Poker is one of the most exciting games there is to play. However, mastering is not as straightforward as many would like to think. For players to succeed, a well-thought-out and in-depth array of strategies must be used. Because poker is so complex and has many rules that must be followed, the potential for mistakes is often high, which can lead to serious consequences like being banned from online poker platforms.
Poker players are typically banned from poker platforms for several reasons but the biggest reason is by far cheating. Cheating is one of the most rampant poker mistakes and yet the penalties that result from the act are not as severe as they should be. After the conclusion of WSOP this year, more professional poker players have been standing up to condemn online poker cheats with many even calling for an industry-wide blacklist.
In the last few years, Real-Time Assistance has also emerged as a big culprit to the integrity of poker. Unethical poker players use real-time assistance to aid their decision-making during cash games and tournaments. Because they give one an unfair advantage, almost all the major poker sites in the world have prohibited the use of Real-Time Analysers and tools.
For instance, in September 2020, GGPoker announced that it had banned 40 poker players and confiscated funds in some instances due to the use of real-time solvers. Since then, GGPoker has worked hard to upgrade its detection methods in its mission to create a fair environment for its customers.
GGPoker is giving those banned players a chance to come back
Not too long ago, GGPoker announced on Reddit that it would be giving banned players an opportunity to return to the platform and re-start their accounts. Players that were banned from the platform as a result of integrity issues will be allowed to state their cases and re-apply to be allowed to return to high-stakes tournaments on GGPoker once again.
GGPoker extended the olive branch to all banned players except those with severe infractions. Prospective poker players were given up to August 15th to make their applications via e-mail. Customers were asked to include their real names as well as their screen handles, dates of their bans, and accompanying reasons that led to their ban.,
Players were also required to submit a copy of their proof of identity and address. GGPoker announced that it would review the application requests on a case-by-case basis and make its decision by August 22nd. Although this extended olive branch has been applauded by some, many poker players appear to be frustrated that a platform as established as GGPoker would allow cheaters to return.
But the members of GGPoker’s Poker Integrity Council have stepped up to defend GGpoker’s bold decision. For instance, Jason Koon, who is a member of the Integrity Council, claims that most of the players banned for minor infractions do not deserve permanent bans. As such, GGPoker’s move to welcome them back into the fold is one that would advance the game instead of tearing it down.
Over the years, poker players have also been banned by various platforms over breaches such as multi-accounting and collusion. Multi-accounting is the act of playing more than one account as a means of gaining more entries to a tournament or hide one’s identity to gain an edge over competitors. Bots, which are programs designed to play poker online have also been a problem for years as they have become more advanced as technology has continued to improve.
GGPoker’s Integrity Council created to uphold truthfulness in poker
Recently in July, GGPoker announced that it has created the Poker Integrity Council created to identify and blacklist cheaters in poker. The council was created to investigate and prevent instances such as those discussed above. The Council will carry out fair reviews across the industry and investigate all reports and allegations of cheating.
The council will also be in charge of imposing sanctions and punishments for some of the biggest rule breakers. The poker council is expected to be made up of different poker community members and will serve as an independent body investigating suspicious gameplay at tournaments organized by GGPoker.
The Council announced that it would be relying on a 3-point system to investigate and punish cheaters in poker. The first point will involve the detection of suspicious poker players using nefarious tactics such as botting or using real-time assistance to best others. The second point will consist of a ruling among the council members to decide whether the players deserve to be disciplined or not while the third will involve reviews.
The disciplinary action that is determined will be based on the severity of the wrongdoing. The punishments offered up will range from the issuance of warnings to permanent bans. In severe cases, funds will also be confiscated. Industry-wide blacklisting will only be reserved for severe transgressions, as well as for repeat offenders.
To make sure that poker players with transgressions are punished appropriately, the Poker Integrity Council will work hand in hand with some of the largest poker tournaments, tours, and venues including WSOP, Poker After Dark, World Poker Tour, and more.
The creation of the poker council is a massive and crucial step towards creating a competitive poker space that is free and fair for all. Making sure that online poker is safe for everyone is what will ultimately advance the game and help it grow even further.
Online poker cheating has been a topic of debate since the conclusion of the WSOP series recently. Professional poker players, especially those specializing in high stakes games, have been asking for an industry wide blacklist for years and GGPoker’s Poker Integrity Council will see that the instances of cheating are reduced greatly.
Cheaters on the poker table aren’t new. However, the techniques and tools that unethical poker players are using are advancing at an alarming rate, thus making it harder to find and punish the culprits. GGpoker’s latest initiative will offer some much-needed reassurance and peace of mind to players that something is being done to resolve the problem.