i think we all agree that it's hard enough trying to be competitive at poker without also having to worry about cheaters.  I just read a blog here where someone was sure that two Russian players were colluding to win a PCA tourney.  He was frustrated and angry because he felt powerless to stop it.

You are not powerless!  Pokerstars takes cheating and accusations of colluding very seriously.

One night in September, I was playing in a tourney that was a freeroll to earn a place for one of the qualifying rounds of the big contest that month.  I thought I saw someone go all in after the flop.  The flop had been something like K 8 K, and this player had nothing that matched this.   Not a suit, not a card.  Their hand was like 5 3.  This was before I knew how to make a note of a player name using the software provided by Pokerstars.  I fumbled for a pencil and wrote it down as best I could.  It was a long and odd one.  Starting with Xx----and ending with xX.   I had been seeing names like this all through the tournament.  I thought it was odd.  I began thinking that if a ring of people wanted to cheat in this sort of tourney this could be a way to do it.  Because you could never be sure if you would meet up with one of your compatriots.  This would be a quick way to identify one of your group.  You wouldn't have to all be in the same room or anything.  If you saw another ID with Xx-----xX  you would know it was one of you.  And you could dump your chips to the one of you who had the most, or maybe there was one person who was the designated winner.

Anyway, I wrote support with what I thought happened.  They don't investigate freerolls so at first they wouldn't do anything.  But I fussed at them and pointed out that this had a prize that could be very valuable if they won something in the final game.

They kicked it up to their group and investigated it until I was more than satisfied.  They keep all the records of the games.  They can replay it.  It turned out that what I saw was not there.  I think it was late and I fell asleep for a minute and didn't realize it.  In fact, it was kind of embarassing really, because once I got them going, they were like bulldogs reluctant to let anything go!  If they had found a cheater they would have done something!

So if you suspect collusion, make a note of the id's and write support.  Make a note of the tournament number and the hand number (I think you can find that in the upper left corner).  Give them as much information as you can.  The date and time, etc.  Maybe they can't do something for every situation.  But they really do take it seriously.  How can they stop it if you don't report it?  

I don't think I'm giving anything away with my idea about how to cheat that I outlined here.  I'm sure that cheaters have already thought of that and many other things.   It is not fun to play poker if you think you are being cheated.  It is in the best interest of the online poker providers to vigorously police their games.