Online poker rooms need to realize that there just isn't enough currently done to deter people from cheating. We are living in a very materialistic society where money is everything, and the rewards for cheating online are just too great compared to the current risk. In most cases of online poker cheating, we are dealing with young men who are blinded by greed, and there is just not enough of a deterrent to stop them from cheating.
This needs to change. Online poker rooms need to start co-operating with each other and really start bringing the hammer down on people that are caught cheating on their sites.
There are a few ways that I think that online poker rooms might be able to at least partially deter any would-be cheaters:
1. Start naming names. I've said this before - why are we protecting the privacy of people who have been caught cheating and subsequently banned from a site?
If you are caught insider trading in the United States and are subsequently found guilty, your name and the nature of your crime is posted on the SEC.gov web site. I think that the online poker rooms should jointly develop a site in which the details of every cheating infraction are posted, along with the real name of the perpetrator. Cheaters need to start being publicly shamed, instead of having their names protected by the poker rooms. Try emailing a poker room and asking them why a certain player was banned, and you will be told that such details can not be divulged due to privacy concerns. This is wrong, IMO. A player was banned for cheating on a site that I play on, why shouldn't I know about this?
2. Create an "enforcement committee" which will be funded by the poker rooms. In the States, the SEC is paid in "transaction fees", which are used to fund the operation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. A very small % of the total rake of each hand would go a long ways towards establishing a legitimate organization that could police online poker. This committee will review the details of each cheating infraction. If a player is banned from one room, then the committee could recommend that the player be banned from every site that participates. So, if you are banned from Full Tilt Poker, you could also be banned from Party Poker, Pokerstars, etc. This would be a real deterrent. The SEC has the power to ban a person from working in the securities industry, no matter which company it is. This "committee" would have the power to ban a player from each poker site that is a member of this "committee".
3. Stop allowing player to player transfers. A drastic step, but it would make it much harder to takeover an account late in a tournament, or "purchase" a dormant account for the purposes of multi-accounting.
There have to be some major changes made at this point. The overall health of online poker has to be put above the privacy of a cheating player or the inconvenience of not having player to player transfers. Online poker needs to be cleaned up, starting right now.
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms
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