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Hellmuth, Duke mentioned in UB Superuser Scandal Tapes

by Jeremy Olson on May 12, 2013

ub-poker-cheatingYesterday, we reported how Ultimate Poker, which is America’s first regulated poker site, dropped subcontractor Iovation. The reason why is because Iovation provided software for Ultimate Bet and their CEO, Greg Pierson, helped cover up a UB superuser scandal.

All of this has become relevant again – despite happening six years ago – because of tapes leaked by UB computer whiz Travis Makar. The tapes contain damning evidence that Russ Hamilton, Pierson and others covered up the superuser cheating, rather than work to make things right with players.

And a couple of the more interesting names that surfaced during the taped conversations were Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke. The latter is especially intriguing because Duke allegedly knew about the “God Mode,” which enabled key UB workers to see opponents’ hole cards. According to the tapes, Duke didn’t abuse God Mode (superuser) as badly as Hamilton since it was on a 15-minute delay when she used it. However, this would’ve given her access to hole cards that wouldn’t normally be shown in hand histories.

As for Hellmuth, he apparently had no involvement in the cheating or God Mode. Instead, the UB top brass discussed the Poker Brat because they didn’t want him involved in the decision-making process. Hamilton and others weren’t quite sure how Hellmuth would react if he knew about the cheating, and they thought he might blow the whistle.

One thing that many players wonder is if the audio tapes provide grounds for prosecution now. Seeing as how UB operated in an unregulated industry, it’s unclear if the United States government would actually prosecute Hamilton, Pierson and others – even with such concrete evidence.

But if one good thing did come out of all this, it’s that Ultimate Poker severed ties with Iovation over the matter.