Question: Are you concerned about collusion?

mendozaline

mendozaline

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Total posts
101
I know collusion is cheating, against the rules, unethical, illegal, lowdown, frowned upon by the poker community, can get you booted, etc., etc.

But can it really be detected? I'm talking about online poker.

Aside from some of the techniques like "sandwiching" to build the pot, what about this scenario?

Three friends from different cities all over the country, get together in a neutral city with their laptops. They all have different connections: one has Verizon, one has AT&T, and one has Comcast. The significance of this is that no one has the same IP address.

They sit around in circle in their hotel room and play in a big money ring game (or medium, or small, although it doesn't seem worth the trip for small money). Basically, they really only care about one thing, seeing each other's cards. Although, they'd surely collude to build pots bigger, subtley, anytime they can.

But just knowing what the three of them are holding seems like a huge advantage. If one guy has Kc3c, and the other one folds Ac2d, and the flop comes 8c5c4d, the guy with the Kc3c knows he's drawing to the nut flush. So even if the next two cards are clubs, he knows he has the goods. True, if someone else is holding the Qc, he may figure the K or A is still out there and not call, but many would call with the Qc.

This is just one example, but they are too numerous to list. Plus odds would be different if you were seeing 6 hole cards instead of 2.

I wouldn't necessarily say that you couldn't win under those circumstances, but it would be like playing with one arm tied behind your back. You'd certainly be at a disadvantage.

Did you ever see some guy raising and re-raising, and on later streets folds, but something strikes you as strange enough to make you think, "what's that idiot folding NOW for?" Has that ever happened to you?

I'm curious if anyone thinks this is something to be concerned about, considering the world wide gaming community.

P.S. (added material): Or how about this: 25 players in some poor country somewhere "out there" all get together in a semi-circle in an auditorium, and join in on the same MTT with about 450 players. Far-fetched? I haven't done the math, but I think if just one of them won, it would make their week, (month?).
 
Last edited:
Insomniac_1006

Insomniac_1006

Visionary
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Total posts
561
I beleive collusion to be a fact when playing on line. One very simple example A friend of mine told me that her mom was playing at the same table using two different computers. This woman has basically no technical sauvy what-so-ever. I asked how long she played with herself...
If someone with virtually know experience can do it, just imagine what someone who knows what they are doing could do.

Speak of which, I should giet off the computer at work, never know who's watching.

Anywho, that's why I like live play better. Sure, there is cheating there too, but it takes some real planning to pull it off.
 
P

phatjose

Rock Star
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Total posts
222
I'm positive that collusion exists online, and I'm positive that collusion exists in B&M games also. I was sitting at a ring game one night when the only two people left after the flop just flipped their cards over and ran it out right away. Kind of irritating to see it so blatantly done like that, but there's not a whole lot you can do if the house isn't planning on dealing with it themselves (other than find a new game that is). My suggestion is just find a game where either no one knows each other (good luck), or is soft enough so that even if people are working together, they still pose no threat.
 
G

gETKrunkhoe

Guest
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Total posts
7
Wow

I THink DAt it DEpends wHere (which CAsino) u go to is where u shud worRY about it. Collusion isnt ku @ all But it happensjust have to know where or be careful of ur sorrounDINgs.
 
Munchrs

Munchrs

Legend
Joined
May 25, 2007
Total posts
1,935
Did you ever see some guy raising and re-raising, and on later streets folds, but something strikes you as strange enough to make you think, "what's that idiot folding NOW for?" Has that ever happened to you?

Yea happens to me alot, dont know why people make some plays that they do. The yoften seem strange to me or you but often the person making them has a completely logical reason(to them anyway) for making the play.

I have seen a few incidents of collusion, most noteably of recent was 'thev0id' on pokerstars having his WCOOP main event win takein off him because he was running up to 5 accounts in that tournament.
 
Q

quads

Guest
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Total posts
414
Collusion, is the biggest threat we face when playing online. You don't hear much about it, except for the occasional blurt. It's hard to prove and the only ones getting caught most of the time are rookies. (usually two friends on a phone) More and more professional teams are forming, and I predict we'll be hearing more about this on forums in the near future.

Although poker sites have admitted to different types of cheating investigations recently, they have yet to confirm any wrong-doing, except for the bot refunds. Everyone knows about bots, including the sites. They know they are being sold and used. Therefore, they make a big splash about it refunding money, making us think they have it under control and are on top of it, comforting us with what is undeniable.

Here is a quick thread I posted that touches this subject - Online "RIGGED AND CHEATERS"
 
DaFrench1

DaFrench1

Visionary
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Total posts
578
Did you ever see some guy raising and re-raising, and on later streets folds, but something strikes you as strange enough to make you think, "what's that idiot folding NOW for?" Has that ever happened to you?


Yeah, this blatantly happens and I've been the victim of it twice. Because I play limit cash games it's easier to detect. The last time it happened I called with a decent hand and got caught up in a hand being capped on every street by two guys. Then on the turn villain 2 raises, re-raises, then folds on the last cap bet. Now in limit poker I can't think of any scenario that you would commit yourself to a hand so deep without at least check/calling the river, even if you suspect you're beat. I was pretty pissed about it and started at em in the chat box. Villain 2 leaves the room straight away and villain 1 (who had AA, surprise surprise) leaves 2 hands later. I guess you just have to put it down to experience, certainly I know a bit more about LHE now to avoid getting caught in these situations again.
 
dj11

dj11

Legend
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Total posts
23,189
Awards
9
Yea happens to me alot, dont know why people make some plays that they do. They often seem strange to me or you but often the person making them has a completely logical reason(to them anyway) for making the play.

Until the very last instant before you act on a decision, the big raise or all in bet is as good as a set of aces in the hole. Faced with that, you, responding to such a bet, has a very difficult decision to make, and will often lay down big hands to huge bets.

One of the adages you will come across is that if they call, you are probably beat. Often an aggressive player will take a second stab at stealing a pot, maybe even a third. I have been on both sides of that equation. I'll bet you have too.
 
mendozaline

mendozaline

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Total posts
101
Now in limit poker I can't think of any scenario that you would commit yourself to a hand so deep without at least check/calling the river, even if you suspect you're beat.
Even in NLH, I saw something that was pretty hard to believe. Three guys were betting pretty big, pre-flop and all the way to the turn. The guy who I believe wasn't a colluder, folded the last big bet on the turn, but the other two were still in. Now on the river, one guy bets 30 chips, and the other guy folds!! There was something like 9000 chips in the pot, and the guy folds a 30 chip bet. What the F? We used to have a saying when we were younger, when we found ourselves in a situation where all we had to do was call a miniscule bet (even if we were pretty sure we were beaten): "Hell for 30 cents I'll watch the fleas f**k."

There was absolutely no reason whatsover for that guy to go that hog wild up to that point, and then fold a 30 chip bet UNLESS he just didn't want anybody else to see what he was betting on up to that point. He didn't want his cards turned up.
 
V

viking999

Visionary
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Total posts
512
Does collusion in an MTT really matter? I mean if you get an enormous group of people in on it maybe, but it's very hard to get at the same table in a tournament. For example, I've often entered FT tournaments with several red pros playing, but I've only once been at the same table as one (in a 50 player tournament).

Anyhow, has anyone ever encountered psychological collusion? I've had guys uninvolved in a hand egg me on to make a big call. It's probably just bad etiquette, but theres a potential for collusion there as well.
 
mendozaline

mendozaline

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Total posts
101
Everyone knows about bots, including the sites. They know they are being sold and used.
Thanks for the info and the link. I didn't know about that story, but I supected it the very first day I played in a 5000 player feeder tourney at Ultimatebet. I even wrote them and asked (naively) if I was ever up against software simulations and not real people. They never answered that emai, although they've answered anything else I ever asked.

I worked in software for 20 years, so some things just jump out at me, but I'm new to online poker and am just now coming up to speed on the issues surrounding it.

Thinking about it though, I'm not so sure I would consider bots the biggest thing I'm worried about. I mean someone has to program them to play poker, so they're only going to be as good as the programming allows them to be.

In the mid 90s to about 2000 a famous British Chess Master played every year against a Cray Supercomputer. The Brit won the first four years in a row, before he finally lost the fifth one. And even then, they software team sort of cheated a little in that they tweaked the program in the middle of the game. But the point is that without the feedback of the first four years of matches, there's no way they could have come up with a program to beat him the first time.

In poker there's way more to this game then just calculating odds (although of course it helps), so I can't really see how the bot could be that insurmountable an opponent, not unless maybe a Doyle Brunson is working with the team of progammers to do a brain dump into the bot's "thinking".

I more worried about other things. While it's a safe bet that no online casino is still using the shuffle algorithm that ASF Softare had cracked by the guys at Reliable Software Tech. Cheating Online Poker Article How To Cheat Online I still don't have a 100% confidence that what we're up against is equivalent to you and me sittiing at the kitchen table, shuffling the cards, and dealing. I don't know, maybe it's because we're playing so many damn hands online that we get to see so many possible, improbable, and unlikely hands, that it starts to look suspicous, but there are so many times when it seems like your tournament ends on one improbable hand with one improbable card on the river, that it really makes one wonder.

It was late in a Bounty Tourny the other day, and I was securely into the money, sitting about 13th with 19 left. I got KK. My stack size was such that I figured one more good hand would keep me in to the last few, but I certainly couldn't coast there if I wanted a chance to win, (not with the size of the blinds and antes at the time). I went all-in and got called by 3 players: QQ, AJ, and 88. Now, I don't know about you, but if three players in front of me are all-in and not one of the was a desparate short stack, I'm pretty sure that calling with 88 isn't a very smart play. So what happened? The 88 hits a straight on the river, and the rest of us don't improve. Good night.

I don't know what any of this means, but I've lost so many AAs to four flushes on the board with a guy holding 33 (or even 34o) or something, that it really makes one wonder. Now THAT'S what I'm worried about, and will probably keep me from ever risking much money at this stuff.
 
Last edited:
Dotde

Dotde

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Total posts
112
My thoughts on collusion...

If someone/some group of people need to see eachother's cards to be good players... then they automatically suck. I have enough confidence that I could beat colluding players anyway.

Besides the fact that even if people are sharing their cards with eachother, eventually one/two/however many of them has to go out. There can only be one winner after all, and if they all indeed make the final table, I'd imagine it would be pretty easy for any table monitors to notice the patterns of collusion.
 
mendozaline

mendozaline

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Total posts
101
If someone/some group of people need to see eachother's cards to be good players... then they automatically suck. I have enough confidence that I could beat colluding players anyway.
Ah yes, but what if a bunch of "good players" like yourself colluded?

=================================
"If they only used their powers for goodness instead of evil" Maxwell Smart
 
Q

quads

Guest
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Total posts
414
Mendozaline, in defense of the poker sites, that article you linked us to was written in 1999. Also the poker site mentioned not even sure if they still exist. The shuffling software has improved a great deal since 8 years ago, and still not proven it could be predicted.

Shuffling not the big concern yet.
 
mendozaline

mendozaline

Rock Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Total posts
101
Mendozaline, in defense of the poker sites, that article you linked us to was written in 1999.
Quads, yes that's true, that's why I said it was "a safe bet that no online casino is still using" it.

You're right though, the newer algorithms have been deemed "fair and infallible".

All I'm saying is that I'm still not convinced that we're dealing with total equivalence to you and I sitting there shuffling the deck. Plus, we don't know anything about what's possible behind the scenes.

Did you know that alot (if not most....all?) of the viruses, malware, and the like came about as a result of disgruntled ex-Microsoft employees exploiting "vulnerabilities" in the Window OS?

Someone on another "Collusion" thread brought up the fact that PokerStars has a program that allows them to re-play hands from the records using software that plays the hands face up. I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I believe implicitly in the honesty of the PokerStars team, as well as the UltimateBet team. All I'm saying is that we have to keep an open mind.


==============================
"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."
  • Alphonse KARR, Les Guêpes 1849
{The more things change, the more they stay the same.} If anyone has any doubt about that, I give you the Stock Market.
 
D

Dashir

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Total posts
61
If you suspect collusion, report the player ids to the site. They can see if these players, or even if different logins from the same ips, play with other frequently. They can review the histories for patterns of collusion. All you can do is wonder, so reporting is a very important step in shutting it down.
 
N

nick1611

Guest
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Total posts
63
iits easier to collude at a casino than online.

also collusion doesnt have to be between different people, with 5 moniters hooked up to your screen and 4 proxy servers you can collude with yourself having 5 people out of 6 at a shorthanded table. also as i mensioned you need proxy servers or a different IP adress otherwise you cant go to the same game.

Anyway unless they are good it is pretty easy to spot
 
Top