Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Mistake at Cake

Cake PokerKind of a weird story from Cake Poker -- a site on which I do not play, although have thought about opening an account there. Apparently during a microstakes no-limit hold’em hand played yesterday afternoon, the pot was shipped to the wrong player.

The hand involved two players named “dimondidenko” and “d0nkeyk0ng9.” Of course, on Cake one can change one's username once per week, so I suppose these players don't always go by those nicks. I believe the hand was actually played on Doyle’s Room, a skin of Cake.

It was a $0.02/$0.04 game of NLHE, and all the money went in preflop with dimondidenko holding KdKh and d0nkeyk0ng9 AhQs. The board ran out 4c4h8h6h9h, yet for some reason the $5.36 pot was not awarded to d0nkeyk0ng9 who rivered the nut flush, but to dimondidenko who ended with a king-high flush.

A thread started on Two Plus Two shortly after the hand occurred, and while at first it appeared the whole thing might be a bunch of applesauce, Lee Jones, Cake Poker Cardroom Manager, quickly jumped on to confirm that “Unfortunately, at the moment, this appears to be real.”

Jones went on to note how “bizarre” the occurrence was to have “have happened this one time out of the tens of millions of hands we've dealt,” adding that “our software people have dropped everything else to track this down.” Jones added that he’d be coming back with an update as soon as they found out what happened with the hand. He later returned to the thread in the early evening to report that Cake was pausing its servers for 20-30 minutes “so we can put some logging in to watch and see if anything happens again.”

The thread continued throughout the night, with some stating their intentions to cash out of Cake, while others used the occasion to voice other complaints about the software. And a few brought up the hand on UltimateBet from December 2008 in which Phil Hellmuth was erroneously awarded a pot in a limit hold’em hand ($400/$800 stakes). If you don’t remember that one, see “Honey, I Was Supposed to Lose That Hand!

“What a wonderful day in online poker,” added one poster who found the whole situation amusing. “I am still waiting for 2 aces of spades to be dealt. That would be cool.”

My iPhone cheated!That comment made me think of this little time-waster I have on my iPhone called “Heads Up Hold’em” which allows one to play quick NLHE tourneys (with blinds rising every three hands) either against the computer or another player. Generally works pretty well, although once I lost a hand in which I flopped two small pair, but the computer rivered me when the board paired and it held two aces. Then I looked more closely at what my opponent had -- two aces of spades! (See screenshot at left.)

No idea how that happened on the iPhone game. Nor have I much clue how mistakes like the one that apparently happened on Cake Poker yesterday and UB before can occur, although Greylocks offers a good explanation there in the comments to that post about the UB hand that helps demystify things a bit -- check it out.

As far as I know, we still await word this morning of an explanation of what happened at Cake. Not sure how much an incident/story like this will affect Cake’s ability to attract players, or if it even registers much with most. I think everyone appreciates Jones hopping into the thread and immediately showing both that he takes the matter seriously and is desirous to communicate all he can about it -- not exactly the sort of openness we’ve seen previously from others when such situations have arisen on their sites.

I probably won’t be opening an account at Cake soon, not so much because of any worries about the site (at the moment) but mainly because I’m presently content with the sites on which I do play (PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Bodog), both in terms of their functionality, the games they offer, and my experiences with support.

Interesting to think how a mistake like this can happen, though, and perhaps how other, less obvious mistakes (e.g., those that don’t involve the wrongful awarding of a pot to a losing hand) might happen as well without our being aware.

On to other things... like this here big ol’ milestone of a post I have for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

(EDIT [added 2/4/10, 3:30 p.m.]: Lee Jones returned to the thread this afternoon with a further update, plus a promise to send $500 to any player who finds -- and Cake confirms -- that he or she was involved in a hand in which there was a wrongly pushed pot. See here for more.)

(EDIT [added 2/5/10]: More illustration of the right way to handle these situations -- Jones came back on Two Plus Two yesterday with an explanation of how the snafu occurred, plus further info on how Cake plans to handle it [and any future such mistake, should it somehow arise]. Click here to see Jones’ explanation.)

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Blogger Unknown said...

Dude, I designed that little iPhone game (and so I've got a pretty good idea of what the screen looks like) and those Aces-of-spades have been PhotoShopped in. Nice try, though. And well done--it would fool most people. :-)

(PS: Bluetooth 2-player games are coming in the next version of Heads Up. You'll like those.)

2/17/2010 6:31 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Haha, I swear no photoshopping on that screenshot. I do recall there was some sort of hiccup midgame -- not sure what -- that caused the glitch, but I promise no funny stuff with the pic.

Have enjoyed the game for sure, and look forward to next version.

2/17/2010 6:49 PM  

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