Jita, The Forge - Unsanctioned gambling has become a popular pastime among pod pilots. Large bets are placed weekly, giving capsuleers a chance of winning huge sums of ISK.
New Eden's capsuleers have always shown a peculiar appetite for gambling and neocom games like Selene D'Celeste's EVE Online Hold'Em poker games (EOH) are slowly gaining strength among them as a potential income generator.
According to Selene, a daily average of 200-300 capsuleers direct their neocom browsers to EOH's site and almost two thousand pilots have reportedly connected during the last 30 days.
While most bets are placed into the 30-100 million ISK range, a number of high stakes games are also played. During such games, it is not uncommon to see between half and two billion ISK laid on the table. "All in all, a few hundred billion ISK is being bet every week," Selene D'Celeste explains.
Capsuleers who regularly participate in these poker games share stories of wins and losses. Last month, a capsuleer who goes by the name of Dante Edmundo won a total of one billion ISK. "Winning a billion ISK on a weekend ... [is] pretty darn good," he says.
There are also capsuleers who have lost large amounts of ISK in these games. Mynxee, one of EOH bankers, describes how pilots can get addicted to poker: "it's a bit tragic... I've seen some lose billions and billions and just keep coming back for more, asking for loans, selling all their stuff to get ISK."
Some capsuleers become discouraged early and avoid the trap of addiction. After her first (and last) seat at the poker table, and losing it all, Mussolinka says: "some might call it bad luck, others could suspect the games being set up... I will never play EOH in the future again... it's foolishly easy to have most of the table work together and then split the winning," she laments.
Cheating at poker is always a possibility and EOH organizers have to constantly keep a watchful eye on their tables: just recently IDLE alliance's members found themselves temporarily banned from EOH's games because one of their capsuleers was suspected of pushing his fellow capsuleers to cheat.
"Luckily these kinds of incidents are rare, but we do always take them seriously," explains Selene D'Celeste, adding that IDLE's members were ultimately unbanned due to lack of evidence. "Such bans do happen when we have evidence, but do not stay otherwise," she concluded.
EOH is not the only neocom-game available to capsuleers and shares the market with lotteries and sports betting. It is certain that New Eden's pilots consider gambling as a source of revenue and devote alot of time to it, and sometimes all their ISK as well.
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