Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Online Poker Cheats Stir the Soup!

The latest scandal in online poker comes from the European site, Betfair. A group of players discovered a glitch in the software that when all of the players in a six-seat tournament went all-in on the first hand, the winner would get the first-place money, but the site would erroneously give second-place prize money to all of the other five players, which was an amount well above the total entry fees. Then a large number of players conspired to exploit this software bug for as much money as they could squeeze out of the system before Betfair discovered the problem and fixed it.

Well, it's not surprising that people will be dishonest or unethical, but I was kind of taken aback to find threads in poker forums where players admit that they were involved in the Betfair incident, and others saying that they wish they had known about it so that they could have gotten into the free-for-all for some easy money. Other uninvolved players said they saw nothing wrong with what those who were did. Talk about candidness!

Here are some of the posts I read:

"Superluminal" wrote, "Well, yes, for one that isn’t cheating. The site made the screw up which made the games pay out more than they took in. This is certainly not cheating by any definition available."

"Bad Beat Bill" said, "I think that most of us, if we found a bug like this would probably have tried to exploit it too. Being honest I would have tried knowing that I wouldn't have much to lose...and potentially a whole lot to gain." Well, that remark smacks of honesty, in spite of how dishonest his intension would have been. As for me, what do you think I would have done...hah-hah? If I said I wouldn’t have jumped in, I would have to jump off a plank for having lied!

"Ariston" said, "Any poker player who can put his hand on his heart and say they wouldn't have sat in a few of these if they saw what was happening is kidding themseleves or is lying." Well, you gotta believe a guy with his hand on his heart, don’t you? I mean especially a poker player. Especially an online poker player. Then Ariston also added, "Oh and as I have already stated if I had been up that night I would have gotten involved and played these as well. I can honeslty say I don't know a single person who wouldn't as human nature/greed would've kicked in."

"Bonified" replied, "Don't you know anyone with the foresight to realise how they'll feel about something later before they do it?" Good psychological reversal there but totally full of shit!

"Chillin_dude"), who admitted his involvement wrote, "I do think that people took this a massive step too far in their judgements and their condeming of the players that took part, and that if they were in such situations themselves, it wouldn't be such a clear cut right or wrong...." Here I think anyone could see clear what is right or wrong, but I also think that most people would just have to go for the “wrong.” I mean, how many of us would walk past a $100 bill lying in the street? Then Chillin_dude added, “I truely do doubt that many people wouldn't get involved if they found out something like this was going on in the heat of the moment."

"Lucymagem" another self-admitted guilty party, complained about how Betfair froze her uninvolved father's account, probably because they wanted to prevent the possibility of her dumping her ill-gotten winnings off in his account. I guess she doesn’t think the company has a right to be pissed off after it gets ripped off and then try to prevent furhter damage. Well, she may be wrong, but I’m not feeling any sorrow for Betfair.

Some major forums are actually inviting members to confess their poker sins. Hey, not a bad idea! Maybe soon we’ll see a website called “ It would have a booth and all. But let’s not get anybody too religious involved.