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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Cheating scandal rocks Absolute Poker

18 Oct 2007

By Gary Trask

Absolute Poker is mired in a cheating scandal that has prompted the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to audit the popular site.

The controversy began about a month ago, when complaints began to surface that there were "superuser" accounts that could see the hole cards of all the players at a table.

According to the TwoPlusTwo.com forums, the complaints started when "Potripper" enjoyed a prosperous, yet unlikely, string of fortune during a poker tournament, at one point going 20 minutes without folding pre- flop. A player by the name of "Marco" got suspicious and e-mailed Absolute Poker to request an XLS file of the hand history. As is the standard, Absolute Poker complied.

When the file was received it was discovered that not only did it include complete hand history of every table revealing all of the hole cards of each player, but also the IP addresses and the user details, including e-mail addresses, of people observing the table.

Further investigation revealed that "Potripper" folded his first two hands at the table in question, but once observer No. 363 arrived at the table, "Potripper" didn't fold another hand before the flop for 20 minutes with the implication being that somehow No. 363 was using a super user account and relaying all of the hole cards to "Potripper."

Making matters worse, the IP of No. 363 was tracked back to a person by the name of Scott Tom, who Absolute Poker has confirmed is a former member of Team Absolute Poker.

Absolute Poker, which has steadfastly denied the existence of "superuser" accounts, announced Wednesday that it had retained Gaming Associates, "a widely acclaimed independent third party auditor" to conduct an independent audit of Absolute Poker's security systems.

"Absolute Poker has requested that Gaming Associates conduct a thorough and extensive review of Absolute Poker's practices and security systems to determine whether it is possible for any person, device, program, script or other means to see hole cards thereby gaining an unfair advantage," the company added in a statement.

David Montour, the Kahnawake's Gaming Commission's Chairman, added that "the allegations of impropriety have been bought to the attention of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. We have appointed experts to conduct a thorough audit of all circumstances, provide findings and recommendations to the Commission. The audit will not be restricted to examining theories circulating in Internet chat rooms."

"It is essential that all online gaming and wagering is conducted in a fair and honest manner where customers are protected," Montour went on to say. "The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is committed to ensuring fair and honest gaming. Nevertheless, it is important that we, as a Commission, act on findings and not allegations alone."

Last week, Absolute Poker, which did not return e-mail requests to be interviewed for this story, announced that it conducted an "extensive investigation in response to the claims" and the results of that investigation indicated that "to the best of Absolute Poker's knowledge, information and belief there was no security breach. Specifically, Absolute Poker's internal investigation determined that it is impossible for any person, device, program, script or other means to see hole cards."

Absolute Poker also says a formal investigation was underway into that matter of Tom's involvement and added that he "has not been involved with Absolute Poker for over a year and to the best of our knowledge, information and belief has not had access to any of Absolute Poker's systems, databases or information."

 
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