Despite the breadth of the IGC blacklist, there are
some difficulties in using it against premium poachers.
If the player manages to get the bonus at all, then
the house is probably not hip to what happened. If
the bonus hustler does it right, no single e-casino
account will reveal the practice. If the IGC chose
to begin collecting names of suspected bonus players,
they would be faced with a difficult problem of interpretation.
Chargebacks are easy; it either happened or it did
not. With bonuses, however, it is difficult to be
sure, because regular gamblers often show less action
than a skilled matchplayer. There is also great variation
in what e-casinos will tolerate. Names tagged as deadbeats
by one house would still be on the "A" list
Shared databases also can give rise to competitive
abuse - a web casino owner once joked to me that the
way to hold on to high rollers (the biggest marketing
challenge of the industry), is to tell all the other
e-casinos they are deadbeats. At least she laughed
like it was a joke.
Ragged as the process may be, getting blacklisted
for playing the bonuses is still a distinct possibility;
some of the cruder practitioners probably already
are. It is wise always to wager enough to avoid suspicion.
As the blacklist develops more sophisticated ways
of spotting patterns, the advantage player will need
to think not just about his record at one e-casino,
but about his entire history of play and the portrait
it presents. Bonus hustlers need to display the gamblers'
jagged chart of big wins and deep losses. How wide
should the swings be and how long the play? There
cannot be a single answer; just err on the side of
too much play - it does not cost that much in expected
value. Accept variance as an inevitable stress tax.
tournaments demand some deviations from the example
structure we identified for our single-table event.
You should definitely allow at least one re-buy, since
being eliminated immediately from a big event is such
a drag. (An add-on is another reasonable option.)
The last remaining players will have more chips in
a multi-table tournament than a single-table one,
requiring higher levels of blinds and perhaps a fourth
denomination of chip. Big tournaments are usually
designed to last most of the evening, so instead of
doubling the blinds each time, try a more gradual
increase through the early and middle levels. Finally,
the presence of more players means that you should
award prize money to more of them. Table 14.2 is an
example of a good structure and payout scheme for
a twenty-five-player tournament.