It turns out that at Party, you can change your screen name once every 6 months. And if you are Platinum Elite, you can change your sn once a month. Really?!? Allowing your high volume regulars to get an advantage over the rest of the playing field? Nice. As an aside, I think allowing screen name changes is just completely absurd... there is just something inherently dishonest about allowing identity changes in a competitive endeavor. And any advantages gained from the frequent name changes brings up other problems. Now that Stars has set a precedent and put down the hammer on PTR, one of the main arguments for name changes is gone.
But here is the dumb thing about how Party decided to implement the name changes and how I got scammed... OLD SCREEN NAMES ARE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO USE! If you are going to allow screen name changes, at the very least, allow for a 3 month or so delay before an old name becomes usable again!!! So basically, a nit reg can take a used sn of some fish or aggro lagtard, and the rest of the player pool will think they are playing against the old player. He 3bets only his nuts (because he is a nit), and everyone will stack off light looking at the the history of lag hands that were played with the old player. Similarly for postflop play. An aggro player takes a former nit's SN and everyone folds to his 3 barrels. There are tons of possibilities. It could take weeks for someone to catch on. Weeks? Only 4+ weeks and they can just rinse and repeat.
So how did I come to the conclusion that that was what happened? I play on several sites, and I thought it odd that my Party results lagged so much. The games seem somewhat soft. And then last month, I was down over $5K, while I was up up five figures on other sites. So I took a look at my DB, and in particular, that my performance in 3bet pots I talked about a few months ago. And that was a large chunk of my losses. My 3betting game is always going to be +ev - my game is solid and there are plenty of leaks in other people's games. Now I'm not saying that couldn't have just been really bad run-bad. But while I was playing, I just kept thinking "wow... another time someone with an absurdly wide 5betting range showing up with KK+". And when someone in the Party thread suggested that a different player was playing on a former high volume regs' sn, that's when I connected the dots.
Again, no definitive proof, but why the hell would I play on a site that puts me at a competitive disadvantage to the other regs? Party isn't my main site. And because I multi-table, a lot of the names are new to me, and I am heavily dependent on my HUD, I'm not going to notice any discrepancies in play as often. On some of the other sites, when I'm used to the regs who always have the same name, a mental red flag will go off when I see a reg do something that seem out-of-the-ordinary. But on a site where I am even more dependent on my previous hands and HUD because of lack of history, it could go a while before I catch on to deviations in play from the HUD. Maybe as long as a few weeks. Eh hem.
WTF?!? How could Party Poker possibly be so f*cking dumb as to allow this to happen?!? No wonder they are going down in flames. If I wanted to, I could get to Palladium Elite in a few weeks and scam other players every month like the current reg pool seems to be doing. But a) I'm not giving those morons at Party any of my business, and more importantly, b) I'm not a douchebag... at least not when it comes to poker. ;-)