Why would you ever play at Ultimate Bet or Absolute Poker ever again?
It's a serious question. I'm curious if any of our readers out there are willingly risking their money on a site where perhaps millions of dollars were won by players using super-user accounts. Those would be players who were on the inside of the code (i.e. worked for the sites) and could see your hole cards.
Short-Stacked Shamus has, as usual, a good post up about the problems at UB.
Is this just a fact of online poker? Should we accept it and simply hope it never affects us?
If I had to guess, I'd say that most poker bloggers play most frequently on Full Tilt, PokerStars and maybe BoDog. Looking around my blogroll, I don't hear a whole lot about those other sites. So why do we feel comfortable playing on those three and not others?
The definitive word on online poker cheating comes from Bill Rini. In fact, the post is called The Definitive Guide to Online Poker Cheating. He runs down the possibilities from collusion to poker bots to the inside job.
Cheating is always going to happen in poker. It goes on in live games and online. Live games have opportunties to cheat via dealer cheating, chip grabbing, and all sorts of other scams.
I guess we live with it online because we know we'll have to live with it live as well. Gambling is a business that attracts criminals. We know that. Unfortunately, I belive it's one of the reasons why online poker has had such a hard time getting a legal foothold in America.
But we choose the sites we choose because we have a much higher confidence that the site we're using is on the level. I hold PokerStars in high regard. It's the world's leading online poker room, a title it would quickly lose if a super-user scandal hit. It's in a poker site's best interest to be clean. I also hold Full Tilt Poker in high regard. Like Stars, I know people who currently work, or have worked, for FTP. You trust the people you know.
I've never played on BoDog. I'm not sure if I will. It's not necessarily that I don't trust them... it's that I don't know them.
If I'm putting my hard earned money on the line in a game of chance, I'm sticking with those sites where I have the greatest confidence that the deck isn't already stacked against me.
So why do you play where you play? And are you worried about cheating?