LAS VEGAS–You can’t seem to go anywhere pokery in this town these days without people talking about Absolute. It’s not the only thing on their minds, of course, but everyone seems to have a take on the online cheating scandal — and often an additional story about less-than-ethical operations at AP.
Perhaps the most damning I’ve heard comes from a reliable source with insider connections to the disgraced online poker site: Remember the popcorn for sale at the WSOP? Absolute Poker had pretty girls peddling bags for $1, with all money supposedly going to “Children’s Hospital.” That promotion reportedly raised $10,000 … but the donations never made it to the charity. Yeow. If that’s true — and it’s certainly checkable — well, let’s just say if a company is willing to steal/neglect such a relatively small amount, then what else is possible?
I caught up with Mark Seif yesterday at the Poker Bowl, being held at the Palms, where the the Absolute minority owner and spokes-pro was wearing a navy blue shirt commemorating a charity tournament that helped fallen officers. Giving his first voice-to-voice interview since the scandal broke, Seif tells Pokerati where things stand in his mind. He also answers a question about how believable AP’s current explanation about a rogue employee is, denies his own involvement in any form of cheating whatsoever, and talks a little bit about what this all means for the future of online poker and his future with Absolute. Oh, and most shocking to me — wish I had followed up on this — he also says that despite the hubbub, AP currently has more players playing online than usual.
Not sure how that can happen, but click below to hear Mark Seif on whether or not his company is destined to become the Enron of Poker: