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Feds target online poker sites

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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby GiantsFan14 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:16 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:Mad, this whole thing started over online poker. I'm not really knowledgeable about poker, but as I understand it, if real life professional poker is half skill and half luck (just for comparison's sake), then online poker is 10% skill and 90% luck. It cuts off most of the mind games and makes it a lot more difficult to manipulate the odds since everything is computer-generated and there's no subtleties to the dealer, deck, and other players to notice. As such, your success is determined pretty much entirely by your hand vs. other people's hands, and it becomes more about the odds of someone having a better hand than anything else combined. It's pretty much the equivalent to putting unskilled and non-knowledgeable players at the table (assuming that as with everything else, the more skilled you get the less luck is involved, and vice versa).

This is what I keep hearing, at least. Am I wrong?


reading people and tells and such is a whole lot of crap for the most part. the main difference between online and live poker is the number of hands you are able to play.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby BronXBombers51 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:54 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:Mad, this whole thing started over online poker. I'm not really knowledgeable about poker, but as I understand it, if real life professional poker is half skill and half luck (just for comparison's sake), then online poker is 10% skill and 90% luck. It cuts off most of the mind games and makes it a lot more difficult to manipulate the odds since everything is computer-generated and there's no subtleties to the dealer, deck, and other players to notice. As such, your success is determined pretty much entirely by your hand vs. other people's hands, and it becomes more about the odds of someone having a better hand than anything else combined. It's pretty much the equivalent to putting unskilled and non-knowledgeable players at the table (assuming that as with everything else, the more skilled you get the less luck is involved, and vice versa).

This is what I keep hearing, at least. Am I wrong?


You are wrong. I used to think the same thing about online poker until I started playing it. Poker is largely about betting patterns, not picking up physical tells on opponents. It's about putting your opponent on a range of hands based on their past betting, their table position, their stack, etc. and determining how to best maximize your own profit based on that. Online poker is not even close to 90% luck.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Tavish » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:47 pm

BronXBombers51 wrote:
BronXBombers51 wrote:Is an entry fee to enter a golf tournament gambling? Or bowling?

If so, then poker is gambling. But it is certainly NOT the same as sports betting, lastings. Not even close. You have no control over the outcome in sports betting. You can make educated guesses, but you have no control. Poker is a game of skill. Like golf, bowling, etc. There is no way it falls under the same umbrella as sports betting, roulette, the state lottery, etc. Have you ever played poker? If you have and feel that it's not a skill game, you just must not be any good at it.


Good news this morning though...http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/ne ... id=6395452

DOJ reaches an agreement to give domains back to FTP and Pokerstars allowing players money to be returned. So step one is complete as far as I'm concerned. Step two is getting poker regulated in the US.


And I might as well go ahead and throw fantasy sports into the mix as well. Putting money on fantasy sports is just as much of a gamble as playing online poker. I presume most people here at the FBC would recognize that fantasy sports are games of skill. Yes, there is luck and chance involved, but it is largely a game of skill. Like poker.

Fantasy sports played for money absolutely is gambling, but it is a form of gambling that was exempted from the federal law that is causing the online poker sites so many problems. There is a reason that basically all fantasy sports games have the same type of buy-in / pay-out design and that is to remain within the confines of the law. If you live in a state that have laws restricting online gambling, the game providers aren't allowed to pay you.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby bigken117 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:12 pm

poker is both a game of skill and gambling, it's possible to be both
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby GiantsFan14 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:14 pm

bigken117 wrote:poker is both a game of skill and gambling, it's possible to be both


pretty much this.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Neato Torpedo » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:42 pm

bigken117 wrote:poker is both a game of skill and gambling, it's possible to be both

Yes, exactly. Fantasy baseball is kind of like that. Picking up Jerry Sands is a gamble, but it takes skill and knowledge of the game to maximize his positive impact and minimize his negative impact for your fantasy team.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby kimchi_chigae » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:01 am

BronXBombers51 wrote:Good news this morning though...http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/ne ... id=6395452

DOJ reaches an agreement to give domains back to FTP and Pokerstars allowing players money to be returned. So step one is complete as far as I'm concerned. Step two is getting poker regulated in the US.


Best news since Black Friday. I have some money both at PS and FTP and tried to cashout on Friday right after I heard the news through moneybookers and my FTP cashout was declined after two days. My PS cashout was pending for about 3 days and I decided to cancel it. I'm not sure if they are allowing cashouts yet, but I'm definitely cashing out from FTP. I play mainly Rush Poker at FTP and there were about 20 tables on my limit last time I tried to play. They usually have 90+ tables at that limit. FTP will probably be the most affected by this, but I'm confident PS will be able to survive the whole thing and I will likely keep playing there. I won't touch AP after the cheating scandal and UB has a pretty bad rep as well.

In the long run, this will be good for online poker, I think. Everything will get regulated eventually and hopefully there will be more competition in the North American market once online poker is back in the US.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:08 am

The thing that I have to question on these sites (and I'm sure it won't be answered during the probe) is the RNGs (random number generators). The number of different possibilities for each poker hand is absolutely huge (for a 9 player Texas Hold 'Em game, there's around 10^33 different possibilities). There's no way a simple "random variable" in the code can account for this (I (and friends of mine) have tried to develop simulations of various number games to prove theories, and even at 10^10 possible variations of "random numbers", the random variable no longer becomes random. It's extremely difficult to code "random variables". I know there are obviously some smart guys who do/have done the coding for the poker websites (and they use various methods to develop a RNG that is supposed to be "random"). I also know that the RNGs are usually third-party accredited. But I still question the actual randomness of the hole cards.

The other thing that worries me is hearing about how Absoulte Poker basically scammed its customers (and is still in business). I have a "gtfo" attitude towards the government with this stuff (and i still do on this particular issue). However, I still do worry about the "safety" of the internet poker websites. It's pretty easy for someone to "steal" my money in online poker without me noticing, considering that I'd most likely just chalk it up to them being a good player (or just a bad run of cards)...
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby Madison » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:47 am

GiantsFan14 wrote:don't worry about offending me brah. i havent played poker in a very long time nor do i think i ran particularly bad when i did play


Cool. ;-D And glad to hear I was wrong, it just really came across the way I said.

Anyway, cool link. I played with it a bit and also bookmarked it so I could play with it some more down the road. Variance can be controlled by the player to a very large degree though. What I mean by that is someone who continually shoves when they are a 60/40 favorite will have much higher swings (both up and down) than a player who shoves at an 80/20 advantage. It amazes me how often I hear "I got my chips in with the best of it" from someone who got knocked out of a tournament or busted at a cash game, and they act like that was all they could do. Reducing the variance is huge, and a part of the game that most people ignore. For example, you and me, I've got AA and you've got Ax suited clubs. Flop brings 2 clubs. Odds are about 67/33 in my favor to win the hand. If I can get all of your chips in the pot right now, I'll win 2 out of 3 times (over the long run). However, if I wait to get your chips into the pot after the turn card, my odds go to roughly 80/20. Obviously the 80/20 is significantly better than the 67/33 and adds up to a ton of money I either won or saved depending on the turn card. Far too many players ignore that aspect of the game, and as such, their variance is quite high. The better the player, the smaller the variance, because of the skill level of the player. So while the swings can be big for some players, the swings get smaller as the player gains skill.

I do want to quote you on something so hopefully I can clear it up:

GiantsFan14 wrote:if poker isn't gambling, then your basically saying gambling is only games that rely on pure chance.


I'm saying if the predominant factor of something is chance, then it is gambling. If the predominant factor is skill, then it is not gambling. Poker is predominantly skill based, so it is not gambling and should not be treated the same way games of chance are treated by the law.

Neato Torpedo wrote:Mad, this whole thing started over online poker. I'm not really knowledgeable about poker, but as I understand it, if real life professional poker is half skill and half luck (just for comparison's sake), then online poker is 10% skill and 90% luck. It cuts off most of the mind games and makes it a lot more difficult to manipulate the odds since everything is computer-generated and there's no subtleties to the dealer, deck, and other players to notice. As such, your success is determined pretty much entirely by your hand vs. other people's hands, and it becomes more about the odds of someone having a better hand than anything else combined. It's pretty much the equivalent to putting unskilled and non-knowledgeable players at the table (assuming that as with everything else, the more skilled you get the less luck is involved, and vice versa).

This is what I keep hearing, at least. Am I wrong?


Sounds like you've just been talking to the wrong people. Tells and reverse-tells are all part of the skill and strategy nowadays. With that info (playing live) or without it (playing online), the game is still the same.

I'll admit it is easier to grind cash games online though. Most online players don't pay attention, there's a huge pool of players and tables, and you can play multiple tables at the same time. So if you're just grinding and making a couple of big blinds per hour, odds are you are doing quite well since you probably have 6+ tables open, meaning you're actually making 12+ big blinds per hour. 2 big blinds per hour on a live cash game really isn't worth doing unless you're at a $25/$50 or higher table, and you won't get away with it as easily. The players will be watching you do nothing but play premium hands, so you'll get little to no action. So there is a bit of difference in a few areas, but the odds and percentages don't change based on the avenue.

bigken117 wrote:poker is both a game of skill and gambling, it's possible to be both


I don't think anyone has said there is zero chance involved in poker.

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:The thing that I have to question on these sites (and I'm sure it won't be answered during the probe) is the RNGs (random number generators). The number of different possibilities for each poker hand is absolutely huge (for a 9 player Texas Hold 'Em game, there's around 10^33 different possibilities). There's no way a simple "random variable" in the code can account for this (I (and friends of mine) have tried to develop simulations of various number games to prove theories, and even at 10^10 possible variations of "random numbers", the random variable no longer becomes random. It's extremely difficult to code "random variables". I know there are obviously some smart guys who do/have done the coding for the poker websites (and they use various methods to develop a RNG that is supposed to be "random"). I also know that the RNGs are usually third-party accredited. But I still question the actual randomness of the hole cards.

The other thing that worries me is hearing about how Absoulte Poker basically scammed its customers (and is still in business). I have a "gtfo" attitude towards the government with this stuff (and i still do on this particular issue). However, I still do worry about the "safety" of the internet poker websites. It's pretty easy for someone to "steal" my money in online poker without me noticing, considering that I'd most likely just chalk it up to them being a good player (or just a bad run of cards)...


I did some research on it a long, long time ago. At the time (and it probably hasn't changed) if memory serves, Pokerstars used multiple random variables. One being water sounds (some sort of hydro-thermal noise), the combined movements of each player's mouse (pixels), and static (remember "snow" on televisions in the old days?). I remember when I looked at it that with the variables they were using, the possibilities were almost endless. It was more than enough to handle the variations in poker. So I started playing online and the rest is history. B-)

As to the "Super User" scandal, it crushed Ultimate Bet/Absolute. Their business is in the toilet compared to what it used to be. People will happily sign up and play poker, and give the poker site a cut of each pot (the rake). The #2 priority for any poker site is their integrity (#1 is zero server crashes). Once their integrity is shot, the money tree dies, as it did at Absolute and Ultimate Bet. Why would a poker site take the easy short term money by ripping people off when the long term money is in the trillions? Pokerstars alone has dealt over 50 billion hands. Makes no sense at all for a poker site to steal. It would be like stealing $100 from your employer when you make $50 per hour. It wouldn't make sense at all.
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Re: Feds target online poker sites

Postby wrveres » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:18 am

Madison wrote:
Neato Torpedo wrote:Mad,
Sounds like you've just been talking to the wrong people.
iv'e been telling him that since i met him ;-)
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