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Old 10-21-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
FarseerFinland
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Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I understand that this topic and this issue is very hard to believe. And trust me, I wish that this would all be a bad dream and I would wake up more than anyone else. Also please forgive my bad English, I'm not a native English speaker and I am writing this ready after playing a long session of poker and tired.

First a few word about. Most people probably don't know me, but I am rather frequent and long-standing (would like to think credible) poster in MTT threads here in 2+2 and have been mostly playing in PartyPoker, grinding their highstakes leaderboards for last 1,5 years under alias ”DukeOfSuffolk”). I have probably been playing about half of their 109+ tournaments during last 18 months. I have been also playing leaderboard this week. I think I have decent touch of finding collusion if there's any, but very rarely have seen clear collusion / soft play incidents and before this only in satellites during 13 years I have played online poker.

Cliffs (all got proof later in form of hand histories and player histories)

1st part (18th of October) I end up playing in a final table at Wednesday Turbo Highroller
- In 48 hands with somewhat short stacks none of my final 6 opponents gets all-in and called (I busted 3 opponents)
- There's some specifically interesting hand: 6 bb 3-bet from tight button with 21bb stack and cold 4-bet shove from 17bb big blind when I opened
- After I get busted tournament takes less than 3 minutes to finish (I didn't see the hands)
- Six opponents in top7 have all started to play this year, mostly during May and mostly 109+$ tournaments, and in August they played exactly these tournaments:

Sorcian 10 Clubber IIs (and 3 other tournaments)
domingo661 15 Clubber IIs
SciorXxx 11 Clubber IIs
dimitriax 12 Clubber IIs
GASSGUSS 7 Clubber IIs (first 7 tournaments he ever played)
PowerCarl 11 Clubber IIs

Lots of co-incidences to be left ignored so I inform Party_Rep (who is wonderful doing her job as middle woman between forum and PartyPoker staff). She informs me in Friday that security department is doing full investigation.

2nd part (20th of October)
- I notice that in early highroller there's 4 players from aforementioned final table playing. Before end of late registration all 6 players join. 4 of these didn't play any tournaments in between, while 2 played high rollers on Thursday.
- Instead of playing I decide to record all tables from early highroller and later turbo highroller where collusion players are participating. I try to follow these tables along if there's luck and we'll see some clear collusion by accident. No luck (might well have missed).
- Out from watching two small high rollers in Friday (mainly) F2T 8 other players who have similar tournament history as 6 players in first part appears:

pesnokviv
ven.pax.soy
fausfalser (started July 2017)
diabolicox900 (19 tournaments pre-May 2017 in January and February 2017)
coccopaga090
cheflol (16 tournaments pre-May 2017 in January and February 2017)
A10cooming (started playing July 2017)
PR3PEzzz (started playing July 2017)

Unless otherwise mentioned all eight have accounts that have been playing tournaments since May 2017 and in August they have been playing mainly or only multiple Clubber IIs.

- For Turbo Highroller, top4 places got again manned by people who seem to be part of this collusion.

Video from tournaments at the 2nd part (youtube): https://youtu.be/I0jm3P1lqzs

Timeline: Short version

Between 1st and 2nd part I did inform Party_Rep about my suspicions, and she did deliver my messages to the security team and replied in Friday that they're doing full investigation concerning first turbo highroller. I did also inform a small number of leaderboard regs who I knew had accounts here at 2+2 about the situation and asked that if they had encountered any clearly suspicious collusion to inform Party_Rep.

After 2nd part I did deliver names of 8 new suspects to Party_Rep and informed her that I am about to post this to 2+2 around ~12 hours later to give them a moment to prepare.

Today I have also been informed that all accounts listed have been now suspended until investigation has been concluded.

Proof

All saved web pages from official poker rankings showing tournaments these accounts have played: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b00bbkkwf...N4BEa7Lpa?dl=0

All hand histories from first tournament (except those last few after I busted)as a txt file (dropbox) : https://www.dropbox.com/s/01us3cff24...0%231.txt?dl=0

Tournament lobby from first tournament (showing time when tournament ended):


If you want to help, here's few suggestions what you can do:

1) If you have played with these opponents, check your hand history for possible collusion.
2) If you have some friends who may have played these tournaments, inform them about the issue.
3) It is sure that there's more accounts tied to this collusion ring. Keep on eye if there's more people who have similar tournament history (especially if they have opened their account this year and have been playing mostly 109$+ events, specifically 109$ Clubber 2s during August!)
4) Check the video and see if you can find some hands or longer action sequence that would seem like probable collusion / soft play.

All information relating this incident could be helpful and I would suggest on sending it either on this topic, or if you think it's better kept confidential right to Party_Rep.

It's extremely hard to uncover collusion in MTTs, since hole cards are hidden and usually only very limited amount of hands are played against each opponent in single MTT which has under 100 players after late registration closes.

I would have so much more to tell but I wish to keep this first post as short and focused on pure facts as possible. I will post more of my thoughts later and try to answer any meaningful questions with the best of my ability.

If you have any questions or I have done some mistake please just reply or let me know via PM. I also ask you to stay on topic at hand instead of usual derailing.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:06 AM   #2
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

If mods seem this and consider this might be wrong forum (I wasn't sure if this or Internet Poker were right place to post) just move it. Since this one thread about PP was in NVG thought this more correct place: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...poker-1668211/

Last edited by FarseerFinland; 10-21-2017 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:54 PM   #3
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Thought experiment: lets assume that 10 people each have 10 balls and each person has unique ball color. and there is 500 different baskets. Baskets are closed and everyone puts balls to baskets without knowing what others do. What are the odds that they all put balls in same baskets (which is equal to entering same tournaments)? Would it happen for any group of 10 even if there were 500 people planting the balls?

Obviously people often register tournaments around the same time of day and obviously way more players register bigger fields then smaller, in this case group of people have registered smaller fields, but also games starting at the same time.

Now obviously partypoker has way higher total number of players with similar volume and most players follow random pattern and statistically there is some group of players that have high correlation in their picks, still it wouldn't look anything like this. Taking all things into consideration I assume this is one in a billion or rarer even if there would be more people with similar volume who do not match the pattern.
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

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Originally Posted by Paklu View Post
What are the odds that they all put balls in same baskets (which is equal to entering same tournaments)? Would it happen for any group of 10 even if there were 500 people planting the balls?
What do you mean for any group of 10? There's only one group of 10.

I think I understand the point you're trying to make, but the way this is worded overall is confusing.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
Bageled
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I don't trust ANY online poker site. Just like the Cartels pay off officials, I believe poker rooms do the same online, IMO.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Dropbox (desktop version) makes looking at the saved webpages extremely difficult. Screengrabs might have got the point across better.

It sounds like you have a good case though, so I'm interested to see how this pans out.
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Well thanks for doing all this man.

I've suspected collusion on stars a few times, but never really play on party.

The one time I saw it, there was 1 limper, then a russian limped, and another russian minraised the puck with 2 in, I had 99 & shoved from small probably just over 10BB's. The first russian snapped off, and the other guy folded.
OF course Russian had AA. Looked pretty bad that he limped behind with AA
and then puck minraised.

You seem like good player, so if you suspect collusion your probably right.

Good luck
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:34 AM   #8
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by fasterlearner View Post
The one time I saw it, there was 1 limper, then a russian limped, and another russian minraised the puck with 2 in, I had 99 & shoved from small probably just over 10BB's. The first russian snapped off, and the other guy folded.
OF course Russian had AA. Looked pretty bad that he limped behind with AA
and then puck minraised.
Damn, situations like you describe really make me wonder...
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:16 AM   #9
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I was recently at the FT of a Party Highroller that had 4 of the players in question on it. I reviewed it from final 2 tables on and I didnt really find anything interesting tbh, no obvious signs of collusion but also no obvious signs that there isnt any. Maybe not all the players you mentioned are involved

Some remarks:

- scorian shoved 15BB with ATo OTB in PR3PEzzz' AQo, if I was colluding I would r/f AT here

- Two other players busted each other but the spots were so standard, it would be obvious that they are colluding if the money wouldnt go in

- coccopaga090 and PR3PEzzz did some unusual stuff at the FT like 2.5x'ing with <10BB stack or non-all in 3bets with <20BB stack (against each other)


The playing pattern you described is definitely suspicious and some of these players play pretty weird. Others seem solid tho and over the sample of a few hundred hands I have vastly different HUD stats for them. I think that some dodgy stuff might be going on but think that maybe not all the mentioned players are involved.

I know this post isnt that helpful, just wanted to share my observations.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:11 AM   #10
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtyMcFly View Post
Dropbox (desktop version) makes looking at the saved webpages extremely difficult. Screengrabs might have got the point across better.

It sounds like you have a good case though, so I'm interested to see how this pans out.
I know, but couldn't find any better way to share. If you have Official Poker Ranking account and just log in, you can search them and see them yourself on better format. Wanted to save web pages just in case + share because not everyone have account there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AhornStiefel View Post
The playing pattern you described is definitely suspicious and some of these players play pretty weird. Others seem solid tho and over the sample of a few hundred hands I have vastly different HUD stats for them. I think that some dodgy stuff might be going on but think that maybe not all the mentioned players are involved.

I know this post isnt that helpful, just wanted to share my observations.
Yeah it's super hard to find hard evidence of collusion since we don't see hole cards and no-one has much of history with these accounts. If I would have busted early in the turbo highroller FT against these 6 and those players wouldn't have made it so obvious by both their game history and way to play that they were colluding I wouldn't have noted this collusion.

I think there were lots of meta info which I found suspicious too. For instance, none of them didn't want to make deal while 7 left but seemed to be scared money. Didn't think too much of it at first, but with strange things mounting just decided to check their OPR history and then checked my hand histories again.

That makes me worry even more since if these people wouldn't have gotten so greedy and had been little better organized to cover their tracks how long would have it taken for them to get caught?
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:31 AM   #11
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

To be more specific, you can just check and watch more specific spots, like bubble play, FT-bubble and FT itself. Look how players who are playing for collusion play against each other and other players.

This is start of hand-for-hand in first tournament. 15 -> 13 bubble lasts around 20 minutes. Especially left table is super-interesting. It starts with limp-fold.

https://youtu.be/I0jm3P1lqzs?t=1h28m13s

At this situation 15 left -> 13 paid there's 7 colluders left.

On left table:
A10cooming
cheflol
sorcian
PR3PEzzz
Powercarl

On right table:
GASSGUSS
coccopaga090
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:35 PM   #12
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I did search part of August Clubber2's about which people had cashed, and found 12 more players who are most likely involved in this collusion. Sent information about them to Party_Rep and will publish them tomorrow, after Party has had a chance to freeze their accounts if they haven't done it already.

Otherwise concentrating now solely other things at last, mainly on my games which have suffered hugely this week. I feel that I have done my part, although I promised that if Party security team needs help to uncover this dirty operation I would be available to help after promotions are over. Advised them to get best minds from fraud and (high stakes) MTT team (both inside and outside of PartyPoker) together.

I am also giving Party a chance to reimburse players affected both directly and indirectly through leaderboard. This is huge sum we're talking about what is missing from players, for instance if we assume there's like 50 collusionists in this collusion ring alone, each played 100 tournaments with 200$ abi and 50% ROI that alone would make 500k$. Considering that just scratching the surface have brought 26 out for me that are all almost for certain doing this 50 isn't a long stretch.

For what I have seen I say that's it's also likely that lower MTTs have been colluded at least on some level. Not my job to find that out, but if you've been playing small field 22$-55$ MTTs I would keep my eyes open. If you see anything that looks like probable collution (not just in tables but their game history etc.) you should contact Party_Rep imo.

Last edited by FarseerFinland; 10-22-2017 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:53 PM   #13
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I was informed that accounts mentioned in the OP were suspended and under investigation, but as you can see PowerCarl obviously isn't (and he wasn't sitout, which might explain if he had qualified earlier):



I fail to understand why Party security is lying constantly.

If you see any of the aforementioned players (14 at the starting post) at the tables, please be kind and inform this thread.
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:03 PM   #14
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Have you mentioned any of this to Patrick "Pads" Leonard? As well as being a Party ambassador, his staking group must have some players that have come into contact with these suspicious accounts.
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:13 PM   #15
FarseerFinland
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtyMcFly View Post
Have you mentioned any of this to Patrick "Pads" Leonard? As well as being a Party ambassador, his staking group must have some players that have come into contact with these suspicious accounts.
Yes, I did send private message to him too, he did answer 19th of November promising to answer soon and asked me to add him on Skype. Nothing after that, he hasn't approved my add Skype request either. I actually thought they had agreed to handle vie Party Rep only as she said that Patrick is in hurry but still more worrying.

No-one from Party except Party_Rep has had any contact with me. And I still think she is being honest, but obviously that would mean that Party security / fraud team is deliberately lying both to me and her.

This makes me wonder if there's any other way than file for official criminal investigation to get Party actually do something.

I also noted that PowerCarl had registered on another major tournament as I was sat at the same table, so he can also buy-in into events too. This is so tilting and disgusting.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:15 PM   #16
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

I did check some Clubber2s from August and new suspects with same background as 14 people I reported earlier Clubber2s in August and new accounts:

CatLuky
fantafour
PIV_hettish3
lorisMa (some other tournaments in August, but lots of days with just Clubber II)
harleydavi66
IvanMalta
MoM8765198
Lara_croFT_YZ
tropporock
Candy29
camel_2323
Enokariver

Because official poker rankings only show people cashed in each tournament I can't find everyone even if I try. Just checking Clubber2s which did run in August should do great way of exposing most of the collusion ring. I did also find 9 other accounts that might well be in the collusion ring, but they weren't so clear that I just posted them on Party_Rep if they could check them out. Feel that no reason to post them here.

You can check them yourselves in http://www.officialpokerrankings.com . If you're logged in site will also show you tournaments where player hasn't cashed.

This situation has been extremely stressful for me so I plan to take now rest of the week completely free from poker and this situation and try to concentrate on other things. Be safe on he poker tables.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:45 AM   #17
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

All information is being looked into as a priority via the relevant teams

The OP and myself have been in discussion and all details have been shared with the Risk team management for review

We treat the accusations of collusion very seriously and will ensure relevant action is taken pending investigation


Kind regards

Colette
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:51 PM   #18
Richas
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

FYI If any accounts are closed the site must now provide all the details to the UKGC including that it was raised by a player not detected internally, state how mush cash was seized and what happened to that cash, explaining the methodology for calculating any compensation paid and whether additional company money was added to the compensation.

This includes the real names and addresses for the closed accounts - remember that such cheating is a criminal offence in the UK with a maximum penalty of 2 years in gaol - this makes it an offence that qualifies for the European Arrest Warrant so in theory anyone in the EU could be charged.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:09 PM   #19
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

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FYI If any accounts are closed the site must now provide all the details to the UKGC including that it was raised by a player not detected internally, state how mush cash was seized and what happened to that cash, explaining the methodology for calculating any compensation paid and whether additional company money was added to the compensation.

This includes the real names and addresses for the closed accounts - remember that such cheating is a criminal offence in the UK with a maximum penalty of 2 years in gaol - this makes it an offence that qualifies for the European Arrest Warrant so in theory anyone in the EU could be charged.
I know you're up to date with this stuff... has any site actually provided any info about players since this was introduced. I am 100% sure that sites don't want to provide this and likely lobbied for the "privacy" laws that all regulators followed until the UK act went into place.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:55 PM   #20
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

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I know you're up to date with this stuff... has any site actually provided any info about players since this was introduced. I am 100% sure that sites don't want to provide this and likely lobbied for the "privacy" laws that all regulators followed until the UK act went into place.
It kicked in at the beginning of the month. I was leaving it a little while yet before nagging UKGC about it but essentially any closed account in the past few weeks should be reported - my belief is when this happens though tbf to the firms they may need time for any appeal and to decide upon compensation to have all the info required.

Thing is we don't know how often firms are seizing account balances, they never had to tell anyone before and they had obligations on data protection not to name them. If I was the person organising the investigations for a firm I would be doing regular reports including number of current investigations, number of suspended accounts etc etc likely monthly.

The thing for the firms is that they need to show they are being proactive in keeping gambling "fair" so they will want to report. They always had an obligation to report cheating but in practice they were not doing it - hence lobbying to get it written in to the Remote Technical Standards document that details their explicit responsibilities.

The next step in my lobbying is to ask the UKGC to amalgamate the reports across all firms and publish details of how many accounts closed and how much seized - plus the estimate of player loss that the site needs to include! (We'll never get it for individual firms but that will be visible to the regulator so they can see who is slacking).
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:33 AM   #21
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

This has a gross feel to it that's for sure. Very anxious to see what the verdict is. Nice work OP.
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Old 10-25-2017, 01:33 PM   #22
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

i dont play the HRs but ill check my clubberII stats for you versus this alias

seems too much of a coincidence to somehow be random, especially considering all of the other options available
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:58 AM   #23
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

Could be 1 player with multiple accounts and machines
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:53 PM   #24
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I was actually going to call "Malta" as the location for these players before I saw some of the usernames. There have been more than a few accusations flung in that direction.

At the end of the day a lot of players called it earlier on this summer that party would be sending a ton of cheaters to Punta Cana and now they're about to do it. They have nowhere near a big enough team investigating the fiasco. One of the most ill-considered marketing campaigns in online poker.

Any comment on the double-points glitch that I've mentioned a few times Colette? That was never resolved and lots of players missed out, including myself.

In fact the double points is a huge reasons there was so much multi-accounting and account-sharing this summer, albeit mostly on the medium leaderboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by centebakkie View Post
Could be 1 player with multiple accounts and machines
You can't sell the first package per account so you would need real people attached to each account. Could be one person grinding.

Now that I think about it if it was one guy or even a group it sort of needs to be a stable considering the capital required - capital that is essentially getting locked up into punta cana tickets.

With location should be fairly easy to get to the bottom of it.

edit: I say capital locked up because I assume the players are breakeven at best - their goal is to win leaderboard points, not necessarily money.

Last edited by Mike Haven; 10-27-2017 at 11:48 AM. Reason: 4 consecutive posts merged
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:16 PM   #25
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Re: Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker

The4bettingmonk, they weren't grinding for leaderboard. It was mainly collateral damage what they did to leaderboard (lots of bubbles mean lots of lost points when only cashes count). If possible can we stay on topic on this one, I think points can be discussed for instance in here, where it is very close to topic thread to keep discussion in one place: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/6...ments-1693784/

Just speculation: For what I remember for 14 first nicks Party showed 9 were from UK, 3 from Malta, 1 from Germany and 1 from Finland. But my gut feeling is that it's more likely that this leads to some group in Eastern Europe who have been using middlemen or something like that. 10+ new players at high stakes tournaments from Ukraine etc. would looks super suspicious. It's also very possible that there's just small group of people really involved, but I don't think there's just one person behind this.

Considering how stupid mistakes they've done I wouldn't be surprised if they have all been played from one or bunch of IPs. But that should really have alarmed PartyPoker security long time ago.
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