In the years I have been playing poker online I have heard many myths, legends and paranoid delusions. Not that incidents such as cheating can’t or don’t happen, I am just not one to look for the boogey man around every corner.
Anyone can come up with excuses and reasons to not do something, excuses which are used as a mask for the real reasons. If a player is a loose recreational player, they will lose. How much they lose depends on how long they play and the limit they play. Bad players will lose and the boogie man or cheaters have nothing to do with it.
What do poker players and drivers have in common? All poker players think they play good, all drivers think they are excellent drivers. This leads to rationalization and reasons why the “good” driver got in an accident (It was the other guys fault) and why the poker player loses so much money…”I was cheated!”
Years ago when I started playing on the XYZ poker site, I had good and bad runs, as is normal. One thing I do have to say though is I have never before, or since, had so many phenomenal bad beats. I had a straight flush beat, quads, you name it, and not just once in awhile but consistently. Do I think I was cheated? Not really but it was odd and I do wonder why I experienced so many bad beats on that site and no other. After a time, I was so uncomfortable with it all that I quit the site and never went back. In the years since leaving that site and playing on many others, I have never experienced the bad beats or bad mojo feeling I had on that site.
The great thing is, as players we have choices. There are many sites to choose from to play on, different variations of the game and limits. If you have a bad feeling about a site, or the game, leave and try something else.
“I didn’t play bad!” – “I lost because I was cheated out of my money and I will never play again.” If you play online, you will at some point hear someone claim this is true. They just won’t or can’t admit they have not been able to adjust to online play and are basing their experiences on live play vs. online. The amount of hands they are being dealt, the hands they are playing and/or playing badly is something they refuse to consider.
Of course players can cheat online, with those things called cell phones for one. But if Mr. X and Mr. Y talk on the phone and collude, just how many opportunities do they have to get one of their opponents in a trap sandwich? And if there was a ring of cheaters, wouldn’t they play in games where the pay off was worth it? I just can’t see someone spending the energy or time to cheat in a micro game or any game under maybe 10/20 limit. The pay off just doesn’t seem worth it.
Any player who even has a twinge of suspicion that collusion is going on should report it to the poker site immediately. All poker sites have many safeguards in place to spot cheaters, but it is up to the players to alert the site so they can put the safeguards in play. Poker sites hate cheaters as much, or more, than the rest of us. If a site is exposed as having suspicious activity, collusion or cheats, word spreads like wildfire and their business suffers or is completely ruined. This includes the rumors of sites using robot players (bots) to fill seats and win players money. Poker sites have no reason to be crooked and cheat players; they make money with the rake, not whether you win or lose.
Anything is possible in this impossible world, and that includes the wide world of poker. As with all things in life we need to be aware, informed and educated, this holds true when playing online as well.
Don’t be afraid, sign up, sign in and grab a chair…see you there!
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