Mark Seif Speaks: Nothing is Absolute

by , Oct 21, 2007 | 3:09 pm

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:


19 Comments to “Mark Seif Speaks: Nothing is Absolute”

  1. Short-Stacked Shamus

    19,000-plus players at nearly 3,000 tables. Mind-boggling.

  2. betfair poker player

    I still find it hard to believe that the actual company was involved or that this is endemic in the workplace culture but it certainly will cause people to lose faith in the online business.

    My own view is that it was one employeee who got greedy. There are many example of this in every profession but it is unfortunate that this came to light in such a prominent way.

  3. donkey

    Dan, can you check the IP address for Betfair Poker Player to see if it’s from Costa Rica? More specifically, from Scott Tom’s house?

  4. Cliff (TehBRD)

    LOL… Dan, if you really want to look into it, email me the IP. Adanthar and Nat from 2p2 have Scott Tom’s home IP address and a lot of IPs from the scandal… they were all in that hand history sent.

  5. Mark McAndrew

    “You can’t have anything that’s absolute…” (~13:00) Now that’s a quote.

    I’m sure Mark Seif is merely in the very awkward position of finding that his trust in certain friends has been misplaced.

    You’d think Absolute would be a bit quicker in releasing his requested hand history, though. What’s it stored on, punch cards?

  6. California Jen

    Mark did use the words “absolute” and “absolutely” quite often, didn’t he?

    I agree that Mark is in an awkward position. He is doing the right thing by waiting for official statements from Absolute, and I can see him making the right decision once the site gives their final word on it. He’s too smart not to see the forest through the trees here.

  7. eGaming Today

    This was posted this afternoon at Pocket Fives.

    “This person was the second in charge and has been fired from AP, and his one superior Scott Tom is going to be removed from running AP for a significant period of time. …

    This person was Scott Tom’s best friend and actually lived at Scott Tom’s house in Costa Rica. Scott Tom has been living in Panama for quite some time, and the day to day operations of AP were left to the care of his best friend and second in charge at AP. Unfortunately since the person in command of AP was also the thief he obviously issued numerous steadfast denials of any wrong doing. Basically he was investigating himself.”

  8. Bill’s Poker Blog » Absolute Changes Story . . . . Again!

    […] Side topic: Check out Pokerati’s interview with Absolute part-owner and spokesman Mark Seif. […]

  9. betfair poker player

    Shucks guys, you got me! Have moved to Germany now though. Living in the grim industiral town of Essen.

  10. DanM

    Don’t worry, BPP … I know you do. And Donkey knows I know he knows I know where he hangs, too.

    By the way, the semi-substantiated rumors I am now hearing are that various Absolute bad guys are moving to Panama and changing their names. (Seriously.)

    This is a perfect example of why online poker legal issues are about so much more than just poker — they are about international finance and legal jurisdictions. I mean it’s not like the United States can just go into a country like Panama and forcibly extract a suspected criminal and force him to face the US Justice system.

    Oh, wait a minute …

  11. Drizztdj

    I was a long time player at Absolute, final cash out made this weekend.

    Granted I play no where near the stakes that people would want to use a superaccount at, but the security of my ill-gotten funds deserves at least a fair gamble.

    Like the penny slots at

  12. California Jen

    This article on PokerWorks gives Dan a shout-out for the exclusive Seif interview and includes a letter sent from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

  13. The Pokerkeep

    It’s a sad time for online poker. While this scandal appears to have been perpetrated by one or two high ranking execs within Absolute and is not indicative of the practices or security of the other major online poker rooms, the repercussions will be felt far and wide.

    This situation provides months or years worth of fuel for the “online poker is rigged’ crowd.

    It comes at the worst time for the American players and the PPA. Just when they are making progress… BOOM!

    What I find most appalling though is that in spite of all the evidence and the admission of a major breach in AP’s security, there has been no significant drop in their player base. There has been very little public outcry. Most affiliates continue to promote Absolute.

    It makes me wonder what it would really take to get the online poker community stirred up or outraged….

    Like I said, a sad time for online poker.


    I don’t know why that idiot CRAZYMARCO is bitching about? Think about it, he’s the one with the superuser account. Who in the hell would push all in on a 9 high? Unless he saw my hole cards and the odds of him making a flush versus my 10 high was good? And what if he did hit his flush? You think he’d be crying about it? NOOOOOOOO. I put my money out there just like anyone else

  15. AJ GREEN

    “I don’t know why that idiot CRAZYMARCO is bitching about? Think about it, he’s the one with the superuser account. Who in the hell would push all in on a 9 high? Unless he saw my hole cards and the odds of him making a flush versus my 10 high was good? And what if he did hit his flush? You think he’d be crying about it? NOOOOOOOO. I put my money out there just like anyone else”


    good one !!!!!!!!


    And another thing, my name is NOT POT-RIPPER, as many of you donks like to think. It’s PO-TRIPPER (as in “I’m Trippin on the PO-lice”)

  17. - The Absolute Poker Scandal Source » Mark Seif interviewed by Pokerati

    […] Mark Seif Speaks: Nothing is Absolute […]

  18. david webber

    trust, like love, is for fools. in other words, if you don’t get to un-derange the dealers cards, you are a fool thinking you are NOT giving your money is a live casinoes dream. they scam more than they could after travel expenses.

  19. Pokerati | Texas hold’em blog » Blog Archive » It’s On! Mark Seif v. Dan Druff, Round 1

    […] beginning of the recent AP scandal was viewed as suspicious by many online players, though he did speak with Pokerati nearly two weeks ago to express his concern over the situation. He then sat down with the Raw Vegas […]