Bill’s Blog Considered Expert Opinion

I have had CS reps from different poker sites tell me that they refer people to my blog to help address concerns about online being rigged. I’ve never actually seen the actual emails until now.

Manik79 posted an email on his blog that he received from PokerStars in which they refer him here.

Hello Manik79,

I am sure you are well aware that there is no such thing as a ‘bad beat switch’, ‘black list’ or anything similar to it. We have no interest in providing action or augmenting the hands in any way. Bad beats simply happen on their own. If there were no more bad beats, people would stop chasing bad draws. If that happens, then good players like yourself won’t be able to win anymore.

There is really no incentive for PokerStars to increase the size of the pots by manipulating the deal. The rake for every hand is capped at a maximum of $3 (or less, depending on the limit and number of players at the table).

At the lower limits, the pots take care of themselves. Inexperienced players who are playing all kinds of trash, and who go too far with their hands, mean that the pots get pretty big relative to the stakes very easily. There is no need for us to ‘juice’ the deal when the players will play any face card, and two suited cards, and any pair anyway.

At the larger limits, the rake hits the cap so quickly that again there is no reason for us to manipulate the cards. At these limits, it wouldn’t matter if the resulting pot was $1000 or $10,000 – we would still take $3 in rake.

Not only is there no genuine incentive for us to do it, it would be impossible for us to implement without getting caught. We have always provided hand histories to all of our players. Some of these players have analyzed hundreds of thousands of hands that they have played here – and not one of them has found anything unusual.

We’re more than willing to provide you with all the real money hands you’ve ever played on our site (or a large sample, like 20,000 hands) to analyze using a program like PokerStat or PokerTracker to prove that we’re a sufficiently random site.

Furthermore, I think that the following weblink would help you immensely in your complaint about online poker being ‘rigged’ against players:

The writer points out several well-stated responses to the common myths about online poker. Please give us the benefit of the doubt and at least consider the thoughts presented within this posting.

We hope that you continue to play on PokerStars. Since I started working here, I’ve gone through quite the withdrawal – I hate playing anywhere else, and unfortunately (for security reasons, obviously) employees are not allowed to play on the site. Since I’ve started here at PokerStars, I’ve seen everything there is to see as I’ve played at multiple online poker sites, sampling and getting an idea of preference. Doing this has allowed me to make my own personal judgements about online poker. It is, however, important to remember that even though it may not seem so, we are not alone when taking our beats. Beats come and go, we give out beats, we take beats. Streaks are no different.

Keeping a level head and control of oneself is the first rule to this game. Let us know if we can do anything else for you, Darren. We’re here around the clock to serve you.


PokerStars Support Team

Pretty cool.

Maybe I should write a few articles on why online poker sites should deal Bill pocket aces more often.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.