PokerStars Rep Comments Publicly on Organized Groups ("Cartels")

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HUSNG News's picture
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Reg vs Reg Play Will Not Be Regulated

PokerStars Manager Baard recently answered a user question on the twoplustwo forums about whether or not PokerStars plans to do anything about organized groups in the $100+ levels of hyper turbos. Baard responded, "From PokerStars point of view, we don't see this is a problem as long as players are not blocked from playing a tournament when they want to. If players are forced to move down in stakes because they are not able to hold their own against the other regulars, that is not something we are going to concern ourselves with."

Organized groups of professional players, dubbed "cartels" at the $1,000 level and "mafias" at the $500 level, (various names at lower levels) have existed in some form for many years. In 2013, these groups have become more organized and prevalent as the game has grown and format quickened. More professionals are chasing growing profits and with wait lines in the mid stakes games becoming long, there is a larger incentive for the higher skilled professionals to chase out the weaker professional players, pushing the weaker players into lower buyin games and out of the lobbies of the higher skilled players.

With a newly organized $100s group, fresh off the heels of a newly organized $200-300s group, combined with the usual end of year milestone chases, the discussion about these groups has grown both on Skype and major poker forums.

The issue has not been nearly as controversial as automatic registration programs, or the banning of some players by the owners of automatic registration programs. Nevertheless, it has been a popular discussion point within the community. Some players are concerned that groups of players targeting specific players and requiring each other sit these players every time they see them in the lobby of specific buyin levels is too personal and specific to be fair. Major counter points to that argument are that players are free to play who they wish, that with or without group play good players can decide to always sit with a specific player, that these groups allow players to sit each other within the group too, that there are no shared bankrolls within these groups, and that the groups allow new players into the group when they have reached a certain level of skill. The last point has been variable, with the lower stakes groups being as much about politics and perception than about actual skill, while the higher stakes group entries are dominated by a skill criteria.

Do you have a comment about these groups? Share it with us in the comments section.

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Thoughts

I previously misunderstood the purpose of these cartels.

I thought they were designed to keep regulars from playing other regulars and to collusively gangbang the fish that occasionally swim into the sharktank otherwise known as online midstakes poker.

Ryan responded to a post I made on another topic where he cleared up my misconception.

I understand now, these cartels, are also responsible for regulating the competition for fish.

That is, members of the cartel are responsible for playing those who are deemed to be weaker and not worthy to dine at the fish feast.

 

I am curious as to whether these agreements work in practice?

That is, how would identify if a cartel member is "cheating" the system?

Everyone understands that keeping the competition for fish down is good for everyone in the cartel.

But I would suspect some members take up their duty more aggressively than others?

For example, the weak regs alluded to who have been included for "political"reasons, are they really going to try to police up and coming strong players?

If they can only win through game selection maybe they're not even profitable vs these "weaker regs" that need to be kept in check.

 

There is a similar phenomenon that happens when workers strike in some industries.

Some workers figure that any benefits gained from the strike will become theirs anyway via whatever bargain is struck.

So they work anyway figuring there are already enough others striking.

 

Does this also happen within the cartel?

How does the cartel ensure that everyone is 100% committed to the greater good?

Such curious economic equilbriums lol.

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Good questions. At the

Good questions.

At the highest levels, it's sometimes as simple as "if you're not sitting other new regs, you're obviously not strong enough yourself to not be sat, so myself and the other top regs will just auto sit you (without much/any coordination at times)." The high stakes players work much more efficiently with all this stuff, but that should be obvious, as they are making 300k-1.5 million per year playing HUSNGs and they're used to fighting really good players (and winning because they are great players themselves).

As the levels get lower, things like elections, rules, subrules, leaders and such help ensure that players are sitting other regs. You're right about there being some leaks. The more weak regs/political friends that you have, the weaker your group is going to be. One level has over 80 regulars in it. Obviously there aren't 80 really sick regulars, so there's always going to be some easier players in the group. This is all fine and good imo though, it means that a good regular that hasn't been let in can just sit the weakest members of the group and make profit himself until they recognize his skills and let him in. This is both fine for the group and for aspiring regs. The point of these groups isn't to keep everyone out, it's to make sure players that aren't all that good don't have an easy time in the lobbies just bumhunting weaker players.

And I think that makes a ton of sense, because having 200+ professionals all sitting there and taking turns in the lobby is a bit ridiculous, there are clearly weak enough professionals that should be sat by other professionals that have edge. You see in so many HU4rollz how big the edges can be between great and good players (not always, but plenty often we've seen heavy evidence that one reg is clearly a lot better than the other), so the whole "no money hu you shouldn't play me" stuff between two regs has really been proven to be so over the top and wrong in recent years. The facts of low edge per game creates a fallacy that makes people incorrectly think there's no profit in facing other regs.

I was speaking to a mid stakes reg who was complaining about having to reg war and it being bad for him recently. He showed me his edge vs some players and we calculated that with constant action vs regs like this he was making 66-75% of his buyin per hour. It is just one example of how profitable it can be for a good reg to face other regs. And it's not just the direct profit he's making, he's also creating a shorter wait time for himself.

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Ryan, thanks for taking the

Ryan, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. 

Really interesting to get an insight from someone who has been involved with the poker community for a long time. 

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I have nothing against these

I have nothing against these groups if they just want to avoid each other and play other players who are not in the group but I'm concerned about some other things within the groups that are against the rules.

These players have a private Skype groups, private forums and other means of comunication where they can share hands and notes about players they target, and that gives them an unfair advantage and is against Pokerstars rules. It is called "Data Mining" and it is a sort of collusion! It is very hard (nearly imposible) to prove this true but it is so obvious. 

Would like to know if Pokerstars can prevent this collusion happening? 

 

 

"If you want to win, you must not lose!"

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This is a good point that you

This is a good point that you bring up. Database sharing type stuff is clearly wrong I believe (remember the Brian Hasting, Aba type situation with Isildur?). I'm not sure where the line is drawn between studying a reg that is constantly sitting you with a friend/coach/peer and rule breaking database sharing. If I was in a group I would make sure I knew where the line was, because anything with dozens of people involved will likely eventually come out if it involves rule breaking.

Also, whether or not these infractions are considered similar to a slow time bank (against the rules, gets at least one warning before any other action is taken), chat infraction (similar, chat removed in worst cases usually) or collusion (account bannings usually, funds confiscation is not unusual) I do not know.

This is a really good point though that you're bringing up.

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Data mining could be stoped,

Data mining could be stoped, but it would require a huge amount of extra work from PokerStars..and they have no equal reward to do so.

I find it unjustified to talk down about datamining and sharing. What about HUD sharing? There are videos on bigger affiliates, where I can see stats over 150k hands (re: cash games) from opponent where I know the names from because it is a live video. Am I justified to this information? No. Could it hurt the player whos stats I see? Yes. What about live coachings where I can see hands the opponent of the player who is playing, even tough he mucked his hand and I therefore could not see it, if would only sit on the table 'watching' those players play?

What about hand evaluation? I have sent multiple hand histories for analysis to several coaches..they could take the hand history file and put into their hud. Don't even get me started on 'final table coaching'.

If we would ban everyone for every violation they had done, noone would be allowed to play anymore.

As far as the 'cartel' goes..as soon as player make a living out of it, it is a business..and in the business world you either advance or you are left behind. It is simple like that.

Hi.

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im one of the leaders of the

Im one of the leaders of the 300 cartel, so trying to kinda represent it because ppl talk a lot of things without knowing and missunderstand things. Its completely forbidden to share hands between cartel members, and we never did or will ever do, just to clarify. We are aware its not permitted to do it so we won't do it and risk further trouble... the philosophy is that if you are a good enough regular you are in the cartel, and therefore, you should beat pretty easily the weaker regulars by yourself, its not really like we need to share the info tbh... We dont even target specific regs as a group, its a group to organize how regs should distribute the work of kicking out bad regs as fair and equally as possible, and do theirselves invididually. In my eyes everything is same than before but now everyone is kinda "forced" to sit bumhunter/weak regs, which is.. awesome. 

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Nice

The bumhunters have become the bumhunted. Nice. 

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Solid post Emilio. And maybe

Solid post Emilio.

And maybe I could've been more clear, but you illustrate it well, there are going to be differences between the $100, $200, $300, $500, $1,000 level groups (some groups cover multiple stakes, some do not, some are very organized, some are not, some hold elections and have a lot of rules, some do not... and so on).

I didn't personally want to get too into who "runs" each group, who is apart of each group and how they specifically work, just really mention the PokerStars comment and start a general discussion about the groups.

Thanks a lot for adding your information in here, and I think most would agree that it is very natural and reasonable.

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Please, tell us, how can you

Please, tell us, how can you prove that you don't make use of data mining? 

Moreover, why do I have to be in your cartel if I'm more than a decent player?

What happens if if I refuse your invitation to join the cartel?

I have checked some players via propokerlabs and most of them are mediocre on  regs(the 60$ HUSNG)  with an ITM of 51% which spreads to 52%, that keeps them on the green line. 

Why are they in a cartel? Are they good enough? 

You are just getting a lot of people, most of them friends to protect a turf, which I don't think is yours. You mechanism is just as in a mafia group.

 

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I'm sure you're not referring

I'm sure you're not referring to me, as I'm not in any groups, but I think I can answer some of these:

- Nobody has to be in any group if they are a decent player (well, at the highest stakes maybe you do, but certainly not at $100s or $60s).

- If you don't join, and you're really good, you may not be put on the group's sit list. In an extreme example, the group is not going to sit a skaiwalkurrr if he plays $100s just because he won't join their group. I believe Rams was an early example of this. I don't think he's following group sitlists, he just sits a lot of regs on his own and he's considered to be one of the better regs at those levels, so groups do not target him, nor require him to sit their own group of "must sits." Of course, if you were a marginal "yes" vote to be in, and you refuse, I'd imagine the group will still sit you under the premise of you not pulling your weight (aka you not sitting other weak regs).

- Data mining is exactly the same question you can ask for anyone or group of friends or coach and student "how do we know you're not doing it?" It's not a reason to specifically say a group is bad (unless there is evidence of foul play).

- $60s group I've heard worse things about from good players than the $100s group (neither is perfect of course). Many don't want to give it time, but it seems the $100s group has been improving over the 2 months it has ran, so perhaps the $60s group will end up the same way. It's going to be even harder in the $60s, as there are even less players, and even less players that are willing to war/can handle warring/won't try to weasel out of having to sit other regs.

But again, I don't see any argument to "if really bad players are in and really good players are not, really good players can just sit really bad ones and beat them down in a reverse cartel type move." Is there one other than "I don't want to do that" or "I'm not good enough to be considered much better than a weak reg"?

And it's not really about group play, or shouldn't be, it should be about having to hold other regs accountable for sitting the weakest regs. For so long strong regs weren't doing that, and the lines just got ridiculously long and the caliber of regular that could open sit these levels was far worse than in the past. I know weaker players will bitch about it, and some people just won't be able to get over the word "cartel" or "group," but really, what solution do people have for lines of players, and guys that should be in the $30s able to open sit the $100s without regs playing them bc "if I play him, I lose my spot, and the next guy benefits?" This is the best thing the community has come up with so far to handle that major problem. If there are better ideas, I'm sure many would love to hear them.

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cartels are disgusting

i think this is very bad and not good for poker, it's the power of might over the weak and i don't like it.

Why should a 'weaker reg' - aka aspiring pro, be harassed in this way? What gives these so called decent regs the decision on who can and can not play any particular stake. It would be different if an individual reg was choosing to relentlessly sit another player but that is not happening here.

 

A group of players are 'ganging up' on other players, that isn't poker  - where the skill of an individual is the measure of success, that is bullying, that is stealing an unfair advantage due to the power of a particular group you are in.

 

I can't believe players on here are more or less condoning it.

 

fwiw i'm not affected by these cartels i'm a losing player, attempting to become a winning player.

 

Just wanted to share my thoughts.

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Why should a 'weaker reg' -

Why should a 'weaker reg' - aka aspiring pro, be harassed in this way?

 

 

if you want to make a living from playing poker and you know you can´t take the heat, you should think twice before dropping out of college. an "aspiring" pro should not be afraid to battle regs. if he is, well maybe a part time job at the cheese cake factory would better suit him.

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an aspiring pro should not be

an aspiring pro should not be afraid to battle regs. Agree.

an aspiring pro should not have to battle a group of regs in cahoots to keep him out of the games. Agree.

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why shouldn´t he have to do

why shouldn´t he have to do that? is an "aspiring pro" entitled to a red carpet if he moves up in stakes? i mean, if the established regs won´t make any money against you, they´ll change your label in sharkystrator from "fish" to "reg". also consider that "being a reg" only means playing on a regular basis. there are a ton of mediocre regs, also in cartels i presume. if you can´t even beat the mediocre ones, then you´re not ready for that stake.

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i just fundamentally dislike

i just fundamentally dislike the concept of a cartel, it's a form of tactical collusion. Not with hole cards but with a strategic and concerted effort to force a player out of a stake.

i'll never see how this could be conceived as being acceptible.

I see it not dissimiliar to a gang of youths, everytime they see one particular person on the street going up to him and beating him up and telling him not to come back. Then the day after he's back and someone else from the gang does the same thing, so due to the sheer weight of numbers on the bullys side he doesn't have a chance.

 

So i really don't like it at all. but thats just my personal opinion of course, :)

 

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Here's the issue with HUSNGs

Here's the issue with HUSNGs and groups. I think you'll agree after this that it is not like a gang of youths beating up a random person.

The game has turned into a situation where every good player just takes turns sitting first in a lobby, waiting for someone to sit against them. That someone is usually not a winning player.

Winning players, as long as nobody else is playing each other, have no incentive to really play each other. The lines keep growing.

Well, the lines have grown long enough to where winning players feel there is more incentive to sit other winners (the weakest ones), since the line has grown so long, filled with regulars that would not likely beat a level or even two levels below this buyin if regulars actually sat this regular.

However, now there is a problem. If Strong Winner A sits Weak Winner 1, then Strong Winner B is going to get a free lobby and gets to face a losing player (higher profit potential). Now, if Strong Winner A does this, he's basically helping out other winners more than himself. So nobody was doing this, even though the lines kept growing.

More and more low stakes winning players kept moving up stakes quickly, because no winning players would sit them, and they just got to play weak players without having to fight any strong ones.

Eventually, a group formed, with the purpose of making it far tougher for weaker players to regularly sit in the lobby first and access the losing players. This group was called a cartel.

Now, what I've described is the $100s group (there was at least one big failed effort prior to this recent, so far successful, effort). But this has happened at higher stakes for far longer, and I remember even back in 2009 this did happen (we didn't call it a cartel, and it had no forum, just MSN and AIM chats/discussion).

That's not to say that these groups are perfect, but these are human beings, at the $100 level (10% of the buyin of the highest level of hypers), working together to try to form rules that are fair to everyone that help push some of the weaker players that are only around to hunt the losing players that can't hold their own against winning players out of the $100s and back to stakes that are more appropriate for their skill.

I'm happy to support better criteria for selecting new regs and kicking out weaker regs from the group, and rules to avoid cheating and foul play and personal stuff. But as far as the groups being legitimate AND good for the games, I believe both of those things are true.

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interesting points rypac13, i

interesting points rypac13, i can see that there is more to this than i was giving it credit for. Part of me still thinks that if someone sits in the lobby first, then that's something any other player could try to do and that is a right they have, if individuals don't like it then they can sit them and try to beat them. For a cartel to have an agreement that when they sit other cartel members don't sit them, creates an unfair advantage on the side of the cartel imo.

But i don't see the cartel as being as malicious as i did originally, you've given a new dynamic to the situation in my mind, thanks.

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I appreciate the reply.As

I appreciate the reply.

As far as I know, cartel group players can sit other players within the cartel group. The rules of the group allow that, but the main thing is that they force you to sit weaker players not in the group.

If that is incorrect, I can definitely see how it might be considered going over the line of what is fair.

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This is clearly cheating and

This is clearly cheating and Pokerstars should act against these cartels. As an example if a hundred players take it in turns to play a non-cartel member and these games result in a 1% loss for both players then after a hundred games the cartel members will have reduced their rois by only 0.01% (as they only play once each) whereas the other player will be running at -1% ceteris paribus. All this talk about weak regs in the cartel is just a red herring the fact is that the player targeted will suffer cumulative losses whereas the cartel members will not. It is no different to seven or eight regs acting in concert to soft play each other at a table and then taking it in turns to beat up on the new player. In fact it is worse because the new player doesn't get any opportunity to avoid the regs who keep sitting him by prior collusion. It is simply collusion across games instead of collusion at the same table.

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Yer but without the cartels

Yer but without the cartels that player who cops the -1% beating will join the queue, increasing the competition for fish.

The net benefit of the cartels (ignoring political inefficiencies) is that it reduces the bumhunting equilibrium which ruins the game long term for everyone.

 

I think there is a more fundamental problem than whether these collusive agreements are ethical.

=> There is the problem that it won't even matter if the games die.

I think the best solution would be a matchmaking system which rewards higher volume players with lower rake.

For example in hyper turbos, a good winning player can make about  2-3% ROI.

Meanwhile, the poker site is raking about 2% completely risk free.

In such a low profit & high variance game regs are very worried about game selecting.

The fish also lose their money very quickly due to the speed of the games & their propensity to play severely under rolled.

 

Imagine if the pokersite made the matchmaking lobby free & implemented a system which actually encouraged reg vs reg battles.

For example if everyone was in a pool, which randomly allocated you to a game, but the rake you pay is a function of how regularly you play (eg. your pokerstar status). You can elect you want to play X number of games and Y number of tables @ $Z stakes.

Now imagine, if in reg vs reg, with the extreme example being supernova elite vs supernova elite they made it positive rake.

That is, all the players have to do vs each other is break even and they will make money.

Obviously this increases the risk profile for the pokersite, but they could mitigate it by awarding only $T, meaning the money is reallocated back into the system at some point (generally beneficial for volume for the site because there will plenty of players playing with non-$T money too). Otherwise they could make it zero rake and adjust the rakeback bonus schemes.

At the moment the health of the games are completely dependent on the extent to which fish continue to deposit funds.

The reality is that post black friday the biggest fish market in the world closed its doors for business.

If you were a recreational player that sees poker as an entertainment expense, would it add or subtract from the amount of fun you have if you knew there was a whole queue of guys, all collusively agreeing to take turns playing you?

I would find something else to blow my money on.

A redesign of the lobby system + some real economic incentives for players to not practice extreme game selection (such as the current practice of taking it in turns to play fish) would be beneficial to the sustainability of the games.

 

What do you think?

Are pokersites prepared to reinvest some of their profits in incentivising strong players to play against each other?

Or doesn't it matter?

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The recreational players do

The recreational players do not even know about this 'problem'.

The regulars will not leave the site

Why shall the biggest pokersite in the world change anything?

Hi.

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Because the current practice

Because the current practice of extreme game selection devalues the experience for the recreational player which will end in a poor equilbrium for everyone.

 

True recreational players play for fun. They like splashing money around and gambling.

Regulars are drawn to games where there is good profit to be made => where there are recreational players.

There was a huge influx of recreational players who regulars made a lot of money off during the 2000s.

Since the US government banned online poker, my understanding is a lot of the recreational player base has gone.

(Fwiw I started playing poker towards the end of 2012 so I never played in the super soft games of the "golden era". I only know about them from what I've read + watching the generally lower level of competition displayed in older videos I've watched.)

Today, there are loads of fish. But they are a different breed to those that were hunted to near extinction during the 2000s. The fish in today's online poker game is, with the exception of the occasional extreme player, a bad reg. He has some fundamental understanding of poker and even actively tries to improve. But he has a lot of leaks in his technical and even more so mental game which good players can exploit. Win rates have steadily decreased as the average player has over time got better.

For example this guy has literally been playing the micros for years and has witnessed the change first hand at microstakes cash games over time:

http://www.blackrain79.com/2013/08/the-state-of-micro-stakes-online-poker.html

 

The poker economy is ultimately driven by recreational players. But regulars drive A LOT of the volume.

And a pokersite's profit is ultimately driven by volume.

My understanding is that the current strategy is to maximise the amount of new players they sign up which fuels the flow of money onto the site.

But the money flows out extremely quickly if strong players are allowed to bumhunt.

Such will be the state of the HUSNG lobby system without these cartels (as discussed above). My understanding is HUNL is pretty much dead because of such practices.

(I'd imagine they also model the best rake ratio that all but the strongest players can't take too much money from the system)

 

The extent to which games deteriorate is hastened by the tendency of strong players working together to improve and agreeing not to play each other.

The sharks are effectively hunting in packs and are even more effective at hunting and destroying the fish supply far faster than it is being restocked.

 

What I'm saying, is that wouldn't pokersites engineer some economic incentives via rake price discrimination or a lobby redesign to create a more fair playing field to keep the games more sustainable? The only way you will get poker players to compete is incentivise them to. They are programmed to take the most EV decision, which is usually to not compete with each other and to bumhunt weaker players. Which is bad for volume & therefore the pokersite's profit long term once the reg : recreational ratio becomes too high.

 

Maybe my perception of the state of the games and the equilibrium they are headed towards is completely off? (I'm a hobby player, grinding up a roll to move up in stakes with the view of improving my game to try to compete at a higher level)

Does anyone know what % of a sites volume is driven by reg action?

Estimates on reg : recreational player ratios for various stakes?

% of players that play for the money vs for the competition of beating the best players?

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"Here's the issue with HUSNGs

"Here's the issue with HUSNGs and groups. I think you'll agree after this that it is not like a gang of youths beating up a random person."

No with respect I don't agree. I will go through your points.

"The game has turned into a situation where every good player just takes turns sitting first in a lobby, waiting for someone to sit against them. That someone is usually not a winning player.

Winning players, as long as nobody else is playing each other, have no incentive to really play each other. The lines keep growing.

Well, the lines have grown long enough to where winning players feel there is more incentive to sit other winners (the weakest ones), since the line has grown so long, filled with regulars that would not likely beat a level or even two levels below this buyin if regulars actually sat this regular.

However, now there is a problem. If Strong Winner A sits Weak Winner 1, then Strong Winner B is going to get a free lobby and gets to face a losing player (higher profit potential). Now, if Strong Winner A does this, he's basically helping out other winners more than himself. So nobody was doing this, even though the lines kept growing."

 

Imo this is a weak argument. If there is more incentive to play other winners then Strong Winner 1 is  helping himself. That is the equilibrium point of the queue. If other winners do not have the judgement required to spot this then that is their own fault and they deserve a lower winrate per hour.It's similar to a supermarket queue. If another queue is quicker then it makes sense to switch. Anyone behind you will also benefit a little by moving a place up the queue but so what ?

 

 

"Eventually, a group formed, with the purpose of making it far tougher for weaker players to regularly sit in the lobby first and access the losing players. This group was called a cartel."

This is not a legitimate purpose. The games should be equally open to all players at every level regardless of skill and especially regardless of whether or not they join a "cartel". Pokerstars should be aiming to ensure this fairness of access and they should act against the cartels who are colluding to ensure that their targets lose money unequally and imo unfairly.

.There is no perfect solution to the queueing as long as there is money to be made by sitting first. One solution is already mentioned ; find the weakest player who is sitting first if that becomes better for the winrate per hour. Another solution is for Pokerstars to offer more 4/8/16  entrant HU games. This would make cartel collusion illegal if they tried it in the same game and otherwise probably unfeasible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have questions for both of

I have questions for both of you guys.

1. Cdon, your points about recs are fine, but that's just a natural progression of the game. A bad basketball player 40 years ago couldn't dribble nor shoot. A bad basketball player today is a great dribbler 40 years ago. None of this really matters, the game is always going to advance. What matters is how good someone is relative to the better player. And evidence shows that HUSNG players are making more 2012-present than at any other time in history. All the guys that say "omg in the early 2000s everyone sucked, it was so easy" are right about one thing: EVERYONE sucked. And when everyone sucks, how likely is it that people are going to make tons of money, compared to when "nobody sucks"? About the same. Truthfully, there have always been top players, and they've always done well, but in HUSNGs, and a few other games, they are doing far better today than ever before. Look at the sharkscope leaderboards for HUSNGs in the last 8 or 9 years, it's amazing how much more people are making today (and more top guys block today than ever before).

2. Brandon, the issue is that if you are in the que and you see a weak reg in a game, and you sit him, other regulars say "great, Brandon just got me a free game vs a recreational player." There's no incentive for one person to go and do it, bc it mostly benefits others. Only do many people sitting weaker regs does it benefit the people doing it. Thus, the regs that wanted to sit weaker regs decided to form groups and rules to hold each other accountable. This has gone on in higher stakes for years now, organized very well for awhile too.

3. Brandon, it's not just about deciding to sit weak regs. If you're 25th in a que, and the weak reg is 23rd, the flaw of the que that everyone uses is that you can't sit the player who is 23rd until 22 other players get a game. By that time, you're forced to choose, should I sit the guy 2 spots ahead of me, or should I just wait 2 spots and get a recreational? This is a huge incentive for regs to NOT sit each other, and it's the biggest flaw of the auto registration system.

4. Brandon, recreationals don't want to play 4, 8, 16 man HUSNGs, that's why 4 mans don't launch that often already. If more recreationals played those, more regs would, thus it would launch a ton (just like if recreationals played NBI games, then tons of regs would move to NBI). The only solution that anyone can see to "cartel" groups is to make a truly blind lobby registration system, but you'd end up facing far more regs than you do today, and rake would eat the hell out of everyone's bankroll likely.

5. Brandon, your example of 100 players is flawed. For one, that's a terrible strategy for anyone who wants to get into a group. To get into a group, if you have a 1% ROI on every player, all you do is sit the other players. They see that it's not worth playing you, and you get voted in. This is happening over and over again at the $60s and $100s. Higher stakes requires more effort, but that's only natural (and it's always the same, with or without groups, it takes more effort).

It's easy for people to see groups of people called "cartels" and other fear driven/machoism words and think collusion or cheating, but it's really not cheating or collusion. It's holding others accountable for what should happen: Regs should play othe regs, and not 100% recreationals.

Any recreational with half a brain would only like this development anyways. Basically, instead of regs playing all recreationals, they now play other regs and recreationals. Absolutely no reason for recs to dislike that, and some reason for them to enjoy it (fairness/equal game selection).

There has also been a chain of events. Only 2 lobbies + 3 min avg game running times = lots of people simultaneously sitting. This is a problem because 1) rake is a bit high for the edge per game to constantly be sitting other regs (given how long it takes to get to face a non reg at times, you could simu sit like 5-10x for every game vs a weaker player and that's not really sustainable for most except the poker rooms) and 2) there is no "make a deal" button.

From there is progresses, given that the above problem exists, an auto registration program is created with a que to manage registration so simultaneous sits don't happen. Well, this works good bc now people don't simu sit, but the que is blind for reasons beyond my understanding, and not only that, but you can't sit someone in the que to get a game to launch next, you have to wait until they are in the lobby. This leads to no incentive to sit other regs, thus you get far more bumhunting, lines get longer, people get upset, and after a long time of angry people, it's easier to just create groups like the high stakes do than to try to get the program owner to change things AND get a lot of regs that just want to bumhunt to play other regs.

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cdon3822
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I totally understand what you

I totally understand what you are saying. Mr Einstein comes to mind :)

If you slog through the math, players are still for the most part playing a game that deviates massively from optimal play. 

The best players are capable of exploiting this. 

It is best evidenced by the fact that the top few players in the world have a sizable edge over players that are by most standards considered good players. 

Guys like MrGreen have literally destroyed guys that are otherwise capable of beating other very strong players. 

It's all relative. And my imo that's one of the best thing about HUSNGs. 

 

If you create a randomised match making system, regs will on average play more games against regs. 

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, IFF the rake is adjusted so that the match is not perceived as massively -EV by the players. 

Recreational players that want to splash around will still be fueling the system and they are still free to play whatever stakes they want. 

But grinders will be forced to earn their spot at a stake. 

It would achieve essentially what the cartels are trying to accomplish, but without the political inefficiencies of the poker community. 

+ It would decrease the amount of leakage from the system due to extreme game selection practices. 

 

My main point is, that in order to get good players to play each other (which is a bit of a tangent from the primary topic of this post) => the best way to do it is to provide a real incentive to do so via rake price discrimination. 

While the pokersite has decided to sit to the sideline of the discussion around cartels, they are the ones best positioned to engineer an ecnomically viable solution by addressing the structural inefficiencies of the current system which are being exploited by the more savvy player base. 

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RyPac13
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I mean, to put it more

I mean, to put it more simply, why is a group of players that requires each other to play a set % of other regs not a fair solution to your quote:

"Imo this is a weak argument. If there is more incentive to play other winners then Strong Winner 1 is  helping himself. That is the equilibrium point of the queue. If other winners do not have the judgement required to spot this then that is their own fault and they deserve a lower winrate per hour.It's similar to a supermarket queue. If another queue is quicker then it makes sense to switch. Anyone behind you will also benefit a little by moving a place up the queue but so what ?"

Why is it just "if everyone doesn't naturally agree to play other regs, then they all should suffer?" We're only allowed a very narrow, independent solution to an auto register program that discourages people to sit other regs? I don't think it's really fair that someone should tell players that they can't decide to improve the situation together.

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nicoleallenB
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There organized groups are

There organized groups are professionals. They have the knowledge, skill and attitude to perform such task.