Sunday, October 21, 2007

Absolute Poker Mystery Man/External Hacking

So now we have learned the identity of the man allegedly behind the Absolute Poker scandal, and AP itself has admitted to the internal breach. But, they say, no person can hack into their system from the outside. Should we believe this? Absolutely not! I have seen external hacking into major online sites with my own eyes as recently as a year ago, and I highly doubt that since that time any site has become 100 percent impenetrable. In fact, it is my opinion that total security will never be achieved in online poker. And even if it were, this would not stamp out internal cheating by programmers who know the systems. Online sites have long claimed that it is not worth the money to anyone involved in their employ to cheat, but apparently it is to some, and no matter how much money people make, some of them for numerous reasons are compelled to cheat for more. In my book "Dirty Poker" I enumerated some of these. I am not looking to exaggerate this, but just be aware, and if you think something fishy is going on while playing online, it very well could be. In that case, get off that particular site and go elsewhere.

Here's that "Thief ID'd" article:

Absolute Poker Mystery Man Revealed

In an attempt to uncover the names and faces behind Absolute Poker, Internet sleuths have been working around the clock trying to identify various individuals, many of whom showed up on the pages of during the month of August 2006.

Absolute Poker has been in the midst of an unprecedented crisis involving an internal breach (see: Absolute Poker Admits "Internal Breach" ).

Of special interest to the online poker community at Two Plus Two was Jenny Woo's posing with a gentleman some mistook for alleged "culprit" in the Absolute Poker "cheating scandal" as one Scott Tom.

Many claim Tom is the so-called "smoking gun" in all of this. Absolute management deny that Tom had anything to do with the cheating episode. Tom himself has remained in hiding.

"Scott Tom is one of the original founders. He has played on the site but is no longer legally involved," a spokesperson for Absolute Poker told He was also never a CEO of Absolute as some have reported. Absolute Poker claims a tech employee gained access and was able to play in tournaments against real Absolute customers while having the ability to see all their whole cards. Not surprisingly, the Absolute Poker employee won.

The individual appearing with Jenny Woo in the above photo was a non-management employee by the name of Juan. Woo and Rebecca Liggero of made a routine visit to both Absolute Poker and's office in one of Costa Rica's leading shopping mall complexes. Many have drawn connections between and Absolute as a result, however, much of's staff was eliminated when the brand was moved to Curacao late last year and incorporated into

"Here I am with Rebecca and Manuel" Jenny made mention of another Absolute Poker employee many in the online poker community were trying to identify on Saturday. Manuel is active in affiliate gatherings.

Like with most US-facing online gambling companies, few if any of the actual principals involved are willing to show their faces or use their real names out of fear they will become targets of US Federal and State investigations into "illegal web gambling". Calvin Ayre, the high profile founder of, has recently shown up on one such list, learned this week. Only Costa Rican employees were photographed during the 2006 visit.

Members of the Two Plus Two forum, convinced that Tom is the main culprit and not some tech guy out to prove he can break into the software platform, would love to see the Absolute Poker co-founder brought to justice. Reactions are such that a public hanging may not be too far-fetched either.

Still, Absolute Poker contends that management - either current or former - would have any reason to engage in such criminal activity.

"Absolute Poker takes in so much money, why would any of the owners risk damaging such a successful business by cheating?" the rep points out.

The representative also eased concerns over Absolute Poker potentially having a "run of the bank" as a result of this crisis.

"It's business as usual and payouts are not being delayed in the least."

Of major concern to Absolute Poker was the fact that an excel sheet containing confidential customer information had been sent out by an "irresponsible" employee.

By Saturday, Absolute had started calling everyone in the POTRIPPER tournament and giving them $500 for accidentally releasing their personal information according to a report filed at

On a side note, a plane carrying Absolute Poker executives from Panama City, Panama to Costa Rica nearly crashed Wednesday evening following two aborted landings. This is one week that Absolute Poker management were hoping would end quickly but the upcoming week may not have much better in store based on the persistence of the online poker community in getting to the bottom of this matter. A third party auditing firm has also begun its investigation into the Absolute "breach".