Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CBS "60 Minutes" Online Poker Cheating Piece To Air This Sunday! Don't Miss It!

60 Minutes To Air Report on Online Poker Cheats Sunday, November 30th!

It has now been confirmed that the story by CBS News program “60 Minutes” concerning the cheating scandals on Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker will air this Sunday, November 30th. The story serves as the finale of a four month-long investigation by 60 Minutes as well as The Washington Post newspaper correspondent Gilbert Gaul. The piece is entitled “How Online Gamblers Unmasked Cheaters” and will hit the airwaves at 7:00pm ET on CBS.

A teaser video posted by 60 Minutes features an interview that correspondent Steve Kroft conducted with Todd Witteles, an online poker player who is better known as “Dan Druff.” Witteles commented on the Absolute Poker scandal, “This Graycat person was new and at first he seemed like a live one. He seemed terrible. He was raising just really, really bad hands against very good hands. He seemed to play crazy. He seemed like he was giving his money away, except the only thing was, he wasn’t losing.” Witteles explained why the run-in with Graycat on Absolute Poker was out of the ordinary: “He was playing in a style that was sure to lose, but he was killing the game day after day.”

The teaser video explains that Graycat was winning at 15 standard deviations above the mean, “which was approximately equivalent to winning a one in a million jackpot six consecutive times.” The POTRIPPER account was the proverbial stone that broke the camel’s back, making a famous 10-high call against Marco “CrazyMarco” Johnson in a $1,000 tournament in September of 2007. Observing POTRIPPER in action was Absolute Poker user number 363, which was later traced back to the company’s headquarters in Costa Rica.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission released the following statement about the cheating scandal that plagued Ultimate Bet, which is owned by the same parent company as Absolute Poker: “The Commission found clear and convincing evidence to support the conclusion that between the approximate dates of May 2004 to January 2008, Russell Hamilton, an individual associated with Ultimate Bet’s affiliate program, was the main person responsible for and benefiting from the multiple cheating incidents.” In July, the Ultimate Bet account “sleeplesss,” which was one of the user names associated with the cheating scandal, was positively linked to a home owned by Hamilton in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, the player bases of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker merged to form the CEREUS poker network. The delay in its launch may have been due to an ongoing legal battle in Canada between Tokwiro (the current ownership group of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker) and Excapsa (the former ownership group of UB). Tokwiro was awarded $15 million in the case, which was used to pay back players who had been wronged by the cheating scandal.

In a press release from November 5th, Tokwiro COO Paul Leggett stated, “Now that the main perpetrator has been named, the settlement with the previous owners is behind us, and players have received refunds, it should now be apparent that Tokwiro had no involvement in this cheating and that we have fought to correct it with every tool at our disposal.”