Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Long Has it Been Going?/Super User Account

According to these articles it's a couple of years. There really is no way to tell. My first thought was that it probably dates back longer than that, but then again I can't really say. The real question is whether it has been going on with other sites. Well, let's put it this way: if it has, the crooked employees behind it have been a little more discreet in their cheating. Remember, if you're seeing players' hole cards you don't have to play that way every hand. Apparently, those cheaters on Absolute Poker played their clandestine knowledge to perfection every hand, not something you should do but something that's hard to avoid in tournament play. So the real REAL question is: what about the cash games?

How Long Has Absolute Scam Been Operating?

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Insider sources claim cheating has been happening for 3 years, earning the culprits millions

The well connected and informed gambling information portal made further serious revelations in the Absolute Poker scandal Monday, claiming that unidentified sources have revealed a greater web of deceit than just one tournament.

Webmaster Tommy Jensen quotes sources in Costa Rica who say that the cheating scam has been ongoing for the past three years and the actual amount that was skimmed from online poker players could be as much as $7 million. The actual amount is still unknown as an internal audit is underway.

Jensen says a former employee of Absolute Poker confirmed to that the security department at AP suspected something years ago but were told it was just the owners testing out the system and to forget about it. AJ Green (see previous reports) is alleged to have been involved in the scam and employees of Absolute Poker are prepared to implicate him, apparently.

Meanwhile, the 911 portal continued to publish what appear to be damage control reports from its sources, who claim that Absolute Poker takes in between $1.5 million and $2 million a day in gross revenues. "Absolute Poker will survive this (scandal)," the unnamed source predicted. "There are about a hundred investors in the company to ensure this happens."

911 reports that, contrary to reports that a band of college fraternity brothers started Absolute Poker in 2003, it was in fact started by a Las Vegas-resident college grad named Scott Tom with financing from his father. Tom subsequently brought other college friends into the business. Tom, who has since dropped out of sight, is believed to have resided in Panama City and Costa Rica.

"They (AJ Green and Scott Tom) are not talking to investors," the source told 911. "But Absolute Poker does not need Scott Tom. There is a strong management team in place with hundreds of employees." Other investors in the poker site include former employees of the operation which now belongs to

No Such Thing as Super User in Absolute Poker Case

A representative speaking on behalf of Absolute Poker tells "a super user account does not exist".

A report in eGaming Today suggests likewise:

Many people have suggested that there are "super user" accounts or account types that are able to see hole cards. Perhaps such accounts are not able to play, only observe tables -- the account #363 found observing POTRIPPER. Some people have gone so far to suggest such an account has legitimate purpose, for testing or fraud detection.

There is absolutely no legitimate purpose for any account nor any back office system to be able to view hole cards of a hand while it is in play. Creating such a feature would be an enormous breach of ethics and security. The existence of such a feature would be a huge temptation for insider cheating.

Fraud and collusion detection systems work off hand histories, compiled upon completion of a hand. Never should it be possible to compile a hand history of a hand in-progress.

Absolute Poker is in the midst of a public relations nightmare they can't seem to wake up from following an "internal breach" where they claim an employee was able to review other players hole cards during live tournament play. Various sleuths in the online poker sector insist that at least one former Absolute Poker founder was involved in the scheme. Absolute has promised compensation to all affected players and a thorough audit by an outside firm.

While super users may not exist, there is a market for robot poker players that places the game in serious jeopardy.

Bots and Online Poker

"Insider cheating" is nothing new to the online poker world. One of the original Internet poker websites, Paradise Poker, was long suspected of incorporating robots into poker games prior to being purchased by Sportingbet. The early bots were used to make the poker rooms seem more busy than they actually were.

But there are individuals looking to cash in using these bots.

There is actually a market for poker robots that sell for just under $50 (we won't disclose where).

Here is how one such company describes its product:

Human Poker players have two major flaws. One is emotion. Part of the key to good Poker is keeping your emotions in check. In a live game you can give away 'tells' or get upset and start playing poorly. This is often called 'steaming' or going 'on tilt'. Greed and over-confidence when the cards are going your way can be just as bad. Computers don't have this problem, giving them a natural advantage since they will always play their 'best' game. The other major flaw is lack of patience. People play too many hands before the flop, throwing money away with hands that should have been folded. Poker Robot waits for only the very best hands!

What occurred at Absolute Poker is really just the tip of the iceberg. The online poker community has put the word out that they are no longer going to tolerate any more monkey business, whether it's a robot, low level employee or someone very high up on the food chain of the Internet poker room (i.e. one of the owners).

But robots have been a part of the online poker landscape for some time.

Phil Robinson of the Mail on Sunday pointed this out back in 2005:
"If you're a poker player, this is merely unethical. But if you're an executive or shareholder in one of the top poker websites, the advent of programs that play for you is very bad news indeed. Online poker is a £3bn-a-year industry - £3m is gambled on online poker every day in Britain alone (we're now the fifth biggest gambling country in the world). But this depends on the punters knowing they're getting a fair game. When they're up against expertly programmed computer players, then they are, quite emphatically, not. And if these programs evolve as fast as the experts predict, online poker is nothing more than a busted flush.

"One expert in this powerful new software, 'Chopper', tells me, 'It's amazing to think of how much we gamble on online poker sites - mainly because there is no such thing as a fair game of online poker. It just doesn't exist. The game is completely corrupt; it has zero integrity. Online players are secretly using every means at their disposal to fleece you --and at the forefront of their campaign is the use of poker robots. When all this becomes public knowledge, the amateurs will leave and the game will die.'"