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Progressive Jackpot Is Increased


First of all, let's examine the level of the jackpot before it is increased, or just after a jackpot has been paid off. There is no set standard to determine at what level the progressive jackpot begins. In some small casinos, it is set at a measly $5,000, but most casinos begin it at $10,000. The Horseshoe in Las Vegas starts it at $50,000, but this is a rare exception. Every time a player puts a dollar token or coin in the progressive slot, a portion of that coin is applied to the progressive jackpot. The more applied, the more quickly the jackpot increases. Just how much of that $1 is applied to incrementing the jackpot? The figure varies from casino to casino. The best estimate is somewhere between 45 and 75 cents, with the mean average about 50. Thus, in most casinos, half or more of the $1 bet on the jackpot is retained as profit. The most liberal paybacks on the progressive jackpot seem to be at the Mirage and Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.

Information Makes Prolonged Collusion Almost Impossible
You've already seen how hand histories can provide you with data you never could assemble in a B&M room, but Internet poker rooms collect many other types of information that makes a colluder's life appropriately miserable:

- If two people have ever accessed the poker room from the same computer at different times (a common way for one colluder to show a would-be partner how it all works), most rooms can track that.
- Players must typically provide a real name and a valid mailing address to collect winnings. A lone player with five accounts may find it easy enough to find friends who will accept mail for him, but will they accept Internet poker checks in their names, cash them, and hand over the money?
- Identical area codes and/or zip codes increase collusion likelihood and get flagged automatically. It can be difficult to get multiple different telephone number exchanges (the first three numbers) at the same address, so even if a player finds four friends to accept checks for him, a red flag appears when multiple players have not merely the same area code but also the same exchange.
- Most rooms can track how often two players play at the same table. In large cardrooms, there are often ten or more tables going that feature the same game at the same limit. If two players routinely play at the same table in these situations, they'd better come up smelling like roses in their betting patterns.
- If someone complains or requests an investigation, better rooms assign live personnel to watch suspected colluders. Once that happens, it's easy to spot questionable betting practices or timing lags that make it likely two or more players are conferring before acting.
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