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Old 10-04-2015, 09:17 PM   #1
Jake_Schindler
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Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Hey,

Thought I should post this here. My motivations being: (a) that Pokerstars decides to not take advantage of me (b) to raise awareness as to their stand on business ethics.

Pokerstars emailed me about a year ago, telling me that my account had been flagged for suspected play in the US. After 50 or so emails back and forth of requested and supplied documents, they decided to seize approximately $250,000 (peak of my account balance this includes deposits from live EPT scores including a cash of 100k Euro) right after WCOOP of '14 on suspicions that I was playing online within the US, with no actual proof.

Pokerstars' suspicions arose from the fact that I played on a remote desktop for ~6 months which location is in Canada. There's no reason I couldn't have also been overseas whenever using the Remote Desktop. Their stand was that alone was incriminating evidence and that no contrary evidence was sufficient There were never ANY rules stating that use of RDC is not allowed. It goes against their own TOS to ban me and seize account funds. I am also now livebanned, unallowed to participate in any EPTs whatsoever.

I supplied Pokerstars with rental car receipts, bank statements which show charges in both CA and Mexico, and more. Pokerstars essentially insisted on me sending them more and more documents and told me that each preceeding document did not contain enough proof of my claims. I believe that Pokerstars was being overly predatory in their approach because of my large account balance.

I assume this decision was made by Pokerstars because they want to reenter US based jurisdictions. For example, they recently entered New Jersey for interstate play. Pokerstars wants to appear as squeaky clean as possible which is somewhat understandable, but outrageous in how they are choosing to handle my specific situation.

Also I have information that right before that WCOOP, Pokerstars emailed a big-time backer (I won't supply names to protect this person's privacy). An internal higher-up at Pokerstars notified a very well known backer that all players accounts will be looked into and closely monitored. They basically hinted to this backer that his syndicate of horses who were likely VPNing would be closely monitored. This is a gross violation of their own TOS and shows their gross unprofessionalism as a company.

To clarify, I only ever played on my personal account. This makes Pokerstars decision even more laughable. There are tons VPNs as well as random multiaccounts popping up all over the place that go unpunished and whilst playing daily.


I saw on twitter recently from a player I follow that at a recent EPT (I believe Barcelona), several peoples chip stacks were missing chips Higher-ups at Pokerstars did nothing to acknowledge this player's complaints. Either employees were stealing chips from players to give to their favorite players on breaks, or players were stealing chips from one anothers stacks with no surveillance.

The players are not protected or respected by Pokerstars. from raising rakes, and doing whatever they can to milk every last $, I think its time that Pokerstars integrity as a company is seriously questioned and brought to light on a grandscale.

Poker has been the activity that I have been most passionate about in my life. Pokerstars has threatened my livelihood, and my passion.

In my case, an obsessive fetish for rules sometimes overcomes common sense and morality. Guilty until proven innocent is Pokerstars current policy on gaming and my situation exemplifies this perfectly. I Felt this should probably be posted here.

I have am in the talks with different lawyers and plan to file a complaint with the Gaming Commission and do whatever else is necessary if Pokerstars does not change their decision regarding my Pokerstars account/balance seizure and EPT ban.

Jake

***

Edit/MH:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Schindler View Post
I played on a RDC owned by Globotech. Others used a RDC owned by Globotech and admitted they were playing while in US when questioned. They simply think i'm guilty by association. I never played when in the US.
***

Edit/MH:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBorders View Post
On February 14th Jake bagged chips in day 1a of WSOPc in Florida: http://www.wsop.com/pdfs/reports/132...ip%20Count.pdf

On February 15th he made the final table of a $109fo on Stars:

He busted the WSOPc event on Sunday the 16th: http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/upda...th-place-8508/

That same evening he played a 109 2x turbo on Stars as shown in the screenshot above.

Last edited by Mike Haven; 10-12-2015 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
restorativejustice
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Can you post text from that original email you referenced?

Also, why did you choose to play on a remote desktop?
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
pmarrsouth
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Request the days that you have been in the USA, provide to PokerStars if they show that you were not in the USA:

http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:21 PM   #4
ArtyMcFly
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

I'm not really sure where to start with this, as there are a few things that seem like juicy gossip, but there's a serious financial matter too.

If the matter is in the hands of lawyers, then the lawyers will sort it out. There's no doubt that some unethical practices happen when large amounts of money are at stake, and those unethical practices are done both by companies and their customers. Sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Pokerstars isn't perfect. We know that. There are plenty of other anti-Stars threads around. But is the purpose of the thread to just fling some mud at Stars, or is it an attempt to get your account and money back?
The regulators at the Gambling Commission are likely to be of much more use to you than 2+2 posters, whether we believe your story or not.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:30 PM   #5
ZeckoRiver
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

why did you wait full year to post?
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:19 PM   #6
Jake_Schindler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeckoRiver View Post
why did you wait full year to post?
because I've been dealing with emails back and forth with them until about a month ago. Thought id be able to settle w/o putting public light on subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtyMcFly View Post
I'm not really sure where to start with this, as there are a few things that seem like juicy gossip, but there's a serious financial matter too.

If the matter is in the hands of lawyers, then the lawyers will sort it out. There's no doubt that some unethical practices happen when large amounts of money are at stake, and those unethical practices are done both by companies and their customers. Sometimes innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Pokerstars isn't perfect. We know that. There are plenty of other anti-Stars threads around. But is the purpose of the thread to just fling some mud at Stars, or is it an attempt to get your account and money back?
The regulators at the Gambling Commission are likely to be of much more use to you than 2+2 posters, whether we believe your story or not.
Trying to show Stars is an unethical dying company and that they stole my money.. expecting exposure can only be a positive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
Request the days that you have been in the USA, provide to PokerStars if they show that you were not in the USA:

http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia
already did this.. they were unable to provide history after several months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by restorativejustice View Post
Can you post text from that original email you referenced?

Also, why did you choose to play on a remote desktop?

investigations@pokerstars.com
10/15/14

to me
Dear Jacob,

We write to inform you that your account has been flagged for review for suspected use of real-money services from within the United States.

We kindly request that you explain your account activity in relation to the above statement.

Your account is currently restricted pending the completion of this review.

We look forward to hear from you.

Regards,
Mark


Because I simply wanted to have an external hard drive, why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashy123 View Post
Even if someone would have played from the US, i dont think it givs Pokerstars the right to confiscate his funds.
I am guilty without proof in their eyes-not only are they confiscating funds, but they told me I am live banned from all live sponsored Pokerstars events as well (EPTs etc).

Last edited by Mike Haven; 10-05-2015 at 05:47 AM. Reason: 5 posts merged
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:36 PM   #7
trashy123
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Even if someone would have played from the US, i dont think it givs Pokerstars the right to confiscate his funds.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:51 PM   #8
SoonAce
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

It might be too late for a complaint to the Gambling Supervision(lol) Commission after one year, but you have 6 years time to go to the Isle of Fraud court.

From my experience, you don't really need a lawyer there:

- The Gambling Commission is criminal

- The police do not respond and forward you to the Gambling Commission in relation to criminal laws(lol)

- You can file your claim personally at the court of justice, while the costs for a lawyer are relatively high. If you need help to file a claim at the court, feel free to contact me.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:06 AM   #9
ArtyMcFly
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Schindler View Post
Trying to show Stars is an unethical dying company and that they stole my money.. expecting exposure can only be a positive.
Fair enough. But it's probably not a winning strategy to play your hand face up in public. Anecdotally, it doesn't seem Stars loses much in situations like this very often (when Stars is viewed as being in the wrong, their usual strategy seems to be to ignore the problem until it goes away), and you could hurt your own reputation much more than you hurt Stars'.

That said, if you're entirely innocent, I wish you success. From the details posted, it certainly seems like a case of the punishment not fitting the "crime", but if you exchanged as many as 50 emails, the case is way too complicated for 2+2, and it's gonna be pointless to rehash the finer details here, as we'll only hear one side of the story, and you're gonna get trolled, or pressed for details about what really happens among high stakes US players and staking groups. That kind of stuff makes everyone look shady imo.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:11 AM   #10
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Cool re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

I'd love to know the pros of playing from a remote desktop and why you'd do so for so long and how you'd do it. Not because I think you're guilty, but it seems odd an old man like me.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:20 AM   #11
pmarrsouth
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Schindler View Post
already did this.. they were unable to provide history after several months.
I can see my entries and exits for USA visits for the last 4 years, online. US citizens can get the same information, albeit through a written process
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:42 AM   #12
nickj7777
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

so much hearsay, not alot of facts.

cool story.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:50 AM   #13
chinamaniac
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

If you were out of the country (meaning outside of U.S. borders) why were you playing remote to another country? This makes like 0 sense to me especially with the lag that occurs in most cases when doing things on PCS remotely

What country were you in when you were playing?

And the pc that was being used was in Canada?

What software were you using to play remotely?
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:32 AM   #14
Bobo Fett
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashy123 View Post
Even if someone would have played from the US, i dont think it givs Pokerstars the right to confiscate his funds.
Of course it does. With them now coming back into the US (in NJ only), it needs to be clear that they take their agreement with the DOJ seriously. And if there's no consequences, there's no reason for people not to try it. Also, if they don't confiscate funds, Stars risks getting freerolled - losing players could try claiming their money back, saying that Stars shouldn't have "let them" play.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:57 AM   #15
ItsOnlyChips
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashy123 View Post
Even if someone would have played from the US, i dont think it givs Pokerstars the right to confiscate his funds.
actually it does, its in their TOS
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:37 AM   #16
SantaCruz
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

OP:

I hope that you get your money back regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent since I think that the punishment probably far outweighs the crime (although it isn't very clear to what extent they are accusing you of playing from the US).

The only problem that I'm having with your opening post is that even though you say that you sent them documentation and you say that they haven't proven their case, nowhere in your post do you say that you never actually played from the US. It seems to me that if you are making a case for your innocence, you should state that you are, in fact, innocent.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:41 AM   #17
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Schindler View Post
Because I simply wanted to have an external hard drive, why not?
So why not use an external hard drive?
Using remote desktop for that seems very inconvenient with the additional lag...
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:48 AM   #18
coinflipper
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re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
I can see my entries and exits for USA visits for the last 4 years, online. US citizens can get the same information, albeit through a written process
it makes no sense to play on a remote desktop/teamviewer for 6 months. If you were doing it legitimately you can request the above quoted info and would have cleared your situation up in an instant. the fact that you couldnt and didnt makes you pretty much guilty.

car rental receipts mean nothing.

your entire post even sounded like a 'there are much worse people then me, what i was doing wasnt so bad' its actually a bit confusing if you were claiming you didnt play from the u.s and why all the extra blah blah about what others/pstars does wrong.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:43 AM   #19
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbt View Post
So why not use an external hard drive?
Using remote desktop for that seems very inconvenient with the additional lag...
It's very slow. It's a very well known service sold mostly to Americans wanting to play on euro sites.

Go to the Highstakes trading thread and you'll see 30-40 400+ player trading stars cash for american wires. Most of these guys are using the same service for the remote machine.

Nothing wrong with it, even ChicagoJoey does it. OP got caught though, that **** happens. It happened to me and a few of my friends over the years. The only way to fight this is having passport proof that you were not in the country.

OP just has to accept that he got caught and nothing can be done. It's a risk and the people who do it always keep very low balances.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:00 AM   #20
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

I think, OP is very likely guilty of playing in the US and there would have been easy ways to show otherwise within the last year, if he actually wasn´t guilty.

The punishment is way too hard, though. He should be banned from pokerstars online and maybe got a 10-20% money-punishment or something like that, but confiscating all the money is out of line since he really did not harm any other players at all.

That said, having that much money in the account and using VPN while playing AT ALL, seems pretty stupid to me. Way too risky
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:45 AM   #21
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

What's interesting is that if you look through his playing history he used to be playing on "Jvbizz"
then switched account to "CallitARush" (thats also his old 2p2 name on which he states his pstar account is jvbizz

ever since the end of 2014 he has changed account again (to avoid being detected when hes in the USA playing on stars)


Last edited by ouanling; 10-05-2015 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:06 AM   #22
AvoidMe?
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

OP: Did you play from the US? Fair question, I guess.

If you don't/can't answer this, there is really no point in arguing here, you knew the rules.

If you say "no", we can discuss this matter from a different perspective, not "was the punishment too harsh" but "They got it wrong./"OP lied publicly".


Edit: Additionally, if you have been in contact with lawyers, I sincerely hope they tried to talk you out of posting this in here - as I think it severely damages your chance of getting your money back.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:11 AM   #23
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouanling View Post
What's interesting is that if you look through his playing history he used to be playing on "Jvbizz"
then switched account to "CallitARush" (thats also his old 2p2 name on which he states his pstar account is jvbizz

ever since the end of 2014 he has changed account again (to avoid being detected when hes in the USA playing on stars)


Pretty sure everyone accepts that he got caught playing in the US. He is not saying that he did not, rather that he is trying to make a case that Stars cannot definitively prove that he did it. Maybe he played with a VPN to a remote computer in Canada while traveling around the world (though not in the US). I mean, everyone does that, right?

Certainly one can debate the "does the punishment fit the crime," and I can understand differing opinions on that, but whether he actually played from the US should not really be in question. If he did not then he would make it clear he did not and he would be easily able to get proof of his whereabouts during the questioned time period to properly document that.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:18 AM   #24
ouanling
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Those machines are 300$/m so of course hes doing it.

Seeing the massive amount of hatred toward vpns in the hastings thread, the punishment does fits the crime according to the vast majority of poker nerds.
My self i dont think poker rooms should be able to steal your money when you get caught(especially when they have no concrete proof) playing outside of the country but im one of those "vpn using, poker destroying *******s".. so very biased after losing a few small rolls.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:33 AM   #25
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Re: Pokerstars confiscated $250k+ from me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouanling View Post
What's interesting is that if you look through his playing history he used to be playing on "Jvbizz"
then switched account to "CallitARush" (thats also his old 2p2 name on which he states his pstar account is jvbizz

ever since the end of 2014 he has changed account again (to avoid being detected when hes in the USA playing on stars)

interesting that he logged out exactly 1y after bf

ul op, call it a 250k+ lesson.
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