Online Poker Cheating – UB and AP

July 17, 2008

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.


Karma’s a Bitch – Tiffany Michelle Loses the Hot Chips

July 15, 2008

It would have been an interesting story to see a reasonably attractive girl make the final nine.  Especially in light of the final table delay, in which Harrah’s/ESPN are bound to create a reality show story build up of the event.  She’d be a little easier on the eyes than say….Dennis Phillips.

Interestingly enough, her ego and some poker karma seems to be at work in her eventual demise.  For those of you who don’t know.  Tiffany Michelle is/was a poker journalist for Pokernews.  A great site, run by the infamous Tony G.  Well, Tony is a good guy, and put a bunch of folks in the Main Event to help them out, and publicize his site at the same time.  Tiffany was one of those people.  She was to play for 33%, on a complete freeroll, in exchange for promoting Pokernews.  Oddly, most pictures you see of her have her littered with Ultimate Bet patches.  She was rocking one Pokernews patch…

To be fair, as accustom in the WSOP – the patches/deals grow proportionally to how deep you are in the event.  In addition, Tiffany isn’t the first one to either add to their sponor list, or jump ship all together. This is a shady process that goes down when you make deals on napkins and throw money at broke poker players.  It makes sense from a supply and demand perspective, because there is less real estate, and more guaranteed coverage of individual players. It’s worth noting she does get a little extra attention on this issue because she is a voice (online video hostess) in the poker industry, and a female in a sea of males.

However, where the ego/karma bit comes in for her is in communicating with her sponsor.  First off, it is only fair you give your main sponsor a call/text/email to inform them of your intentions.  A well connected guy like Tony G could in fact help you along on your mission to acquire sponsorship dollars (most likely from his own main site sponsor, Poker Stars).  But do you do that?   Na.  Just slap a few shady ass Ultimate Bet patches on like you’re a slave to collusion, cheating, super users, and Russ ‘I’d steal money from my own mother’ Hamiliton.  

Fuck that.  If I was Tony G, I’d pimp slap you across the face for being a shady, money/fame hungry, female dog.  Now, she did have a Pokernews patch on at all times, and when interviewed on Pokernews she covered up one of her UB patches on her chest…but come on.  Show respect for the people that put you in the position in the first place.  It seems we can be quick to forget where we were before we got into the limelight and started playing for $9M.

This little incident reminds me of the Poker Bowl last year – a team event, where Will was playing on the Bluff Magazine Team alongside Paul Wasicka and others.  They had team jersey’s (Oakland) but Will was going to wear a PROP patch to support the brand.  The fine folks at Bluff informed him that wasn’t possible as they were all going to wear Bluff patches….Will reluctantly agreed.  Paul Wasicka, well he didn’t cuz he’s got an exclusive deal with Full Tilt, so he was permitted to wear a different patch.  Lesson learned – big companies in the industry can do whatever they want.  Small ones – you.

Whatever, either way.  I’m sure Tiffany is a nice enough person, but I have never met her so it’s just a guess.  It was probably poor judgement, caught up in the moment type stuff.  She was playing for $9M.  And that kind of money can make anyone do silly things.  Minor beat for Pokernews.  A win for a shady cheating bastard site, Ultimate Bet.  

Final Thought: Why the hell would you promote UB unless you have to like Phil Hellmuth??