Saturday, October 20, 2007

Potripper: Playing Perfect Poker

Poker is a game of missing information. Some people idly wonder what it would be like if a player had access to more information. The release of a corrupt account at Absolute Poker shows how a player named POTRIPPER was playing as if he knew his opponents' holdings. So far the events have turned out to be online poker's watergate story. Its Bernstein and Woodward are publishing their findings at Its Deep Throat is apparently a whistleblower with inside access to Absolute's records. And the equivalent of the eighteen-minute tape was a suggestion in the records that a founder of the company played a part in the alleged fraud. The interesting wrinkle is the company straddles multiple legal jurisdictions, including Costa Rica, England, and a Mohawk-administered semi-autonomous region south of Montreal.

The summary at doesn't show the other players' cards, but it contains some damning patterns. Note the lack of "Call" actions on the river. Some of the twoplustwo posters were talking about "infinite aggression", which I guess means the number of times you raise or fold on the river divided by the number of times you call (and presumably lose). The biggest question is how or why anyone with access to that info would make their cheating so obvious.

Now we need a Sam Ervin and John Sirica to bring everything forward. Except I don't think anyone jurisdiction is going to do anything. Internet companies grow on their reputation, and die on it.

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