Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Online poker cheating scandal

Slashdot is reporting that a scandal has broken out around Absolute Poker involving a backdoor that exposed players hole cards to cheaters.

Now, since Internet poker began, poor players have always groused that the only explanation for their losses was that the sites were dishonest. Heck, it's been that way in meatspace since Poker was invented. It only takes a few moments of thought before it becomes completely obvious that a site has far, far more to gain by attracting players to a scrupulously honest game and far, far more to lose if any whiff of scandal surfaces. It's nothing short of astonishing that a poker site would throw away its reputation so easily.

I'd be quite surprised if this doesn't completely end Absolute Poker. I do hope that the more mainstream sites (Full Tilt and Poker Stars, in particular) at least make some hand-waving to reassure the playing public that their sites are secure. I'm actually quite sure that their sites are secure, but it would be nice for them to go through the motions of some sort of external audit (perhaps some auspicious body like Card Player magazine could oversee it) to bring it out into the open.

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