Pokers’ Problem, and its Solution

I’ll try to keep this concise, and I’ll write the important stuff here: the internet is full of 99% trolls with not the intelligence to finish reading a full paper. These trolls don’t understand much, but respond anyways. (tl;dr, ur a troll).

Let’s look at a somewhat recent yet certainly relevant article:

Mason Malmuth http://www.twoplustwo.com/magazine/issue110/

“In my opinion, it means that poker has reached a stage where a lot of things are starting to go wrong, and it seems only logical that these problems will benefit those who are members of the forces which are opposing poker, especially the reestablishment of Internet poker in the United States.

What needs to be done? The answer to this is one word, integrity. There just needs to be more of it in poker.

Now I don’t mean to imply that most of the important people in our industry are lacking in this area. In fact, the opposite is true, and we at 2+2 are constantly working with people and Internet poker sites which we have the utmost respect for. But it needs to be better.

How do we make it better? Well, that’s where the poker community comes in. While it’s true that an individual player is often not very important in the overall scheme of things, as a group there’s no entity that’s more important. So, please speak out when you think it’s appropriate to do so, and we’ll be able to get through this troubling period.”

Yes speak out sir, thank you. Let’s add a little blurb from Nash’s new gig on re writing the entire economy and every global system with it:

John Nash Ideal money (http://sites.stat.psu.edu/~babu/nash/money.pdf):

When one studies what are called “cooperative games”, which in economic terms include mergers and acquisitions or cartel formation, it is found to be appropriate and is standard to form two basic classications:

(1): Games with transferable utility.

(and)

(2): Games without transferable utility

(or “NTU” games).

In the world of practical realities it is money which typically causes the existence of a game of type (1) rather than of type (2); money is the “lubrication” which enables the efficient “transfer of utility”. And generally if games can be transformed from type (2) to type (1) there is a gain, on average, to all the players in terms of whatever might be expected to be the outcome.

These two SEEM to have complimentary views, but talk and type IS quite easy. And this Nash guy (poker player seem to want to forget he EXISTS even though they practically worship him), what is he talking about when everyone gains? Is it possible that everyone gains? We thought ‘poker’ was a zero sum game didn’t we?

Let’s keep these ‘theories’ in mind as we explore a certain process of a certain players’ community. The “Official PokerStars MTTSNG Suggestion Thread” was seemingly created so players could legitimately interact with Poker Stars rep’s to express possible positives chances to the game that the player community wished for. We know not ALL wishes can be granted, but a good company model (and moral model), would seemingly incorporate the customer in future changes to the product. Let’s look at some of the comments from the customer:

“Always the same answer, so tilting! “

“Well yes of course your promotions are ahead of your competitors as you are the only site that has MTT SNGs that run. Obviously now you have a monopoloy you dont give a ****, this thread is so pointless. The actual issues like lower rake on turbo’s, decent SNG structures are probably never going to happen, but please keep pretending your listening to players.”

“….. by offering players a platform to make suggestions Stars are able to cherry-pick the ideas that best suit their business, often to the detriment of the players, whilst proclaiming that they’re responding to feedback.”

“This post somewhat proves that since we went to 27 players paid that stars has been raking in more $$$$”

“There were many suggestions earlier in this thread; the feedback was positive, but nothing got done. ”

“please for the love of god change the payout structure back to 18 ”

“is there a PS-rep in this thread or? ”

“Haha, I think we’ve been promised this for at least 2 years if not more. ”

“There was a “wide range of opinions” on the new 180 payouts, you still needlessly butchered the hell outta that. ”

“lol. Could you be more flakey?”

“I’m really losing my patience with you – stop treating your userbase like they’re idiots. ”

“sigh Baard, gl with your “increase rake on other games to make a stupid high-rake anomaly appear consistent” plan! Loving your work!”

“I find it ridiculous that PokerStars’ own SNG rep does not know that you only have a very low edge on bounties. ”

“wow ”

“What a pathetic response regarding the rip off rake. ”

“On top of the fail of not understanding why the rake should be reduced, I just think the stubbornness on this one is lol. Stars must really need that extra $3 a day”

“All this is obvious and been said before but you seem to have no understanding that freezeout/rebuy/ko 180s should all be raked differently.”

“We’re not campaigning for a “rake break”; we just expect to see consistency and some semblance of fairness in your raking structure”

“C’mon LO, let’s not mince words. Baard clearly understands, he’s just out here defending a ****ty policy. ”

“I’ve played on your site for 8 years, and this is the most disgusting behaviour from a site rep that I’ve seen in that time. Either you’re incompetent, and you really still don’t understand why the bounty element of KO tournaments is not raked, or you’re deliberately misleading your customers and attempting to explain away a 100% rake increase. Either way I now have no confidence in you as a forum rep,”

“I’m pretty disappointed by the current stance on the matter, will be boycotting them until the rake is sorted. ”

“Baard whenever you or someone else think its time to justify the “we feel like it should stay as it is right now” attitude please, be our guest.”

“This is disgusting and borderline scummy, am shocked at this response”

“it’ll also go down as one of the most misguided attempts at a money grab in history, as stars would make more money if they raked the games fairly, with the added bonus of not unnecessarily pissing off a group of loyal customers.”

“Still holding out some hope for this just being a misunderstanding though, presumably the moment a stars rep who actually understands the games sees this decision he’ll reverse it.”

“This gets asked every bloody week and the answer is always no.”

“either it’s an innocent mistake or you’re being slightly disingenuous there Baard;”

“Stars stance is that they won’t have games start on break as they think it’s a change that recreational players wont like. I think that’s ridiculous personally but I expect that’s the answer you’ll get.”

“CAN YOU ACTUALLY COMMENT ON BB1K IN 18’S INSTEAD OF IGNORING IT? PRAPS YOU CAN READ THIS IN BOLD. TY”

“It’s actually a pretty sad indictment of Stars’ vice-like grip on the poker market that they can be this brazen about it”

Is something wrong? Well maybe, I mean this current process doesn’t seem to be facilitating the customers complaints. We might suppose then the customer could use their money to vote else, but alas with monopoly status such decisions are not possible. Much like the current fiat monies governments forced upon the peoples before they had a crypto current technological alternative.

However, based on the sentiments of one M. Malmuth, it would seem if the players spoke out, MOST OF ALL the players most international community might not only listen but enact a certain change that is beneficial to the players. In fact, a proposal was made by a certain poster. Since credibility is generally a concern and an issue lets hear some cited quoted about this poster, before we get into the actual proposed idea:

“100% agree with all adyo says no matter what way he comes across” http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43648998&postcount=63

“OP has since been chased off the site but there’s really nothing to lose by exploring what he has to say instead of just assuming he’s an idiot when clearly he’s not.”  http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43653971&postcount=68

“And I agree that OP is an intelligent guy who makes some worthwhile points”.  http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/61/mtt-community/wealth-staking-1431345/index5.html

“OP clearly has a clue regardless of whether people understand where he’s going with this conversation”. http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/61/mtt-community/wealth-staking-1431345/index5.html

“Newdude, I’d like to thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge on this topic with our forum. ” http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/idea-relating-new-regulation-decentralized-poker-software-1021113/index12.html

“I’m interested what newdude has to say about this stuff. I’ll definitely be sticking around this thread and chiming in whenever I can. ” http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/idea-relating-new-regulation-decentralized-poker-software-1021113/index14.html

“Adyo you have some very advanced views on a very complex business, especially for someone professing ignorance.  Your posts and views are very much reflective of a person with a very sharp learning curve who is applying his existing knowledge to a new field, in that some views are incredibly level 7….”   http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/61/mtt-community/wealth-staking-1431345/index4.html

So what is this solution? Well its quite simple ( http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=41511778&postcount=2455):

 

I have a suggestion.

There should be a thread in which players specifically discuss what they want the ps rep to respond to and deal with. Then once agreed upon, a dummy account can be used to bring the relevant info to the ps rep’s attention in a thread like this.

We know there can be good change and bad changes to the game, whether in respect to stars or the players. Both stars and the players have mutual concern for the longevity of the game, but we can expect that some players contributions to this thread are not good for the game and the worry would be these are the changes the ps rep picks up on.

A separate thread might be better for the rep too, who doesn’t have so much time so sort through all the noise. Surely it doesn’t help to come to a thread with tons of players expressing disagreements with changes, and berating the messenger.

Although everyone deserves a voice, these changes are super important to the game, and we don’t really want to come at it from a democratic perspective, doing so might end up electing a Crack user as our mayor.

Instead we can have a separate thread where good regs get behind the best and brightest regs who have the most experience in this aspect of the game. This is the best way to have a direct positive effect on the game.

We don’t want the majority of uneducated players out voicing the top players that truly know whats best for the game.

Otherwise everything is just noise and we create a bureaucracy that allows completely uncountable decisions and changes.

Or maybe we prefer to get our souls owned by (payout) strategy while we yell at the image of our villain?

You see the bargaining process is rigged, towards “not” the players favor. And the solution proposed is not necessarily in the context of a zero sum game. Because if we can get the players a ‘cooperative’ style thread, then we must induce dialogue that creates many mutually beneficial ideas (beneficial for players, Stars, AND the players community forum (why they are a 3rd party I will never know).

Since Mason represents 2 + 2’s angelic model lets see what their mod’s have to say about such a solution. Let’s look at this particular mod: (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=41557128&postcount=2466):

That thread already exists. We’re posting in it.

There won’t be a second thread just to duplicate what’s already in here, so no need for any further discussion on this particular side issue.

 

Tough to tell if they just don’t understand, they ignored the solution,  whether they are afraid of change, or not competent. Furthermore after more comments, the poster’s posts were deleted and they were temp banned. FURTHERMORE, the poster (obviously the author here) wished to discuss this with POSSIBLY, more serious and intelligent players (particularly thinking mods would fit this bill) and so brought it to the attention of the forum http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/55/about-forums/locking-thread-banning-etc-1438375/

This of course was met with 99% troll posts that didn’t address the context of the thread, but rather the poster, to whom doesn’t have the credibility to present material that is OBVIOUSLY profitable for the entire community in the ways laid out by Mason AND Nash. The intend OP for this new thread would be much like this:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43076867&postcount=153

What’s quite interesting is the same mod (we’ll call ‘Team Trousers’), had this to say on the decisions and dialogue created by this ridiculous process:

But Baard, you will probably find that if you rake the game fairly, the regs will come back and add them in, and the volume could easily double again, meaning you make more money and the customers are happy — we all know that a few regs to help a game fill faster will draw more casual players because they know they won’t have to wait so long for their SNG to launch.

As it stands though, if this isn’t acknowledged by Stars as a momentary error of judgement, and the decision isn’t reversed, then it’s nothing more than a blatant attempt at a money-grab.

Frankly, Stars, we thought you were better than this.

Can you actually justify it?

Your “feelings” aren’t good enough here. Not to mention that in this case they are totally misplaced. “

What’s going on?

Players often talk about the current stat of poker. The author play’s in the 180 man sng turbo field on Stars which seems to be a great marker for the game as one would think we can get enough of a sample in order to evaluate the economy of the game. Is this true? Is it possible? It seems important to know and understand, as how else would the players know both whether the current economic trend is sustainable AND whether or not the game is or isn’t in fact ‘rigged’. This seems quite important in terms laid out by Mason talking about ‘integrity’, and we should probably have a decent understanding of the game possibly in terms of integrity and morality as laid out in moral poker: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43037098&postcount=5

Now on a forum such as this, one isn’t really allowed to talk about ‘rigged-ness’ lest one either be confined or banned. But let’s look at some of the maths involved, particularity for the 180 mttsng environment: 180 variance http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/198/mttsng/observations-variance-180s-1410720/

You see, for mttsng’s, we CAN’T prove or deny the profitability using empirical results, the issue is all the players aren’t good enough at poker to realize it. The players that like to argue, don’t have enough ‘results’ to realize their profitable graphs are LARGELY variance! Would one argue then that MTT empirical results would give more accurate understandings of the profitability and therefore moral-ness and integrity of the game? The author things quite the contrary, and rather than ‘tracking’ sites, are very set up to hide such a thing, and make it impossible for players to determine or extrapolate such a thing. Bad math, MIGHT argue otherwise.

How much we combat such collusive cheating? Well let’s return to Malmuth, “ So, please speak out when you think it’s appropriate to do so…” But we clearly spoke out? What is happening, what is the problem? In order to understand this we must understand what a forum’s function is in society and what is function was in ANCIENT society (http://www.scribd.com/doc/225157293/forum-2-0):

In new Roman towns the Forum was usually located at, or just off, the intersection of the main north-south and east-west streets (the Cardo and Decumanus). All forums would have a Temple of Jupiter at the north end, and would also contain other temples, as well as the Basilica; a public weights and measures table, so customers at the market could ensure they were not being sold short measures; and would often have the baths nearby. At election times, candidates would use the steps of the temples in the forum to make their election speeches, and would expect their clients to come to support them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_%28Roman%29

Seems quite similar as a metaphor to the player international community today. Interestingly, there seems to be a political and democratic element in ancient times that seems to have been separated from the spirit of current forums today (although others proposals seems to incorporate this).


Another cited example from the same paper:

Athenian democracy took the form of a direct democracy, and it had two distinguishing features: the random selection of ordinary citizens to fill the few existing government administrative and judicial offices,[25] and a legislative assembly consisting of all Athenian citizens.[26] All eligible citizens were allowed to speak and vote in the assembly, which set the laws of the city state

Athenian democracy was not only direct in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but also the most direct in the sense that the people through the assembly, boule and courts of law controlled the entire political process and a large proportion of citizens were involved constantly in the public business.[28] Even though the rights of the individual were not secured by the Athenian constitution in the modern sense (the ancient Greeks had no word for “rights”[29]), the Athenians enjoyed their liberties not in opposition to the government but by living in a city that was not subject to another power and by not being subjects themselves to the rule of another person

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

Do we see an issue outlined? It seems that forums today have lost their democratic rights, and therefore the very ROOTS of their purpose!

Is it really a players community? We probably understand by now it should be, but players should be concerned as they start to realize it is NOT. Is it really that the players have chosen such ‘owners’ to represent themselves, OR did such owners rather in the past choose THEMSELVES to represent the community?

There is a problem described by the author known as ‘Prometheus’s boon to man’ in which a certain ‘god’ related being has an incredibly important piece of knowledge for man (fire). In real life we can understand such a technological change as fire, MAY have been such a mind trip that the general population would fear and therefore shun it. Because of this, Prometheus must be careful to only reveal his knowledge to the most wisest sage (lest he be berated and ridiculed. We might not have experience with the internet to know and understand that the entire capitalistic hierarchy of today’s internet is perfectly set up to RESIST such knowledge!

It seems to the author this was the backing behind the creation of Run It Once, in that perhaps the creator of the site felt changes were needed to both the game AND the players community, and so they created their own ‘better’ version of these entities. But is this really a solution? Is a NEW community needed and is it a possible solution. The author thinks NOT. Rather the author feels that there is only ONE community that resides where it does, and the entire issue with the entire poker community resides exactly THERE!

Are there other proposals that might be both a gain for everyone and possibly mutually beneficial for all parties? Well definitely others have been proposed and not properly heard or evaluated, such as ‘the wealth of staking’ AND ‘staking 2.0’ which includes certain wisdoms from the incredible encyclopedia written by the pseudonym ‘nick szabo’ Both completely overly mod’d and allowed to be trolled to the point where many of the OP’s posts where deleted (and one of the thread deleted). Are these ideas about a new type of non Keynesian economics stupid like posters suggest? Or is it possible most of the players are not well versed on new economics as laid out by Nash who compared Keynesian thinking to past Bolsheviks?

There is another super important possibly mutual beneficial topic for the players to discuss (mutual for the players in their community and not necessarily anyone else). Decentralized poker is a new yet current technological change that the players face today (or perhaps without such a grip on the players community, yesterday).

Here’s a great explanation of the technological solutions the players face today (not yesterday): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-RmgOFvNII

Here is the only discussion allowed on the players community, about a solution to the current poker state that would instantaneously infuse the game with billions upon billions: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/idea-relating-new-regulation-decentralized-poker-software-1021113/

It’s in the ‘news-views-gossip’ section, but if there is one thing we know about news, its that the news is rigged, and following suit, such a thread gets buried every time a discussion begins on it. How is such a technological reality (and inevitability), a ‘view’ and a ‘gossip’?

Why isn’t the entire poker community being made aware of this truth?

Does poker stars know their business model is over? http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=42925520&postcount=1

Well we have an interesting comment by the Head of Poker Stars public relations:

People who are taking ‘newguy1234’ seriously would be well advised to read his previous posts.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43053220&postcount=117

Inherently, the whole point of a centralized system is dependent upon there being no central authority to make decisions.

I can’t imagine how you can apply that to poker when you need a central authority or host to repair cheating, prevent children playing and combating problem gambling.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43134385&postcount=136

Perhaps it would be a good idea to do this with a simpler card game without real money implications before trying to do it with Poker?

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=43301280&postcount=154

Of course newguy1234 is the author here referred to.

Is Poker Stars really oblivious to such technology, well of course the owners/business essentially resides/operates on the Isle of Man. And it wasn’t weeks later that this was announced http://www.gov.im/news/2014/jun/10/isle-of-man-to-control-digital-currencies/

With such an obvious failed business model in the light of new technology, what might seemingly intelligent people do as a reaction? Not days or weeks later this: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/amaya-agrees-acquire-rational-group-see-op-pokerstars-statement-1451606/

And yes the author was banned for posting these links in this ‘news’ thread, since such links were ‘obviously’ a derail. Is it good news? Is everyone emotionally excited and therefore not thinking rationally? Are we poker players?

Let’s see what Mat Sklansky has to say on the subject of the community being responsible for the players lack of freedom:

“since you feel our community is flawed, go elsewhere. it’s that simple.”

It IS simple sir:

Mason put it like this

“ So, please speak out when you think it’s appropriate to do so, and we’ll be able to get through this troubling period”

Nash put it like this:

And generally if games can be transformed from type (2) to type (1) there is a gain, on average, to all the players in terms of whatever might be expected to be the outcome.”

The author puts it like this:

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

……………………

“You cannot move poker without moving the community”

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