April 25, 2006

Suspicious Play

I occasionally play poker online, generally just the tournaments that cost me nothing (or nearly nothing) to enter. Many people suspect that online sites are fixed or crooked in some way, a claim I usually dismiss. Yeah, you see a lot more straights/flushes/quads online than in a live game, but you also play a lot more hands - the computer just deals 'em up quicker.

However, sometimes something happens to make even me doubt.

Case in point: 8 players at the table. I have Q-9 off suit, a player in front of me bets heavy (a couple hundred) pre-flop. I fold, not a strong enough hand for me to stay in. Player after me calls - a very large bet, remember. Flop comes 6-8-J. First player bets heavy again and gets the call. Turn in a 3, River is a 6.

The first player, the one who initiated the betting had pocket kings - definitely a hand to bet heavy. The player who called had 6-3 off suit, so he won with a full house. But why in the WORLD would you call that big of a bet, pre-flop, with a couple of rags, unless you had some way to know you would get those cards on the board? It seriously makes me wonder if they have ringers in the player pool, especially when said player manages to win the tournament (which had a guaranteed payout but low sign up, meaning they would have to have paid out $300, even though only 9 people signed up so they took in less than $40) .....

Posted by Vox at April 25, 2006 01:39 PM | TrackBack | poker

Because a lot of loose fish play online who have no concept of the game except what they see on WSOP and WPT and are trying to play like the little snippets they see on TV. This means occasional the math works out. The game sucks sometimes, but that's the game. That is what reading poker blogs since last summer has taught me if anything.

Posted by: Thomas at April 28, 2006 04:48 PM

That is true, there are a lot of them who seem to think poker is really "as seen on TV" I am still in the online-poker-isn't-fixed camp, but sometimes I do wonder.

For instance, a couple of days ago, three hands in a row involved a set of dueces going against pocket aces (who got a third ace and won), pocket kings (who lost), and pocket aces (who lost) First two sets of 2s went to the same player. Odd - but I do remind myself that random would mean anything can come up....

BTW: I wasn't actually playing during these hands, so I may be off on the order, but I am sure SG will correct me if the info is wrong

Posted by: Vox at April 28, 2006 05:01 PM