After being fed up with a run of bad luck, a pokerstars player sent an email complaining about online poker being rigged. He was sent a personal reply explaining logical reasons why online poker is not rigged.
I have taken the liberty of reviewing your previous correspondence with our staff, so I understand that we have already discussed this matter on numerous occasions. Normally we would just close your emails on this subject without reply, but I would like to try and explain something to you. I hope you will therefore read the following and understand why it is impossible for us to run a rigged site.
All the commonly held ‘rigged’ theories are certainly possible, and make for a very interesting and advanced conspiracy theory, but they all suffer from the same problem – a fundamental logical flaw. This is because, unlike all other conspiracies, the evidence needed to prove them is freely available – let me explain:
The value of you proving this conspiracy theory is huge. There was one instance, in the early days of online poker, where the top site at the time had a shuffle algorithm that was not random – It was cracked by Cigital, one of the companies we commissioned to review our RNG and procedures. The site fixed the problem, but they never truly recovered and are now not even one of the top 20 sites. Everyone who has followed in their footsteps learned a valuable lesson indeed.
If you proved the PokerStars shuffle was not random it would be worth at least tens of millions of pounds (the value that another site would likely pay to eliminate us as a competitor), and to us it is worth more since you would have the evidence to end the company and the careers of everyone working here.
All you would need is a sufficient sample of hands and you could easily statistically prove the shuffle was not random. Given the amount you play you almost certainly have a sufficient sample yourself. You can even use PokerStat or PokerTracker to do the analysis for you.
Now we do freely give out complete hand history records to any player who asks for them, so we are in effect willing to give out the information you need to prove these conspiracies and destroy this company. To put that in poker terms, if we are involved in a conspiracy, then we are making the biggest bluff you have ever seen, since we are gambling hundreds of millions on the fact you wouldn’t do anything with the histories we would happily give you. In fact we even programmed the PokerStars client to store your hands to your hard drive if you want, so there can be no possibility of us fixing the histories either.
If it is a bluff, then it can’t be a smart decision from any perspective can it?.
So I ask you this. We have some exceptional poker players in this company, but do you think we make this bluff every day, or are we holding the absolute nuts as we *know* you would only be able to prove the shuffle is fair?
What I have given above is also the most basic form of this argument. I haven’t even detailed the fact that my colleagues and I have access to all the hands ever played on the site and could obtain a huge sample of hands within minutes. We have the same potential payoff to proving a conspiracy as you do.
In summary, the conspiracy theories are believable because you want to believe that the bad beats you suffer have a reason behind them. It’s easier to accept that than the fact that in a random game anything can happen. It’s also much easier to accept than the reality that if you play perfect poker all your beats will, by definition, be bad beats – which is a sobering truth.
So – a final question – you are happy to make these accusations via email, but do you want your entire hand history collection to finally prove we are cheating you and make your millions?
PokerStars Support Team