Poker News

Two weeks ago, we detailed the writings of Haley Hintze, a former PokerNews.com editor who had posted new evidence in the 2007 Absolute Poker “superuser” cheating scandal.  Hintze has since made three more posts presenting additional evidence that she believes further implicates Absolute Poker co-founder Scott Tom and illustrates the complex tapestry of interwoven cheating accounts.

On April 28th, the information Hintze presented really wasn’t anything new, but she provided some insight into how Tom was implicated in the first place.  The first screen shot she showed was data that most familiar with the famous “PotRipper” tournament already knew: an “observer” account, likely the “superuser” who could see everybody’s hole cards, was constantly watching PotRipper’s table. Another account, using the same IP address, logged on and off of another table within a minute.

Aside from the evidence of an observer account, two interesting nuggets came from this information.  First, the account that made a one-minute appearance had the e-mail address [email protected]  This stood out like a sore thumb to Hintze because it appeared to be a corporate e-mail address, rather than the usual Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail accounts that most poker players use.  A fellow investigator researched it for her and it turned out that the domain of the e-mail address was that of a company associated with Absolute Poker.

Shortly after this information became public, the rivieraltd.com domain entry was changed, which made many believe that the cheater was trying to cover his tracks.  Second, it was determined that the IP address associated with the observer account and the rivieraltd.com account traced back directly to Tom’s house.

CEREUS Network officials have said that Tom had nothing to do with the cheating and that his name has only appeared because he was set up.  In her blog, Hintze opines that a conspiracy is far-fetched, as there is so much evidence – IP address of Tom’s house, domain editing, tournament logs, account information, etc. – that it makes a frame-job way too complicated.  On top of that, Hintze put forth, it would not make sense for someone to be so genius in putting together the setup, yet be so dumb in calling an all-in bluff on the final hand of a big tournament with 10-high, as the PotRipper account did, which makes the cheating so obvious.

In her next post on May 1st, Hintze illustrated the relationships between many of the cheating accounts.  She starts by listing the accounts that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) confirmed were used to cheat.  She then shows a screen shot from UB/AP’s anti-fraud tool, ieSnare, which lists other accounts associated with the infamous PotRipper account.  Any accounts that differ from the KGC’s list should be investigated further, said Hintze.

Hintze did not say, however, that every account associated with PotRipper or any other cheating account is also a cheat.  For example, the accounts “graycat” and “steamroller” were around longer than others and therefore had more associations.  It is very unlikely that every associated account cheated (one, for instance, was Tom’s father, who has not been implicated) and some have officially been cleared, but it may still be a good idea to look into them further.

Wrote Hintze, “It’s one of those open-ended questions one must ponder when considering candidates for other possible cheating accounts. The further one chases down a given tree branch, the less likely any single link would be to be involved in the scandal, yet it seems first-level associations with known cheating accounts beg for more detailed investigation.”

In her latest blog entry, dated May 4th, Hintze revisited the details of a couple of the cheating accounts to illustrate her belief “that there was a coordinated, perhaps even frantic cover-up of the cheating taking place at AP in the days immediately following the PotRipper tourney in September 2007.”

The first screen shot Hintze presented was the account overview for the “doubledrag” cheating account.  Like other accounts, it had a note telling customer service representatives to not take any action on it without permission from management.  It also contained two notes from reps detailing calls from angry customers who claimed that doubledrag was cheating.  The final note on the account was an account closure by A.J. Green, one of the Absolute Poker insiders implicated in the scandal.  The PotRipper account was “blacklisted” just one day earlier.

Hintze then showed shots from the graycat cheating account, which, like the others, had fake personal information.  Upon investigation of graycat’s transaction history, a “blacklisting and forced withdrawal” on the account was found, with the funds being sent to an ePassporte account “SPTOM,” which Hintze assumes is short for Scott Philip Tom, Tom’s full name.  Thus, it appears, according to Hintze, that Tom received money from a cheating account.  This transaction also took place during the same time frame as the PotRipper and doubledrag transactions and blacklistings.

Hintze also showed detailed transactions from September 8th through September 17th in which $150,000 was transferred from the graycat account to an account off-site.  She presented this as further proof that the statements by current CEREUS management that none of the cheaters got money off the site were false.

In future blog posts, Hintze will dive deeper into the graycat account, one of the longest-standing of the cheating accounts at Absolute Poker. Read the latest from Hintze by visiting her blog.

11 Comments

  1. Chappel says:

    Anyone that would play on UB or Absolute has to deserve anything they get. And it even makes Hellmuth and Duke look like idiots for continuing to represent these cheats!

  2. Socrates Mentor says:

    Both Blackjack and Poker games at Absolute Poker seem to mysteriously defy all mathematical odds in real money game losing streaks.

    I purposely deposited money in both games and played them out with no particular strategy and losing rate for blackjack was over 91% and poker was 87% which is 400-500% higher than my normal skill level and over 4x attempts to each game seems to create an undeniable trend.

    Hellmuth and Duke are soul-less players that endorse anything for the right amount of money.

    I guess when you are offshore and outside of the jurisdiction of any law its easy to rip people off.

  3. Socrates Mentor says:

    BTW… if you don’t believe this… put $20-30 4 or 5x and just play real games then go to Fun games and watch the laws of probability increase in your favor on the Fun games… they use the fun games to lure you into the real money which you will lose straight away

  4. Codiee says:

    I have played or donated on AP for several years. I believe there are bots on the tables who continually win. I am a good player and will play good cards only to be beaten by a 37. I have wrote several times to AP describing this problem, but they say they are honest. LOL. I will no longer play on this site an anyone who does is a fool.

  5. rlbck38 says:

    There’s no doubt that there’s cheating going on at UB/AP. It is amazing that when your account gets low, you couldn’t win a hand to save your life, but as soon as you make a deposit, you just can’t lose. Depending on the amount of the deposit of course. Deposit $10, that’s not enough to win anything, deposit $50, you might win a tourney, but not win anything else for a couple weeks. I’ve gone through tourney’s and not had a winning hand in 50 straight hands. Someone needs to take a really close look at how things are setup and linked to player accounts. As Codiee quoted “honest”, that’s is so far from the truth.

  6. anonymous says:

    UB/AP is a setup. The other day I was playing in a room with an employee. I knew he worked there because his name appeared in blue. He raised to $2 and called my reraise of $60-all in. I had pocket K’s and he had Pocket 8’s. Some how he just happened to flop a set of 8’s. I played with him because I was curious. This site is a total rig. We as Americans should keep our money in the United States and not to these crooks. Anyone reading this thinking we are just paranoid is a clown. The cash games are much bigger setups then the tournaments.

  7. Ihatedonks says:

    You see all these comments above me? These are the players you play with at AP. Bad fish that don’t understand variance. This is my favorite place to play poker. Period. Fishiest players in the world.

  8. NotaFish says:

    You re-raise a $2-raise to $60 and you lost because of the flop and you think it’s rigged? It just looks like you’re a bad poker player to me. Anyone who claims that AP is cheating needs to understand two things: cheating is defined as being able to see your card, not having control of the card. There are good streaks and bad streaks. Sometimes you lose because of variance.

    Secondly, it would be in AP’s best interest not to cheat, because if it does, it loses customers. It’s a rather simple business model. So, the next time you whine, perhaps you should just learn to play better poker.

    I mean, re-raising to $60 with less than $5 at the table, really?

  9. FREDCOUGAR says:

    I played on a few sites I like playing on UB I play mostly in tourneys and have cashed 24% I will admit the cash games are tough a lot of donks out there when I play tight I do good and as far as losing 50 hands in a row been there ,then the cards got hot and made it to the final table. I still have losing roi but I will still play,What the U.S.Goverment needs to do set up rules and police it like the casinos tax and keep it correct!!!!!

  10. Ridiculous says:

    I stopped playing online for $ years ago. It’s so clearly rigged only blind poker addicts and insiders can defend it. For example… Real hand: I have AK both spades. Flop is K hearts, 10 spades, 6spades. I push all in and the table chip leader insta-calls with (get this) 2 and 3 of diamonds. He has the lowest cards in the deck, no flush or straight draw. The turn and river are 2 then three and he wins with two pair. His odds of winning were less than 1 percent. He was not a donk making a dumb call… In fact the other player at the table wrote on chat that he’d been doing that all night. If you don’t that on line poker is rigged, you are a fool. When there is money involved and software running everything… There will be cheating. The old argument that “they make enough without cheating” totally underestimates the significance of greed. Answer this… If you owned a program that let you sit at a table and see everyone’s hole cards and/or rig a deck in your favor with no one else able to know… Would you make money off of it? For every person with the morals to say “no”and mean it, 20 would be adding their bank accounts. And any site that uses *software* and *programmers* has the ability to cheat in this manner. With large numbers of hands played, a neophyte programmer could make the aggregate statistics look clean to an audit and still bank millions.

  11. bluebulldog1977 says:

    Well said Ridiculous…anybody who knows poker and has played online poker knows whats up….why do you think all the top players who endorse or endorsed these sites hardly ever play online? Its so obvious only insiders and poker novices say its not rigged!

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