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Online Poker Cheating at UltimateBet
by Timmor L. White

Another massive cheating scandal has rocked the online-poker world. This one hails from UltimateBet.com. And it's a doozie!

If you read what has already been written about it, you'll learn the technical details. You'll learn about Excapsa Software; about Tokwiro Enterprises; about ieLogic, Iovation, eWorld Holdings and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory; and about players like NioNio. While these details are informative and entertaining, they miss the essential core of the story. In this article, I will tell you what is critical to understand about this cheating scenario, how it differs from other cheating scenarios, and what it means to you.

If you play poker online, please stop whatever you are doing right now and give this article your full attention. Read the following paragraphs carefully, and think about their meaning. You need to grasp the full scope and full magnitude of what we now know regarding the events that took place at UltimateBet.

These are the undeniable and confirmed facts: An unknown number of players, over the course of many years, were able to cheat by seeing their opponents' hole cards and placing bets accordingly. This resulted in great monetary gain for those who cheated in this manner.

Let's go over these facts a bit more carefully. First, an unknown number of players were involved. How many? We don't know. It could be merely a few dozen, or it could be thousands. We will never know the exact number of players who were out there stealing from unsuspecting opponents day in and day out. Think about that for moment. Potentially thousands of players could have been seeing their opponents' hole cards and benefitting accordingly. That's a poker cheaters dream, and it was a reality at UltimateBet.

For how long a time period did this cheating take place? Again, nobody knows for certain, but at least three years. Did you get that? I did not say three tournaments, or even three days. I said three full years! Or longer. Maybe much longer! This was not an isolated incident. It was not a short spree that was soon discovered and squelched. It was a regular and ongoing occurrence involving perhaps thousands of players over the course of many years.

How much money was won in this manner? Once again, we will never know. But at least one documented cheater banked an incredible $300,000 profit from only 3,000 hands. This same player won in 13 of 14 sessions, cashing out with $135,000. For certain, the total take through this cheating method among all players was much, much, much greater than that. The mind boggles to contemplate the monetary scale. Try your best to grasp the magnitude of what took place.

This differs from other cheating scandals that have made news recently. Not long ago, we learned of the incident at Absolute Poker. That one shook the online-poker community to its foundation. Yet, that particular scandal involved merely a handful of players and took place over the course of one or more tournaments. It involved a specific inside job through specific individuals. By contrast, the cheating at UltimateBet took place over a period of many years, with perhaps thousands of individuals involved. (Certainly thousands were impacted.) That's huge. And keep in mind, this describes only the part we know about! We will likely never have any idea how far reaching the cheating really was.

For a long time, a debate has raged regarding online poker. Is it possible to see your opponents' hole cards? Some say yes. Most say no. The correct answer is yes, and the matter is no longer in dispute. The details of this cheating event at UltimateBet prove once and for all that seeing other people's hole cards can -- and DOES -- happen. The debate is over.

The next time people tell you that you cannot see your opponents' hole cards, that it is not possible, that current software prevents it, that the websites make certain they are secure, blah, blah, blah... you have my permission to laugh at them. Look them straight in the face and then let out a belly laugh to shake the house. They are wrong. Seeing hole cards happens. It has happened. And it is happening at this moment, as you read this.

The question you ought to be asking is this: How many other examples of similar cheating are out there right now that we do not yet know about? How many more people are doing something just like this that have not yet been discovered? That is the question.

What's the answer? Well, of course, we don't know. But if you're a betting person (and I'll bet you are) then it is a safe bet that there are many. You can reasonably assume that this one situation that was uncovered at UltimateBet is not the one and only situation of its kind now occurring across the vast online landscape. It just happens to be one that got discovered. But you can be confident it does not stand alone in the online-poker universe.

This article is not intended to scare you or dissuade you from playing online poker. Not at all. The purpose of this article is to get you thinking. If cheating is happening -- and it is -- then you are faced with a decision. Do you want to play a fair game yourself and take your chances against the cheaters who are out there doing their thing? Or do you want to do what you can yourself to tip the odds in your favor? Either way is fine, as long as you fully understand the situation and the environment in which you play. It's your choice.

Here is the essential nugget in all this: Seeing others' hole cards is possible. You are a fool if you believe otherwise. You are gullible if you swallow the propaganda of those who say it cannot happen. It is happening, and it will continue to happen. That is fact. Invest your gaming dollars accordingly.

True, there are other ways to cheat. (To see one such method, click here: Online Poker Cheating.) There are perhaps, as many different techniques for cheating as cunning individuals on the planet. But seeing an opponents' hole cards is the granddaddy of all cheating methods. It is the ultimate orgasm for the hardcore poker cheater. And don't you think for a moment that it isn't a reality online.

So, is it possible to see an opponent's hole cards? What took place at UltimateBet should settle this question once and for all. But it won't. Official experts will still claim that seeing hole cards is not possible in today's online game. You'll still hear this question debated. Only now, you'll rise above the debate, because you'll know the facts. You'll know the truth, and you'll go forth into the gaming world armed with knowledge.


Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online Poker Systems and the OPS Group. With a background in Internet technology, he is active in the study and reporting of online-poker playing strategies. If you wish to explore a specific way to cheat when playing online, click here: Online Poker Cheat.


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