When it comes to developments in the UltimateBet/AP superuser scandal, there are three major instigators: DonkDown Radio, Haley Hintze, and Joe Sebok. Over the past week, the poker world had the opportunity to hear from all three, and each fueled the flames to the UltimateBet scandal. What were the new developments? They involve new cheating allegations, TwoPlusTwo and Twitter drama, and allegations connecting former UltimateBet CEO Greg Pierson to the superuser scandal.
Password Cheating Allegations
On Wed., March 16, 2011, DonkDown Radio revisited the idea, first presented by Travis Makar, that UltimateBet employees had engaged in cheating above and beyond the superuser scandal. DonkDown alleged that employees identified players with high balances on the site, gained access to their accounts by changing their passwords, played under those accounts, and “transferred or dumped the money back to their own account” if they won. On the other hand, if they lost, they hoped the player wouldn’t notice. Furthermore, it was alleged that players were sent a “security e-mail” that claimed “the system automatically changed their password for security reasons.”
DonkDown went on to post an email it had obtained from a player that seemed to corroborate Makar’s allegations that the cheating continued to occur even after the management change (note the date):
Subject: Your password was reset
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 17:15:30 -0500
As a security measure, your password has been securely and randomly reset by the system. Your temporary password is ********. Please log into your account using this temporary password. We strongly recommend changing your password to a more personalized and easier to remember password as soon as you log in. To modify your password, simply select "Update Profile" from the "My Account" menu and then click on the "Change Password" link. If there is anything else we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always here to assist you.
We look forward to seeing you at the tables again soon!
The UB Team
While the above e-mail is not proof by itself, the recipient explained that his attempts to obtain more information from UB have been ignored. DonkDown Radio co-host Todd Witteles elaborated in their forum by providing examples on how a password change could benefit cheaters and pointed out that neither PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker “randomly” force password resets. He went on to say, “I think Travis has to be onto something here, even if his details aren't 100% correct.” One thing is for sure, the emails helped fuel the fire when it came to Makar’s allegations.
Sebok Addresses TwoPlusTwo
Encouraged by his friend Shane Schleger, Joe Sebok started a TwoPlusTwo thread to "address some UB-related comments," among other things.
In the post, Sebok reiterated some facts about the UlitmateBet superuser scandal, which are summarized below:
He admits that the new UB management has made some mistakes, but he does not believe they: “a) actively helped the individuals who cheated to do so or get away with it, b) have doctored hand histories themselves to cover things up, or c) have attempted to hide facts to pay less money out in refunds.”
Both UB and Sebok want any and all information to be released.
UB does not censor, encourage, nor control what Sebok says and does.
Sebok continues to believe that the current ownership is different from the former ownership.
He will attempt to answer reasonable questions on TwoPlusTwo
Indeed, Sebok went on to answer selected questions and tried to establish “some common ground” on some of the UltimateBet facts. The question-and-answer thread, which has been active over the past few days, can be viewed in its entirety on TwoPlusTwo.
Just Conjecturin’, Volume 30
Haley Hintze has been as diligent as anyone in investigating the UltimateBet superuser scandal. In fact, she very well may be the world’s foremost authority on the situation. In her blog, she has posted volumes of information regarding all things UltimateBet in a series known as “Just Conjecturin’.” In her most recent blog, aptly titled, Volume 30: Naming Names — Greg Pierson, Hintze wrote that “Pierson, the President and CEO of ieLogic and Iovation, the company behind the company behind UltimateBet, was another of the likely superusers behind the scandal.”
In that blog, Hintze explained how Pierson’s wife, Janelle Lynn Pierson, became involved in an expensive legal battle after having an affair with one of her high school students. Apparently, the whole debacle put the Pierson's in a tough economic position, which was a possible motivation leading to the cheating scandal’s inception. From there, Hintze laid out Pierson’s position within the company, one that would allow him to develop the “God Mode” program, along with his relationship with Russ Hamilton and Mansour Matloubi, noting, “It was Pierson who had to have held the programming reins, and who reached an agreement with Hamilton and Matloubi [the operational bosses of UltimateBet] to allow the God Mode code to be inserted into the UB client, which in turn allowed the cheating to take place.”
Hintze went on to suggest that perhaps, “Pierson got cold feet about the cheating and decided to cover his own tracks while leaving other cheating accounts in place that could be easily tied to others, as in those pointing to Hamilton.” Hintze’s argument, which is simply summarized here, is backed up with plenty of facts and circumstantial evidence that lends credence to her hypothesis.
For more on the subject, check out Hintze's entire blog.
No doubt the new allegations will inspire new information and responses concerning the UltimateBet superuser scandal, in which case, PokerNews will be here to keep you abreast of the latest developments.