This incredulously useful web site of mine has a highly gambling-targeted audience. That's so because of the unique perspective I offer to a majority of intelligent visitors. This is the haven of mathematics and theory of probability most naturally connected to gambling. Unique ideas and notable theories are accompanied by one-of-a-kind software. Again, incredibly, all that stuff is offered for free to each and every visitor, no strings attached!
I have been constantly contacted by gambling establishments with business propositions. Especially, I received advertising requests from online casinos. My opinion on online casinos, Internet gambling in general, is exposed in negative tones by yours truly. Therefore, I had rejected all advertising requests from and for online casinos.
On the other hand, I acknowledge that some forms of online gambling can pass the test of integrity. Sports betting and horse racing meet the standards of integrity for the reason that the results are beyond the control of an online gambling establishment. That is, the results are for real, NOT the outcome of an out-of-sight random number generator!
One more gambling form can meet the integrity requirements in online gambling: poker. The online casino does not care who wins and who loses at poker. The house charges a commission to the winning. That percentage is usually 10%, much like the straight-up bet in sports gambling. In the physical casinos, too, the house charges the winner(s) - therefore the casino cares less who the winner is!
And that's how my decision has been made. I received requests from a gaming establishment named PartyGaming. I didn't know who they were, until I saw the name PartyPoker. I watch poker tournaments on TV (Texas Hold'em) and I remembered a frequent ad by PartyPoker. I checked the link and discovered a company listed on London Stock Exchange. The company, PartyGaming is headquartered in Gibraltar.
I tested the poker room for fun, not for real money. I lost my bankrolls several times in the very beginning. It took me a while to get used to the virtual poker rooms and the software. I became comfortable and I won big. In one hour I jumped from $2,000 to $12,000! Trick: I kept records of the main parameters (previous community cards, my cards, etc.). Of course, you can't do that in a casino! In a brick-and-mortar casino, your memory is your only record-keeping tool!
In brief, I decided to offer advertising for PartyPoker. I placed their banner on several pages at www.saliu.com. I do not urge you to make unwise decisions. Your decision to play poker for real money is entirely yours. I can only assess that the probability of integrity is pretty high in this particular case of playing poker online (Texas Holdem at PartyPoker).
This thing is experimental, however. I am not sure how it will work. Am I really paid for every player who comes from my website and who opens an account? It's wait-and-see at this time…
I am not insinuating that you should put my interest first. You should, and you will, put your interest first. I only wish you the best of luck!
Editor's Note - July 11, 2006
I had second thoughts. Also, I received a note from an online poker player. Online poker is not the same as online sports betting. Poker can be fixed.
Indeed, the house takes 10% from the poker winner. But, I was asked and I asked myself, why settle for 10% when you can get 100%? It's the million-dollar question. The point is you, the honest player, see nothing of what happens in the cyber house. The online casino can create their own players - who can win at will.
I heard of one real player losing 50 hands in a row! I concur. I played for fun and did not have a winning hand in many, many hands. My best hand was two pairs - eaten up by a flush on the river! In fact, online poker sites admit that they RATE the players. Then, they match poker players by strength! If they rate, they can create! They analyze the players, although a fair random generator does NOT do that! Thus, a random generator is just one element in the grand scheme of things!
Horse racing is also a bad bet online. I saw they pay 300 to 1 for a trifecta. The only real advantage at horseracing is the high-paying trifectas. It is rare, but a trifecta can pay 30,000 to 1, or more! The online wagering facility makes a big profit from those high-paying trifectas.
Sports betting remains the only online gambling form that can't be fixed. But I heard of some tricks - attempts at cheating, that is. The online casinos change the point spread, for example. Or, there is the most flagrant form of fraud. A group of unscrupulous investors open an online casino in a small island nation in the Caribbean. Those governments would do anything to get extra revenue. The unscrupulous investors wait patiently until they get a large number of customers. Them guys make a few millions, transfer the funds into secret Swiss bank accounts - then they fold up shop. They simply disappear! With players' money...
Final Editor's Note - August 26, 2006
I decided to cancel the online advertising for PartyPoker. It does NOT work for an affiliate. Even if it had worked for me, I would have dropped the advertising nevertheless: Fraud. The possibility of fraud, actually massive cheating, is very possible.
• First, the economics. My web site displayed the PartyPoker banner over 2000 times a day. That's a sizable number. If only one in 2000 had decided to register, it would have amounted to some 30 paid accounts a month. That's what I thought. I know, other affiliates think the same way.
I did not get one single paid account in one month! Clicking on the banner from my web site did not show the referral number in the address bar. The guys at PartyPoker assured me that the ID tracker was not lost. If a would-be customer clicked on the 'Download Now' button, it had a hidden ID number regarding my affiliate account.
Most visitors to my web site are intelligent people. They do not register immediately. They want to know a lot more how it works. So, they read several pages at PartyPoker to gain a good idea of the risks. No doubt about it, playing poker online, with real money, involves a serious risk. The risk is so big, that I do not recommend anybody play poker online for real money. You will be pillaged - sooner, rather than later!
After reading a few pages at PartyPoker, the tracker ID of an affiliate gets lost. If a visitor wants to register - after visiting several pages at PartyPoker - he or she appears to be a first time visitor. Therefore, my affiliate account gets no credit for a new customer. I received an email soon after I decided to advertise for PartyPoker.
"Ion, I can't believe you are such an idiot! You offer FREE advert for an online casino. I registered as a player BUT I WAS ASKED HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT PARTYPOKER!!!"
I sent that message to the marketing branch of PartyPoker. Again, they assured me that the tracker ID does not get lost. I understand now better. The tracker ID doesn't get lost only if the would-be customer clicks IMMEDIATELY on the 'Play Now' button! I never do that. Nobody should do that immediately, without reading more information!
I also played online poker at PartyPoker, in parallel to my advertising business. Playing without money is a must. You must learn very well how the system (software, etc.) works. I lost my bankroll several times soon after I started. The player has 30 seconds to make decisions. The 'Dealer' (D) button is not easy to see. In a few words, it takes a few trials before you learn how the online poker works. I would have lost lots of money, had I played with real money directly. Every would-be online poker player should do the same thing: Read a lot and play without real money a long time before you register as a real-money player.
• • The second issue of this note is corruption. I strongly believe now that online poker is badly rigged. It is not like online sportsbetting, where the outcome is real. The online ventures do not have that much power and influence to dictate the results of sports events. For example, if they try to fix NFL games, the FBI would eat them alive in a short time!
For the sake of argument, let's assume for a moment that the online casino provides a fraud-free poker game. After all, they get a 5%-10% commission from the winner. If total winnings amount to $10,000,000 a day, the online casino gains one million dollar a day. It's a pretty good amount of money.
Now, a bunch a poker guys get organized. Let's say, four guys. Them guys open an office with several Internet connections from several Internet Service Providers (ISP). One player can play at least two hands at a time, using two computers with two different Internet connections. If two of the organized-crime team players play at the same poker table, they control at least four hands. Now, tell me who could beat you as a poker player if you are dealt four hands and select the best one(s) for you? The unassuming players get eaten alive by the organized-crime team!
At the poker table in a physical casino: Such things could happen. But it is much easier to spot if other players communicate secretly.
The second issue of corruption is far worse. Unfortunately, it is also far more real. I believe now it is what happens in online poker. The house gets 10%, right? But why settle for 10%, when you can get as easily 100%?
As I said above, an online poker player complained to me that he had lost some 50 hands in a row! He said he had complained to the online casino to no avail. I also testify that I lost several hands in a row, probably more than 20. My best hand was two pairs! That's the best deal I got in some 20 consecutive hands!
I had an even worse experience not long ago. I was in a room with high rollers. Several players had huge bankrolls. Most of them started to lose their money steadily. I was one of two players who were gaining ground. After my bankroll became the second largest, I noticed I started to lose, no matter what. I had very good deals, like Ace and High, or Ace and Low suited, even Pair of Aces! Regardless, I would lose to the same player, the one with the highest bankroll! I lost three hands in a row to him guy! The rest of the players in the poker room lost everything. They all left the room. The fourth hand. Pair of Aces for me? Went All-in. The guy was with me. He had Ace_High. I made three Aces! Hurrah! Guess what? The guy made his straight - on the river, of course!
Nope! I don't buy it, crocodilule! It defies theory of probability. It is flagrant defiance! Yeah, they tell you matter of fact that the coin toss can register 100 'tails' in a row!
This is exactly IT. No see, no trust! You can see a football game. You can see the players, you can see the referees. You CANNOT see the players in an online poker room. They can mark you easily and then they pit you against a virtual poker player that represents the online casino. The virtual poker player will eat you alive!
Forget about oversight in Internet gambling! It is food for idiots. I receive a magazine from a company who claims unbiased rating of online gambling casinos and sportsbooks. Many readers receive it free in the mail. It is called 'Insiders Betting Digest'.
The most important element in assessing a RECOMMENDED online gambling facility by 'Insiders Betting Digest' is the licensing and regulating agency. In their view, the most trusted such licensing agency must be this one: Kahnawake Gaming Commission near Montreal, Canada. "Location and Legitimacy is never at issue," 'Insiders Betting Digest' says.
Why is that? I asked myself. I visited the web site of that famous licensing agency, the model of Internet gambling integrity. Oh, well, it is an Indian tribe a few miles south of Montreal, Quebec. The commission consists of three persons. I bet you, the three Indian tribe persons have never, ever seen a line of software source code! Not because they are Indians! Take any blue-eyed, blonde Yankee members of a county commission in the USA. Chances are huge that all of them are virtual computer illiterates. They have never, ever seen a line of software source code!
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission charges $10,000 as an application fee - refundable if the application is rejected. It also charges $15,000 as an operational fee (non-refundable)! The applicants probably swear they are good, honest guys, and they pay $25,000 and get the license. Ask the Commission if they checked the source code. "What code?" they would ask in their French-accented, Indian-accented English. "You mean the cod...the fish?"
I am happy my online advertising did NOT lead to financial losses for the visitors of my web site. I truly apologize for my mistake. The main thing is we all should learn from our mistakes. The powerful lesson is: Do NOT trust online poker. Do NOT trust online gambling! The only exception is sportsbetting, where they are unable to alter the results in their favor.
Internet gambling should be trusted only and only if regulated by strongly rule-of-law inclined governments, such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia…and a few other. Also important, the regulation must be established at the highest level: National. Forget about the tribes that every nation on earth is comprised of…
”Prime Minister Tony Blair
Has never written software:
He had dreams of being king,
Not DIMensioning the string$.
Yet, Law provides him the mode
To check every source of code."