There is an old saying that goes along the lines of “There is nothing stranger than folk”, this is very true and in the poker fraternity is absolutely bang on. We regularly sit around tables in pubs, clubs and casinos every week with one intention, to take as much money from the others at the table as possible. The thing with poker though is whilst we are doing this, all across the country strong friendships are formed, this doesn’t go to say that we take it easy on each other, far from it. Poker also breeds respect for other players, you may be best friends with the person you are heads up with or you could be mortal enemies but you do respect their game and more often than not the games will end in a respectful handshake and a mumbled “well played”
Social media is another place where poker friendships are formed, it is also a great place to show off your latest bink or even a place to berate someone who calls with dross and puts a bad beat on you. I personally have many people as friends on my Facebook who I have never met in real life, as I am sure many others have. This is where problems can arise. Step forward the “Scammer”.
Scammer’s are in my opinion the lowest of the low in the poker world; they are there with the sole purpose of making money, not by beating a player fair and square, but by cheating them mostly by confidence fraud.
I know of a few instances of this and scams can be done in many ways, the most common one I know is selling action on oneself to up to 300% and not even playing the tournament or satelliting-in for a much less cost and pocketing the money.
What seems to be the norm for scammers is that they ultimately get found out and sometimes “Outed” on social media sites. This is all well and good but what actual effect does it have in the long term? I am aware of a particular case where somebody has recently been outed for a second time.
Now there isn’t anywhere you can check on somebody’s integrity i.e. The Scammers Hall of Infamous Trysts, or the SHIT Register for short, but there must be further action to eradicate these people from the game we love. As a respected professional player put it recently, “People like this make stakers think twice before giving someone a shot”, that means that somebody of decent character who has enjoyed a run of good results may be denied getting paid into an event that they wouldn’t normally have a chance of playing for a percentage of their action. A definite case of the few spoiling it for the majority (How many times have we heard that?).
The ONLY way to deal with undesirable individuals who scam is very simple, they MUST be reported to the authorities who in the recent case of Darren Woods have proved that they take this kind of situation seriously and will take action against the individuals.