I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've heard of anyone actually doing time for online poker cheating, but that is the case for this World Series of Poker champion who is going down for having cheated scores of online players through using multiple accounts and player-positions at the online tables.
, a WSOP bracelet winner in 2011, has been
sentenced to 15 months in jail over in the United Kingdom and ordered to
repay a hefty sum of £1 million after he cheated for years at online
Woods engaged in fraudulent misconduct on 888.com and several other
sites by setting up an elaborate scheme to play multiple hands at once
at the same online poker table, according to the Grimbsby Telegraph.
The report added that he will receive six more years in jail if he doesn’t pay back £1 million.
Some of the money he has already forfeited will go to online poker
operators to help compensate victims of his cheating schemes. The
29-year-old originally denied 13 of the fraud charges, but later changed
his plea to guilty for nine of the charges.
The cheating occurred between 2007 and 2012.
Woods’ father admitted to helping him launder £230,000 won from the scams. (What a nice father!)
The poker pro set up fake identities and used private online networks
to help him hide the scams from the online poker firms, even cheating
on 888 which once employed him as a sponsored player and trusted him
with representing the brand. Altogether, he admitted to creating 50
different accounts to help gain huge edges over opponents.
The judge said to Woods: “You are an intelligent, able and even gifted young man but you
turned your talents towards defrauding online gambling companies and
cheating other players of online poker. In individual games, other
people playing against you stood to lose money because the odds had been
rigged in your favour by the creation of multiple identities which were
undisclosed to other players.”
According to HighstakesDB, Woods’ cheating was uncovered by
diligent members of the poker community who determined that his win-rate
was too high to be legitimate. Woods came out to defend himself online,
but mounting evidence reportedly lead to his conviction in the minds of
the poker community well before a court of law sentenced him to prison.
Woods actually claimed he was a victim, reportedly justifying his actions by alleging that other players have cheated in the past too, without getting caught.
My take: You're right Darren, loads of other players have done exactly the same thing, but you're the one who got caught! I don't know if they allow prisoners to play online poker in the UK, but if they do, remember, Big Brother will be watching you!