Absolute Invasion

by , Nov 14, 2006 | 5:18 am

The dirty crimes that one might expect in any Prohibition era have apparently begun … in the online pokersphere. None other than Pauly got hacked last week … allegedly by a rogue affiliate for Absolute Poker. Though it seemed like some sort of War on Pokerblogs might be commencing, the good doctor rallied the blog-troops and got AP to step up and join the right side of the Force without having to kidnap Michael Mizrachi. Kudos to him. Blog Power! Of course silly Pauly probably doesn’t realize that we ALL have been hacking into his system for some time now. And recently, when I heard he was out of town, I thought to myself, “what a golden opportunity to drop dirty limericks into his archives redistribute the traffic!” Alas, Absolute A-hole beat me to it, and then Pauly changed his password from “Wil Wheaties” to something else.

I was, however, still able to hack into his email … where I found the aggressive letter that helped push the action. Good stuff — though I think he should have gone more “Gonzo” with serious threats of violence*:

From: Pauly
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 7:14 AM
To: [various Absolute Poker people]
Subject: Re: one of your affiliates hacked my site the Tao of Poker

To whom it may concern:

This is the second time within 48 hours that I tried to contact you and I’m still being ignored. Thanks for being completely professional and blowing me off. I’m assuming by your silence that you are unwilling to help me out in this situation… which is unfortunate.

Here’s the original email which I’ll be forwarding to my fellow bloggers and reps in the media:

To Alexandra Gomez
c/o Team Absolute
Affiliate Supervisor

My name is Paul “Dr. Pauly” McGuire. I am the webmaster and owner of Tao of Poker blog at http://taopoker.blogspot.com. I am also an author and journalist who is well known in the poker community.

I’m writing this email to inform you that my site was hacked on November 9th while I was away on assignment in Amsterdam. It was down for almost two days. The person(s) responsible is/are one of your affiliates, specifically…. the person who uses this link:


Yes, one of your affiliates committed an illegal act against me while I was out of the country and I am very disappointed to find out that Absolute Poker was involved. My attorney advised me to contact you ASAP to inform you what has happened.

While I am not willing to pursue legal action against Absolute Poker at this time, I am asking you to help my investigation and find out the person(s) responsible for the hacking of my online property. One of your affiliates specifically hijacked my site and stole my traffic in order to inflate their affiliate revenue (which in turn Absolute would benefit financially off of that illegal act). In addition to my site being down for two days, I had to leave Amsterdam early and fly back to New York to handle this matter. I lost revenue on my site which I will not be able to recoup and had to incur extra expenses by changing my travel plans.

By Absolute Poker openly doing business with the hacker(s), you are directly aiding and abetting a criminal act. What happened to me was wrong and by allowing this to happen, Absolute Poker is conducting unethically business practices.

Here’s what I’m asking you to help me out with:

1. I am asking you to suspend their account immediately and cease any revenue generated on Nov. 9th and Nov 10th.
2. I am requesting that you forward me their specific contact information of your affiliate so my attorney can contact them directly and pursue any legal action.

By your assistance in this matter, you will be doing the right and moral thing by distancing your self from a criminal(s). However, if you fail to cooperate in a timely matter and hide behind your “privacy policy with your affiliates” then that is an admission of your guilt and I have no other choice than to assume that you are associated with said criminal. If that is the case, then I will be forced to pursue legal action against Absolute Poker and your affiliate.

Absolute Poker is on the verge of a public relations disaster and I am disappointed that not one single person from your organization has written to me to apologize or explain what happened.

Just in case you don’t know who I am, I travel all over the world covering poker tournaments. I have covered the last two WSOPs in Las Vegas for Fox Sports and Poker Player Newspaper. I’m also a regular columnist for Poker Pro Magazine and Poker Player Newspaper. I also have written for numerous poker and non-poker publications in the last year such as Bluff Magazine, the UK Racing Post, MSNBC, and The Wall Street Journal. I have also appeared on Bluff Radio, announced a final table on the EPT for the Poker Channel, and will be doing radio commentary for the Aussie Millions in January. I also have the most popular poker blog and several thousand readers and fans were upset with my site being hacked by one of your affiliates. Some of them have already contacted you.

I can and will use whatever leverage I have in the poker industry to bring the guilty person(s) to justice. I’m already in the process of writing about my negative experiences for an upcoming column. Depending on how you handle this situation will determine whether or not Absolute Poker gets bad/negative publicity on my personal blog and in print publications. Not to mention the other poker bloggers and online poker players who have rallied behind my cause.

I am extremely disappointed with the manner in which Absolute Poker openly does business with criminals. Please contact me ASAP so we can clear up this mess. If you fail to contact me ASAP, then on Monday morning you will force me to do everything possible to explain to the entire poker community what happened and mention this on the radio, in my print columns, and on my poker blog.

Paul “Dr. Pauly” McGuire

Tao of Poker – http://taopoker.blogspot.com
Tao of Pauly – http://mcgrupp.blogspot.com
Truckin’ – http://mcgtruckin.blogspot.com

Pauly apparently got the results he wanted, yesterday at least. But I hope he’ll keep us abreast of how the post-handover details go down. Because really, what can happen and what does happen to this sort of hacker is relevant to all of us, in the poker blogosphere and beyond.

* Note: Did you know in Texas, if someone steals your hat and runs off with it, you’re allowed to shoot them … in the back!?! Protecting your property is a foremost right. Should be interesting to see if this sorta pro-vigilante legal precedent would extend to virtual domains based in the Lone Star State.