Online Poker

Poker Players Concerned about Ultimate Bet Co-Conspirators

by Poker Team

Concerned about the unknown whereabouts and continued anonymity of the co-conspirators in the infamous Ultimate Bet cheating scandal which rocked the online poker world, a number of contributors to online forum have become proactive in trying to find out what, if any, assurances they could get from the other online poker sites that those individuals will not become employed elsewhere.  In their efforts to have their concerns addressed, they have reached out to customer service and security for online giants Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker.  They have met mixed results and quite different responses in their efforts.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Poker Stars was quite open when reached with the customer query.  Their response was:

Thank you for your email. Your email was escalated to me as a member of the PokerStars Game Security Team. Since you have raised a number of issues, let me take the time to address each point in turn.

Has your company been informed by either The KGC or UltimateBet/Absolute Poker who the cheaters were so that you do not inadvertently hire them or let them play on your sites?

Neither the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, nor Ultimate Bet, nor Absolute Poker, have advised us of any details of the perpetrators (beyond what is publicly available).

If Pokerstars is not licensed by the KGC, then how would Pokerstars know who the cheater(s) were?

PokerStars does not have access to any information relating to this situation that is not publicly available. We agree with your underlying point that this issue should be resolved in an open and transparent manner, and we have made representations from the very highest levels of PokerStars to this effect.

Shouldn’t European sites and Pokerstars be worried that they may either be employing these cheaters or allowing them to play on their sites, since neither the KGC nor UB has named them?

PokerStars has an extensive and stringent employee recruitment process. Relevant staff members face extensive background checks to ensure that they are suitable for the roles which they are hired.

The alleged perpetrator would be unable to cause any harm in the same way on PokerStars since our software has been written such that the server does not disclose hole cards until after the pot has been awarded. If PokerStars is given information about anyone involved in this scam, then we will ban them from playing on Stars.

I trust that this has been helpful to you, but please feel free to contact us again anytime if we can help you further.


PokerStars Game Security Team

Full Tilt Poker was not quite as forthcoming with their response.  They said:

“We are aware of the situation regarding Absolute Poker and UltimateBet as it has impacted the entire poker industry. We certainly understand and share your concerns.

We can confirm that we are regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, however we cannot comment on our hiring policies/practices. Rest assured though that all necessary precautions are taken with every new potential employee.

Full Tilt Poker is endorsed and trusted by some of the best poker players in the world, and we work hard around the clock to ensure the highest integrity and security of our games.

We also cannot make any comment regarding the hiring practices of other companies within the industry nor can we comment on what communication we have with one another”

Needless to say, Full Tilt Poker’s response was met by an overwhelming amount of negativity.  In a world in which the online poker world is fighting to be accepted by the United States, one would hypothesize that being more open when dealing with players’ concerns would rank high on their list of priorities.

In this scenario, it seems that the players responding in the forum are reinforced in their belief that Poker Stars is more inclined to ease the concerns of their customer base.  By failing to take the needed time to address the players’ query regarding such a serious matter, they are unwittingly creating more doubt in the minds of prospective customers who just want to be confident that they are being treated fairly.  It would seem that Full Tilt’s relationship with the aforementioned Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the root of the cryptic nature of their response.  Until they can provide some solid proof of their hiring practices, in the backs of the minds of many players, there will be some doubt.

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