Just when you thought the UB and AP debacle was done….
The hole card cheating scandals at Absolute Poker and Ultimatebet resurfaced in the online media again this week, illustrating the abiding interest of the poker community in this massive fraud, and those who perpetrated it.
The scandals cost Tokwiro Enterprises, which bought the online poker sites not knowing that the software enabled certain individuals to cheat players, tens of millions in jurisdictional fines and compensation to cheated players, and heavy legal costs in litigation against the seller.
This week Tokwiro CEO Paul Leggett blogged at http://blog.ub.com/2010/08/responses-outstanding-questions/ that Russ Hamilton had been identified as the chief culprit, and that all the cheaters had been cleared out of the Tokwiro group.
“I wanted to start off by confirming that no individual who has been linked to any cheating works for Tokwiro or any of its subsidiaries,” stated Leggett. “None of these individuals have an ownership stake in our company or any company that we have debt obligations with.”
Leggett went on to deal specifically with the Russ Hamilton involvement and the possible identity of accomplices, saying: “Some people have a hard time believing that Russ was the only person involved in the cheating. The truth is that all of the data facts pointed to him. The cheating was occurring from places where Russ lived and worked, the money was being moved through accounts he controlled himself or through people who reported directly to him or his close friends. The accounts and usernames were created/adjusted by people who worked directly for him, etc.
“It is definitely possible that Russ had other accomplices who might have helped him with the actual cheating but we have no physical evidence of it.”
However, in the same week, the Wicked Chops Poker.com website, where the owners have carried out extensive interviews and investigations, published more detailed allegations at http://wickedchopspoker.com/the-ultimatebet-super-user-cheating-scandal-part-ii/ in which the evolution of the massive fraud was traced, from the creation of the "God Mode" cheating software to its use by Hamilton and the involvement of a number of other identified individuals.
It makes for fascinating reading, detailing the use of 23 accounts, 117 user names and a multi-million dollar cheating profit. There are allegations that in his search for large bankrolls to plunder, Hamilton would challenge big name pros to play him online at the sites, crushing them with his secret "God Mode" advantage and denting their confidence in their playing styles and abilities as well as relieving them of substantial sums of money.
"With the help of Greg Pierson’s team, and specifically a contractor who built the cheating tool that internally became known as going into “God Mode,” Russ Hamilton was now capable of stealing money from friends, business partners, and high-stakes pros on UltimateBet," the Wicked Chops Poker expose claims, going on to discuss how the money was moved, and who was involved…possibly even including an anti-fraud manager!
The site concludes with the observation that the full story of online poker’s biggest cheating scandal may never emerge, but expresses the hope that the continuing detective work of a number of people interested in a full exposure will unearth more witnesses and further information.
"Ultimately, the more information that is out there, the more likely people will step forward and be forced to address how the scandal happened – and ensure nothing like it ever happens in online poker again," the owners of Wicked Chops Poker accurately observe.