podcast

Poker Zoo 78: Scandal Therapy, with Dr. Robert Samuels

This week Dr. Robert Samuels returns to the Zoo to talk about the latest round of poker cheating accusations and scandals. Robert recently polished up an old solution – can the online game operators work together to fight cheats? Can there be a governing body to adjudicate poker?

While I cynically don’t find this sort of organization feasible, Robert makes some compelling points. He also reminds us of the symbiotic nature of online and live play – it’s important for each to be healthy for the sake of each other. This seems important, whatever we do – or if we do nothing.

Mason Malmuth’s thread on preventing cheating in live games.

RTA software example.

Dr. Samuels is the author of Bad Beat Therapy: How to Be a Better Poker Player and Person, and appeared on the Zoo last year in episode 67. Connect with him here.

Most know what multi-accounting is and why it is obviously against the rules, but RTA or ghosting may be new terms to some.

RTA, or real-time assistance is any chart or program that helps a poker player with their decisions while a game or hand is in progress.

These RTA programs use a game theory optimal (GTO) approach to the game, allowing players to stay perfectly balanced and make mathematically-correct and unexploitable plays. This results in an edge that can add up to millions of dollars each year in these high-stakes games.

While RTA programs that scrape the online poker site for data have been easier to detect, players can make it tougher for sites to spot by using a separate computer and manually inputting the cards themselves to find the answer they are looking for.

Ghosting is a form of collusion when one player takes over for another in either a cash game or a tournament online. Sometimes a better player will “buy” the account from a weaker player, or a coach will just instruct their player on what to do. Other times a player will simply use a different account to hide their identity.

Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates was accused of ghosting in 2020 by fellow high-stakes cash game player Bill Perkins. Cates would eventually admit the wrongdoing, but stated that the practice was rampant on the sites the games were running on.

-from CardPlayer, “High-Stakes Poker Community Rocked By Onslaught Of Cheating Accusations”

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