In a previous article (“Yes, You Can Cheat at Online Poker”), I
make the assertion that, yes, cheating is possible when playing online poker. Of
course, most people disbelieve this fact. I am constantly amazed by the masses
of players who take comfort in the assurances of poker websites that cheating
these days is not a reality. Well, if ever there were any doubt regarding this
question of whether cheating at online poker actually occurs, these events
should put the matter to rest once and for all.
During an online tournament at Absolute Poker, some players became suspicious of
how another player was winning. After the tournament, the player who finished
second filed a complaint and requested a copy of hand histories for the
tournament. This is usually a routine matter, and poker websites provide such
information whenever requested. But in this particular instance, Absolute Poker
inadvertently supplied more data than just hand histories. The file they sent
appeared to be gibberish at first, but upon further analysis, actually revealed
all hole cards for all players as well as IP addresses and other proprietary
info. In other words, the poker website accidentally revealed a veritable gold
mine of information.
This data shows a cheating scheme that may be linked directly back to Absolute
An observer came into this poker room and apparently informed the winning player
of all other hole cards during the tournament. For example, the player in
question folded his first two hands before this observer entered the room, and
then folded no other hands for about twenty minutes until he folded pre-flop
when another player held a pair of kings. This type of playing continued
throughout the entire tournament.
And it gets worse. This observer was apparently in cahoots with Absolute Poker.
His IP address and account name traces to the servers that host Absolute Poker.
This evidence suggests that an insider at Absolute Poker had access to all hole
cards in real time and that he relayed that information to an outside
I do not know for certain if cheating occurred in this particular instance,
since I was not there. However, if you wish to research the details of this
matter yourself, visit the TwoPlusTwo forums and the CasinoSmak blogs. There,
you will find plenty of information regarding this incident.
When you play poker online, at any poker website, your relationship with that
website is one ultimately based on trust. Whether or not other players are
cheating you, you should, at the very least, be able to trust that the poker
website itself is not cheating you.
The poker websites are forever bragging that they do not allow cheating. They
boast about their sophisticated technological methods to track and prevent all
forms of cheating. And the vast majority of players believe this message. Yet, I
ask you, who is policing the poker websites themselves? Who is there to assure
that the operators of these websites are not themselves bilking their customers?
The next time someone tells you that cheating at online poker is impossible
these days and it never happens, simply recall the evidence of this incident at
Absolute Poker in October of 2007. Armed with this knowledge, you will venture
forth a wiser individual and a more discerning consumer of online poker.
Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online
Poker Systems and the OPS Group. With a background in
Internet technology, he is active in the study and
reporting of online-poker playing strategies. If you
wish to explore a specific way to cheat when playing
online, click here:
Online Poker Cheat.
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