A work of fiction (I hope)

IrishDave

IrishDave

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Read a lot of threads on the forum about games being rigged, etc. and while I believe no "company" would risk the legal problems... read on.

Was playing 7 stud on FullTilt last night and was doing OK. While playing I finally realized something that bothers me about online Hold-em. In 7 stud, the final hand I will receive is not determined until the last card is dealt; since the cards received are dependent on who stays in the hand. In Hold-em, the hand is decided as soon as the down cards are dealt.

I'm a management accountant now but for 15 years I was a C programmer and worked on a lot of analysis applications. I mention this so the premise I present will have more weight.

Let's say I'm an systems programmer for "All-In Poker" a new poker site. While I'm paid well, a little supplemental income never hurts so I want to improve my odds. I'm sure the poker suites consists of thousands of lines of code so I can add a few without much problem. I also know that every poker system already has a showdown algorithm to determine the winning hand. All I need to do is signal myself that my hand will win if played.

When we log in to a poker site we're validated against a database and I suppose a flag is set; say "1" for authorized user and "0" for non-user. Lets say I add code to change my validate code to "2". All poker software beeps at you when it's your turn and I'll guess that the tone, duration, and number of beeps is fed by system variables rather than hardwired. I add code that says: run the showdown algorithm as soon as the down cards are dealt if any user with a validation code of "2" is present. (This is feasible as the community cards are already predetermined at the start of each hand.)

If my hand will be the "best" the software signals me. Remember the beep I mentioned earlier, I feed the validation code as one of the variables. Everyone else has a one, I have a two. The system beeps at me twice when I will end up with the best hand. I win a lot of money by inserting a very few lines of code. Also, I haven't messed with any of the key routines such as the random number generator or the showdown algorithm.

Just food for thought and hopefully a work of fiction. Personally, I'm kind of burnt out on Hold-em so I think I'll keep playing stud for a while...
 
IrishDave

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Amazing how easy this would be to implement - wouldn't even have to be a great programmer to pull it off. If you think it belongs elsewhere - by all means move it...
 
s3ver

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Audit companies analyze the poker online softwares every year right?
You think they can find anything?

I'm just asking.
 
Nick

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Well this forum is for suggestions about the site, so it belongs in poker general, moving it now.

And yes, the regulators of the poker industry have access to the source code and do check it frequently.
 
IrishDave

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If I had to guess, the auditors probably spend the majority of their time with the critical routines - such as the random number generator and the showdown algorithm. The premise I suggest could be accomplished with very few lines of code and may escape anything other than intense analysis. Personally I hope this never happens but greed is a powerful motivator...

Nick said:
Well this forum is for suggestions about the site, so it belongs in poker general, moving it now.

And yes, the regulators of the poker industry have access to the source code and do check it frequently.
Nick, maybe you have the answer: Since many of these sites are based in a variety of countries - who is the regulating authority?
 
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RammerJammer

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Yes, but the Kahnawakee gaming commission is nothing but a "seal of approval" which helps the player feel more secure in playing that site. They provide oversight...for a fee. The poker room pays through the nose for that little Kahnawakee logo on its home page.

It isn't necessary to get permission from anyone to launch a poker gaming site, nor is there any watchdog to whom the site is ultimately responsible. You would think the funding sources, like the credit card companies, neteller, and FirePay, would be selective about who uses their services, but as long as they collect their fees, they don't care. There is no governing body for any type of internet gambling. The internet-at-large is the cyber equivalent of the Wild Wild West. The only real law is, "Let the consumer beware!"

(As described in a recent program on online gambling which appeared on The Discovery Channel.)
 
Four Dogs

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Irish dave, that may be fiction, but you should write the book. It would be a good one. And RJ, Kahnawake does more than just take your $10,000/yr membership fee for the right to display their logo. All licensed members MUST submit their source code and are subject to yearly auditing in addition to following guidelines for payouts. All Kahnawake members must display the KGC logo at the bottom of their website. Other licensing authorities have different requirements, but i'm always a little suspicious of sites that make it so difficult to determine who they are licensed by. All that being said, I know almost nothing about programing and wonder if it might be possible for some crafty little chiphead to slip something in.
 
IrishDave

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When I was writing code full-time years ago, I was amazed at how easy it was to creat a virus. Many folks think that coding these things are hard, but they're not. I once spent 2 months working on a random number generator for an analysis system I was involved with. What I learned is that it's very difficult to emulate true randomness. I would finish my next version and then run an application that called it and logged the results. I would look at between 100,000 and 500,000 iterations and look at the "randomness". What I learned is that it's VERY difficult to do. I had no problems finding ways to make the generator lean towards certain numbers and number combinations.

All this being said, I still play online - I'm just careful and observant.

I quit using pokerstars as I went on a terminal bad beat streak - after I had built $25 into $550 on the ring games...
 
Four Dogs

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Do you think it would be possible to sneak some procedure into the code that would elude experienced auditors?
 
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Dave, you are quite creative. ;) I also am involved in programming and know that what you say would be possible and quite simple. However, I'm only replying to say that you are quite the good writer and could make millions with a fictional story like that! ;) Well, I'd read it anyway, haha.

Jon
 
IrishDave

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Four Dogs said:
Do you think it would be possible to sneak some procedure into the code that would elude experienced auditors?
Absolutely. I have been through a financial audit before and the auditors tend to focus on the "big ticket" items. They (as I would) probably focus on the random number generators, shuffling algorithms, etc. The 10-20 lines of code it would take to implement the scenario I described could easily be hidden in a subroutine that did something else entirely. If done well, the code could look very innocent and avoid detection.

As I said in the original post, I don't think any of the sites would actually sponsor this type of scam, it'd be the action of a greedy programmer...
 
Four Dogs

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Write it now Dave, while poker is hot. The book I mean, not the code.
 
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Well I remember a saying if you want me to take a dump in a box and guarantee it I will but if you want a real product GET A REAL REGULATORY BODY in place...... Bout to find out about Antigua personally cause they are the ones who are pushing hard to be able to license sites for the US, legally!

Four Dogs said:
Irish dave, that may be fiction, but you should write the book. It would be a good one. And RJ, Kahnawake does more than just take your $10,000/yr membership fee for the right to display their logo. All licensed members MUST submit their source code and are subject to yearly auditing in addition to following guidelines for payouts. All Kahnawake members must display the KGC logo at the bottom of their website. Other licensing authorities have different requirements, but i'm always a little suspicious of sites that make it so difficult to determine who they are licensed by. All that being said, I know almost nothing about programing and wonder if it might be possible for some crafty little chiphead to slip something in.
YO dawg! KGC may not even be legal in their own country they say out loud they give shit but I am not convinced. We need to watch Antigua they are the ones who have won some court decisions to accept internet gaming transactions from the US. The US is still fighting but Antigua is doing the groundwork necessary!
 
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Four Dogs

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There is some question about whether The KGC has the right to operate within the borders of the Kahnawake Mohawk Reservation. Strangely enough most of the complaints come from the members of the tribe themselves who voted down brick and mortar casinos on the reservation. That being said, they have been operating freely for ten years, provide 100's of jobs and millions of dollars every year to the reservation and there have been few if any complaints that I am aware of concerning there reputability. I know you are having problems with CD at the moment, they're licensed in Antigua and Barbuda right. I for one will never deposit money into a site not licensed by KGC.
 
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xdmanx007

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http://www.antiguagaming.gov.ag/ Check it out man. Basically what the courts said was the US is in violation of trade laws by refusing to allow internet gaming transactions. Anyways check it out pokerpulse has the the best info I have ever found on the subject of legal internet gaming!
 
Four Dogs

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xdmanx007 said:
http://www.antiguagaming.gov.ag/ Check it out man. Basically what the courts said was the US is in violation of trade laws by refusing to allow internet gaming transactions. Anyways check it out pokerpulse has the the best info I have ever found on the subject of legal internet gaming!
I just downloaded the WTO report. I like to be well informed but that pdf is 287 pages long. That's even longer than some of my postings. Did you read the whole thing XD?
 
RammerJammer

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Four Dogs said:
And RJ, Kahnawake does more than just take your $10,000/yr membership fee for the right to display their logo.
RammerJammer said:
They provide oversight...for a fee.
I think that's what I said, isn't it? However, it isn't necessary to be licensed through them, or anyone else. It's just a feather in your cap if you are, and an indicator to the public that someone is watching the site.
 
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xdmanx007

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Four Dogs said:
I just downloaded the WTO report. I like to be well informed but that pdf is 287 pages long. That's even longer than some of my postings. Did you read the whole thing XD?
Yeah I read the majority of it :) Reason being, Just makes sense to me that if they are pushing as hard as they are, through legal channels, to get the US to play ball on Internet Gaming transactions then they would be the Gaming commision most likely to keep their site's honest! In other words they wouldn's be going through what they are just to have the sites they regulate turn out to be frauds! Just my opinion though
 
Four Dogs

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Makes sense, but would you mind doing the homework for me?
 
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