Poker Stars, Full TilT Absolute Poker BUSTED? 4-15-11
Absolute Poker Warning Introduction On September 24, 2007, allegations of cheating at Absolute Poker were brought to absolutepoker com login attention by an anonymous source.
It was alleged that a player by the handle of POTRIPPER had the ability to see the hole cards of his opponents.
As someone who has exposed non-random play in blackjack, roulette, and video poker several times, I have become an unofficial policeman of Internet gambling fair play.
My earlier investigations can be found at my Since I developed this reputation, I have heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of crybabies who had some bad luck and made accusations of cheating, usually with no evidence other than adjective-laden stories of how badly they were beaten.
In the rare cases where numerical evidence was provided, it could have easily been explained by simple bad luck.
So, it takes a lot to convince me that losses are due to foul play, as opposed to bad luck.
When I heard the allegations, I went to the bulletin boards and was underwhelmed by the evidence.
At first all I saw were a few absolutepoker com login looking hands posted atamongst a great deal of chatter.
I had to agree the hands looked suspicious, but it wasn?
After all, stranger things have happened.
However, the story kept heating up.
On October 8 I was provided various log files of tournaments that POTRIPPER played.
Many were in formats that were unreadable, but I was able to view the details of a tournament played on September 13.
In that tournament POTRIPPER played 41 hands, with an average of six players at the table.
Assuming all players were equally skilled and played the same way, absolutepoker com login I admit that is a big assumption, he would expect to win 7.
The number of hands he actually won was 25.
The probability of doing that well or better is 1 in 6.
Again, assuming equal skill and strategy of all the players involved.
So my source were officially raised.
However, I was still concerned that it could have been due to chip dumping by other players.
That is a common way to steal a player?
While this is a serious problem, it is please click for source of my purview of casino-involved foul play.
The next significant event was on October 15, when I was made aware of an animated playback of another tournament POTRIPPER played.
This tournament is posted at pokerxfactor.
The link is password protected, but signing up for access is easy.
Surprisingly, this playback shows the cards of every player.
Supposedly, Absolute Poker gave the player CRAZYMARCO this file when he made accusations of cheating by POTRIPPER.
The file was in click to see more garbled Excel format, and it took some time to clean it up, so that the playback feature at pokerxfactor.
Still, some hands, and events within hands, are slightly out of order.
However, it is still fairly easy to follow the event of each hand.
It is surprising to me that Absolute Poker provided this file, because in my opinion it is the bloody glove this case needed to make a case for something more sinister than absolutepoker com login dumping.
Although there are 130 hands in the playback, only the first 93 show all player cards.
Suddenly, on hand 94, it is a different tournament, and only the cards of CRAZYMARCO are shown, unless other players were forced to show.
Following is my own summary of the first 93 hands.
Explanation of Column Headings: Hand Number: Order of hand, as shown in Playback Total Players: Total number of players in hand PR Position: Position of POTRIPPER.
Assuming all players are equally skilled you would expect 11.
The probability of luck this good or better is 1 in 1.
Still, could it still just be chip dumping, or playing very bad players?
The playback, in my opinion, shows otherwise.
Hand after hand POTRIPPER?
The majority of hands show POTRIPPER bluffing at just the right times when his opponents were weak.
Yet, when he was hopelessly outmatched, even with good cards, he laid them down.
For example, in hand 80, he had king-queen off-suit but folded pre-flop against a player with pocket aces.
This coming from a player who called, checked, or in most cases raised, pre-flop 89% of the time.
When POTRIPPER was bluffed, he usually would omnisciently reraise.
POTRIPPER had decision-making ability at the river 16 times, and he won all 16 of those times.
When he had the best hand, he always raised.
Never once did he call on the river.
If you know poker, it is almost impossible to watch the playback and have any doubt that something is terribly fishy.
If POTRIPPER could indeed see the other players' cards, he seemed to be rubbing this ability in their faces.
There is no camouflage, or smoothing things over, at all.
Even his handle betrays what he is doing.
As they say, you can shear a sheep many times, but you can only slaughter it once.
This was not a lesson POTRIPPER evidently learned, as he slaughtered the other players with a meat cleaver in a bloody mess.
The story doesn't end here.
The hand history file that Absolute Poker gave to CRAZYMARCO indicates lots of information usually unknown to the player, including the e-mail and IP address of those watching.
As told in the bulletin boards, and in New York Times blog, one of the lurkers had an address that matched those of an alleged part-owner of Absolute Poker named Scott Tom.
On October 17 Absolute related a statement, which is posted at thethat they are taking the allegations seriously, absolutepoker com login have hired Gaming Associates, a third-party auditor, to conduct an investigation.
This statement is conveniently missing from the list of press releases listed at their own web site.
I'm always one to give both sides a chance to be heard.
I also make no claims that the evidence provided to me was not tampered with, for example cherry-picking hands that made the best case.
So once the results of this investigation are completed, I will be happy to post them here.
Meanwhile, in the interests of fair play, I will link to a blog entry by Justin West atwho is skeptical of the allegations.
Until the Gaming Associates investigation is completed, I will refrain from pronouncing a verdict.
Note: If the link to Justin's article doesn't work, I maintained.
October 19 Update A day after I posted the above, a story at MSNBC in which I am quoted states that, indeed, the charges were true.
The article quotes a company spokesman saying, " We acknowledge a significant internal security breach whereby a resource who was infinitely knowledgeable about the system was able to get into the accounts in question.
He played on those accounts and he saw hole cards.
Four days later a was issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
The confession comes when any reasonable doubt was vanishing fast, and the mainstream media started to take an interest.
Is it just a coincidence?
We will probably never know.
January 15 Update On Jan.
That same day, AP rendered their respons, accepting the findings of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
External Links For more information, I recommend these links.
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