One man enters, one man exits

High stakes poker pro Fedor Holz has announced that he has joined the Poker Integrity Council (PIC), created by GGPoker in 2022. At the same time, poker pro Jason Koon announced that he is no longer affiliated with GGPoker:

Koon gave no further explanation as to why he left GGPoker, whether it was simply that his contract ended or if something else was afoot. It is not completely clear if Koon is still part of PIC, but one might guess that splitting from GGPoker means splitting from the council.

That’s not necessarily the case, however, as when PIC was formed, it included Andrew Lichtenberger, Seth Davies, and Nick Petrangelo, none of which were involved with GGPoker. Fedor Holz was and still is and is now the lone original PIC member to still have a connection to GGPoker – he is one of six GGPoker Brand Ambassadors.

Koon was the seventh, but he’s already been removed from GGPoker’s site; it remains to be seen if Koon is also done with the council.

As for Holz, he said in a Tweet on Wednesday, “I understand that the current environment comes with a lot of challenges in that regard with advancing technology, but I believe it’s of utmost importance to continuously improve security on online poker sites. I’ll do my best to support and further that cause.”

Recent cheating scandal

GGPoker was just in the negative spotlight at the end of 2023 when players uncovered a cheater on the site, sparking fears of another “superuser” scandal. A player named “MoneyTaker69” was winning at rates that were essentially impossible, all while making crazy plays.

MoneyTaker69 made no efforts to hide their cheating.

Fortunately, the person behind the MoneyTaker69 account was not a superuser, although they were most definitely cheating. As GGPoker explained, the cheater was “able to customize his own game client” and “deduce all-in equity by exploiting a client-side data leak vector.”

Basically, the person found a hole in GGPoker’s software and was able to use a copy of it that wouldn’t update and therefore possibly patch the hole. Their version of the software showed the player all-in equities, so they often made decisions that looked bizarre, but they knew when the odds were on their side.

The person, while of course cheating, did not have access to opponents’ hole cards, what was coming next in the deck, or anything like that.

In an apology blog post, GGPoker said, among other things, “….we are actively recruiting to double the size of our technical security team and are enlisting help from renowned security professionals to ensure that online poker is safer than ever.”

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