Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Collusion in Poker and Online Poker Cheating--Which is Worse?

Over the past few years, I have been blogging a lot about collusion play by poker cheats. This epidemic of cheating began in the days of games aboard Mississippi paddlewheelers and in Wild West saloons, then naturally found its way into legal brick and mortar cardrooms first in Nevada and then Atlantic City, finally spreading to Europe and the rest of the world as poker caught fire globally. The newest collusion epidemic is of course in online poker.

But in which venue, many people have been asking me, is poker collusion not only endemic but pandemic? In other words, are the collusion attacks worse in brick and mortar cardrooms or online?

Well, believe it or not, the correct answer to this question is not the same as it was a year ago. Back in late 2006, early 2007, online poker cheating began reaching a peak, as we all learned soon afterward by the spate of major scams that erupted last summer. During the same period, regular run of the mill online poker collusion and bot play were also in peak form, running at all-time highs across the online poker world. But suddenly that has been changing. With all the heat generated by the recent insider hole card and account selling scams, along with non-play attacks such as pilfering funds from players' accounts, thousands of everyday poker colluders and bot players have begun hitting the cyber-highway in search of other pursuits. This means that online poker collusion has actually been decreasing sharply the past several months, even to the point where it has fallen behind the old and now renewed number-one collusion scourge: brick and mortar poker rooms.

How wide is this margin? That is difficult to say, at least in terms of assigning numbers and percentages to it. But I will say this, For at least the remainder of 2008 and probably much into 2009, collusion play in online poker will follow a downward trend while its evil brick and mortar counterpart will hold steady.

The good news about brick and mortar collusion play? At least it's holding steady.