Absolute Admissions: You Buyin’?

by , Oct 19, 2007 | 5:45 pm

Last night the word was — via PocketFives and 2+2 — that Absolute was ready to admit malfeasance and guilt.

That mea culpa has been released, and the AP honchos are blaming a disgruntled kid wanting to stick it to his superiors:

The cheater, whose illegitimate winnings were estimated at between $400,000 and $700,000 by one victim, was an employee of AbsolutePoker.com who hacked the system to show that it could be done, said a spokesman for the company, who spoke with msnbc.com on condition of anonymity.

“This is literally a geek trying to prove to senior management that they were wrong and he took it too far,” he said.

Hmm, So we all good and ready to deposit a bunch of money into our Absolute accounts?

Thanks Cliff and Lisa for the links!

17 Comments to “Absolute Admissions: You Buyin’?”

  1. Robert Goldfarb

    “AP honchos are blaming a disgruntled kid wanting to stick it to his superiors”

    Prove it.

  2. Lisa

    How does one prove that? YouTube video showing him sticking it to his superiors? Video showing him on his headset at the support desk while holding up his middle fingers at his bosses in the next cubicle?

  3. Lisa

    How does one prove that? YouTube video showing him sticking it to his superiors? Video showing him on his headset at the support desk while holding up his middle fingers at his bosses in the next cubicle?

    Oh wait, that last one was me. Woops.

  4. donkey

    Ok, let me get this straight. Your company just got caught red-handed stealing millions of dollars, and all the breadcrumbs lead back to you and your former CEO. You are about to go out of business and everyone involved in this scam will go to jail for a long time, and all you can come up with is some geek who wants to stick it to his superiors? You want us to believe that you had nothing to do with it all this time? That some rogue programmer decides to f*ck with his boss? That’s right, make it look like YOU are the victim, not us. well done, we hope that made up rogue programmer spends years and years in some Turkish prison while you go back to your billion dollar enterprise and pretend that nothing happened.

  5. donkey

    Lisa, quit double posting.

  6. California Jen

    Personally, I’m holding out for the official statement from Absolute. They need to name names, explain in detail how Scott Tom is “not” involved, and humbly apologize for the damage they’ve done. And they need to follow through very promptly on their promise to reimburse the cheated players.

    Absolute needs to make nice and try to rectify what it’s done to the image of online poker – if that’s possible.

  7. DanM

    You tell me … disgruntled programmer wants to prove a point to show up his bosses … wouldn’t he go public with his findings? (And presumably not keep the money in the spirit of a true whistleblower?)

    He could probably make some sweet bank writing a book about the matter, too. In fact … now that I think about it …

  8. DanM

    Jen, I made the point to someone today that Tylenol survived their pills being laced with cyanide. “But that’s not their own people doing it.” He then asked the question: “Would you ever put money into a site run by Dutch Boyd?”

    Great point, I thought. With so many other options available, would you?

  9. California Jen

    Definitely a good point. With other online options out there, I can easily scratch Absolute off my list. And I believe many others will take their business elsewhere as well.

    AP pay survive but only because their sister site is Ultimate Bet, which (I think) gets more traffic and hasn’t been mentioned much in the scandal.

    It will be interesting to see it play out.

  10. donkey

    Hey Dan, I have a question, maybe you can dig further into this? On Oct 7th, “McBill” won the AP Dream package worth $100k. He is a Montana resident and a “new” online player. What’s interesting is that there is a William Willis McMahon listed in Tom Scott’s Frat buddy list. William McMahon…McBill…HMMMM.

  11. DanM

    very intriguing, donk. a second case really would offer up a little extra proof of, um, something. i’m getting together later this week with a diagruntled former employee who is still friends with a lot of AP peeps. will poke around a bit.

    jen, while my instincts say UB won’t be devestated by this, they will be hurt. but if the only people playing UB are people who have no clue about the cheating scandal … then i gotta think their games will become pretty juicy. so we know how that goes with poker players.

  12. DanM

    btw, donkey, how/where did this questionable connection come to your attention?

  13. Cliff (TehBRD)

    There’s also a case of someone playing a $15 rebuy satellite, winning it, and then winning THAT tournament for $37k. These were the only two things from AP on his history.

    This rabbit hole goes much, much deeper than is being widely reported. There are a lot of weird connections based on IP addresses that were also in that hand history, the whole Mark Seif controversy that is still hard to explain, etc.

    I also don’t believe for one second that the money wasn’t withdrawn, unless it was kept in that account solely so that AP could invest it or gain interest on it. I too will be interested to hear what the official word from AP sounds like, because while it was originally refreshing that they were going to ‘fess up, now it’s looking more and more like they are going to try to pay off the people that were hurt by it and try to frame a scapegoat instead of taking actual responsibility for their actions.

  14. pokerpundit

    Wow. Whoever is advising AP on their triage operation couldn’t be stupider. The problem with issuing statements before you have your story straight is that eventually … the entire story is going to come out, and then people are going to go back and compare the entire story with what was said as the story developed – to measure how honest you were.

    Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about: Once people started questioning the validity of the play at Absolute Poker, the organization performed an analysis of the tournament, focusing in on the specific player who won. They then issued a statement saying that nothing out of the ordinary happened. What they couldn’t know is that the data proving their honesty was already out.

    This is standard boilerplate commentary you will get from EVERY online poker site ANY time you challenge the results of a game. I have myself requested investigation when I suspected I was being cheated (by colluders) at PokerStars. Stars issued a statement that, almost word-for-word, is exactly the same content as the original statement by Absolute Poker. They must have the same printer and a pad of these statements at the ready anytime someone with some common sense questions their vaunted security procedures.

    Then … they almost got away with it.

    For weeks, nothing was heard. Then, somebody opened Pandora’s Box … the Excel master file of the tournament – the first time in history such a file has leaked outside the walls of the online card rooms. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has EVER seen the master database file of any tournament, for any reason.

    And there’s a good reason for that. Because once you are able to look at the master file – it is trivial to detect the massive cheating that goes on – starting with colluders playing in boiler-room operations from the same IP address to the multi-accounters, up to and including the principals of the site itself cheating their high-limit players out of millions of dollars. The release of this file is just stunningly unprecedented in the history of online gaming – and provides the first peek into what is actually going on down in Costa Rica – where the long arm of the law is practically impotent.

    Now AP leaks out word that a “geek, trying to impress his supervisors” was to blame. Pfffft. Anyone can see that this is just a trial balloon to guage how the media is going to respond to that explanation. You spent a month trying to get your story straight and THAT’S what you came up with???

    The “geek” cheater is a principal in AP and also Ultimate Bet, which in my view, is just as tainted by this. Somebody needs to get to Phil Helmuth and tell him to get his photo off of UB advertisements before his reputation as one of the game’s best players gets dragged through the mud along with the principals of the parent company of AP and Ultimate Bet.

    A day of reckoning is due. It’s about to come, but you know what. I believe Absolute Poker will survive this. Go on … download their client and count the number of suckers still playing there. Tens of thousands of unsuspecting customers funnelling money to Costa Rican thieves.

    It’s just stunning.

  15. DanM

    Does anyone else find it interesting — and a tad shameful — that the two primary ads running on CardPlayer right now are Absolute and Ultimate Bet. Not apology ads, mind you. Just one about a bad beat jackpot saying, “bad beats never felt so good.”

    Perhaps they are trying to be ironic?

  16. donkey

    Dan, I didn’t hear it much here, so can you do some more investigative work on this one? Seems like all the attention is off Mark Sief, but that one online cash game is really suspicious. I believe it was the 200-400NL, where he lost $4-$5k to this Mike character, then said “I’ll be back in a minute sucker”, takes a short break, then says “I’m ready to take you down”. Then he proceeds to take down virtually all the pots in the next 15 minutes, taking Mike for $12000. Every hand was executed as if he could see Mike’s hands…flawlessly raising and folding to the appropriate hands. It would make sense that he’s in bed with Scott Tom on this one. My prediction is that Sief will end up in jail.

  17. Cliff (TehBRD)

    Seif won’t end up anywhere, not enough attention being paid to him and the guy that lost all that money to him has since retracted his accusation that Seif was cheating.

    I agree that Seif was probably involved in some way, I mean for Christ’s sake, he open folded when his opponent flopped a full house. And no, that’s not “check/folded.” That’s OPEN folded. But still… I have yet to see an actual hand history for that, Mark says he has it somewhere but hasn’t posted it yet.