Friday, February 22, 2008

Reporting on Absolute Poker; or, If a Tree Falls

Caught part of Keep Flopping Aces last night. Jennifer Newell (a.k.a. California Jen) joined Lou Krieger as co-host, and they had Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles on to talk more about the Absolute Poker scandal and its aftermath.

I only picked up the show about fifteen minutes after it began. As far as AP is concerned, what I heard essentially reiterated ground already covered several times over. Witteles -- who spoke for just about the entire 35 minutes or so I heard -- made almost all of the same points on Wise Hand Poker back in early November. There was an interesting bit toward the end about bots starting to pop up more frequently on certain sites, but otherwise I’d heard it all before. (If you missed the show, you’ll just have to wait for it to appear in the RSS feed.)

Of course, just because I’ve heard it all before doesn’t mean a lot those listening in have. As was pointed out on the show, not many people are even aware of the AP scandal, never mind up to speed on what happened, how it was discovered, and how AP and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission chose to deal with the matter.

This point briefly came up on the show. Krieger mentioned how he’d been writing about the scandal on his blog, and also referred to the series of articles Newell has written about the scandal for Poker Player (here is the first). He then said [to Newell] “I think that essentially it’s you and me and maybe a little bit of Gary Wise and that’s about it.”

Gonna have to disagree with Krieger there on that last point. Others have written about -- and continue to write about -- the scandal.

It is true the mainstream “poker media” (i.e., the poker mags I wrote about on Wednesday) aren’t really providing much in the way of true, unbiased reporting on the matter. But, come on. It’s not as though no one else is writing about Absolute Poker.

For example . . .

Haley Hintze has written eight articles on the scandal for Poker News:
  • Tough Times for Absolute Poker (October 18, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker: 'We Had a Security Breach' (October 19, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker: Consultant Cited in Latest Statement (October 21, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker Situation: Unattributed Statement Released; Seif Video Names AJ Green (October 31, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker Situation: Unofficial Interim Audit Statement Released (November 9, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker Situation: Q&A with Nat Arem, Part 1 (November 9, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker Situation: Q&A with Nat Arem, Part 2 (November 16, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker Situation: Kahnawake Gaming Commission Releases Final Audit Results (January 12, 2008)
  • Poker Listings has also had a number of articles reporting the scandal:
  • Absolute Poker debacle results in audit (October 18, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker reports security breach (October 20, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker condemned by poker players (October 22, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker fall out far from over (October 30, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker issues update on scandal (November 10, 2007)

  • Poker rooms respond to online security questions (November 20, 2007)

  • Absolute Poker investigation nearing end (November 23, 2007)

  • KGC releases Absolute Poker report (January 13, 2008)

  • Absolute Poker responds to KGC report (January 15, 2008)

  • Final Thoughts on Absolute Scandal, PCA Bannings (January 18, 2008)
  • Additionally, Poker Pages has weighed in on the matter from time to time:
  • Absolute Poker Cheating Blamed On Employee (October 19, 2007)

  • Further Details Emerge in Absolute Poker Scandal (November 9, 2007)

  • Absolute(ly) Poker Scandalous (November 12, 2007)

  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission Releases Absolute Poker Findings (January 12, 2008)

  • Absolute Poker Responds to KGC Report (January 13, 2008)

  • Is There Integrity in Online Poker? (no date)
  • Should also mention this one -- For Cryin’ Out Loud, You Are Not Being Scammed at Absolute Poker! (September 25, 2007). Poker Pages probably regrets jumping the gun, there. But at least they were trying to cover the story.

    Moving on, Life’s a Bluff has offered some poignant commentary:
  • Absolute Mess (October 22, 2007)

  • Happy Halloween (October 31, 2007)

  • War of Words (November 14, 2007)

  • Online Poker Is Rigged (January 11, 2008)

  • Absolute Poker Punished (January 18, 2008)
  • Pokerati, in addition to passing along some of the above-mentioned items, has had a number of posts on the matter, as well. Here are just a few of them:
  • Absolute Issue Raises Serious Questions (October 17, 2007)

  • Mark Seif, Absolute Respond with Call for Investigation (October 17, 2007)

  • Absolute Admissions: You Buyin’? (October 19, 2007)

  • It's On: Mark Seif v. Dan Druff, Round 1 (October 31, 2007), in which California Jen passes along the RawVegas vids

  • Mark Seif Speaks (November 1, 2007)

  • What Cheating Looks Like (November 1, 2007), in which Dan links to the YouTube Potripper vids

  • Absolute Issues Statement Claiming No Super-User Account. Yeah, Right. (November 9, 2007)

  • Absolute Cheating Report Released (January 11, 2008)

  • Unpeeling the Absolute Onion (January 12, 2008)

  • Absolute Poker Releases Statement (January 12, 2008)
  • Big Poker Sundays devoted a lot of time during its initial episodes to the story, as have other podcasts such as Ante Up! and the old Rounders, the Poker Show (now Two Plus Two). Oh, and Dugglebogey was already drawing cartoons about it back in September.

    And, while I’m at it . . .
  • Playing Catch-Up (September 23, 2007)

  • Absolute Crap (October 19, 2007)

  • Would You Like to Leave Absolute Poker? (October 21, 2007)

  • Cleaning Out (October 24, 2007)

  • Poker Still "a Game Subject to Chance" (Even for Cheaters) (October 30, 2007)

  • World Upside Down (November 6, 2007)

  • Update on the Updates (November 11, 2007)

  • Get Ready to Rumble (November 17, 2007)

  • Absolute Apathy (January 4, 2008)

  • Something Is Missing Here (January 14, 2008)

  • CardPlayer Sez Go On & Play at Absolute Poker (February 5, 2008)

  • Absolute Poker "Security Summits" (In Search Of) (February 13, 2008)
  • And I haven’t even mentioned other forums and blogs that have reported (and continue to report) on the scandal.

    No, I think for anyone interested, there’s plenty of information out there about the problems at Absolute Poker. That’s the problem, though. For a variety of reasons, ain’t a lot of folks all that interested.

    A month-and-a-half ago, Gary Carson pointed out the pointlessless of blogging about the Absolute scandal, explaining the generally lackadaisical attitude of most poker players’ towards cheating ensures such efforts will largely fall on deaf ears.

    Carson’s probably right. Indeed, sometimes I think even those who are interested in the scandal aren’t listening all that closely.

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    Blogger Random Table Draw said...

    OK, reposting this on LAB and I hope all your other readers that can put this in another source will. Great collection of work sir, you should be commended.

    2/22/2008 1:09 PM  
    Blogger The Shrink said...

    The "Poker Media" certainly is paying attention. I think if you clicked on any of those links over there in your blogroll, you could find several stories. But "Poker Players" are not listening and Duh! look at any really big scandal in government or business, you gotta go a long, long ways (Nun on the Church steps) to get the public's interest. The other factor is that there is no real face to this cheating. No Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon to vilify; they fired the one guy, so it's hard to hate an online site. Sure some players closed there accounts (Yes, I did!) but why blog about something that your readers either don't care about or feel is old news?

    2/22/2008 10:04 PM  
    Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

    Thx, PokerShrink.

    Please know I do click on those links in my blogroll. I don't list anything there I don't read regularly. As I mentioned in the post, I recognize many other forums & blogs have covered the AP scandal. (Indeed, it occurred to me to mention the PokerBlog, but I didn't, partly because I knew I didn't have the time to mention all of the others as well.)

    As I also say in the post, I understand the point of view of those who think continuing to blog about the AP scandal to be a waste of time. But does that mean it is not worth writing about? That I shouldn't care? That I, like the mainstream "poker media," should just move on and live with such an unfair, unethical state of affairs in online poker? I suppose I could. But why should I? Unlike the major outlets, I'm not beholden to any advertisers. I can write what I want.

    I'm certain some of my readers certainly don't care about this topic and/or find it "old news." But when did that ever stop a blogger? Hell, most of what I read on those blogs on the blogroll are posts written with only partial (or no) attention to the audience's desires or needs. Which is precisely why I read them. Because they ain't writing what everyone wants to hear. (For that I can go to the mainstream "poker media.")

    2/23/2008 12:16 AM  
    Blogger Lou Krieger said...

    You're right, Shamus. A lot more has been written about Absolute than I suspected. Thanks for pointing that out.

    It just shocks me--even more so, given the amount that's been written and said about it--that so few people seem to care, and so many still play on that site.

    I'm still frustrated by all of this!

    Lou Krieger

    2/24/2008 2:00 PM  
    Blogger Dantana said...

    you really would think the market would put them out of business.

    but this is proof of why the legal and political issues of regulation are about much more than just one site or even online poker as a whole.

    2/24/2008 6:36 PM  

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