Poker News

Earlier this week, Poker News Daily reported on the allegations of a cheating scandal on the site regarding its “Double or Nothing” (DoN) sit and gos. At the time, the world’s largest site had not responded to Poker News Daily’s requests to answer some questions on the issue. After the story was posted, however, PokerStars quickly answered our questions via e-mail.

In the original story, we mentioned a thread on the popular poker forum Two Plus Two that addressed the issue in excellent depth. A player using the name “Jane0123” stated that their account had been closed due to alleged collusion (through the use of the “whipsaw” technique) with a ring of players from China in the month of January. The thread went on to detail how, over a tw0-month span earlier this summer, PokerStars handled the case and how some players were upset over the situation.

Late Wednesday evening, a member of the Game Security team by the name of “Jackson” answered six questions posed by Poker News Daily regarding the ongoing issue. While the spokesperson did not answer how long the ring had been in operation, Jackson reported that PokerStars first discovered the activity of the ring soon after the reports in the original January Two Plus Two thread (a supplemental condensed version of the case was started in July) began. “PokerStars discovered the illicit activity in early February 2010,” Jackson stated in the e-mail. “Whilst conducting our review during this period, accounts associated with this situation were closed.”

The Two Plus Two thread stated that the ring colluded on the higher level DoN sit and gos, but PokerStars says they found evidence that the cheating went on over a much larger scale. “The cheaters were active across many stakes, some as low as our $10 and $20 DoNs,” the PokerStars spokesman reported. “However, the vast majority of the collusion occurred at both the $50 and $100 levels” (Writer’s note: These are the largest DoNs offered by PokerStars).

What was important to many involved in the situation – how many players were involved with the ring, how much money was taken, and what restitution has been made to affected players – was reported in detail by the PokerStars spokesman as possible. When it came to the issue of the number of players involved in the collusion ring, PokerStars says, “Overall, PokerStars closed 38 accounts in this case.” This is a lower number than the Two Plus Two thread states (46). Additionally, PokerStars did not provide any information as to the player identities.

The compensation issue for players affected does line up with the 2+2 report. PokerStars spokesman Jackson states, “The colluders net profit was $494,000, and despite this, PokerStars has paid a total of $2,100,000 in compensation.” Although not exact, these numbers are close to those stated by posters on the forum; however, no actual numbers of players who earned compensation – or how much – was discussed by PokerStars.

The most critical issue of game security is something that PokerStars feels they have now adequately addressed. “We agree that we have room for improvement in relation to collusion detection, and alongside our internal discussions about this particular individual case, we are also very actively discussing various techniques to improve our performance here,” Jackson stated in the e-mail. “We have various ideas about how we can improve our prevention and detection methods, but we’re always open to listening to feedback from players on the site.”

To combat the possibilities of further problems with the games, “PokerStars has introduced a new security function to prevent players from certain countries from playing in the same Double or Nothing events together,” Jackson reported. “This restriction will ensure that only one player from each of several countries (those countries involved in this restriction were not given) will be able to play in these events.” The PokerStars spokesman goes on to say, “We continue to monitor the games for collusion and we do feel that they are now adequately secure, otherwise we wouldn’t offer them. The investigation of the accounts involved, as well compensation to players, have since been finalized.”


  1. mega says:

    pokerstars got cheated :D ahhahaha, they cheat players all the time :D

  2. euroterreur says:

    whahahaah donkeystars :P ass

  3. Theofficer says:

    They always point at people as they were judges and now this.. who’s going to make a heck of a deal about this as they did with Cereus via 2+2?

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