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You had me but you lost me - PurePlay Poker
For the past many months, I've been playing a free online poker game called "PurePlay Poker". I've built up a 2M chip balance from a starting balance of 1K. I quit tonight in the middle of a game…
There are so many things to like about PurePlay. For starters, they offer chances at cash prizes and WSOP entries—not bad for a free service. I probably should stay around long enough to try to win something, now that I think about it. I've got a huge balance I could draw down.
PurePlay enforces realistic poker rules (something more rare than you'd think in the free online games). They have a really active human-based service for reporting obnoxious and abusive behavior and handling customer complaints. Their uptime is reasonable.
PurePlay is Flash-based, which is the norm, if not great. Their Flash seems to be better than most, at least: I rarely have noticed problems with it. Beats having to have a Windows executable anyhow.
So why, with all this goodness, should I bail? Simply put, PurePlay's shuffling has never been good, and in the last month or so it has gotten ridiculous. Crazy numbers of quads, but no straight flushes, for example. Lots and lots of pocket aces, kings and queens, ace-kings, etc; often on the same hand. I could go on and on but I am convinced, after the play I just watched tonight, that PurePlay is broken.
I complained some months ago to PurePlay, before it got really bad. I offered to work as a consultant and help them out—I have some expertise in SW engineering and even in shuffling. The poor line employee who responded to my email was adamant that they were using a certified random (pseudo-random) number generator. Good for them. Entirely misses a whole range of possible fails, but good for them.
I only care about how horrible the shuffling is because I don't want to learn bad habits for my offline game, and because it's a lot less fun to play when you do odds calculations in your head all the time and they bear no relation to reality. Don't get me wrong here: the fail is in my favor a large percentage of the time. I'm not complaining because I'm losing, but because I'm not even winning right.
Anyway, maybe I'll play out all the money and "poker points" (3K) that I've accumulated. But basically I am done with PurePlay. I guess I'll probably be playing a lot less poker for a while—good sites are really hard to find. I should be playing less anyway, so it's probably just as well.