Saturday, June 05, 2010

Doyle Brunson Speaks Out on Cereus Online Poker Cheat Crisis!

Doyle Brunson added his three cents to the pie on the controversy surrounding the security breach at Absolute Poker and UltimateBet when he said in his blog, "I know some of the former owners are still in the office at UB, so they have to go the extra mile with their security. But how on earth could they allow something like this breach of security? It is a mystery to me how poker players keep going there."

Brunson did not mention any names but there's no doubt he is talking about the recent encryption security problems that have been plaguing the Cereus Poker Network and its two main sites, and Absolute Poker.
He is obviously trying to capitalize on the seemingly lack of disclosure on the main people involved in the hole-card scams that riveted the online poker world for several years now since their worldwide and netwide exposure.

What is Brunson's real motive in all this? You know as well as I...he just wants to get more people playing online poker at Doyle's Room.

My Take: Well, I consider Doyle Brunson a poker cheat whether it be online or off, and I don't trust him as far as I can throw 'em...and even that ain't real far!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Poker Cheating at 2010 WSOP...What and How Much of it Will We See?

Now that the 2010 World Series of Poker Championships have kicked off in Las Vegas--accompanied by the sudden breaking news of a tournament chip thief caught in the act in the 2009 WSOP championships and banned for life from the WSOP--people are asking me about what kind of poker cheat tactics we will see this year and whether or not cheating overall will increase during these world-famous poker tournaments.

Well, first thing off the bat I´ll say is that the probability of us seeing any more chip thievery is slight if not nill. I think that tournament directors, supervisors, and especially dealers will be watching out for this during the player breaks. In fact, we may see a few innocent hands getting slapped if they don't draw a perfect direct line from the pots in the middle of the table back to their own player areas in front of them where there own stacks of chips sit on the table. The cheating poker player chip-thief made his cheat move while scooping the chips in a pot he'd just won.

As far as the other typical WSOP forms of cheating go, we will see (or not see) the collusion and softplaying revolving around the professional WSOP tournament syndicates. My point here is that collusion and softplaying always goes on at the WSOP, whether or not it is suspected, seen, sensed or whatever. I doubt anyone will try more graphic forms of cheating such as card-switching or card-marking. However, the most important form of World Series of Poker cheating will not take place during the play of the tournaments or during the play of the championship event but rather during the long break between the determination of the final nine players of the main event and the beginning of play at that final table. During those approximate 100 days, the dirty-dealing of arranging what will happen at that final table will be decided. In other words, that huge pie of prize money will be cut up before it is even baked!

Oh how I wish the main event would go back to its old format without the 3 and half month delay!

Monday, May 31, 2010

WSOP Poker Tournament Chip Thief/Cheat Banned for Life From WSOP!...Why Did WSOP Officials Keep This Quiet?...And Do I Know Who the Cheat Is?

Obviously because they don't want the truth about all the cheating that goes on at the WSOP getting out, which of course would tarnish its image. I have been blogging and writing magazine articles for the past 5 years about massive collusion and other forms of cheating at the WSOP, and one of the forms of poker tournament cheating I have covered is chip-stealing during or near breaks in play.

Now it appears that a fiftyish man has been permanently barred from all future World Series of Poker tournaments and events after he was caught by cameras stealing another player’s chips during Event Number 4, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event, which took place on Day 1A of the 2010 WSOP.

The chip-thievery was first reported in Michael Craig’s Full Tilt Poker blog and now has been confirmed by WSOP tournament director Jack Effel, who replied to a question about what the guy banned from the WSOP had done with “You don’t take someone else’s chips.”

The chip-cheat/thief has not been publicy identified beyond being around fifty years-old and wearing a ball cap above gray hair. He had been seen being removed from the tournament area by Harrah's security personnel on the day in question. According to reports the chip cheat poker move went down after the twenty-minute break had been announced at the end of Level Two. The eight players at the table not involved in the last hand had left the two remaining players to play out that hand. The accused chip-thief won the hand, and as he leaned over to scoop the chips in the pot with his right hand, he put his left hand on the layout to give him support and cover, then he snatched a stack of chips from the player who'd been sitting next to him. That player had quite a few stacks of chips at the time. The dealer obviously saw nothing.

It is not known how the cheat move was discovered or exactly when, but it is clear that Effel and other WSOP officials didn't want the bad news getting out. But now that it did, Effel was forced to admit the truth about another WSOP cheat scam. I am sure there were others that have been successfully covered up. The evidence on the video is conclusive. Effel added that the chip cheat will be "banned from the World Series forever."

So, do I know who the cheat is? Believe it or not, I have a good idea. I can't say who because until it is made public, I would be opening myself up to a libel suit. But I will tell you this: his initials are MN.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tokwiro COO Paul Leggett Claims Tokwiro Has Paid Out $23 Million in Absolute Poker and UltimateBet Online Poker Cheat Scandals!...Not Enough For Some Critics!


The online poker cheating scandal that weighed so heavily on the reputation of poker sites Absolute Poker and UltimateBet, along with parent company Tokwiro Enterprises, still fascinates the industry despite the passage of years. This week Tokwiro chief operating officer Paul Leggett blogged on the latest controversy – the extent of refunds and the methodology deployed.

His comments come in an atmosphere where a former poker magazine editor continues to investigate the hole card cheating scandal and publish all the detail about those involved; experts on the top poker message board 2plus2 analyse every move by the company and one group carries out final verifying checks before releasing more real identities, long demanded by poker fans.

Leggett blogs that Tokwiro initially refunded a staggering $22 054 351.91, followed by an additional $227 956.66 after an error was discovered regarding split pots.

“Later on we refunded an additional $494 932.20 to several accounts that had their refunds on hold because they were still under investigation at the time we did the refunds but were eventually cleared and processed.

“So the total amount that was refunded to players was $22 777 240.77 USD,” Leggett revealed.

With the costs of sorting out the problems, paying fines imposed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and launching publicity initiatives to recover credibility, the final cost to Tokwiro has clearly been considerable.

Leggett goes on to justify the ‘Net Loss’ methodology used to determine how much to refund players, revealing that his company ran into many issues.

“We were limited by the information available to us and we had legacy data sources and applications from the previous owners that we learned we could not trust,” Leggett blogged. “We also were initially relying on the old UB software developers to help us with the analysis, which proved very problematic.

“We eventually hired independent database analysts and a poker mathematician to help us redo the analysis because of the frustrations we had dealing with the problems.

Leggett gives extensive detail on how the exercise involved, the difficulties that were faced and how the ‘Net Loss’ assessment worked.

In closing, he referred to the significance of another refund analysis carried out by Uri Kozai, an expert employed by the liquidators of Excapsa, the owners of the company which sold the poker operations to Tokwiro. The liquidators were motivated by a desire to confirm the amounts of money Tokwiro claimed were stolen from players was accurate.

“We eventually settled with [the previous owners] for $15 million in order to get players their money back,” Leggett claimed. “Excapsa is currently in liquidation and required court approval to settle with us.

“[Kozai’s] analysis was nowhere near as thorough as ours. He simply reviewed the work we did and was satisfied that our analysis was accurate. It is untrue that he developed the refund methodology that we used.”