Tough to miss
Just before the turn of the new year, a new cheating scandal was unearthed by players at GGPoker. Fortunately, it did not appear to be widespread and did not last anywhere close to as long as the “superuser” sprees of over a decade and a half ago on UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, but it was concerning nonetheless. GGPoker has since claimed to have plugged the security gap and will make sure that those who were cheated receive the funds they lost.
As was the case with the UB/AP scandals, poker players on the TwoPlusTwo poker forum sniffed out the cheater and posted their evidence. The questions surrounded a player named “MoneyTaker69,” who was not just winning at statistically impossible rates, but was winning some very implausible hands. For instance, calling an all-in on the turn in a cash game with J-2 offsuit on a board of A-Q-7-6 (two clubs). His opponent had 5-4 of clubs.
MoneyTaker69 was also not even trying to hide their cheating, particularly because they had an alarmingly high VPIP (voluntarily putting money into the pot) rate. It was hard not to notice and MoneyTaker69 didn’t seem to care.
Not as bad as a superuser, but still bad
It looked like the poker world might have another superuser on its hands, but after an investigation, GGPoker said this wasn’t the case. The person was cheating, but it fortunately wasn’t as threatening as a superuser would be.
According to GGPoker, the cheater was “able to customize his own game client” and “deduce all-in equity by exploiting a client-side data leak vector.” The online poker room said that MoneyTaker69 never had access to opponents’ hole cards, game servers, or server data.
The security hole, somehow related to the “Thumbs Up/Down Table Reaction” feature, allowed the player to see all-in equities, so it seems like all they were doing was using these probabilities to make decisions which frequently appeared to be bonkers.
“We sincerely apologize for the incident, which has caused many poker players to worry about the game’s integrity and shaken their trust in GGPoker to provide the best poker experience,” said GGPoker in a blog post. “We take this incident very seriously and continue to work hard not to disappoint poker players. Additionally, 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.”
The poker room also said that MoneyTaker69’s cheating resulted in $29,795 in winnings, which will be refunded to the affected players. Standings and payouts for tournaments in which the person played will also be adjusted.