Quitting poker

Why am I leaving a game that has given me so much? There are many reasons: Poker is all-consuming, and impacts one’s health and lifestyle; my real calling is to write, and I am pregnant with books that demand labour; but one key reason is that poker is a zero-sum game.
 
In life, you benefit when others do too. When two people transact a business deal, they do so because both gain value from it. When lovers kiss, the net happiness of both goes up. Life is a positive-sum game. But poker is not. You can only win if someone else loses, and the main skill in poker is exploiting the mistakes of others. 
 
Now, all sport is zero-sum and consenting adults play this game, so this should not be a problem—except for the fact that poker lies on the intersection of sport and gambling. Gambling addiction destroys lives and families just as drug or alcohol addiction do, and i have seen this happen to people around me. I can sit at a poker table and calculate equities and figure out game-theoretically optimal ways of playing—but where is the nobility in this when my opponent is not doing likewise, but is a mindless slave to the dopamine rushes in his head? In the live games I played, I sometimes felt that there was no difference between me and a drug dealer: we were both exploiting someone else’s addiction.
 
When I write books, i have a shot at enriching myself by enriching others. This can never happen in poker. And so, my friends, goodbye.
 

Amit Varma on why he's quitting poker.

Poker cheats

Given sufficient eyeballs and data, all cheating is shallow?

A YouTube video compilation of a 2009 poker tournament seems to show signaling between the two players that ended up finishing first and second.

Some background:

French players Jean Paul Pasqualini and Cedric Rossi are being accused of teaming up, by using hand signals to tell each other what cards they held. The eight minutes of damning video was put together by Nordine Bouya, another French poker player, and it shows the two accused time after time relaying their holdings by touching parts of their head and face.
 
Pasqualini and Rossi went on to first and second place in that tournament, respectively. Pasqualini won 1 million euros, while Rossi pocketed over 600k.