Ok kiddies – we at PROP do not claim to be experts in this arena, but we do certainly want to make sure anyone that comes across this site is made aware of a few things:
Cliff note version:
Absolute Poker Scandal – super user accounts, capable of seeing hole cards, winning at ridiculous rates, caught from an email slip up from the AB sending some hand histories erroneously…AB did refund some money (approx 1.2M USD)
AB buys Ultimate Bet
Ultimate Bet Scandal – Russ Hamiliton (former owner, and main event winner) current ‘villian’ suspected of being tied to a bunch of super user accounts, just like AB. Who knows. Could have been him, could have been a team of others. Who cares really. I don’t need a witch hunt to decide where I play online. The ‘new owners’ of UB have since tried to make good, and refund a bunch of money to players who played against these suspected names.
Shady shadesville. Don’t play these sites. Cheating is possible online. There is no question that collusion, multi-accounting, ghosting/account selling deep in mtt’s – all of it exists. To what degree? No one knows for sure. Sites want to make the illusion of safety….whether it exists or not. However, major sites – poker stars and full tilt – have in there best interest to keep the gravy train rolling – to proactively keep the sites as secure as possible.
High stakes cash games – if you are regularly trading 10k+ with people, do your homework. Just kind of a common sense approach, that it is better to know, or know of, the people you’re playing against. Minus the random fish here and there, generally you should have an idea of the people you are playing with. Google is your friend here.
Nat Arem – he’s a primary source of information on this subject matter – due to him having conducted onsite company investigations (to the extent they let him)…
Pokerroad – Haralabous Vulgaris and Barry Greenstein have spoke candidly about this subject. Check em out.
Regardless of what anyone says – the only way to punish these scandalous sites, is to make your voice count, by not playing them, not supporting them through affiliates and what not, and where possible educating your circle of influence on the subject.
All poker, online or live, it behooves us all to be careful, informed, and aware of our surroundings. Angle shooters, cheating, chip dumping, scandals exist, don’t be naive. Proceed with caution but certainly keep playing.
Besides…most of us degenerates don’t care if you sit at a table with your buddy on the cell phone, exchanging hole card info. You’re a monkey if you need to do that, and your buddy is too. I’ll beat you both, and enjoy it : ) Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Now, if its a table of you monkeys, and we’re playing PLO…well stop that cuz knowing half the deck ain’t cool.