Saturday, November 20, 2010

PokerStars Gets Tough on Online Poker Players in China Because of Cheating Scandal!

If you play online poker from China, game selection just got a bit tougher on PokerStars. That’s the result of a new rule on Stars, rolled out sometime this week with understandably little fanfare, that limits the amount of players from China that can be simultaneously seated at any given ring game table to one.

There’s been a similar rule in place for many SNG tournaments since late August, as a result of a massive collusion ring that Stars unearthed involving Chinese players and Double-or-Nothing (DON) Sit and Gos.

PokerStars paid out a reported $2.1 million in compensation to those players impacted by the collusion. What’s different this time? Well, the order of events. There’s yet to be a massive collusion ring reported at cash tables on Stars, but Chinese players are subject to an identical restriction on ring (cash) games as they face in the DONs.

That’s led more than a few people to wonder if this is simply a proactive move by PokerStars, or if it’s a response to another, as-yet-unreported, collusion ring identified by the world’s largest real-money poker room.
There’s no evidence yet to suggest that the latter is the case. Stars has a long history of issuing refunds to players impacted by cheating, and the uncovering of a massive cheating ring would almost certainly be quickly followed by a string of refunds that would definitely hit the radar on major poker forums like 2+2.

My Take: Well, China is a big place...and there's always gonna be lots of room for online poker cheats!