This is fast becoming a depressing thread for me!
Here is my "pitch" for the side of: online poker sites, at least those of any repute, are not rigged in any way whatsoever. I'm not referring to flybynightpoker.com or wearegoingtostealyourmoneyifyoudeposithere.com. My arguments won't apply to them.
Here we go.
ONE. Online poker sites are massively profitable. Party Gaming, for example, earns hundreds of millions of pounds per year and is worth over 4 billion pounds! Other sites are similarly profitable, if somewhat smaller. These are huge numbers. These figures are not generated because of rigged pots, but because at any given time 10,000+ people are playing on multiple sites, sometimes much more than that! Most are playing in raked games. Imagine a casino with that many players. These companies are simply gold mines
TWO. Let's think about this for a second. Currently, gambling is illegal in the United States in several districts and we keep seeing threads about the danger of Congress passing laws making it quite a bit more illegal. If they passed a nationwide law banning online poker, I don't think it would be an issue of getting caught, I think the companies would be banned from offering their services here. How do you think learning that online poker is "kinda rigged" would affect their thinking?
THREE. Let's think about this in a different direction. Poker is huge right now. Massively huge. Everyone involved is making money. Why would the players at the center of this massive wave, the ones making the most cash, decide to piss it all away? Let's say that Party, Stars, or even Titan were caught rigging the game, not to make anyone lose but just to increase the action. I believe they would immediately lose their best players and highest rollers -- the people who have the biggest financial incentive to play at a fair site -- and probably most of their other players too. The publicity would destroy them!
FOUR. Corporate fraud is generally used for 2 reasons: (1) to turn around a business that otherwise would not make any money (what do you have to lose?), or (2) to enrich a particular person at the expense of the corporation. I don't see how rigging cards makes money for a given embezzling employee, and these businesses are not struggling. So they do not fit the bill for typical corporate fraud.
FIVE. Let's talk about cognitive dissonance. This is a characteristic of most human beings that I'm sure you've seen before. It basically entails "remembering what you want to remember". It's all about exageration. You know when a guy comes into the office and he's a bit late and he says "man, I caught every f---ing red light"? Well, this has been examined by game theorists, who found that because people had to stop for a red light, they remember it better than green lights. So folks often complain of stopping more at red lights, or having bad luck with red lights, when in reality that's just how they are seeing it, and their distribition of red vs. green lights is perfectly normal. Another example comes in the form of gambling. How many people do you know who have been to Vegas, or heck even a casino? Not close friends who seriously play poker and monitor their bankroll, but "regular" folks. Ever ask them how they did? Do you find that most of them say they "broke even" or "made a little money"? Do you think that Las Vegas or any casino was built on having people come in and break even or make a small profit? No. But gamblers are notorious for doing something everyone does: thinking they are better than they are, wanting people to think highly of them, and so nearly invariably advertising results superior to reality.
FACT: Online casinos
are making huge bucks.
FACT: Gambling faces a potentially protracted and uphill battle for legality and acceptability -- especially in the United States -- and mistakes could be costly.
FACT: Poker players would react negatively to news of a rigged site, and would at least flock to other sites, if not be turned off of online poker altogether, as would lost potential new players.
FACT: Corporate fraud is generally about keeping companies afloat or making individuals rich at the expense of the corporation. Rigging poker accomplishes neither.
FACT: People like to think and say they are better gamblers than they really are.
It's funny, when I hear some folks talking about their game (and I have been guilty of this too), sometimes they sound like Phil Hellmuth: every loss they take out of a tournament is a bad beat, they are always better than the people at their tables (who are "fish" or "donks" for the most part), and they are amazed by the frequency that their opponents "river" them. No wonder they think the sites are rigged! This is another case of "90% of poker players think they are above average" kind of statistics that get recorded about driving and other walks of life.
So people (a) generally think they are better than they are or like to portray things that way, (b) tend to notice when things are weird a lot more than when they are normal, (c) and so accuse incredibly profitable corporations who are raking in dough raking the tables of risking their entire livelihood (both from a regulation perspective and from a reputation perspective) in order to make the company slightly more money.
Does this not seem ludicrous to anyone else???
I'm not saying momandpoppoker.com and riggedpoker.com and shiftypoker.com and all the other mini sites are legit, my arguments apply to Party and Stars and Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet etc etc. I believe that accusations of anything other than the best random number generator money can buy right now for these sites is simply a conspiracy theory.
Finally, I do not, for the life of me, understand why I hear from people that a site that they continue to play at
is rigged. If you truly believe a site is rigged, for goodness sake stop playing there...!??!
Sorry if this sounded like a rant. That's because it was
Note: This is all in addition to the fact I have stated in other posts that if you are
a superior player, you will
receive more bad beats by definition, not because the site is rigged but because you more often have the better hand going in.