Friday, May 16, 2008

Multiple “Super-Users” Cheated On UltimateBet

Some wacky stats coming from 'super-users' on Ultimate BetYesterday California Jen posted over on Pokerati a call for Ultimate Bet to come clean regarding the cheating “scheme” first suspected late last year, then confirmed by UB back in March. Jen pointed us to that thread begun on 2+2 back in January documenting suspiciously high win rates by several players, including one named Nionio. Like Absolute Poker, says Jen, Ultimate Bet is “taking too long to admit the problem, resolve it, and communicate with players about it,” all of which Jen finds “unacceptable.”

If you check out the thread to which Jen directs us, you’ll see it begins with a comprehensive overview of both the Absolute Poker scandal and the shenanigans on Ultimate Bet. Those first responding to the post were quick to express doubts -- and, in fact, I think that initial skepticism signficantly blunted the overall impact of this story on the online poker community.

However, as time has passed and other players came forward with hand histories to compare, it became increasingly clear that yes, indeed, there were multiple “super-users” operating on Ultimate Bet late last summer -- right up until early September (when the AP shite hit the fan) and even afterwards.

I happened to catch this week’s Wise Hand Poker -- a great episode, by the way, with a fantastic interview of Dewey Tomko taking up the first half. At the conclusion of the show, Wise interviewed David Paredes, one of the players who’d lost money playing 25/50 and 50/100 NLHE against Nionio last summer.

Paredes ended up comparing hand histories with others who had played against Nionio. It was soon discovered that Nionio was up around $300,000 in just 3,000 hands, an unfathomable win rate of 75 Poker Tracker big bets per 100 hands. Other strange stats -- e.g., voluntarily putting money in the pot over 60% of hands; preflop raising over 35% of hands; routinely making super thin value bets & amazing call downs -- further suggested the possibility that Nionio could indeed see his opponents’ hole cards.

As Paredes explained on the show, the profile was identical to that of the Absolute Poker “super-users” like Potripper, although Nionio apparently did occasionally lose hands at showdown and play less than “perfect” poker, perhaps in an attempt to dissuade suspicions. In any event, Paredes says that at least ten different accounts have now been identified as having been “super-user” accounts. There’s also evidence of players having switched screen names, as well as most of the accounts being deleted shortly after the AP scandal broke (although at least one continued to play on UB into November).

The suspect accounts listed in the 2+2 thread include the following screen names: Flatbroke33, iLike2win, Nionio, Nopaddles, Nymobser, Monizzle, Sleeplesss, stoned2nite, Utakeit2, and Whackme44.

Jen is right. Ultimate Bet is way, way overdue here addressing the scandal, the extent of which appears to have even exceeded what went on at Absolute Poker. Ultimate Bet paid pro Annie Duke says she believes the management team at UB will be making its findings public by the end of the month. Then again, Phil Hellmuth (also a UB paid pro) was saying back in mid-January that UB had begun an investigation and that information would be released within the next few weeks. And so we wait.

According to Paredes, the UB super-users took at least $1.5 million out of the high stakes NLHE games. And several also played PLO (which was not tracked). As I’ve said before regarding Absolute Poker, allowing the integrity of the games on your site to be so severely compromised is bad enough, but such nonchalance in addressing it -- and, most importantly, in communicating how you addressed it to your players -- is simply unforgivable.

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Blogger RaisingCayne said...

"...simply unforgiveable."


5/16/2008 1:03 PM  

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