Trust No One - And Do Your Own Data Mining
"Trust Everyone, but always cut the cards" is a well known saying by Benny Binion.
With online poker, we should probably change that to "Trust no one and do your own data mining."
When the first reports came out regarding Jose Macedo, the "Portuguese Poker Prodigy," I was among the players that called bullshit. A lot about the story seemed fabricated and read like the poker equivalent of the "Movie of the Week."
Now after multiple people have been scammed and multiple incidents of cheating admitted to by Macedo, Qureshi, and now even Dan Cates, it appears that a lot of the hype around him was outright fabricated and people were putting their faith in other people's words without doing their own due diligence.
I understand that a lot of things in the poker world go down due to someone giving their word to a player.
A guy tells his buddy a guy is good and that he should stake him. The guy stakes a player based on his buddy's word. More times than not, transactions go down based on a person's word. I get that.
The problem is that the premise is fundamentally flawed. You cannot always trust the words of people in this game, even if they are your friends.
In many cases, the person has a skewed view of their friend's ability or has a vested interest in the player. In a way, it is like a MLM.
The person buys into the player and tries to sell you on the same thing. Of course, many times both players end up losing all the money they invested and the only person getting any money is the initial player. Â And that money usually gets lost as well at the tables or in some other form.
I also don't get how you can stake someone $100,000 based on your friend's word. Whatever happened to checking out a person's stats or, heaven forbid, watching them play in a game?
If someone is trying to get you to play in a game and trying to sell you on playing against someone, take some time and try and figure out why they are so intent on getting you in that game.
Chances are it will benefit them in some way. This makes perfect sense to me.
I know that when I used to play in home games, we were extra friendly to the fish and tried to sell the game hard. We always liked getting in fresh meat.
Finally, don't believe the hype on every so called up and coming online poker player. All the poker news agencies, including this one, will give you the skinny on the player and their background.
However, watch their stats and find out whether the hype is really just that. The pretenders will either go broke or be exposed as frauds.
The truly great players will shine. And the Isildur1's of the world will probably get sponsored by PokerStars.