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  • Collusion

    This is the first time I have seen anything like this in the Women League tourneys. I reported it to support last night, but thought I would post a copy here so everyone is aware of this unfortunate situation.

    PokerStars Hand #75726890449: Tournament #512327369, $1.00+$0.10 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XIV (250/500) - 2012/02/16 21:53:40 CT [2012/02/16 22:53:40 ET]
    Table '512327369 6' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
    Seat 1: habsgirl55 (3904 in chips)
    Seat 2: joy7108 (3174 in chips)
    Seat 3: toyoha (2465 in chips)
    Seat 4: pantonton (12600 in chips)
    Seat 5: deeaek (19109 in chips)
    Seat 7: liza8989 (7981 in chips)
    Seat 9: Kaylanta (4491 in chips)
    habsgirl55: posts the ante 60
    joy7108: posts the ante 60
    toyoha: posts the ante 60
    pantonton: posts the ante 60
    deeaek: posts the ante 60
    liza8989: posts the ante 60
    Kaylanta: posts the ante 60
    toyoha: posts small blind 250
    pantonton: posts big blind 500
    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to joy7108 [Kd Tc]
    deeaek: folds
    liza8989: folds
    Kaylanta: folds
    habsgirl55: folds
    pantonton said, "YOU FOLD I CALL"
    joy7108: raises 500 to 1000
    toyoha: folds
    pantonton: calls 500
    *** FLOP *** [6s Ac Kc]
    pantonton: checks
    joy7108: checks
    *** TURN *** [6s Ac Kc] [8c]
    pantonton: checks
    joy7108: bets 1602
    pantonton said, "you had?"
    toyoha said, "help......................................"

    pantonton: calls 1602
    *** RIVER *** [6s Ac Kc 8c] [6c]
    pantonton: checks
    joy7108: bets 512 and is all-in
    pantonton: calls 512
    *** SHOW DOWN ***
    joy7108: shows [Kd Tc] (a flush, Ace high)
    pantonton: shows [Jh Ah] (two pair, Aces and Sixes)
    joy7108 collected 6898 from pot
    pantonton said, "LOL"
    *** SUMMARY ***
    Total pot 6898 | Rake 0
    Board [6s Ac Kc 8c 6c]
    Seat 1: habsgirl55 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 2: joy7108 (button) showed [Kd Tc] and won (6898) with a flush, Ace high
    Seat 3: toyoha (small blind) folded before Flop
    Seat 4: pantonton (big blind) showed [Jh Ah] and lost with two pair, Aces and Sixes
    Seat 5: deeaek folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 7: liza8989 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Seat 9: Kaylanta folded before Flop (didn't bet)
    Bracelet Winner

  • #2
    First I received this email:

    Hello joy7108,

    Thank you for your mail.

    Based on a preliminary review of the situation you reported, a complete review of the players involved has been initiated. This will include checking on relationships, location and play.

    Depending on our findings, the players may be contacted and asked to explain relationships and/or play. The entire process generally takes up to 2 weeks, but can be delayed if we don't receive prompt responses.

    The poker specialist handling this review will contact you directly when the review is complete or if there are unusual delays. Thank you for your patience while we complete this process.


    PokerStars Support Team

    Then this morning at 9:01am CT I received the following:

    Hello Joy,

    Thank you for your report.

    PokerStars continually monitors the games for collusion, and we sincerely appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention. Following your report, we have completed an investigation into the accounts of players 'toyoha' and 'pantonton'.

    One of the most important aspects of a case we consider when reviewing a case for collusion is whether or not the suspect players have a relationship. Location can be a contributing factor in trying to determine the nature of a relationship between players. In this case, one player lives in Mexico, and the other in Taiwan. Location alone, however, is not sufficient in proving a relationship or as to whether cooperative play is occurring at the tables.

    Aside from location, we use a variety of tools and methods to assist us in determining whether or not relationships exist between players. One of the things we look at is their frequency of play together. Given how many players are playing on PokerStars at any given time, it would be unusual for seemingly unrelated players to frequently end up at the same table. The players in this case have only played four of their tournaments together. This fact, along with the other data we considered, confirm that these players do not seem to have a relationship with one another.

    No collusion review could be complete, though, without a thorough review of the play itself. An advantage of online poker, as compared to live poker, is that every hand is recorded, allowing for a complete review. If any play is considered suspicious we can review the hands with all cards showing.

    When reviewing tournament play for possible collusion we check for the following:

    1) Best hand playing - where colluding players play only the better of their two hands.

    2) Soft playing - where colluding players refuse to play aggressively against each other. For example they may check or fold against each other where they would normally bet or raise against a stranger.

    3) Chip dumping/Stack balancing - where the large stack folds to the small stack to balance their chips. The idea is to improve the chances of both players finishing in money positions in a tournament.

    We found no evidence of any of this suspicious play.

    Given the lack of any relationship between their accounts, the relatively rare play together, and the lack of any suspiciously played hands, there is no evidence to suggest these players are cooperating at our tables.

    However, we agree that their chat was inappropriate and violated PokerStars Card Room rule #20 which states:

    “You may not make any chat comments which may affect the play of any hand or tournament, even if you are an observer. There are two exceptions to this rule:

    1. In cash game hands which are heads up (everyone else has folded, or the hand started with two players) the two players involved may chat as they wish.

    2. In tournaments which are heads up (everyone else has been knocked out of the tournament, or the tournament started with two players), the two players involved may chat as they wish.”

    Our complete set of Card Room Rules can be found here:

    Although many of our players are not aware of all proper poker rules and etiquette, these players have now been warned about this incident. We will take further action if they breach our rules again.

    I have placed notes in the players' accounts indicating your concerns and the result of this review.

    The help of vigilant players like yourself is vital in policing our site. We greatly appreciate your assistance in maintaining the integrity of our games.

    If there is anything else we can help you with, please let us know.


    Martin K
    PokerStars Game Security Team

    The usual cookie cutter response, with a thorough investigation that took all of 8 hours. This player was announcing hands again today prior to her all in "AJ please", actual cards 79os.

    I sometimes wonder why I bother.

    Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Suggest that next time you send a series of hands showing the pattern. One hand / incident can be dismissed as inappropriate banter between unrelated players. Several hands would show who instigated these actions and which player benefited.


      • #4
        I've never seen this player before, and I play the Womens tourneys almost every day. This wouldn't bother me so much, but they did a very cursory investigation here. There were 4 or 5 players that disappeared at the end of last year (Dec. 17 or 18) who were in the money almost every month, I got an email around the same time saying that I was being refunded $1.00 due to one of their investigations.

        If these two events were related, those players cost me a lot more than $1.00, I'd been at final tables with all of them. Even if they weren't related, what about the five banned players that I played against all year in the leagues. I think PS needs to be a bit more transparent with what happens in some of these cases.

        Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Collusion or just trashy table talk?


          I understand your concern. However in this case, I think Pstars ivestigation seems fair and the outcome (no collusion but warned anyway) was appropriate.

          I find table talk one of the more entertaining aspects of the game. I know it's been severely curtailed in the WSOP live events but for me the online chat; bragging, bluffing/lying, taunts and teasing are part of the mind game that is poker.

          Cheating would be possible with four computers; two at each location sharing each others login info. Each party uses one computer to play and the other to watch the colluders play and vice versa - not sure how that would lead to unfair info regarding each hand though - most that could happen is each other shares game observations to help the other player which is still a cheat.

          Cheating occurs in all games and sports; eventually (call me niaive) but cheaters always lose as long as the game itself follows its own rules which I think Pstars does pretty well. I know compared to other gaming sites. I avoid all others because they don't seem to uphold their own rules (i.e they allow questionable chat, don't respond to queries, don't chastise players for conduct, don't seem to encourage good sportman/woman ship - that sort of thing.

          PStars is pretty solid with respect to me being fairly certain all is fair.


          • #6
            HI joy,there is actually too many ways a person now can collude on the internet, msn,facebook all have live chat. Wireless dongles are the new killers but I'm sure pokerstars is working on this one. So personally I do not worry about what people say in the chat boxes as there would be better untraceable ways. The other person mentioned cheaters will loose, and I agree as does not matter what they do they can never tamper with the deck.
            Look out for the people who always seem to raise and then the suspicious 2nd opp always reraises stealing the pots.these are my concerns especially if location is the same.



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