UltimateBet/Absolute Scandals Revisited

by , Sep 7, 2009 | 11:02 pm

Many in the poker industry consider the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker scandals resolved, at least as much as we can expect them to be considering the sources of any information and the lack of the ability to involve U.S. law enforcement due to jurisdictional issues. And while some of us still have eyes and ears open for further developments, such as those that may appear on a Russ Hamilton twitter feed, Haley Hintze, former Editor-in-Chief of PokerNews, has decided to put out all of her well-informed conjecture on her own blog and gives one of the more detailed explanations of how, when, and why the UB/AP scandals were perpetrated. Though she has only posted Part 1, the rest of the story, we presume, is forthcoming.

Part 1 dives into the beginnings and how Hamilton got involved and possibly recruited help. Here is a portion of the post:

There are three reasonable scenarios for how the cheating spread, as spread it surely did:

1) One or more software engineers working on the UB code recognized the illicit profit potential for themselves, and also began to slice money from the games;

2) Hamilton himself recruited one or more Costa Rican workers to assist him in the cheating, as a way of expanding the total money being stolen;

3) Someone at UB caught Hamilton — probably noticing unusual withdrawal amounts relative to the amount of play Hamilton was logging — and decided to cut himself in for a slice of the action.

From some time in 2006, I believe, it was game on in a big way for the cheats. I’d heard whispers as far back as 2005 that something was wrong with the cash games at UB, but I played there very little, only at small stakes, and couldn’t really speak to it.

The post in its entirety can be found here.


  • Kevin Mathers

    How about checking the Twitter feed of Hellmuth’s agent:

    http://twitter.com/Balsbaugh/status/3808455466

  • DanM

    Ooh, interesting!

  • http://pokerati.com/?author=117 California Jen

    Oooh, if there is a leak of the list, per Balsbaugh, I want that list!

  • BJ Nemeth

    The differences between those two lists are huge. Most importantly, the list of cheats is (presumably) only available internally, while the list of steroid users passed through many hands outside of the MLB Players’ Union.

    Unless forced by a governing body of some sort, the UB/AP list won’t be leaked unless somebody on the inside does it. And there probably aren’t a lot of people who have access to it.

  • Haley

    Pretty much the only way the real and complete lists will come out is via a disgruntled former owner or upper management person having a little bit of revenge. I also reckon that the deal between AP and Grimard to officially shield his identity is legally unenforceable, should anyone decide to talk. It’s generally not allowable, in countries based on Western legal precepts, to do a business deal designed to shield criminal behavior; such contracts are null and void.

    So who’s going to be the Clonie Gowen of AP or UB?