Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The Absolute Poker scandal is getting deeper by the minute, and it is now certain that crooked players have been freely peeking at opponents' hole cards, and some nefarious employees at AP have been involved.

This really pisses me off! Not because online poker is being proven in at least this instance to be a fraud, but because I warned the public about all this almost two years ago in my book "Dirty Poker." I spoke about "Peeker" and other hole-card-reading programs that were being sold for lots of money, those that are used without co-conspirators working for the sites. What really gets me livid is how so many of the big-time poker know-it-alls like Mason Malmuth and others on these "informative" websites had badmouthed me and my book, Malmuth referring to it as pure rubbish. Well, lo and behold, now some people are starting to see the light. Like I said now, and I will say it again, beware of playing online poker. Between collusion, bots, hacking, hole-card reading, money laundering, and employee thieves, you can bet your last ace that as much as 1/3 of people playing online are cheating! And that number will go up.

If this cheating problem is not resolved, in 10 years online poker risks going the way of the dinosaur!

Here are the latest articles about Absolute Poker and Pokerstars:

#1 Many people are extremely curious as to how the Absolute Poker and Pokerstars investigations are progressing. Neither situation has been resolved as of yet, so we can only tell you the things that we have heard from various sources within the industry. Until we receive some sort of official statements from either company, take anything you read here with a grain of salt.

The Absolute Poker investigation into "Holecard-Gate?" From our perspective, it has been a frustrating stonewall of silence. We've heard one "official" statement from the company, which was an affiliate manager posting a poorly-written "statement" on a poker affiliate website.

Keep in mind that this scandal first erupted about 3 to 3 1/2 weeks ago. I am not sure whether or not the company is actually investigating or just hoping that the whole thing just goes away and people forget about it. Until the company issues some sort of formal statement to the players of its site, we are not going to let the issue drop.

This isn't some small matter. Many in the poker community think that there is something shady going on at the company. The company's response to the entire matter has been pretty weak so far. Their only "statement" raised more questions than answers. If I were the owner of a poker room and people were questioning in the integrity of my site, I would be going wild, posting on every message board and sending out email after email to my users, making sure that they knew that my site was safe to play on. That is if there were no problems with my site. Absolute Poker's silence in this matter is deafening. Is there truth to the accusation that there were some "superuser" accounts on Absolute Poker that could see hole cards of other players at the table? I would suggest that someone high up at Absolute Poker seriously address this question.

In the matter of "theV0id", Pokerstars is still investigating by all accounts.

Pokerstars has made all of the right moves so far. They immediately began the investigation once the allegations of multi-accounting surfaced, they reached out to the online community to keep them posted and confirm that there was indeed an investigation, and they seem to be thoroughly investigating before making any decision.

We've heard rumors that they will be confiscating all of the earnings from "TheV0id" for the main event win, but this is unconfirmed. Until you hear it directly from Pokerstars, don't believe anything that you hear. The "TheV0id" account hasn't been banned as of yet from Pokerstars, that's all that we can tell you with 100% certainty.

Considering that there may have been cheating involved in their biggest event of the year, you can forgive Pokerstars for taking some extra time to make sure that every detail is checked and re-checked before making an official decision and announcement.

#2 Absolute Poker: Going, Going..

Online poker room absolute poker in big trouble The Absolute Poker controversy keeps getting more wild by the day.

So when we last left you, Absolute Poker had issued a statement denying that anyone had access to a "superuser" account and that no one could see any hole cards. After poring over the hand histories and evidence, they said, they had found no evidence of any wrong-doing. They would continue to investigate though, they had said. I thought at the time that Absolute Poker would just go into ignore mode from that point on, and the issue would eventually be dropped.

Well hold on..

Apparently, "CrazyMarco" (the player who had come second in that now infamous tournament that was won by "Potripper") asked for the hand histories from this tournament from Absolute Poker.

Absolute Poker sent the hand histories. Unfortunately for them, they also included the hole cards of every player at the table, and not just CrazyMarco's hole cards.

After viewing just a couple of hands, you can come to the conclusion that Potripper was cheating. The evidence is overwhelming. It is just ridiculous, and I find it hard to believe that they didn't do a better job of hiding it. Always getting his money in good, and never putting in an extra chip when he is behind in a hand. Going over the top of a re-raiser of a board of 8d 6d 3s holding the Q 10 of clubs, when his opponents are holding K J and Q J. Holding pocket Jacks against an opponent holding A Q, and check folding on the turn when a Queen comes out. Playing almost every hand when his opponents aren't dealt a big hand, but folding when an opponent at the table is dealt a big hand. Open folding KQ one hand (when an opponent is dealt AA), but raising 2/6 UTG when none of his opponents at the table have big hands. Going through a stretch when he wins something ridiculous like 65 hands out of a total of 90 hands. You can go on and on; if you need to see for yourself, there is plenty of evidence on Pocketfives and Twoplustwo. The people on those sites have done a TREMENDOUS job in getting these hand histories out to the public. Who knows how many other tournaments on Absolute were won in this fashion?

Absolute automatically loses all credibility because they say that there was no evidence of a "superuser" account in the hand histories. Oh really?

The best part of this story is just being fleshed out right now though. Who was involved in this operation?

Absolute Poker not only made a huge blunder in sending out the hand history with all of the hole cards displayed, but they also included the email addresses / account id's / IP Addresses of everyone who opened up a table as an observer during this tournament.

Apparently an Absolute Poker account with an ID of 363 opened up Potripper's table two hands into the tournament and railed him the entire way. The ID number is significant because this would indicate that this account was one of the first accounts EVER at Absolute Poker, making it likely that this is a person with extremely close ties to the company (employee, owner, shareholder, etc.)

Potripper folds the first two hands of the tournament, then ID 363 opens up Potripper's table to observe, and suddenly Potripper starts going wild, winning practically every hand.

The prevailing theory in the poker community? Potripper was a dummy account, and ID 363 had access to hole cards, and was relaying them to "Potripper."

Apparently the IP address of User ID 363 resolves to Costa Rica as well, which is home to Absolute Poker.

The story gets more interesting by the minute, and I am doing my best to keep up with it.

I feel that it's important to report on this story, as it has big implications for online poker as a whole. In the end, protecting players is much more important to me than burning a bridge with an online poker room. We need to do our part to get the story out there, so that everyone can figure out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn't happen again. Nothing can be explained away in regards to this situation, the cat is out of the bag.