as more time progresses the winnings and losses grow further apart.

    Also, i’ve seen posts of players showing skewed hand histories. The reply I see is this. That is not an accurate sample size. If they show 10k sample it has to be bigger. If they show 100k sample it has to be bigger. 1 mil and still the sample size is not big enough to be accurate. Whether it’s for or against poker rngs being skewed player samples will be different. The only complete sample is in the database of the poker sites themselves. Although sites cannot disclose their rng codes because of security issues. I do not see why sites don’t post stats on their sites like to date: x amount of royal flush has been hit, x amount of straight flush, etc… Of course it may take resources and cost extra, but it’s just a small price to pay to show that online poker is safe.

  19. MadDeuces,

    While I can appreciate some of what you’re saying, let me point out the following:

    1. You don’t state how the RNG could be skewed. Unless you’re proposing that the rooms are intentional in this, wouldn’t the problem work for you sometimes and against you sometimes, at some point canceling out? Also, why haven’t the millions upon millions of hands that have been mined by other players ever demonstrated any such problem?

    2. Of course encryption can and will be broken. On the other hand, our most highly guarded government secrets rely on encryption to keep them protected so what we really are asking is will the ability to crack encryption keep up with our ability to stay ahead of the crackers? I think the answer is yes. 99% of all cases of encryption being cracked, the flaw is in how some programmer implemented it and not in the encryption itself. From time to time people make advances in cracking which proves a certain encryption obsolete but in nearly every case, that encryption methodology was already becoming obsolete due to advances in other encryption algorithms.

    3. You kind of go off on a tangent about the government hacking all of our computers but I don’t think you can provide any credible evidence of such a thing. Additionally, nearly all trusted encryption algorithms are open source so they are open to scrutiny by anyone. Every poker room does not use its own SSL. It uses the SSL standard which is available for you to scrutinize all you want.

    4. Remote desktop has been around for years. And it takes more than what you describe to exploit it. Nearly every home router has a built in firewall. Unless you can speak to remote desktop on a certain port, you can’t even connect to it, let alone exploit it. Additionally, XP has remote desktop disabled by default and XP’s standard firewall rules block access to that port.

    5. You, like the author of the book and every scam artist who tells people you can see other people’s hole cards, fail to realize that knowing the location of the other computers is not a trivial task. You don’t connect peer to peer to the other players. You connect to a server who feeds you the information relevant to you. Knowing your opponent’s IP addresses is not a piece of relevant data so it’s never passed to you. Nearly every person who makes this false claim leaves out that major piece of the puzzle. How can you capture the location or data if you are not given access to it? There are only a few ways this would be possible:

    a) You have hacked into the game server itself, in which case you wouldn’t even need to log into your opponent’s computer to know his hole cards.

    b) You have somehow gotten someone to not only give you their online poker screen name, but their IP address, their computer login and password and convinced them to configure their machine to allow you to log into it. Oh, and there’s even a problem with that since XP only allows one user session at a time which means that you would be logging your stooge out of his own machine which would certainly tip him off to something.

    In the end, you’ve stated several issues which sound scary if you don’t know much about computers. If you actually know enough to know how difficult these things are or how unlikely they are, the arguments fall apart pretty easily.

  20. I thought it was an interesting book to say the least. I personally believe that the RNG are skewed. People believe that that 3% or even 2% doesn’t make much of a difference, but in NL poker that small percentage makes a hell of a difference. Often times you put your whole stack on the line for those small percentages. In limit where you just call a small portion of your stack those percentages don’t make much difference.

    Collusion is one of the hardest cheat to expose especially in live games. First of all what you see on TV is less than 1% of the hands the player plays. Most of the time if they are colluding they are not going to show their hand and even if by mistake they did. It’s easy to make an excuse like oh I thought I made a straight…my bad I should have checked my cards. Also, he was not stating the the pros are bad players, but if they both made it deep into the tournament where they had an opportunity to dump chips that would make that single player a force to be reckoned with.

    Any encryption can and will be broken it’s only a matter of time. For most people they will find out the encryption was broken many years down the line. Think of the gsm phones that were said could not be hacked into. Here’s part of a new your times article.

    ” Overcoming the security also revealed a hint that the code may have been intentionally weakened during its design to allow government agencies the ability to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, The New York Times reported today. ”

    I only put this part of the article because there is a strong possibility that the government could have tampered with all the computers. Especially with the government wanting to crack down copyright laws, national security and such. All poker rooms have their own ssl, but that might not even be the exploit. A majority of the users use the microsoft operation system. The new operating system has a program called remote desktop which is standard. Of course you need to know the user id and password, but if you knew an exploit that could bypass both. You’d could look at what whole cards a person has by tracing the location of computer.

  21. Great Review! Bill comes through again!

  22. Thank you for a wonderful review,
    and thank you for getting angry.
    You rant was a very good read.

  23. I was disappointed with Dirty Poker as well. American Roulette was much better. DP was basically worthless.

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