I write this as I prepare to enter my first WSOP Main Event in less than 24 hours. While I love playing live poker, and I’ve even appeared on Poker Night in America, I miss playing online. Before Black Friday, I would play several hours a week, but always tournaments or low-stakes cash games. The reason that I stayed in the lowest stakes is that, as a computer security professional, I know too much to be comfortable online. I simply don’t trust my own computer, mostly because I know how easy it is for an attacker to place malware on my machine that I would never notice. In fact, I could do it to others myself. It’s actually quite easy.
Be sure to check out Cardplayer Lifestyle’s online poker security section.
So, this past year, I’ve been on a crusade to make online poker more secure. To that end, I wrote an Op-Ed that was published in my local paper, the Baltimore Sun, called “Online Poker: Deal Me In”. To actually address the problem, I’m building a prototype online poker system, using some open source poker tools, where your hole cards stay off of your computer. To illustrate, here is a simple and (hopefully) humorous video that explains why I am doing this and how my system works.
I hope you find the above video to be informative and useful. I also set up a project web site called Secure Online Poker where you can see the video, read a white paper about this idea, and find further information. If my project, or online poker security in general, is something that interests you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at [email protected].
Ed. Note: While we primarily write about poker here at Cardplayer Lifestyle, it should be noted that cyber security issues of course extend beyond online poker rooms to online casinos as well. The relatively new online casinos that operate out of New Jersey, for example, or those more established ones that accept players from other countries around the world, like Royal Vegas Casino, go to great lengths to ensure that player funds are safe and that all gameplay is fair and secure. With online poker, however, there’s the element of playing against other players, as opposed to just the house. That’s why we support ideas such as those proffered above by Professor Rubin, which will undoubtedly enhance the security of online poker play.