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Old 12-12-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
Jeans
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(sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

A conclusion to https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29...ojans-1369171/

I've been thinking a lot about whether to write about what happened with the case after I got home from Barcelona. It seems like a pretty bad career move as a professional poker player to talk negatively of Pokerstars considering the current state of online poker. I've also kind of just wanted to forget about the case. People however (don't blame them) ask me of updates on the case wherever I go, and I think I owe it to the community to answer. After F-Secure blogged about the incident, even more people are interested once again, and I have to give an update since it seems there won't be one coming from anywhere else (for a long time atleast).

Around three days after I got home from Barcelona I spoke with the Pokerstars security manager on the phone who was the same guy I had been in contact with during entire Barcelona event who just told me all is good and they are doing everything to catch these criminals. Cool.

It was only about a week after I had gotten home I received a phone call, it was Lee Jones. He informed me there had once again been a mix-up, the police had not been called this time either. There was STILL no police involved. My mind raced back to the night before I flew back home. How they kept wanting me to confirm that I wanted the police involved when I had already had insisted on it multiple times. How when I asked if I should stay a bit longer to sort it out with the police they very quickly responded there was absolutely no need, that I should take my morning flight back home, they got it covered. My blood was boiling. I tried to remain calm while spitting out a "WHAT did you say". He told me something about the how there had been a misunderstanding and if I still wanted the police involved there was an online form I could fill on some online site to make a police report. My strength as a poker player has always been my ability to control my emotions and basically never tilt, but I have to admit at this point I would have punched the first thing that came close to me in the face, even if it had been my grandma.

I directly called the Pokerstars security employee I had been in contact more so he could explain me what the hell was going on. He told me he only found out two days ago in a meeting about this. He told me Pokerstars can't call the police directly, it had to be me or the hotel and , the hotel was supposed to call the police and there had been a misunderstanding. What a F-KKING surprise. This is not real life I thought. I still think this was no accident, there was something in this they didn't want me to know. I mean really, it took a WEEK to find out the police was not involved?

However what I got to hear next calmed me down. They have huge amounts of evidence and online intelligence against the suspects, and they have actually been under the radar for some time before this case. They wanna do it their way, go report it to the Isle of Man police and through them make it to the right authorities. I understood something was being kept from me but I didn't really care, as long as they would bring the criminals to justice. He told me an employee of theirs would be in contact to make a full report on my case. I said thanks and closed the phone. Yesterday I had thought this case and the mood swings were over, but no.

Around this time I had also taken my laptop to the F-Secure Helsinki headquarters. They eventually did find a trojan on my laptop, they were even able to pinpoint the exact time the USB-stick used to install it was inserted, it was during the time my laptop had been missing in Barcelona.

After a few days of waiting the Pokerstars employee who was gonna make the report contacted me. I gave her all the info. A little bit later when the trojan was found we gave her that info. The F-Secure specialist told me he could be of great assistance in the case, with the trojan possibly track it to the suspects. On the 2. October I recieved an email saying the report had been sent to the police. I replied asking if the police could be in contact to the F-Secure specialist as he had ideas how to track them (a great way to also finally know if the police had in fact been contacted as even now I still had my doubts). I recieved no reply when before this she had replied within a day. I sent another email on the 8. October asking the same thing, still no reply. On the 14. October I sent a third email with the same thing, this time receiving this reply:



Hi Jens

I have been informed that the investigation has been forwarded to the [the suspects country] authorities - we will just have to wait to see if they take up the case and contact us back again.

As soon as I hear anything I will let you know

Regards

[employee name]
Senior Internal Security Analyst
PokerStars




I did not believe my eyes, they kept reading one bit over and over "if they take up the case". Thank god my grandma wasn't nearby this time either. I just couldn't believe it after everything they said they had on these guys, and now even the proof on my laptop! Was there any authority in the world who could not think there had been a crime committed and wouldn't take up the case?

I waited a week hearing nothing and sent an email to tell the contacted authorities to be in contact with me once they take up the case. No reply. One week later I once again sent a confused email asking questions, I got this reply:



Hi Jens

I am unsure how long it will take. All I can say is I put together a very detailed report and all I can hope is that it strikes an interest and the matter is taken up by the [suspects country] Police.


Kind Regards

[employee name]
Senior Internal Security Analyst
PokerStars




Two and a half weeks later there had been no news to me which is when I decided to send this email:



Hello,

I assume there isn't any news from the [suspects country] authorities yet as you haven't contacted me. If they decide not to take up the case, I'd like to speak to the person making that decision, if possible. I'd also be very surprised and disappointed, especially at the decision not to involve the Spanish police, when there was so much direct evidence left at hotel Arts Barcelona, especially the direct video footage of the suspects entering Ignats hotel room. Assuming this happens I will write a second report about this incident on the 2+2 forums about everything that has been going on with this case since I got back to Finland and will express my disappointment. I also sent a copy of this email to Lee Jones who I was in contact with before getting in contact with you, just so everyone knows my take on the situation.

Jens




I never heard from the Internal security analyst again. However Lee Jones replied. Now please do not go too hard on Lee in this thread, he is not making the decisions, simply relaying the information:



Hi Jens –

[internal security analyst's name] spent two weeks researching your case and the surrounding issues. She sent the information to the Isle of Man financial crimes unit. They forwarded it to the Egmont group that is responsible for international coordination of financial crimes investigation. At that point, (in fact, from the point that the information went to the Isle of Man government) the issue is out of our hands.



Jens, I realize that this is a very big deal for you, but PokerStars has done everything that we can. We are not an investigative body and we’re not a criminal enforcement organization. [name] put a huge amount of work into researching and organizing the information around your case and some other cases that may have been related. Other than that, I can’t give you any details.



The unfortunate fact is that there may very well not be any further information to come out – we can only hope that the authorities in [country] will use the information well and perhaps it will help them actually make some arrests.



I realize this is not the resolution you were hoping for, but this is how things go sometimes and I hope you can understand that.



I appreciate your patience and cooperation throughout this and let’s hope that ultimately something good will come out of it all.



Warmest regards,

Lee




I replied:



Thanks for the email. As you know it was at least twice I was told the police was now informed when they in fact were not. I was also encouraged not stay in Barcelona to sort things out and it took a week since I got back home to tell me about the misunderstanding that the police still hadn't been contacted. You have to understand how weird and suspicious that feels. To be honest I didn't really care that I was quite sure Pokerstars was holding something from me as long as they would still do it their own way to get the criminals to justice. The reason I was ok with all this is that I was told the suspects have actually already been on the radar by Pokerstars and you have a lot on them. If I was told back then "Pokerstars will make an investigation but it is very possible the [country] authorities will not even pick up the case" there is no chance I wouldn't have corrected the "misunderstanding" and included the Spanish police. Especially now that F-Secure computer experts found malware on our laptops, and are able to pinpoint the exact time when they were installed, with all the cameras in Arts to check this exact time, there is ZERO chance to say no crime has been committed and a police agency won't pick up this case.

Basically the thing I'm saying is after these few coincidences about the police not being called I do not have complete trust in Pokerstars (this is purely about this matter, otherwise the trust is obviously 100%) as for you as a company it's not really your problem, and probably just best if this matter is swept under the carpet.
I still have not been in contact with any authority other than personnel from Pokerstars. What guarantee do I have that everything I've been told now is the truth? I'd just like some sort of proof that this case actually has reached the right authorities, and has been told in the proper way to interest them.

Jens




And finally:



Hi Jens –

Obviously, we are sorry about your being misinformed about the police being contacted (or not) at the outset of the investigation. That was certainly never intentional – it was a mistake caused by the confusion of the early days after the incident. Since then, many people at PokerStars have put a lot of hours into discussing what happened and (among other things) doing what we can to aid a criminal investigation.



As I told you, [internal specialist], on our security staff, put two weeks into researching your case and similar ones. And I can assure you that she has sent the information to the appropriate authorities on the Isle of Man. There’s really no more information I can give you (in fact, that I’m permitted to give you).



Sadly, it is unlikely that we will ever get any kind of official response or resolution to your case. It’s a potentially criminal matter that has been referred to the proper authorities and they will investigate as they see fit. Obviously, we all learned some lessons from the incident, and that’s the silver lining to the cloud. Fortunately, nobody was physically hurt and you discovered the malware and removed it before it could be used against you. I realize that’s small comfort, but in the grander scheme of things, it turned out relatively well.



To be quite clear, Jens – we did not sweep this incident under the carpet. We acknowledged it on 2+2 within an hour of your original post, we made a follow-up post to 2+2, and we have been in touch with you (both myself and [internal analyst]) since. Just because we didn’t get the outcome we all wanted (the perpetrators arrested) doesn’t mean that we swept anything under the carpet. That’s just how the world works sometimes.



I hope you can understand this – I’m sure it’s not terribly satisfying to you but it is our honest and best reply.



Warmest regards,

Lee Jones




And here we are. With the "Sadly, it is unlikely that we will ever get any kind of official response or resolution to your case." and still so many interested in the case I feel I have no choice but to tell you my side of the story. I welcome Pokerstars in this thread to tell their side of the story and correct any flaws I might have written. I would also like to thank people for retweeting my tweet about this incident. When googling "Hotel arts barcelona" my 2+2 thread comes up as the seventh site, after two of the hotels own websites, two tripadvisor-sites and two online hotel-booking sites. I think we really managed to make a difference and hurt the hotels business a bit which I think is very well deserved.

To this day I still have zero proof any sort of authorities have seen this case, so if you end up in a similar situation, do not count on Pokerstars, contact the police directly. I however have absolutely no energy to do anything about the case anymore, I really just want to forget it. Let's hope the Egmont group has actually received a report, and that report contains everything it should.


a once again tilted, Jens KyllŲnen (Also apparently my 1000th post!)


Lee Jones' response:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...&postcount=328

Last edited by Kevmath; 12-14-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:49 AM   #2
ScreaminAsian
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

they had to have someone inside pokerstars. this was some oceans 12 level ****
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:51 AM   #3
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

unreal
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:51 AM   #4
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Quote:
To this day I still have zero proof any sort of authorities have seen this case,
pretty bad
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:52 AM   #5
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Sigh.

Thanks for the update Jens. Very disappointing that nobody will be brought to justice for this. I hope the hotel is dropped from future EPT stops.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

****ing massive deception and shadiness on Stars' part.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #7
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I've only followed this intermittently but in the world of break and enters surely this is only on the very minor scale. Is there a suggestion that the Trojan issue is a big deal in all this because outside of the poker world it would hardly warrant a police investigation would it?
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:06 AM   #8
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Fritthhhh!!! Sixxxxthhhhh!

Jeans I would be very skeptical of pokerstars after your ordeal with them I can relate to that for sure, it's a sad story I jus hope to the love of a royal flush that this is resolved and the authorities do find these guys (though as u and many other feels this might not be the case..

P.S, this is defo bad publicity for you guys!!! I do like lee jones as a person but the way pokerstars handled this is pretty substandard (the whole ordeal)

Gl jeans and may karma reflect on 2014 for you in poker and u go onto crush next year many regards, jb
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:09 AM   #9
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Wow what a story, thanks for posting conclusion. Obv inside job. Plus with this type of stuff happening across multiple ept stops its hard not to think a rogue pokerstars employee could be involved.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScreaminAsian View Post
they had to have someone inside pokerstars. this was some oceans 12 level ****
Like the Pokerstars Security Manager that was working the event? Telling Lee Jones at least twice that the police were involved when they never were? Yeah, that's not at all sketchy...
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:16 AM   #11
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

I think it is a joke the way PS handled this from the beginning, and especially now that they are essentially saying "oops, sorry!" While I dont doubt that things were forwarded to the IOM authorities, its is pretty absurd that they think that is all they can do. With the size of Pokerstars, there is absolutely no way that they do not have very very solid political connections that could make sure this is followed through with. The fact that they did not do this shows that while they are willing to use the time of some security team members to put the case together, they are not willing to put the weight of their entire organization behind resolving this.

With that said, your best bet is to contact several lawyers in the country where the suspects are located and get a consensus of the best path to move this forward. It sucks that you essentially have to go at it on your own at this point, but the case isnt old at all, so while it would have been nice to be done with it, it could still be worth pursuing.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:18 AM   #12
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Perhaps I'm overlooking something but what prevents you from contacting the authorities in Spain to see if an actual case has been open and if they're actively investigating it?
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

So shady all of this.

Stars you look like you are covering something up and at the very least you look completely incompetent.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:30 AM   #14
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Do you not think it was more on that hotel to contact the police and get them involved
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:34 AM   #15
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Stars definitely looks horrible with this.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:36 AM   #16
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

PStars saying that they handed the info off to the proper authorities in the perpetrators jurisdiction sounds way too vague to be legit. As long as we aren't talking about a third world country (which I suppose can't be ruled out) there is generally a protocol to contacting a organization for help. Someone would have to file a report with an officer of that org and that info would be an open record that you could confirm, follow up on, and probably join in the "complaint". The continued attempts to keep the victim isolated frothe authorities makes Zero sense.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:48 AM   #17
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

you lost no money, you didn't get hurt, your accounts were not hacked, you got your laptop back..

AND STILL COMPLAIN?!?! Lord have mercy on your soul.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:49 AM   #18
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Hmm... I would be very interested in seeing the Pokerstars investigation. If criminal charges are not to be brought then we should at least know the suspected parties involved with this behavior to avoid future horror stories like this.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:03 AM   #19
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Incompetency (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...m/incompetency) - The lack of ability, knowledge, legal qualification, or fitness to discharge a required duty or professional obligation.

The term incompetency has several meanings in the law. When it is used to describe the mental condition of a person subject to legal proceedings, it means the person is neither able to comprehend the nature and consequences of the proceedings nor adequately able to help an attorney with his defense. When it is used to describe the legal qualification of a person, it means the person does not have the legal capacity to enter a contract. When it is employed to describe a professional duty or obligation, it means that the person has demonstrated a lack of ability to perform professional functions.


How in the world Pokerstars Security did not insist that you directly involve the police, instead of insisting that you take your flight to leave Barcelona, is by definition, incompetency. Lee Jones efforts appear to be very poorly executed damage control.

Quote:
I realize this is not the resolution you were hoping for, but this is how things go sometimes and I hope you can understand that.
Quote:
Thatís just how the world works sometimes.
Quote:
I realize thatís small comfort, but in the grander scheme of things, it turned out relatively well.
He should not be acting on behalf of security in any way and should have insisted security contact you directly with a detailed explanation instead of what has transpired here. Jeans, I really hope you get a resolution to your situation and one that is more than "oh well". Good luck and keep us up to date. Pokerstars really dropped the ball on this one.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:06 AM   #20
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECTAE View Post
you lost no money, you didn't get hurt, your accounts were not hacked, you got your laptop back..

AND STILL COMPLAIN?!?! Lord have mercy on your soul.
Lolwut

Last edited by dalaxthedonk; 12-12-2013 at 02:07 AM. Reason: GTFO
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:07 AM   #21
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Why are Pokerstars responsible for a break in at a hotel? Not meaning to be a smart arse.....just haven't followed the whole story
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:11 AM   #22
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECTAE View Post
you lost no money, you didn't get hurt, your accounts were not hacked, you got your laptop back..

AND STILL COMPLAIN?!?! Lord have mercy on your soul.
Really? That's your response? You clearly do not understand cyber crime and what this can mean on a larger scale to other players who didn't realize this.

As for Stars... I think they handled some thing really poorly, but I also think that this very possibly could have got handed to the authorities of a country that won't take this seriously. I think everything ends up coming out of this looking worse than it did previously, but Stars less bad than the Hotel. We can just hope that Arts hotel isn't the location for next years tournament hotel. If it is, then Stars looks worst of all.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:14 AM   #23
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

I am boiling and want to see bodies hit the floor.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:22 AM   #24
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECTAE View Post
you lost no money, you didn't get hurt, your accounts were not hacked, you got your laptop back..

AND STILL COMPLAIN?!?! Lord have mercy on your soul.
Ah yes. The standard self-centered view. "I was not harmed, who cares about those who were hurt".

By god you are arrogant thinking only you yourself in the world matter anything.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:25 AM   #25
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Re: (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident

Honestly if it's possible to track some location of where the trojan could be reporting back to, why not have done it.

The global location would be very interesting, even if it points to some coffee shop.

Very weird situation and makes you believe the hotel was paid off.
The whole thing was handled so poorly too

Also you maybe want to contact a lawyer and see if there is any way to grab information from stars. It might be illegal depending on where you live for a company to give you false information, specially in a case like this.
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