Personal Stuff

PartyPoker Scam: Be Aware of Fake Players

After playing at PartyPoker for almost a year, I can finally confirm all the rumors that started appearing on the Internet recently are true; PartyPoker is a scam running a huge army of fake players to get your money. I have no clue if it’s related to the fact that Antanas “TonyG” Guoga discontinued his partnership with PartyPoker a few months ago, but all the “problems” (not sure if it’s the best word to describe a scam) started about the same time. Dozens of longterm winning PartyPoker players noticed the highly increased number of silly beats and a great deal of new, unknown, yet extremely lucky players at every table. Needless to say, these fishes somehow make the most unbelievable draws with the help of a river card almost every time someone goes all-in.

Thanks to the variance, you can never be 100% sure your hand will win at a showdown; even if you have a hand that is a huge favorite on the flop, the turn or the river may bring a miracle card to your opponent, so he wins the pot. This is called a “bad beat” and it happens from time to time (not every time though). As long as you are playing for longterm results, you shouldn’t be worried about bad beats. In fact, you should be happy, since it means your opponent made a bad play but his results were terrific, so he will continue making the same bad play in future, allowing you to earn his money in long run. However, the number of bad beats at PartyPoker grew up enormously during last few months, so it’s no surprise that thousands of people stopped playing and started sharing their “conspiracy theories” (I’m a big opponent of similar activities) on the Internet.

I realize bad beads and crazy draws can hit any player, and it’s the main reason why I analyzed my hand history from last 2 months before posting this entry (only the hands I lost were reviewed for more accurate results). I admit my game has flaws (that I’m working hard on), but after analyzing hundreds of all-in bets (using Holdem Manager and SnGO Wizard) I discovered an incredible pattern; over 80% of my losses were bad beats (the remaining 20% were incorrect pushes/calls and coin-flips that I lost). For your convenience, here is the sample list of all-in bets from a single table SnGo tournaments (my cards go first, followed by opponent’s cards and numbers from poker equity calculators):

AA vs AKo (93% favorite) – one K falls the flop and another K falls on the river, giving my opponent a set.
KJo vs Q5s (62% favorite) – a player hits his flush on the river.
99 vs 77 (82% favorite) – the third 7 comes on the river.
KJs vs 86o (66% favorite) – K and 8 comes on the flop, so we have pairs (mine is higher). Sure enough, the river brings 6.
KQs vs A4o (45% favorite) – the river makes him a STRAIGHT FLUSH!
AQo vs 6Ts (62% favorite) – thanks to the river card, my opponent makes a straight.
AKs vs 22 (50% favorite) – an opponent makes QUADS on the river.
AA vs JTo (83% favorite) – needless to say, the river completes opponent’s straight.
KK vs ATo (71% favorite) – as you could expect, a miracle Ace hits the river.
QJs vs 96o (68% favorite) – an opponent makes his second pair on the river.
…and one more (had a table opened while posting this entry): QQ vs 48s (82% favorite) – my set of queens loses to a miracle flush on the river. Do I need to say anything else?

Sure thing, any poker player could show similar examples from his hand history, but it’s just a small part of the list, and all those bad beats and incredible draws came 80% of the time when I was all in! And they happened very rarely (as you would expect from a normal game) when I wasn’t gambling for all my chips.

To take one step further, I invested many extra hours playing other types (multi table tournaments) of the game on PartyPoker. I played at least 4 freerols every day for 2 weeks and the results were surprising; the number of all-in bad beats was perfectly normal. Just don’t get too excited too much yet. While everything may look fair now, it’s even more fishy! Think for yourself; if you were running a scam poker site with thousands of bots (unreal players) and pre-programmed flops, how could you attract paying clients who play for their money? You can simply invest a tiny piece of your profits into freerols and let the real players win a buck or two. Do it long enough, so new players can see they are able to beat your game, and they will start playing for real money. Now you just run an army of bots and take real persons’ money with the help of pre-programmed fall of cards and fantastic draws. Profit!

If you think such a business practice wont last long, you are right; I personally know several loyal PartyPoker users who took their remaining funds and migrated to other providers because of recent changes (or put simply: scam) in PartyPoker platform. If you search the Internet, you will find thousands of other previously winning players abandoning the ship of scam artists right now, so all I can say is this: PartyPoker will get bankrupted sooner or later (just don’t expect it to happen in a month or two), so the best thing you can do to protect yourself from a very costly mistake is to take your money while you can.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t advocate you closing your account or doing something similar. I will also leave my account active (just without money), and I may even continue playing freerols (since these are not affected by scam at the moment), but this particular company won’t get a cent from me until they permanently disable the army of fake players on real money tables.

P.S. This post is NOT a complain about a bad run or being unlucky. I experienced many downswings and never complained about them, but I’m confident enough to separate a downswing (or just a bad run of cards) from a scam (especially after spotting the same pattern in 80% of hands), so if someone really wants to call me a hater, he should think twice…