Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Did Absolute Poker Accidentally Lend Itself Out To Cheat Scams?

During an online tournament at Absolute Poker, some players became suspicious of how another player was winning. After the tournament, the player who finished second filed a complaint and requested a copy of hand histories for the tournament. This is usually a routine matter, and poker websites provide such information whenever requested. But in this particular instance, Absolute Poker inadvertently supplied more data than just hand histories. The file they sent appeared to be gibberish at first, but upon further analysis, actually revealed all hole cards for all players as well as IP addresses and other proprietary info. In other words, the poker website accidentally revealed a veritable gold mine of information.

This data shows a cheating scheme that may be linked directly back to Absolute Poker itself!

An observer came into this poker room and apparently informed the winning player of all other hole cards during the tournament. For example, the player in question folded his two hands before this observer entered the room, and then folded no other hands for about twenty minutes until he folded pre-flop when another player held a pair of kings. This type of playing continued throughout the entire tournament.

And it gets worse. This observer was apparently in cahoots with Absolute Poker. His IP address and account name traces to the servers that host Absolute Poker. This evidence that an insider at Absolute Poker had access to all hole cards in real time and that he relayed that information to an outside accomplice.

I do not know for certain if cheating occurred in this particular instance, since I was not there. However, if you wish to research the details of this matter yourself, visit the TwoPlusTwo forums and the CasinoSmak blogs. There, you will find plenty of information regarding this incident.

When you play poker online, at any poker website, your relationship with that website is one ultimately based on trust. Whether or not other players are cheating you, you should, at the very least, be able to trust that the poker website itself is not cheating you.

The poker websites are forever bragging that they do not allow cheating. They boast about their sophisticated technological methods to track and prevent all forms of And the vast majority of players believe this message. Yet, I ask you, who is policing the poker websites themselves? Who is there to assure that the operators of these websites are not themselves bilking their customers?

The next time someone tells you that cheating at online poker is impossible these days and it never happens, recall the evidence of this incident at Absolute Poker in October of 2007. Armed with this knowledge, you will venture forth a wiser individual and a more discerning consumer of online poker.