Very recently, PokerStars organized a promotion to celebrate the 70 Billionth Hand dealt as apart of its Road to 100 Billion Hands. PokerStars is by far the world’s largest poker room in the world and it has taken ten years for 70 billion hands to be dealt in cash games. To our knowledge, it will take several years for other poker sites to reach this milestone.
PokerStars offers promotions for achieving certain milestones such as every 5 billionth hand dealt by the online poker site in cash game play. The 70 Billionth hand promotion was met by strong protest from many unhappy players who were upset with the manner in which the winners won the $70,000 Grand Prize. Many of you were probably playing at the same time as this was taking place.
The players who were involved in the milestone hand were from Germany who were playing heads up at $0.25/$0.50. The players who won the prize were “koenigskebap” and “DodgeUrOuts” and the strategy used was by folding every hand (called open folding or fast folding). Both players were able to play together on 24 tables simultaneously and probably clock about 400 hands per table per hour without costing them any money since when you fold a hand pre-flop, no rake is taken by the poker room.
This strategy allowed them to play more hands per minute which allowed them to increase the probability of having the 70 Billionth hand dealt at their table which is exactly what happened and this caused many other players feeling cheated or defrauded and complaints were made to PokerStars. They players were lucky they didn’t fold the hand which dealt a flop of and the winner of the hand was “koenigskebap” who won with a pair of Aces.
After an evaluation, PokerStars decided that it would honour the $70,000 prize to the two players while admitting that the practice of “fast-folding” is perhaps not in the spirit of the promotion, it is not a violation of the rules of the promotion. Of course, this decision was not well received by the other players and people watching were calling them cheaters in the chatbox.
The reality is that there were probably many other players using a similar approach and in the end, given how many hands the site deals every minute, it would have been a crap shoot anyhow.
Below you can view a video posted on Youtube where another player describes what happened and shows video of the game play from “koenigskebap” and “DodgeUrOuts”.