Saturday, April 24, 2010

VERY Interesting Article About online poker cheating, scams and scandals!

As most of my readers know, I try to keep them as accurately informed about the latest developments in online poker and casino cheating as possible. I do this in many ways, such as compiling online poker cheat statistics for my online poker cheating and safety rankings page, researched articles and articles written by other well-informed authors in tune with the online poker cheating world. This article that I came across today on is one of the best I have seen online concerning online poker cheats. It is a thorough examination of what happened at UltimateBet, the biggest online cheat scam ever, and what could happen at Ultimate Bet and other online poker sites in the future. It really indicts the entire online poker industry!

It is well worth the read:


"According to Wikipedia, "In US Criminal law, means, motive, and opportunity is a popular cultural summation of the three aspects of a crime needed to convince a jury of guilt in a criminal proceeding. Respectively, they refer to: the ability of the defendant to commit the crime (means), the reason the defendant had to commit the crime (motive), and whether or not the defendant had the opportunity to commit the crime (opportunity). Ironically, motive is not an element of many crimes, but proving motive can often make it easier to convince a jury of the elements that must be proved for a conviction. "

So, as we take a look at online poker lets assess these three variables. Do online poker sites have the means to rig their games. Well, of course they do. They control the computers, software and platform that all the games run on. They can see all the cards that are being played at any time, all the time. They have the capability to adjust the software at any time as to how it effects any person, any game and any tournament taking place at their site. They have the means to provide keys to this software to outside users. Basically, online poker sites have the means to do anything they want with any hand of cards at anytime. Also as far as "means" are concerned let us not forget the endless poker updates and downloads sent into our computer every time we log on. I mean really, I get more software updates from these poker sites then any other program. Windows, Microsoft, Computer and Driver updates aren't even a close second, even if you add them all together.

In regards to motive that hardly requires in depth analysis. As in most financial crimes the motive is greed. In the micro games from 1 and 2 cent blinds to 10 and 25 cent blinds.; thousands of dollars change hands every hour. Log on to any of the most popular poker sights at any time and you will see tens of thousands of players online.

Like any good judge would do lets us look at the criminal record, if any, of the suspects at hand. The most egregious being Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Both of these companies have been caught blatantly cheating. According to this 60 Minutes Story, over 20 million was stolen online at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet which are sister sights under the Cereus Network located in the Isle of Man. Part of the reason this was able to happen is that online poker is unregulated in the US and the headquarters are located offshore. This reminds me of the shady Wall Street deals that are based offshore so as to avoid US laws, regulation and prosecution. Furthermore and perhaps most importantly, the $20 million cheaters at Ultimate Bet would have never been caught unless it was by other players due diligence and research. So much for the idea of a self regulating industry.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, Ultimate Bet cut a deal with the cheater and agreed not to prosecute him. Where else in the world do these type of shenanigans go on? Then again, Phil Helmuth, a Ultimate Bet representative regarded by some as the best poker player ever, was erroneously awarded a near $6000 pot when he had the losing hand. So, not only does Ultimate Bet have the means motive and opportunity to cheat but; they have a history of cheating and or making mistakes that work in their favor. It is somewhat like wondering if a documented pedophile that lives by a grade school, drives an ice cream truck, is unmonitored and protected against prosecution will commit his crimes again.

So what else led to these questions about the Ultimate Bet online poker site. Well, besides getting the feeling that; if there was any possible hand that could beat my hand then it would or having trouble withdrawing funds or getting my Full Houses, Flushes and Four of a Kinds beaten by higher Full Houses, Flushes and Four of a Kinds or seeing the same river card make my set that also made another players straight an inordinate amount of times; it comes down to a player named "S U F F E R".

While involved in a significant hand against him; I researched S U F F E R on a site called The great thing about Poker Edge is that they provide information on any player that plays at Ultimate Bet. Just plug in a players user name and they spit out the information for free. This information includes the number of hands tracked, how long they have been tracked, winnings, aggression, etc. Well, I had looked up several players many times while I was at the table with them although; I never bought the Poker Edge software that was available. Consistently, I found that most of the players had been traced for about 2 years and none of them was extremely profitable. At best many of the players were a few hundred dollars up. S U F F E R was a different story all together. S U F F E R had winnings of nearly $200,000 in less then a year and a half. This was a bit disconcerting to me so I sent the following letter to Ultimate Bet.

FW: President and COO UB (CHEAT CAUGHT)‏
jonas holmes III (
Sent: Fri 4/09/10 1:46 AM

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To: (
Subject: FWD: President and COO UB (CHEAT CAUGHT)
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 01:15:03 -1000

Dear UB (Ultimate Bet),

Hello, my player name is POCKETAMMO. My real name is Jonas Holmes III. You can look it up on Google, "Jonas Holmes III". I am a writer as well as a poker player.

I am writing you because I was recently at a Poker table, Seatlle 20358152, with a player named S U F F E R. We played an extraordinary hand, 1993144728, where suffer bet $16 and called a $16 raise on the flop. Not only this, but he made these raise calls in the worse position possible with a pair of 8's right after the Big Blind. Not to mention, there was an open ended straight, 5-7-6, on the board.

On the flop I had a set of 7's. On the turn a 3 hit. Now, all that was needed was a 4 for a straight as well as a 3,4 ; 8,9 or a set on the 5-7 or 6. Now, there was also a possible Flush. I bet $36 dollars and S U F F E R called.

And believe it or not an 8 dropped. He rode all that risk to the river on a pair of 8's. I figured, maybe this guy is just a loose player. But the amazing thing is that when I looked him up on Poker Edge he has winnings of nearly $200,000, $189,400 to be exact, in a tracking period of just over 1 year and 3 months with out a single dip in his winnings.

During that time he has played 652,205 hands. That comes out to 43,480 hands a month. For a 30 day month that comes to roughly 1500, 1449 hands a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY. That means he would have to play 60 hands an hour every single hour for 15 months. Something is seriously wrong here.

The conclusion I have come to is that S U F F E R must have some type of software that is allowing him achieve these astronomical numbers. Of course it is impossible, for UB or the CEREUS network to defend against the multitude of attempted breaches against its system. New technologies and software are created everyday by hackers to try and bypass every system. I am sure that this is exactly what happened with S U F F E R.

Personally I am, of course, disappointed that someone has been able to do so at a table where I was playing costing me 100's of dollars. However, I understand that no network or system is bullet proof. My question is; is it possible to get a REFUND for the tables I have played with S U F F E R and/or a REWARD for uncovering his/her cheating?

Although, I could have likely gained fame or notoriety for writing an article about S U F F E R; writing this letter to you has been more effort then I ever wanted to exert. I am sure, through no fault of your own, considering the hackers out there that; my time at UB is done. Meanwhile, it would be gratifying to know that my money was not wasted and that UB is grateful for players that have been maintaining an eye out for the integrity of their system.

I look forward to hearing about the rectification of this challenging situation. It is definitely not something I want to write about again.



I also included screen shots of the hand and most importantly the information on S U F F E R from Poker Edge which I have included below if it shows up.

As is easily evidence by the above data, especially the chart of S U F F E R's winnings, his profitability is nothing but incredible. It becomes even more amazing when you compare S U F F E R's profitability of $189,000 in 1 year and 4 months to 2 Time World Poker Tour Champion and World Poker Tour Season VI Player of the Year, Jonathan Little.

Professional Jonathan Little has over $4 million in lifetime winnings in Poker. He illustrates, as a point of pride, on his website selling Kick Ass Poker Secrets that ; he has made $187,000 dollars in online poker. The difference is that it took this ICON of Poker over 3 and a half years to make less then S U F F E R did in 1 year and 4 months. To make it plain, 2X WPT CHAMPION, WPT PLAYER OF THE YEAR, +$4,000,000 NO LIMIT HOLD"EM WINNER, Jonathan Little, makes $187,000 online poker profits in 43 months. Invisible Ultimate Bet player, S U F F E R, makes $189,000 in 15 months. It looks like S U F F E R definitely has some poker secrets of his own. Surely, I thought Ultimate Bet would be very concerned about this potential breach of integrity on their website, especially after being caught in the previous scandals. So, they sent me a response. I have presented it below.

UMT-570567]: FW: President and COO UB (CHEAT CAUGHT)‏

From: UB (
Sent: Fri 4/09/10 10:25 AM

Dear Mr. Holmes,

Thank you for contacting us.

The absolute integrity of our player's hands in any of our games is the paramount foundation of our relationship with our clients. So it's important to note, that regarding your previous message, we would like you to know that seeing other players' cards is impossible. It's important to realize that during the course of any given game, when our game server sends certain data packets (i.e. cards) to your game client (i.e. table), this data packet does not include any information about the cards other players are holding. For this reason, even if there is software capable of decrypting this data packet about other players' cards, there is no information they will be able to retrieve from it. This means that there is no software in the world that would possibly be able to give you the cards obtained by other players.

Best Regards,

Customer Support Department ( - Raise. Stack. Own

That was it, period. Apparently, based on Ultimate Bet's response their was nothing amiss either with their software or S U F F E R'S amazing profitability. In fact, believe it or not, for some reason; they didn't even mention S U F F E R. Just another day at Ultimate Bet.

So, I guess the question in the title of this piece, "Does Ultimate Bet Online Poker Support Cheating?", shall remain a mystery. I guess we will just have to S U F F E R until we get an answer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Online Poker Data Mining...Is it Cheating?

This question has been a thorn in the side of the online poker industry for some time now. What do I think? Is it cheating or just an allowable online poker non-cheat advantage?

Well, most people who use Hold’em Manager and other poker trackers say that they do so simply to analyze their own play and the play of their opponents. Many swear that nowadays it is virtually impossible to be a successful online poker player without the aid of these programs, and, they stress, they must be used at an optimum level where all their features come into maximum play.

What it really comes down to in my opinion is that it's just another case of "everybody's doing it and if I don't do it, I will be playing online poker at a disadvantage, almost to the point of actually cheating myself." As this is the case, it is hard for me to look at data mining as online poker cheating. This is not the same as the case with poker bots, where only a small percentage of online players are using those programs. I think that poker bots are clearly a form of online poker cheating.

As well, data mining might actually be good for online poker on the whole. It helps players expand their strategies, which make the online games in general more interesting and complex. I guess data mining should be considered as part of the natural evolution of online poker and not online poker cheating. I think it increases the skill factor and decreases the luck factor.

What I do not approve of is the indiscriminate buying and downloading of hands and the using of data mining to further obvious cheat operations such as collusion play. This goes beyond data mining where people are still playing "fair."

If you disagree with me, I understand, but the real issue is that online poker sites can't really do much to stop data-mining players. Maybe they might try to prevent players from buying hands and not allow them to use HUD when they're at the table, but you know what?...doing this is not going to be in the sites' interests, so we might as well forget about that.

So in the meantime, keep mining you're way to online poker riches!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rat-Holing Online Poker Cheats--A New Online Poker Cheat Phenomenon

Move over Multi-Accounting! Rat-Holing is here! And it wants to get to the head of the online poker cheating class!

WE have been hearing much these past months about one multiaccounting online poker scam after another. But quietly if not suddenly, we are beginning to get wind of another insidious online poker scam--Rat Holing. The words Rat Holing alone have a creepy feel, and online poker cheating creeps like Nick Grudzien seem to fit that description well.

I came across this interesting article on Rat-Holing on Read it to learn more about how Rat-Holing scams work.


There has been a huge controversy in recent weeks over the online player 'Stoxtrader' being accused of multi accounting and colluding with other short stack players. In much of the discussion they have frequently been termed 'rat-holers' for their style of play, and here I want to explore a little what this term means, and why it is a relatively recent and damaging practice that has now marred the game slightly through these cheating allegations.

The term 'rat-holing' refers to a style of play where a player sits down at the table with the minimum buy in, and generally just plays push/fold poker followed by leaving as soon as they double up.

The term 'rat-holing' refers to a style of play where a player sits down at the table with the minimum buy in, and generally just plays push/fold poker followed by leaving as soon as they double up. This style of play is used to take advantage of deep stacked games due to the fact that those playing deep stacks end up calling against each other with weak hands due to the huge implied odds of deep stacked poker, and this is a point that rat-holer's use to shove over the weaker ranges without having to play much post flop poker (where they would struggle in skill terms against good deep stacked players).

They are a true online phenomenon, as only online have players been able to sit in a new game instantly. In live games, players are not allowed to take chips off of the table or sit back down at a table with less chips than they left with inside a certain time period, and due to the relatively small number of tables in live arenas, this policy always effectively stopped large scale rat-holing. Online however, so many tables are available, and so many tables break and re-start quickly, that rat holing became an immensely profitable way to take advantage of deep stacked games. It looks like 'Stoxtrader' and others had not only been looking to habitually play this style in many high stakes game, but to also collude amongst themselves to minimise their losses against each other and maximise their returns.

This is a new phenomenon in poker cheating (much like having multiple accounts in the same tournament was when online poker first started), but one that is important to stay observant to. If you suspect anything about this form of collusion do not hesitate to contact Betfair security.

Singapore's First Convicted Casino Cheat Gets Prison Time

Hou Yongwei, a 26 year-old Chinese national, has carved out a piece of history for himself in the world of legalized Singaporean gambling. Only problem is that he's gotta serve 10 months in a Singapore prison for his glory. Yongwei became the first person convicted for casino cheating at Resorts World Sentosa casino. I don't know what it's like inside Singapore's prisons, and I don't wanna find out, but I imagine it's nothing like those sweet prisons in Sweden!

Yongwei got caught pastposting (placing a bet after the outcome was known) S$600 on a 10 to 1 bet on a Tai Sai Chinese dice game that would have paid him S$6,000 had he gotten away with it. But after the dealer lifted the cover of the dice tumbler and revealed the winner to be triple-fours, Yongwei's pastpost was not clean enough and the dealer got suspicious. Surveillance was called in and they had the move on tape.

While sentencing Yongwei, who could have gotten five years behind bars according to Singapore criminal laws, District Judge Ronald Gwee let it be known that all casino cheats would face stiff sentences in his courtroom.

My take: I was never too thrilled about working Asian casinos, but the 10 months in prison is a lot better than what could have been meted out in Macau a few years back--I'm talking about convicted casino cheats getting their hands chopped off!