Note: the first post in this thread has been edited to include a summary of this scandal. The original post remains intact below the break.
May 18, 2008
AN OPENING THOUGHT
This following is a summary of this thread which originally appeared in the High Stakes No Limit forum on twoplustwo.com (to be referred to from here on as 2+2) where the story of corruption at Ultimate Bet originally broke. Ultimate Bet, an online poker room founded in 2001 and one of the largest in the online poker industry, has been given ample opportunity to refute any of the statements in that thread, but have chosen not to do so as of this writing. Every claim made in the summary that follows in this thread is backed up by insurmountable evidence, which can be provided by request. Some of that evidence is included in this thread and there are links to many of the source in this thread. If Ultimate Bet or Absolute Poker feels inclined to refute anything that is said in this summary, they’re urged to do so.
I believe that it is important for online poker players to know about the unethical business practices of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. It is also imperative to understand that these unscrupulous activities are not an indictment on the entire online poker industry. As you read this thread please keep in mind that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker are owned by the same company. They are also regulated by the same puppet regulatory commission. Most poker sites are run with the utmost integrity and security. Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker are the exception and not the rule.
I urge the concerned reader to pass word of this summary on to other interested parties. The spread of this information will ultimately protect poker players from unknowingly exposing themselves to the corruption detailed below. If any reader is unfamiliar with any poker or technical terminology contained within, please let me know and an explanation will be provided.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to every one who investigated this scandal and who have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth and demand restitution for the affected parties. I did not participate in any part of the investigation myself, all I did was summarize the hard work of posters such as 'trambopoline,' 'dlpnyc21,' Nat Arem, and 'Josem.' Thank you also to poker columnist Gary Wise who took the time to fact check and edit this post.
Last, I want to make it clear that neither Two Plus Two Publishing nor any of its associative media is in any way responsible for these investigations, nor the accusations made based on their results. We thank Two Plus Two for providing an open forum in which those who have been investigating Ultimate Bet’s actions could gather and exchange information.
It has been one hundred fifty days since allegations about suspicious activity in the high stakes no limit games on Ultimate Bet were first made public in this thread in the High Stakes No Limit forum (referred to as ‘HSNL’ from this point) on twoplustwo.com
Several million dollars were stolen and the evidence in the HSNL thread indicates very strongly that:
- Ultimate Bet has known about the cheating for at least nine months.
- Ultimate Bet knew about but did not make any attempt to acknowledge the cheating before it was exposed on 2+2.
- People who worked for Ultimate Bet facilitated the cheating.
- Ultimate Bet actively took steps to cover up these crimes and thwart the investigation of this scandal.
- Ultimate Bet did not make any public statements or acknowledge that cheating had occurred until March 6th, 2008, three full months after the crimes became public.
- Ultimate Bet has not reached out to any of the players who were stolen from (many of whom still don't know that they were cheated). When players read the HSNL thread, discover that they have been cheated and attempt to contact Ultimate Bet, they’re forced to wait several days for an email response, only to be told that Ultimate Bet is 'looking into the allegations.'
- Ultimate Bet has not offered to reimburse any of the victims of the theft.
The first post in HSNL thread
provided irrefutable evidence, including a graphic (below) proving that that the player NioNio's winning statistics were abnormal.
Note: this image was posted 3 lines into the first post alleging misconduct at Ultimate Bet
Over the 2,984 hands examined in the first post, NioNio won $293,677.16; a rate of approximately 155 big blinds per 100 hands played (bb/100).
Less than twenty-four hours after the initial allegations were posted on 2+2, on the 68th post in the HSNL thread, 2+2’er 'Josem' created the following scatter plot;
The yellow data point in the upper-right corner is the accused NioNio account
Some facts about the scatter plot image that was posted on January 9th:
- There are 870 “normal” accounts from a variety of sites and limits.
- Each of those other accounts has at least 2,500 hands logged on them.
- The graph expresses big blinds won/100 hands. BB/100 represents the total winnings, expressed in number of big blinds at the stakes being played, that each player won per one-hundred hands that they played.
- The mean BB/100 win rate in the sample is 1.528 BB/100.
- The standard deviation is 14.08 BB/100.
- NioNio is winning at approximately 10 standard deviations above the mean.
Assuming a normal distribution of win rates, the chance that NioNio's results could be explained by variance is 1:131,236,127,000,000,000,000,000.
Expressed another way, 1:131,236,127,000,000,000,000,000 is about the same as winning the powerball jackpot three days in a row.
This information was all posted and explained within 24 hours of the first post about this scandal on 2+2.
On March 6th, 2008
in a long-anticipated press release , Ultimate Bet concluded that after “extensive inquiry involving an independent third-party expert… NioNio account’s winning statistics were indeed abnormal” but did not reveal whether they’d found an unfair advantage existed. This press release is the only time that Ultimate Bet has publicly addressed this issue.
Originally Posted by Ultimate Bet
Montreal, Canada (March 6, 2008) – UltimateBet (UB), one of the ten largest online Poker cardrooms, today issued the following interim statement with respect to allegations of unfair play on its site.
“On January 12, 2008, UltimateBet was alerted to allegations that a player with the online handle “NioNio” exhibited abnormally high winning statistics and was accused of having an unfair advantage during play. These allegations were made both directly to UltimateBet by concerned players and the KGC, and indirectly through several web forums. The allegations also included reports of suspicious activity concerning the deletion of the NioNio account and other accounts that may have been related to this scheme.
“We immediately launched an extensive inquiry involving an independent third-party expert to review hundreds of thousands of hand histories, all of which were promptly locked down and made available to this expert. The initial findings of our third-party expert confirm that the NioNio account’s winning statistics were indeed abnormal, and we have expanded the investigation to look into whether an unfair advantage existed, how such a scheme might have been perpetrated, and whether additional accounts beyond those of NioNio were involved.
“UltimateBet is in regular communications and contact with its regulatory authority, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), and will continue to cooperate fully with that body.
“UltimateBet is determined to complete a full and thorough investigation. We pride ourselves on providing a safe, secure playing environment for our customers. The investigation has proven to be extremely complex and, therefore, has been more extensive and taken much longer than initially expected. We continue to aggressively pursue the matter and will communicate the findings of our full investigation to our regulatory authority and to our customer base as soon as practicable.”
THE KEY PLAYERS
Ultimate Bet is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG
, a privately owned company that also owns and operates Absolute Poker.
Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG is run by Joe Norton
, the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker are overseen and licensed by the “independent” Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a regulatory arm of the Mowhawk Indian tribe in Canada.
THE ABSOLUTE POKER SCANDAL: A Short Summary
Suspicious activity at Absolute Poker
In August 2007 a player on Absolute Poker with the username of POTRIPPER won the weekly $1,000 buyin tournament in a highly suspicious manner: he played an abnormally high percentage of his hands preflop and played near-flawless Poker after the flop, seeming to always fold when his opponent had a strong hand and raise when his opponent was bluffing.
With the field down to two players, the tournament culminated in an unbelievable hand where the board read 4
. POTRIPPER’s opponent, Marco Johnson, playing under the name CrazyMarco, made a massive check-raise all in with a flush draw 9
only to be called by POTRIPPER’s T
. POTRIPPER’s ten high, no pair, no draw held up to win the tournament.
Johnson was suspicious of POTRIPPER’s play. He contacted Absolute Poker, asked for the play be investigated and that the tournament hand history be sent to him. Absolute Poker responded that they’d looked into his play and could not find anything suspicious. They emailed Johnson the hand history in an encrypted Microsoft Excel file. Since it would be tiresome to go through the Excel file and because Absolute Poker had apparently investigated the play, Johnson didn’t examine things any closer for the time being.
In September of 2007, this thread
was posted in the high stakes limit forum on 2+2 alleging suspicious play in the $150/$300 limit games on Absolute Poker. There were three players--STEAMROLLER, GREYCAT and DOUBLEDRAG--who despite playing what can be defined mathematically as a losing strategy, were crushing the games. Suspicious posters on 2+2 started examining hands that they had played against these three opponents. In analyzing the hands they found that the three suspicious accounts played most of their hands preflop and then were very aggressive postflop. The most suspicious play generally came on the river (the final betting round,) where seemingly every single time an opponent of the named accounts bluffed, they would be called down lightly or they would be raised and forced to fold. Every single time.
Once the data was compiled, it was thoroughly analyzed both on a hand by hand basis and by looking at the data as a whole. The following scatter plot was created by 2+2 poster Nat Arem. In the scatter plot VPIP stands for the percentage of hands in which a player put non-blind money into the pot preflop.
The red dot on the top right of the graph is alleged cheating account
Out of a sample of 5,251 players, the suspects were an unfathomable fifteen standard deviations above than the mean.
Convinced that these opponents had the ability to see their hole cards, players emailed Absolute Poker’s security department en masse, presenting the evidence and demanding an inquiry. They were completely stonewalled.
The available data had made the investigators nearly certain that STEAMROLLER, GREYCAT and DOUBLEDRAG were cheating, but the only way to have definitive proof was to see the cards that those three accounts were playing. Thankfully, every poker site has the ability to review a player’s hands for suspicious activity, so the posters in this High Stakes Limit thread
called and emailed Absolute Poker’s security department asking them to look into the issue.
On October 12th, 2007, Absolute Poker finally responded to the allegations saying
(note: emphasis is mine
Official Absolute Poker Response To Player Fraud Allegations
Absolute Poker takes all allegations of player fraud and collusion extremely seriously. Fair play and security are of paramount importance to us. Our Security and Fraud Department is dedicated to ensuring that everyone on the site has a fair opportunity to win, and that no improper methods, devices, programs and/or other unfair advantages are ever utilized in our games.
We were greatly concerned by a recent thread on the 2+2 forums along with emails and other communications we received, regarding alleged player fraud. We thank the vigilant players who reported this matter to us, giving us an opportunity to investigate these serious allegations. We spent extensive resources thoroughly investigating and analyzing our players’ claims. While our investigation is ongoing, we feel that we have enough information at this point to share with you some of our findings.
Please be advised, that we will continue to investigate each and every claim of wrong-doing on an individual basis and we will report any further significant findings that are appropriate for public review. Also, please keep in mind, while we endeavor to provide as much information as possible on a public level, we take our players’ privacy issues very seriously, and will never compromise this. As a matter of Company policy, Absolute Poker never divulges personal information about our players nor do we make public any hand information that did not go to a showdown, ever. As a result, we are limited in terms of the level of information that we can provide for public review.
In response to the allegations, we froze the accounts of the players in question while we performed an extensive investigation. The result of our investigation is that we found no evidence that any of Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security were compromised. In other words, we have determined with reasonable certainty that it is impossible for any player or employee to see hole cards as was alleged. There is no part of the technology that allows for a “superuser” account, and there is no way for any person to influence the game software to their advantage. We base this finding on a thorough security check on a technological level, coupled with a thorough investigation of hand histories including those that did not go to a showdown. As a part of our investigation, we also tested the integrity of our certified random number generator (“RNG”.) We determined that our RNG was not compromised either.
Details of the investigation:
We combed through all hands involving the accounts that were mentioned in the online forums. Please note that only a select number of hands were featured in the threads. Our ongoing investigation continues to show that there were countless instances where a somewhat unorthodox Poker strategy resulted in a loss. Allegations that the player accounts at issue “always guessed right” are unfounded.
We examined screen shots from Poker Tracker Software that displayed an “infinite” river aggression factor for one of the player accounts at issue. We examined similar screen shots which showed a lower but still relatively high river aggression factor. We were very concerned by this anomaly. Accordingly, we reviewed each and every hand that this player played during the relevant time period and determined that while the play was extremely aggressive, particularly on the river, there were several instances where the player merely called on the river. Thus, the allegation that the player accounts at issue “never called on the river, they either raised or folded” are also without merit.
With respect to the allegation of chip dumping, we have determined that chip dumping by at least one of the accounts at issue, did in fact, take place. We have determined that the chip dumping was made to several seemingly unrelated accounts. We are continuing to investigate this issue.
A ‘super-user’ account does not exist in our software. Absolute Poker was created by Poker players who value security and fair play. The back-end of the Absolute Poker software prevents the possibility of any such feature. Our game client only receives data regarding an individual’s hand and no other player hole cards are ever visible – by anyone – except in the event of a showdown. Having said that, we will continue this investigation as well as look into any other allegations of wrong-doing. If appropriate, we will freeze funds and reimburse effected players.
Absolute Poker remains a 100% secure place to play. We value all of our players and we will continue to provide our community with a safe, secure and exciting online Poker experience.
The Absolute Poker Management
The posters in the High Stakes Limit thread
were sure that there was cheating going on but, as one poster pointed out; “Well WE will really never be able to PROVE that these players are cheating…without further knowledge of their opponents hands”
The Break in the AP Case
After reading the thread about possible cheaters at Absolute Poker and reading Absolute Poker’s official statement, Marco Johnson came to believe that all of the suspicious play on Absolute Poker was unlikely to be a coincidence. He went back to the e-mail he’d received in response to his inquiry in order to take a closer look at the hand history.
Upon this second look, Johnson realized that the hole cards of all of the players had been included in the email, an alarming fact as no entity including the Absolute Poker powers-that-be should have access to that information (a fact confirmed
by Absolute Poker in their official statement published less than twenty-four hours later). The text version of the hand history can be found in this thread
. You can also watch the hands played out on a video replayer that was uploaded onto youtube
. If you read the hands or watch the video, you will have no doubt that POTRIPPER had the ability to see his opponents hole cards.
Upon examination of this master hand history, the cheating could not have been any more apparent (even someone who doesn’t play Poker regularly can watch that youtube video and see there’s something extra-sensory going on). After the second hand of the tournament, from the 10/20 blind level to the 100/200 blind level in, POTRIPPER only folded preflop four times. Each time he folded, a player behind him held a big pair. POTRIPPER played the tournament perfectly for someone with knowledge of his opponents cards, raising whenever opponents had nothing and folding whenever they held a strong hand.
After analyzing the master hand history, it was not only obvious that POTRIPPER and the other players were cheating at Absolute Poker, but also that the cheater clearly had access to a superuser account (a term applied to describe an account that could see every hand on the table in circumstances where those cards would normally be hidden). It was now apparent that Absolute Poker knew about the cheating, was intentionally engaging in a cover-up, and had deliberately lied in their press release that was sent out just one day earlier.
THE ABSOLUTE AFTERMATH
In summary, the Absolute Poker press release had stated that:
- ”We spent extensive resources thoroughly investigating and analyzing our players’ claims.”
- The result of our investigation is that we found no evidence that any of Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security were compromised.
- ”we have determined with reasonable certainty that it is impossible for any player or employee to see hole cards as was alleged. There is no part of the technology that allows for a “superuser” account”
- ”We base this finding on a thorough security check on a technological level, coupled with a thorough investigation of hand histories including those that did not go to a showdown”
Less than twenty-four hours later it was proven by the investigation’s collaborators that:
- It would be impossible to look at the players’ hole cards without immediately recognizing that POTRIPPER had a superuser account.
- Absolute Poker knew that their game security had been compromised and they tried to cover it up.
- Absolute Poker had planned on continuing to lie about the cheating and had no inclination to repay the players who had been stolen from.
The collaborators investigating Absolute Poker had provided proof of what
had actually happened. They knew when
the cheating had occurred and more importantly for our purposes, when it stopped. They knew how
the cheating had occurred. The why
should be obvious.
The last big question needing an answer was who
was doing the cheating.
While inspecting the POTRIPPER hand history, some of the collaborators discovered that this file also contained the IP addresses and user details (including email addresses) of all players seated and observing the table. User #363 (which eventually was identified as the superuser account with hole card access) and POTRIPPER both had their accounts traced back to Costa Rica, the home of Absolute Poker’s servers. The e-mail address and IP address linked to #363 was the same as that of another observer using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
, the owner of which was allegedly Absolute Poker co-founder Scott Tom.
Further investigations revealed that rivieraltd.com’s mail server IP (18.104.22.168) was allocated to Absolute Entertainment SA at Mohawk Internet Technologies data center (po12.dr4.kdca.mohawk.ca
. Two hours after this discovery was posted on twoplustwo the DNS information at rivieraltd.com had been deleted. Tracks were being covered.
Mohawk.ca should also sound familiar to those of you paying attention so far. To refresh your memory:
Ultimate Bet is owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG , a privately owned company that also owns and operates Absolute Poker .
Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG is run by Joe Norton, the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the regulatory arm of the Mohawk Indian tribe in Canada.
The superuser account that cheated and stole money on Absolute Poker was being operated by Absolute Poker's founder and it also had direct ties to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and Ultimate Bet. It was no wonder why Absolute Poker tried to cover up the cheating.
More details on the technical side of the Absolute Poker investigation can be found in the posts made after 10/16/07 in this thread
For more information about the Absolute Poker scandal please check the links in this section as well as the websites which have been created to discuss this scandal such as,absolutepokercheats.com
, and AbsoluteDetectives.com
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY AT ULTIMATE BET
By January of 2008, many high stakes no limit hold’em players on Ultimate Bet had become highly suspicious of the playing styles and win rates of some players on the site.
Investigating the hands that these players played showed that they saw as many flops and turns as possible, they called bluffs with incredibly weak holdings, and they seemingly never lost. These players were employing what should be a losing strategy and they were playing in the highest stakes games on Ultimate Bet, yet they showed the highest win rates of anybody playing any poker game anywhere in the world (other than the Absolute Poker cheaters).
Their abnormal playing style of seeing many flops and turns along with their regularly calling river bets with extremely marginal holdings at an alarming rate of success, indicated a possibility that these players, like the players in the Absolute Poker scandal, had the ability to see their opponents hidden hole cards.
Ultimate Bet was informed about this problem within twenty-four hours of the creation of the HSNL thread
on January 8th, 2008. The Kahnawake gaming Commission was notified soon thereafter.
Collecting the Evidence
After the Absolute Poker scandal it was clear that the poker sites were unwilling to regulate themselves and that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was also uninterested with protecting the game. Frustrated by what seemed to be another major cheating scandal by a Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG poker site, posters on twoplustwo set out to find the truth.
While reviewing hands that they had played, twoplustwo posters 'trambopoline' and 'dlpnyc21' noticed that they had both lost significant sums of money to the player ”NioNio”. In only 3,000 hands against trambopoline and dlpnyc21 ”NioNio”, had profited an astonishing $300,000.
”NioNio” had an incredibly high VP$IP of approximately 60/40 (meaning that he put money into the pot preflop with 60% of the hands that he was dealt and that he raised preflop with 40% of his hands, abnormally high statistics for a winning player in these games). He cold called 3 bets and 4 bets at an abnormally high frequency and he made very thin value bets and repeatedly made what would otherwise be questionable calls against bluffs. Essentially, his play was consistent of that of a poor poker player, not one who was winning $300,000 in 3,000 hands.
NioNio's play was nearly identical to the play of POTRIPPER with one exception; where POTRIPPER would only raise or fold on the river, NioNio would on occasion call. It would eventually become obvious this served to make his omniscience less obvious.
Concerned about NioNio's play trambopoline turned to www.MyPokerIntel.com
, a website which records all high stakes games that are played online, to gather more evidence.
MyPokerIntel.com provides a summary of anyone’s last 14 sessions. In those 14 sessions, NioNio had 13 winning sessions and was up approximately 135k. His one losing session consisted of a mere 2k loss. The stats on MyPokerIntel.com also showed that NioNio had beaten the games at a rate of 114 big blinds per 100 hands over the 8,000 hands that he had played. As a base of comparison, the absolute best players in the world strive to win 15 bb/100.
What was even more incriminating was the fact that the last date he played on that account was September 4th, the same week the AP scandal broke.
Below is a spreadsheet that lists NioNio's profits from each session that he played on Ultimate Bet;
NioNio had won over 600k in a mere 64 hours of play, a hourly rate of $9,687.96/hr. One of the ‘wow’ figures from this investigation is that the average American works 2088 hours a year, not counting overtime. If NioNio worked for those same 2088 hours he would have an annual salary of $20,209,668.48.
Ulitmatebuddy.com is a website which provides a search feature for Ultimate Bet players. When trambopoline searched for NioNio on Ultimatebuddy, he found an odd message stating that NioNio's account no longer existed. This meant that his name was either changed or that it had been closed.
In order for an account on Ultimate Bet to have a user name changed or for an account to be closed the owner of the account must personally contact the company and the security department process the request. This is the first indication that Ultimate Bet knew about the cheater several months prior to the January 8th post on 2+2.
As many of you know, when you cash out of an online poker site, the cash out must first be cleared through the site's security department. Major withdrawals from new players are examined with additional scrutiny.
It defies reason to believe that a red flag was not raised when a new player began beating the highest stakes games on Ultimate Bet at a win rate that was ten standard deviations over his expectation. But even if Ultimate Bet's security department was so incompetent as to not investigate NioNio's account while the cheating was taking place it is virtually impossible that they did not investigate him when he requested to have name changed and cashed out in September 2007 .
It is simply unfathomable that red flag was not raised when NioNio, the most successful Poker player in the history of the world, a guy for whom logging onto Ultimate Bet was like going to an ATM machine... and stealing the whole thing, abruptly decided a couple days after the Absolute Poker scandal became public that he wanted to close his account. The only rational conclusion is that Ultimate Bet had full knowledge of the cheating as it was taking place and deliberately allowed it to continue just like at their sister site Absolute Poker where the founder of the company was cheating and orchestrating cover-up.
After 'trambopoline' and 'dlpnyc21' showed beyond any reasonable doubt in the HSNL thread
that NioNio was cheating, many more 2+2’ers began compiling their hand histories and searching through www.myPokerintel.com
for suspicious accounts.
If it was happening with one account why couldn’t it be happening on others? Within a matter of days, posters on 2+2 identified a number of accounts as having highly suspicious activity. They all played the same 60/40/aggressive style that was shared by NioNio and the superuser at Absolute Poker and all stopped playing around September 07, 2007 when the Absolute Poker scandal broke. They also all had had success at a profit rate of several degrees better than the win rates showed by the best players in the world.
These suspicious accounts were:
Flatbroke33, iLike2win, monizzzle, nionio, nopaddles, nymobser, nvtease, sleeplesss, stoned2nite, utakeit2, and whackme44.
Prior to January 8th, 2008, the day that the allegations were posted on twoplustwo, eight out of the ten accounts had been closed or had their screen name changed. Upon releasing these names in the HSNL thread
, which was obvious was being closely watched by Ultimate Bet, the last 2 accounts were immediately closed or had their account name changed. This is known because within 24 hours they no longer appeared on ultimatebuddy.com
when searched for. Just like with Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet's management was covering their tracks.
Nat Arem (N82 50 24 on twoplustwo) was able to give trambopoline some further damning information. From the contacts he had from the AP scandal, he was able to confirm 3 things;
- The NioNio account was changed to nymobser.
- The Nopaddles account was changed to sleeplesss.
- The changes were made on the same day.
The operator of these accounts would play high stakes no limit as NioNio. After they cheated someone out of enough money to inspire suspicion, the operator would then switch to the Nopaddles account. After they had exhausted the entire player pool by cheating everyone with both accounts, they again changed screen names and ran the same scam as nymobser and sleepless.
It should again be pointed out that it is standard procedure for an account asking to change its screen name to be scrutinized by a poker site’s security team. Looking at a single session that NioNio or Nopaddles played would be enough to show an almost imperceptibly small chance that the accounts were not
cheating. It is simply beyond the realm of possibility that several insiders did not realize that these accounts were cheating when these accounts were investigated after requesting a name change in the middle of 2007. Instead of stopping the theft Ultimate Bet allowed them to change screen names and in doing so facilitated the cheating.
If you have a gmail account, you will be able to access this spreadsheet containing the playing statistics from all of the accounts in question. This is an incredibly damning piece of evidence;
Spreadsheet with the playing data from the cheaters at Ultimate Bet
The detailed hand logs in that spreadsheet contain of all data from each session played by the cheating accounts. One can see the exact time each account played each session, how much was won and other pertinent info.
Looking at the times that the cheating accounts played one can observe instance after instance where one account would sign in, play a short session against a particular player, then sign onto a new screen name and play another session against the same player, making huge profits on each account. This was done in order to minimize the amount of hands that each account played against each high stakes player in hopes that the lack of data would keep the cheating under the radar. Once the two accounts had played all of the regular high stakes players they would be closed and two more accounts would be opened and the process repeated.
Here is a screen shot with some specific stats from these players:
The date next to their name indicates the last date they played on Ultimate Bet;
Flatbroke33 = 8/11, 65.5 PTbb/100 over 3753 hands- deleted or name changed.
iLike2win = 6/22, 37.34 PTbb/100 over 5545 hands - deleted or name changed.
Nionio = 9/4, 57.3 PTbb/100 over 8100 hands - name changed to nymobser.
Nopaddles = 8/31, 89.6 PTbb/100 over 1508 hands - name changed to sleepless.
Nymobser = 9/26, 46.7 PTbb/100 over 899 hands - now deleted or name changed. This name was still active when it was first mentioned in the HSNL thread
, but within 24 hours of it being identified in the thread the account was closed.
Monizzle = 11/20, 38.51PTbb/100 over 2265 hands - deleted or name changed.
Sleeplesss = 9/22, 98.87 PTbb/100 over 1561 hands - now deleted or name changed. This name was still active when it was first mentioned in the HSNL thread
, but within 24 hours of it being identified in the thread the account was closed.
stoned2nite = 6/30, 129.2 PTbb/100 over 777 hands - deleted or name changed.
Utakeit2 = 8/29, 45.41 PTbb/100 over 8046 hands - deleted or name changed.
Whackme44 = 8/20, 47.73 PTbb/100 over 946 hands - deleted or name changed.
For the 7 accounts out of 10 that we received detailed records on, their total take was over $1.5 million. It is still unknown how much the other 3 accounts stole.
Other than their one press release stating that a three month extensive investigation revealed that NioNio had "abnormally high winning statistics" (something that was proven three lines into the first post in the HSNL thread) Ultimate Bet has not made any public comments about these findings. Ultimate Bet has also largely refused to discuss this scandal with its players other than to say that their investigation is ongoing. Ultimate Bet has not acknowledged their involvement in the cheating.
To this date the perpetrators of the Absolute Poker scandal have not been charged with any crimes. It is unknown if Ultimate Bet has filed charges against the people responsible for this multi million dollar theft or crimes related to the cover-up of these crimes.
Out of the hundreds of online poker sites, the only two sites to ever be caught exploiting a superuser account to steal from its customers are both owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG and licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
The players on Ultimate Bet were victims of a serious crime: grand larceny facilitated by a company that operates virtually outside the law. I hope that the efforts spent investigating and publicizing this story will help the victims of these crimes find restitution. I hope that this story will also highlight the need for independent regulation in the online poker industry.
Please use this thread to discuss the the best way to convince Ultimate Bet to come clean about their involvement in this theft and to provide restitution for these crimes. Please also use this thread to discuss the best ways to ensure that a scandal such as this one does not taint the game of poker occur ever again.
I hereby grant the right for anyone, including all members of the media to take excerpts from this summary and/or to republish it in part or in whole as long as the work is properly cited and credited to its author.
Once again I would like to thank the dedicated people who spent hundreds of man hours that investigating this scandal, most of whom had no incentive for doing so other than a desire to preserve the integrity of the game that they love. Special thanks to Gary Wise for helping me edit this summary.
Mod note: This is the original first post in this thread. An allegation of suspicious play by poster Omniheart:
This is his pokertracker stats and the people he beat over 3k hands. This is all the hands from gaucho, trambo and mrwonkman. It would be great if CTS, Raptor, Boosted, JMX and Arbian or whoever played against him to send me the hands he is involved to make clear.
1) Value Betting A9 high
Hand #45623277-463 at Waterbury (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 30/Aug/07 15:16:37
NioNio is at seat 2 with $52357.
arbianight is at seat 5 with $13389.
The button is at seat 5.
arbianight posts the small blind of $50.
NioNio posts the big blind of $100.
NioNio: -- --
arbianight: -- --
arbianight raises to $300. NioNio re-raises to $900.
Flop (board: 8s Jd Qd):
NioNio checks. arbianight bets $1800. NioNio calls.
Turn (board: 8s Jd Qd 4h):
NioNio checks. arbianight checks.
River (board: 8s Jd Qd 4h 2s):
NioNio bets $5400. arbianight calls.
NioNio shows 9h Ac.
NioNio has 9h Ac 8s Jd Qd: ace high.
arbianight mucks cards.
Hand #45623277-463 Summary:
$1 is raked from a pot of $16200.
NioNio wins $16199 with ace high.
2) More sick value bets
Hand #44558824-288 at Ann Arbor (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 19/Jul/07 05:52:12
mrwonkaman is at seat 0 with $7440.
CloseUrEyes is at seat 1 with $14341.
piejay is at seat 2 with $7623.
NioNio is at seat 3 with $32271.
maxEmus125 is at seat 4 with $20971.
elpanchito is at seat 5 with $10647.
The button is at seat 0.
CloseUrEyes posts the small blind of $50.
piejay posts the big blind of $100.
mrwonkaman: 6h Jh
CloseUrEyes: -- --
piejay: -- --
NioNio: -- --
maxEmus125: -- --
elpanchito: -- --
NioNio raises to $350. maxEmus125 folds. elpanchito
re-raises to $1200. mrwonkaman folds. CloseUrEyes
folds. piejay folds. NioNio calls.
Flop (board: 5c Js As):
NioNio checks. elpanchito checks.
Turn (board: 5c Js As 9s):
NioNio bets $2550. elpanchito calls.
River (board: 5c Js As 9s Ks):
NioNio bets $4300. elpanchito calls.
NioNio shows 8s 5h.
NioNio has 8s Js As 9s Ks: flush, ace high.
elpanchito mucks cards.
(elpanchito has Jd Kh.)
Hand #44558824-288 Summary:
$3 is raked from a pot of $16250.
NioNio wins $16247 with flush, ace high.