Early Saturday morning, hand number 1162170993 was dealt on online poker room Ultimate Bet. It featured Phil Hellmuth squaring off against DOUBLEBALLER. However, at the end of the betting, Hellmuth was awarded the pot despite holding the worst hand. Ultimate Bet officials acknowledged the incident and are investigating.
Whether the switchover to the new software platform of CEREUS had anything to do with the apparent glitch is unknown. On its official blog, Tokwiro Chief Operating Officer Paul Leggett noted, “Earlier today we learned about a poker hand where our system paid out the losing player instead of the correct winning hand. We are investigating this software malfunction as our absolute top priority. This is the first incident of this kind we have encountered.”
Specifically, Leggett noted that Ultimate Bet staff was “examining the poker system and the application logs in order to pinpoint the cause of this malfunction.” Hellmuth, along with poker pro Annie Duke, serves as the face behind Ultimate Bet. The online poker room hosted an Ante Up for Africa charity tournament on Saturday night in which Duke was participating. Hellmuth owns a record 11 World Series of Poker bracelets.
Members of the TwoPlusTwo forums almost immediately posted the hand in question, which began at 4:15am ET early Saturday morning. The $200/$400 table witnessed the following hand play out: Hellmuth was in the small blind holding 10-2 of spades. DOUBLEBALLER held K-Q and the flop came J-K-K with two hearts after capped action pre-flop. On the flop, DOUBLEBALLER checked, Hellmuth led out for $200, and DOUBLEBALLER raised to $400. Hellmuth called the raise and the CEREUS software dealt the two of hearts on the turn. DOUBLEBALLER bet $400, Hellmuth raised to $800, DOUBLEBALLER made it $1,200, and Hellmuth called.
At this point in the hand, Hellmuth held a pair of twos and his opponent had him dominated with trip kings. The river came the nine of clubs. DOUBLEBALLER bet $400 and Hellmuth called. The hand history reveals that DOUBLEBALLER showed K-Q for three kings and Hellmuth mucked. However, the UB front man raked $5,599 from the pot despite mucking his hand.
In a later chat between the two foes, DOUBLEBALLER revealed that Ultimate Bet planned to credit him $2,300 for the error in the hand. However, the fact that Hellmuth played the pot aggressively and his presence as a marquee figure on the site had many on major online poker forums crying foul. The post by Leggett on Ultimate Bet’s blog, which appears to have been posted about 17 hours after the hand took place, had 20 responses. One reveals that more information is expected to be released on Sunday. However, as of 2:00pm ET on Sunday, no such information was released.
Ultimate Bet has come under fire as a result of a cheating scandal masterminded by former World Series of Poker Main Event winner Russ Hamilton, who was associated with its affiliate business. Hamilton and others exploited an auditing tool to see the hole cards of their opponents in high-level games. The scandal became the subject of a piece by CBS News program “60 Minutes” as well as an exposé in the Washington Post newspaper. In the days leading up to the 60 Minutes air date, Ultimate Bet’s player base merged with that of Absolute Poker, forming the CEREUS network. Both sites are owned by Tokwiro and are regulated by the Canadian-based Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Chat posted between DOUBLEBALLER and Hellmuth had the latter saying “I play U limit, right now” and “miracle U beat me.” We’ll keep you posted on this breaking story right here on Poker News Daily.