Lots of people think online poker is rigged. They think that people are colluding in teams to whipsaw innocent bystanders out of pots (possible), that some accounts can see the hole cards of other players (did happen), that some accounts know what board cards are coming (pretty sure this is impossible because sites use continuous shuffling), or that sites actually go so far as to rig the cards in order to make pots bigger and therefore generate more rake (simply absurd). The argument for this last point is that "you see horrible beats all the time, there's just no way that should happen that often." The counter-argument to that is that you see so many more hands online (I know guys that 8 table short handed games, playing close to 1000 hands an hour....I'm lucky if I play 1500 hands a week) that you'll see beats more frequently.
In the last week I have seem some pretty serious shit from a probabilistic point of view. I saw MG go all in on the flop and turn over AA on a board of A84-8-J. As he's tabling his hand with that weird MG grin on his face the other guy with a hand can only muster "believe it or not, that's no good" while tabling quad 8s. How often should aces full run into quads? I don't really want to figure it out because I am close to end-stage food coma right now (when going out to dinner with Danielle you will inevitably hear these words...."I wish we'd just split something, I'm so full I'm going to explode. Can I see the dessert menu? Yes I'll have the mud pie cake with oreo shell the size of a cantaloupe." Yet somehow I'm the one toeing the obesity line, with a BMI of 28.2, while she could comfortable fit down one leg of the jeans I have from high school that I keep dreaming someday I'll be able to wear again) but it can't be often. I heard stories (corroborated by multiple sources) that a certain human being lost 17 racks of chips in the Garden City 40/80 half kill game. That's 17 racks of chips. 1700 individual chips. Worth $10 each. Have you ever had 1700 of something? That's 3400 foot long subway sandwiches. That's enough money to go on Jared's diet for nearly a decade. Sure, most of the play was 4-handed against tough, aggressive biggish game regulars. But this has to be like a 4 or 5 sigma event. But I don't know, I've heard about such a 17 rack loss twice now, the other being in a 3 chip 6 chip game, so I don't know.
And finally, I saw Hammerin Hank flop a royal flush. He raised under the gun and got a couple of cold calls from late position, then checked the QJT all clubs flop. His female opponent bet, a megafish called, and he check/raised. Already alarm bells were going off in my head that something was up. What hand would Hank check/raise with here? Just monsters....and on that board, what monsters are there that he'd raise under the gun with? The woman called and the fish folded after what seemed like 2 minutes of thought. A 4th club hit on the turn and Hank led out. The woman folded, and Hank looked distraught. "He flopped a royal flush!" I cried out and Hank tabled the goods for good measure. A bru-haha ensued and Steve the floor man was alerted that Hank deserved some sort of jackpot bonus for flopping a royal. 10 minutes later he returned.
"Ladies and gentleman, our good friend Hank just flopped a royal flush, and has won the following collection of prizes"
"Bay 101 stationary"
1 by 1.5 inch post-it note used for seat change lists.
"Bay 101 pen"
"Bay 101 lighter"
A pack of matches
"Bay 101 h'ourderve"
A packet of jelly.
"Bay 101 facial"
A hand wipe.
"And Bay 101 flatware"
With great flourish Steve tossed each object to Hank, and there was much rejoicing. Afterward he lamented "It was close, we were out of h'ourderves so I had to go to the back and get this one." This got me to thinking, "How rare of an event is this?" Here's the math:
If I play 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year, I will play 2000 hours a year. Assuming I see 40 hands an hour, thats 80,000 hands a year. The chances of flopping a royal flush (making a royal with 5 cards) are about 1 in 650,000.
4 possible royals / (52 choose 5) possible five card hands.
4/(52!/(47! * 5!))
Trust me....that's about what it is. If you see every flop with every suited broadway combo (which is far from true...I folded one yesterday and should have folded another today) you'd flop a royal once every 8 years if you played 40 hours a week. So for government work, which is all we're striving for here, once a decade is a good estimate. Now that's rare.