For as long as online poker existed, conspiracy theories about every aspect of it have constantly been floating around. Just like any other persistent conspiracy theories, logic and facts never really phased any of them and the craziest ones live on to this day.
Most online poker conspiracy theories hover around poker room RNG’s (Random Number Generators), being rigged, however, sometimes conspiracy theories can get a lot crazier and these are the eight craziest ones.
8. More Bad Beats in Online Poker
The ‘huge’ number of bad beats is undoubtedly the most persistent conspiracy theory about online poker. To be fair, sometimes it may seem that way, but there is an easy explanation – some players’ perception of the amount of bad beats they get as opposed to the ones they deal out is way off. This leads them to the only logical conclusion – the game is rigged against me and I’m the best player in the world!
Of course, for the countless forum threads and discussions that have been online on this subject, not a single shred of legitimate evidence has ever been produced to support that poker rooms actually rig the game against certain players. There is a good reason for that, too, rigging the game wouldn’t even make them money, since it comes from rake.
7. Action Flops
When bad players flop great and loose on the river to an vastly inferior hand (typically because the allowed their opponent to get there by misplaying the hand), the ‘Action Flop’ conspiracy theory tends to pop-up. Basically it means that poker rooms are intentionally rigging the board so players play bigger pots against each other, thus producing more rake.
Just like the ‘Bad Beat’ theory, not a single piece of legitimate evidence has ever been presented to support this theory and once you really think about it, the stupidity of this claim becomes really obvious.
6. The Cashout Curse
The ‘Cashout Curse’ is a very persistent conspiracy theory, which was started by people who went on downswings after making a cashout, leading them to the conclusion that poker rooms do not like players who cash out so much that they rig the games against them as soon as they do. Presumably, they are doing this so the player who just cashed out will deposit the money to the room again. Well, that’s a solid theory, and it would be even better if it was actually true. However, there is a fairly simple explanation for the downswings that occur after cash outs.
Players who are very bad with bankroll management and understanding of variance sometimes go on heaters and win substantial amounts for the stakes they are playing. After that, they tend to think that this heater is going to last forever, so cashing out some of the winnings can’t hurt. However, heaters don’t tend to last very long, so it usually doesn’t take much time after the cash out for a downswing, which of course can only be explained by the poker room rigging the game.
5. Five of a Kind?
In 2006, the poker world was shocked when a video appeared of a PokerStars tournament where five aces were dealt on the final table. The person who actually spent time putting that video together might have expected a laugh at best, but the video went viral and many Tin Foil Hat Platinum Members have instantly recognized this as the proof of online poker being rigger, which they have been looking for all these years.
As PokerStars later commented on the hand, providing evidence that the hand never actually happened, nor did the players in the screenshot take part in the tournament, most players understood that this was a joke, but some continued to believe and ‘fight for the cause’ for years to come. To this day this is probably the most successful poker prank ever pulled.
4. Super Users
Ever since Ultimate Bet’s super user cheating scandal rocked the poker world, players have been concerned about super users everywhere they go. Granted, out of all the conspiracy theories out there, this one does have some merit to it, since it actually happened before.
In fact, no one can say for sure that a scandal like this will not emerge again, though it has been many years with no signs of anyone pulling the same stunt. In case you are still worries about super users, play on established poker rooms with good reputation. There is virtually zero chance that a poker room with a big player base and a good reputation will ever allow something like this to happen.
3. House Bots
Another conspiracy theory that has some merit to it is the ‘house bot’ theory. Supposedly, some poker rooms are not contempt with the money they are making from rake, so they introduce their own bots into the game to win even more money from unsuspecting players.
While 99% of the time house bot accusations are have no substance behind them, there have been instances where poker rooms were caught running house bots. However, no respectable poker rooms ever had a house bot scandal, and the few instances were purported by very small poker rooms with no reputation in the poker community. So once again, all you have to do is avoid sketchy little rooms and you’ll very likely never run into a house bot.
2. Play Money Nosebleed Tables
One of the funniest conspiracy theories took hold in the days of Isildur1 and the high stakes action on Full Tilt. While Isildur, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and others battled it out at the highest stakes, attracting numerous viewers, some of them found it very hard to believe that they were playing for real money.
While the theory that the nosebleeds are fake and simply a play money attraction to bring in new player is a tempting ones, the silliness of it ensured that these speculations did not last very long. Regardless, it was very fun to see people saying that Phil Ivey was actually playing for play money.
1. Online Poker Killed Osama Bin Laden
That’s right, Seal Team 6 wouldn’t have a prayer if Bin Laden hadn’t won a WCOOP Event a few month before the raid! But seriously, it was onlinepoker.net that discovered that first alerted the world to this mind blowing story.
Turns out that one of Bin Laden’s closest aids was actually a regular online poker players and the CIA got the info about his location from the poker sites that were shut down of Black Friday. Apparently the aid really liked to come over to Bin Laden’s place to talk about profitable 4-betting spots.