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Is soft play cheating your views

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Is soft play cheating your views - Tue Nov 08, 2011, 06:49 PM
(#1)
Weeharry777's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 18
Just wondered what players think of soft play and should it carry a ban.

Blinds were 200 - 400 I was small blind in seat 9 mid sized stack
big blind in seat 1 low stack
seat 2 calls the BB big stack
I call the BB
BB checks.
Flop comes BB bets 400
seat 2 calls
I fold
BB checks
seat 2 folds.
Both players from are from the same area.

I emailed support to get it checked out they confirmed a relationship and found that they did go easy on one another and will not be allowed at the same table again.
 
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Tue Nov 08, 2011, 07:24 PM
(#2)
Deleted user
I am a psychic and can predict the reply you will receive...


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 'ImnewandIcheat' and 'Myotheraccount'.

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. Key in trying to determine the nature of a relationship, if any, is location. In this case, both players live in a hutl, but more than 3 feet apart. Location, however, is generally not a good indicator as to whether cooperative play is occurring or not. It is noteworthy, but in and of itself is not sufficient.

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 hands together in this tournament. This fact, along with the other data we considered, confirm that these players do not seem to have a relationship with one another besides sexual.

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.


Sincerly,

HeadstuckintheSand

Please remember that we are having a promotion that entitles you to a free Ace Ace cracking when you
reload your account.
 
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Tue Nov 08, 2011, 07:28 PM
(#3)
Deleted user
Softplay is almost impossible to catch because stars gives these players so many benefits of the doubt.

-- They are new they didnt know
I guess signing the TOS is not good enough.Mind you it is suprising to see how many players unable to speak a lick of English can get through the sign up and on to the tables.

- it wont happen again
I love this one it implies we all get a free kick at cheating till caught and then have to revert to honest play.

They will note the account and you will never know if they where finally slapped on the wrist.

So with the stance they take the only thing you can do is watch for it and think of spots you can exploit it or stay out of the way of.
 
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Tue Nov 08, 2011, 07:54 PM
(#4)
Weeharry777's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 18
This is the reply I got but I do consider myself well told off for it.

Hello ******

Again, thank you very much for your report. Our review of '***********' and '**********' is now complete. We confirmed a relationship and found that they did go easy on one another (known as soft play) on occasion. This is a violation of our tournament rule #20 as posted at:

http://www.pokerstars.com/tournamentsrules.html

We have the advantage of being able to replay the games with all cards exposed. We carefully reviewed all events in which at least one of the two finished in the money. As a result of our findings, players who were likely harmed by the unfair play have been advanced and have received credits consistent with their new finish position. Because we found reason to believe that they were not aware of the seriousness of the unfair play, the cost to advance these players has been paid by PokerStars. You finished 4th in T#********* behind '***********'. As such we have advanced you into 3rd and I have credited your account with $**** to reflect your new finish.

It is not uncommon to find that players are not aware of the seriousness of such action in tournament play. The overall review, which included requests for explanations from the players and consideration of all account information, led us to conclude that their action was not malicious. Therefore they will be allowed to continue playing on the site. That said, we did take action to see that they do not play in the same Sit & Go Tournaments in the future, or at the same cash game table for that matter.

During the review, I notice you mentioned your suspicions about their play in open chat. There are many reasons that we ask you not to do this, including:

1) You may be accusing two perfectly innocent people of being dishonest. If they are innocent, then you have unfairly sullied their reputations amongst other players at the table.

2) It can negatively impact any collusion investigation. If they are guilty, you have just alerted them to your suspicions, and they will immediately modify their behaviour to avoid detection.

Please understand that accusing a player of cheating at a poker table is extremely serious and should never be done publicly. As poker is a game of incomplete information, it is difficult to judge with certainty what cards players are holding, let alone if they are attempting to collude with others. In future, please simply email us at support@pokerstars.com with your concerns and we will conduct an investigation similar to this one.

The integrity of our games is of utmost importance as is fair resolution of situations such as this. Our primary concern is to assure our players of a fair and secure environment in which to enjoy online poker. Your vigilance in noticing the situation and reporting your concerns are appreciated. Please don't hesitate to let us know anytime you have questions or concerns.

Regards,


PokerStars Game Security Team
 
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Tue Nov 08, 2011, 10:13 PM
(#5)
hemetdennis's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,019
BronzeStar
did you or pokerstars take the names out ??


 
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Tue Nov 08, 2011, 10:26 PM
(#6)
Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weeharry777 View Post
Just wondered what players think of soft play and should it carry a ban.

Blinds were 200 - 400 I was small blind in seat 9 mid sized stack
big blind in seat 1 low stack
seat 2 calls the BB big stack
I call the BB
BB checks.
Flop comes BB bets 400
seat 2 calls
I fold
BB checks
seat 2 folds.
Both players from are from the same area.

I emailed support to get it checked out they confirmed a relationship and found that they did go easy on one another and will not be allowed at the same table again.
i note ps has done something here
well done ps
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 12:10 AM
(#7)
Deleted user
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemetdennis View Post
did you or pokerstars take the names out ??


I used real names.


@ Weeharry777,Im pretty jealous that you actually got some where.
Nice to read that for a change.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 12:57 AM
(#8)
hemetdennis's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,019
BronzeStar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted user View Post
I used real names.


@ Weeharry777,Im pretty jealous that you actually got some where.
Nice to read that for a change.
i don't know what you mean
i was speaking to weeharry777


 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 09:45 AM
(#9)
mtnestegg's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemetdennis View Post
i don't know what you mean
i was speaking to weeharry777


someone quick .. frame this post
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 09:47 AM
(#10)
mtnestegg's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemetdennis View Post
did you or pokerstars take the names out ??


This one too!!
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 09:52 AM
(#11)
annie_22at90's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnestegg View Post
someone quick .. frame this post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnestegg View Post
This one too!!
Yes, I've been curious for a few days now as to who persuaded the SCREAMER to pipe down and exactly how they did it.

Haven't bothered asking because I doubt the true reason would ever be REVEALED.



PS. Apologies to the op for the wee hijack.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 10:46 AM
(#12)
!!!111Dan's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,290
Nice work Harry.
Players should always remain vigilant, but as you see, don't call them out on the table, report it to support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted user View Post
....@ Weeharry777,Im pretty jealous that you actually got some where.
Nice to read that for a change.
I know it's a sore spot, but I've had 2 separate occasions where the suspicions, and conclusions, were the same as in this instance, but the results were even stronger. One unfortunately was a PSO game, and the other at a cash table. Both occasions had all 4 players banned from Pokerstars. They informed me of it in email, and they were not to be found again.

It does not help anyone to discourage others from reporting suspicions to support. If players weren't concerned that other players were willing to report them for such things, imagine how much more you would see of it. As you see, not everyone is satisfied with the outcome of every investigation, but they do work.
Stay positive, stay vigilant, have fun.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 11:14 AM
(#13)
Weeharry777's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 18
I took the names out as I did not want to turn the post into a slagging off players.I just wanted other players views on should rule 20 carry a more serious penalty than a mere slap on the wrist.
I am in no doubt the 2 players knew what they were doing and I feel that it is a form of cheating and I think any players doing this should face a ban as a deterrent and to help eradicate this kind of play from pokerstars.


OOOPs sorry Dan did not notice your post their just to say thanks.

Last edited by Weeharry777; Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:19 AM..
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 11:21 AM
(#14)
!!!111Dan's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,290
It is likely that the players I dealt with had a prior history of being warned, and didn't heed the warnings, resulting in a ban from my inquisition. Your players evidently don't have that kind of a history from what we read in the email you received back. But if they do it repeatedly, and it gets reported, they will face the same fate.

No prob. ..just posted this while you edited.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 12:00 PM
(#15)
Cairn Destop's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,477
BronzeStar
I suppose I should preface this by defining the term "soft play." If you mean a situation where one player has gone all-in, several players have called the all-in, and these players then check to the showdown, that kind of soft play I find allowable under one condition. That condition being no overt decision by those involved not to bid further. It is a valid strategy for eliminating a player since the more players in a hand, the better the chances of eliminating the player who is committed.

However, I also find it ill mannered of the other players to insult the player who then raises, or bets on a subsequent street. Have seen that happen too. Each person has to play their hand the way that will be best for them.

If your definition means that two or more players check through to the showdown, regardless of their hand strength, then I see that as a form of collusion. It would take me a few hands to establish such a relationship, but once I'm certain, I would record the pertinent hand histories and contact support. One has to be certain the reason is soft play, and not an overly timid player, or one that misjudges his hand strength.

Such an accusation is serious. I wouldn't voice such a suspision on the table via chat since it might alert the players. Best to notify support and let them do the investigation.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 12:17 PM
(#16)
HostMichaeJO's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weeharry777 View Post
...I think any players doing this should face a ban as a deterrent and to help eradicate this kind of play from pokerstars....
The problem with this proposal is that the people who break these rules do so out of ignorance, not out of malice.

Thus, there's no mechanism to deter potential offenders... they don't know that the deterrent even exists.

We think that when players are evil, they should be punished. We think that when players are ignorant, they should be educated (and PokerStars will pay compensation out of our own pocket, such as in this case, to compensate people who are harmed).

Sincerely,

Michael J
PokerStars Game Security Team
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 01:28 PM
(#17)
Weeharry777's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostMichaeJO View Post
The problem with this proposal is that the people who break these rules do so out of ignorance, not out of malice.

Thus, there's no mechanism to deter potential offenders... they don't know that the deterrent even exists.

We think that when players are evil, they should be punished. We think that when players are ignorant, they should be educated (and PokerStars will pay compensation out of our own pocket, such as in this case, to compensate people who are harmed).

Sincerely,

Michael J
PokerStars Game Security Team
Hi Michael
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Can I just start by thanking the security team for their assistance and quick response in dealing with this.But may I say this is another reason for the post to get it out their and get a debate going on it.Get players players involved and have their say even if it is just getting people to read it and raises awareness.Then maybe if some of the people who are thinking of doing it read this and it makes them change their mind because they see that they can and will be caught.Then it will have been a worthwhile exercise.Now I know it is a hard thing for security their are thousands of hands on thousands of tables to thousands of players and it is up to the individual to be vigilant but some player may see this kind of play and not report it.Or be like me and challenge the players in chat a thing I know now I should never have done.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 07:09 PM
(#18)
Deleted user
Quote:
Originally Posted by HostMichaeJO View Post
Thus, there's no mechanism to deter potential offenders... they don't know that the deterrent even exists.

Sincerely,

Michael J
PokerStars Game Security Team
So what are you going to do about that?
Sounds to me like you have thrown in the towel and accept that this will always be the case.
This issue is going to cost customers as it is us that bare the brunt of the problem.

If a player is unable to detect a cheat or a ignorant player then they will not know they should be looking for compensation. This is a big issue as the new player will think that the system is rigged or that they are unable to beat the game at all. It kills the poker scene.

I think that there should be a open dialogue with well known watch dogs in the poker industry and I think it would be easy to gather a focus group to tackle this issue.

Will say that I think it is a great issue and language barriers are one reason you have more ignorant players. Watching the milestone play out was very telling of how not being able to speak English was costing some of these guys a chance to take advantage of the promo.
I couldnt speak their language but I could tell they where confused and wanting answers.
Most of the players I catch fall into this category for two reasons,one being they dont understand its wrong and the second that they think no one can read what they are saying.

Compensation aspect of this argument is debatable and I think we should stick to the aspect of trying to deter new players from cheating out of ignorance.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 07:10 PM
(#19)
HostMichaeJO's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 33
Hi,

In cases such as this, it is our normal practice to explain to the "offenders" what happened, and to educate them on the issue. That seems like a good way to stop them from offending again, in our eyes.

On top of that, PokerStars provides compensation (from our own pocket) to people who were adversely harmed.

That would seem to satisfy your need (to be unaffected by this rules breach) and also allows the "offenders" to learn from their mistake. Isn't that the best outcome for everyone?
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 07:14 PM
(#20)
HostMichaeJO's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted user View Post
So what are you going to do about that?
Sounds to me like you have thrown in the towel and accept that this will always be the case.
Absolutely there will always be people who are not rules experts playing the game. We agree entirely with that proposition. Poker should be a fun and accessible game that anyone can (and does!) play.
Quote:
This issue is going to cost customers as it is us that bare the brunt of the problem.
That's not accurate, since, as was posted in this thread, PokerStars pays compensation out of our own pocket. PokerStars pays the cost of this.
Quote:
If a player is unable to detect a cheat or a ignorant player then they will not know they should be looking for compensation. This is a big issue as the new player will think that the system is rigged or that they are unable to beat the game at all. It kills the poker scene.
But the accidental soft play from such players is not very harmful to begin with, and further, players who are unfamiliar with rules such as this are typically not likely to be winning very often to begin with.
Quote:
Compensation aspect of this argument is debatable and I think we should stick to the aspect of trying to deter new players from cheating out of ignorance.
We agree - and that's why we think that education is the first part of any process that seeks to combat this challenge.
 

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