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collusion in online poker - who'd have thought of that??

It's amazing that some people are naive enough to bet or play poker without thinking somebody else has more information than them. For sports betting, it's a fact of life - unless you should actually be banned from betting because of access to insider info, then there will always be somebody who knows more than you, usually because they have done more homework, or have access to wider sources of news.

In poker, you are betting against blank faces online. Who knows what they are up to? And, as proven in every form of life where prizes are involved, there will be crooked people out there trying to get ahead by cheating. It's easy enough to track IP addresses, money trails etc, but it will be nigh on impossible to catch players colluding over instant messenger, if they aren't stupid enough to do it again and again.

BBC 5 Live radio are on the case...

Can the world of online poker chase out the cheats?

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The problem for the authorities and the gaming companies is that it is virtually impossible to prevent collusion like this, because players can share information about their hands via the phone or internet messenger without being detected.

Cheating is usually only discovered by the poker companies retrospectively when security experts establish regular patterns of behaviour involving the same players, although software is also used to flag up suspicious plays.

While most online poker games are safe, the scope for fraud is considerable, and the rapid growth of the online poker industry has left some companies struggling to keep on top of security issues.



The moral of the story - always keep your eyes and ears open, and if you suspect something is wrong, vote with your feet - go elsewhere for your gambling pleasure. (And complain if you believe you have a valid case).

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