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The Bottom Line -As We See It


We take such whiners with a grain of salt, since we both know people who win regularly online. Since it's to their advantage to keep their success to themselves, they usually don't get on a public forum like RGP to play devil's advocate. However, we do hear from them occasionally, and their letters confirm the presence of winning players online-just as there are winning players offline. Some folks are collecting cash-out checks from the online poker casinos or accumulating winnings in FIRE-PAY.COM or NETELLER.COM accounts. We simply don't hear much from them as often because they're happy campers. We hear much more from the losers - the folks who need to vent, look for answers. or in some cases, seek absolution for playing leaks or lack of discipline. We've heard all this stuff before - and long before Internet poker came along.

So as far as we're concerned, the high percentage of losers online simply mirrors the high percentage of losers offline. When it comes to the preponderance of poker losers over poker winners, there's nothing new under the sun - or in cyberspace.

The truth of the matter is that online poker casinos have a heavily vested interest in maintaining games integrity, just as their brick and mortar cousins do. Knowing clients would evaporate overnight if colluders. hackers, and other cheaters spoiled the games, online poker casino entrepreneurs are engaged in an ongoing cyber-war against them - it's just smart business.

While nothing's perfect, we believe the vast majority of online games provide an astonishingly random shuffle, split-second synchronized action with computer-perfect accounting of bets and pots, and nothing more or less than the vicissitudes of normal poker in a netherworld setting.
By normal poker, we mean the frustrations of facing the usual brew of bad beats, back-to-back rotten catches turning wonderful starting hands into worthless rags, in-your-face gamblers making one and two-outers, flop lag woes, promising draws leading nowhere but the muck pile, and dreary rounds of awful hands culminating in a snapped off set of aces. It's all part of the games - both online and off. And in both places, discipline and knowledge prevail over time.

Granted, you don't hear from the winners as often as you do from the gripers and whiners on RGP who aren't sharing the loot. In fact, you don't hear from them much at all. But consider: When you think of the solid players in your offline home or casino games, do they gripe and make a lot of noise or just smile and count their money? Do they walk around advertising their wins or just keep silent? And what do the losers do? They gripe a lot. Right?

OK, now mentally transplant to the Internet that same parade of losing players shadowed by a few quietly smiling winners and you'll get the picture. It's far less sinister - and a lot more normal poker - than a small but noisy coterie of whiners would have you believe. That's our view. for what it's worth.

That said, let's take a look at some of the state-of-the-art technology involved in ensuring fair cyberspace games:

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