Friday, October 26, 2007

ESPN coverage of Absolute Scam/Crooked Online Sportsbook! My Poker Cheating Newsletter Coming Soon!

Well, if ESPN can cover the WSOP championships, why shouldn't they cover the "Online Poker Fraud championships"? According to various reports in the media, there will be an ESPN special about the Absolute Poker Scam sometime next week. This is now clearly the biggest online gambling scandal in history and coverage of it is flooding into the world's major media outlets. Enjoy the show!

It's not only poker that's getting a piece of the online gambling crime market. Sports books are vying for their piece too! First we had the tennis betting scandal involving Betfair. Now we've got some more crooked online action with the thievery at SBG, which goes well with money laundering allegations against several other online gambling companies. When will it all end? Below is the latest on these scams.

Also, I will be offering a subscription poker-cheating newsletter in December. It will cover any and all cheating going on in the world, both in brick and mortar cardrooms and online. More about that soon.

Absolute Poker, SBG Global Controversies a PR Nightmare

When high ranking officials at Absolute Poker decided to cheat unsuspecting customers, they didn't bank on a "mob mentality" and the mainstream press that followed from such media organizations as MSNBC and, just to name a few.

What used to be confined to the industry proper is now big news among media outlets. Years ago, when Sports Market founder Charlie Therwhanger robbed his customers of an estimated $13 mil, the bad press was limited to only a handful of websites that catered exclusively to the online gambling industry. Not one major media outlet took notice.

Today, in the midst of what is arguably the biggest scandal to ever hit the billion dollar industry, the press is paying attention....close attention.

ESPN's Gary Wise is already promising a major expose on the Absolute Poker scandal come later this week. Apparently ESPN has been in contact with customers of another online gambling establishment, this a sportsbook, SBG Global.

A group of players have accused SBG Global of withholding well over $100,000 in winnings. SBG Global contends this group is part of a betting syndicate and joined the gaming firm in violation of its "no syndicate" rule.

"We won't be cheated!" said a high ranking official in the company. "While we rarely have to, we do defend ourselves from this type of group play and it is clearly posted on our website: 'No syndicate or professional betting action allowed'."

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.'"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Absolute Poker Scammer ID'd!

This just keeps getting bigger and bigger, regardless what officials at Absolute Poker say to try and put out the fire. A second name has surfaced, a certain A.J. Green, apparently an associate and close friend of Scott Tom, the first big-wig implicated. One thing I can tell you about all this is that no matter how many names end up publicly linked to this scandal, we will never know the full scale of it. This scam is huge! I have been getting tons of e-mails asking if it is still safe to play online poker. My response is always the same, as it was in my book "Dirty Poker." Playing online poker is safe most of the time, which really means about two-thirds of the time, I mean COMPLETELY safe. Granted, I don't expect to see many scams of this nature, but the sites, contrary to what they claim, are not entirely safe from outside hackers. Remember this: if they can hack US government sites, they can hack offshore online poker sites.

Here's the latest article:

Absolute Poker Scandal: Who is AJ Green?

The weekend hardly got in the way of the ongoing "Absolute Poker scandal" involving an internal breach where at least one AP high ranking employee had been cheating real customers. The online poker community is intent on believing that others from the company may also be involved.

Today, the regulatory body licensing Absolute Poker released a statement and all eyes now seem to be focusing on one AJ Green, who had previously been employed as a manager at and as a former Vice President of Operations at Absolute Poker. He is said to also be close friends with another suspect in the Absolute Poker scandal, Scott Tom.

Many have said AJ Green is still with in Costa Rica even though that company was moved to the Netherlands Antilles last year and most of its management staff were either let go or moved to Curacao.

From the website: is now privately owned with offices and representatives in Curacao and Antigua. Recognized for its outstanding service to its customers, the management team who have built remain in place and are committed to continuing to provide the same excellent service.

It should be noted that while AJ Green may have been in management at, he was far from high ranking. was close to all the executives prior to being absorbed into In fact, we attended their 2005 celebrity Super Bowl bash in Las Vegas along with cast members of the Sopranos who were good friends with Mike (Nichols) from (not to mention Superman Dean Cain).

Both and Absolute Poker operated next store to one another in a Mall outside of Escazu, Costa Rica. Another online gambling company, Jazz Sports, operated out of the same mall.

AJ Green and Scott Tom are believed to have become good friends during the period in which the two businesses operated alongside one another. It does not appear that AJ Green was part of the fraternity that the original founders of Absolute Poker were members of. has always been well aware that AP was started by a bunch of poker playing fraternity brothers. AJ Green can easily be implicated here. Don't think for a moment that these frat brothers are going to implicate one another if any were involved. That simply won't happen.

AJ Green is described by those who know him in Costa Rica as an "a**hole". We hardly knew the guy to say one way or another.

By late Sunday, PocketFives was reporting that the "culprit" was indeed a person "second in charge" at Absolute, which goes against previous statements that this individual was either a "tech geek who knew the software intimately" or a "consultant".

"This person was the second in charge and has been fired from Absolute Poker, and his one superior Scott Tom is going to be removed from running AP for a significant period of time. For legal reasons the Absolute Poker release is not going to specifically name this person, and I will elaborate on that fact and why it makes perfect sense. Most of us know this persons name already as it has already been widely reported."

A representative for Absolute Poker told that he is hopefully that this individual's name will be released.

"This person was Scott Tom's best friend and actually lived at Scott Tom's house in Costa Rica. Scott Tom has been living in Panama for quite some time, and the day to day operations of AP were left to the care of his best friend and second in charge at AP. Unfortunately since the person in command of AP was also the thief he obviously issued numerous steadfast denials of any wrong doing. Basically he was investigating himself.

"Since this person was a high ranking official he had access to very sensitive information, not only regarding the operations of the company, but also very sensitive information regarding player accounts, balances, names, deposits, withdrawals etc. Because of the Internet Gaming Act their is still a wide gray area as to what is sensitive and what is not. As such the attorneys for both AP and the KGC have the same opinion that is best not to release his name publicly for the simple fact that they do not want more harm being done to the industry as a result of this person possibly trying to disclose this information publicly as a retaliation for him being fired from AP.

"Further, even though Scott Tom was not involved in the actual theft, he is responsible for the actions of his friend and second in charge of the company, which is why he is being removed for a significant time frame while the entire process of restoring trust in AP takes place."

Scott Tom is currently in hiding and no doubt fearing for his life and the possibility that he could be taken into custody, which is essentially what the online poker community wants to see at this point. He has not made any statements.

There are also reports that the individual behind this cheating scandal has a serious coke habit.

An individual posting anonymously on the posting forum claims that original shareholders in Absolute Poker are owed a total of USD 250,000,000 and that Scott Tom has "blown them off".

"Let's discuss exactly how Scott Tom and his cronies have treated shareholders. These are the people that risked their hard-earned savings to give Absolute Poker its start many years ago.

"Scott Tom and his cronies have totally blown off shareholders. While they are busy flying around the World spending thousands and thousands on luxury - shareholders have seen little more than a trickle.

"Today, Shareholders are totally ignored by Scott Tom and his Absolute Poker Management. Calls and emails are ignored. Shareholders have no access to Scott Tom. Behind a curtain setup by lawyers, Absolute Poker was sold to yet another shell company belonging to Scott Tom. This minimized any return shareholders can get."

Roulette Computer Wars!

I get at least 100 e-mails per month asking about roulette computers, and more than half of them ask me about the two main online purveyors of this equipment, Mark Anthony Howe and Stefano Hourmouzis. It seems that these two are always at each other's throat and constantly accusing the other of everything from selling bogus equipment to running websites with a host of phony names. But what's really important here is whether either or both of them have roulette computers that are going to make you any money. The answer is yes and no. The "no" is that none of their computers will earn you enough to overcome the overall expenses of conducting a roulette operation. There are many expenses involved, and some of the roulette profits must be expensed to create continuous playing opportunities, without which you will soon be out of business. What I'm saying is that both their computers (whichever ones they're offering at any time) will actually give you a slight edge but not enough to really get off profitably.

So where's the "yes." The answer to that is that these computers serve well as a training function. Teams should practice with these relatively cheap computers to see whether they can function the equipment while staying under the casino radar. As I tell dozens of people every week, success is only partially about the equipment. If your not top notch in the human-operational area, you will fail regardless of what your equipment is, so it's best to start with low-level equipment before investing in the expensive stuff.

I also hear that Hourmouzis is giving a free roulette computer seminar at the Hilton attached to the Melbourne, Australia airport. Well, if you happen to live in Melbourne or can take a cheap ride there from another Australian city, it might be worth the experience, otherwise I'd probably let it go. Using this equipment, though at times burdensome, is not difficult.

A fallacy I'd like to put to rest concerning the people selling roulette computers is that "If they have the equipment that supposedly works, why don't they use it themselves instead of selling it?" Well, it's not that black and white, I can surely tell you that. There are people with lots of legitimate reasons who sell casino-winning tips and equipment instead of applying it themselves. So don't assume that these people are frauds, even if they may be using "shell websites" to push their stuff.

More on this topic will be coming.

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".