Absolute Poker Releases Statement

by , Jan 12, 2008 | 11:43 am

Without much choice in the matter, Absolute Poker has spoken in the form of a press release from Anna Molley, Vice President of Public and Community Relations.

In short, AP thinks the Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission report is complete and accurate. AP “regrets” the “inadvertent” deletion of records and is most happy to put this “most distressing and regrettable” experience behind them.

Well, as long as AP is happy…

AP is also initiating a series of poker security summits to discuss security with “respected and independent members of the poker community.”

The site is just glad to “close the book on this sordid affair.” Wow. Poor AP. They’ve been through so much…

Here is the full press release:

(JANUARY 11, 2008) — Absolute Poker (AP) issued the following statement today in response to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s (KGC) release of its report “In the Matter of Absolute Poker Investigation Regarding Complaints of Cheating.”

“When Absolute Poker notified the KGC of the security breach in our system, we had every expectation that the Commission would undertake a comprehensive and fair investigation. After reviewing the published report, we recognize the completeness and accuracy of the KGC conclusions, and we accept without reservation the KGC’s findings and sanctions. Most importantly, we are pleased, after these many months, that Absolute Poker can finally put behind it a most distressing and regrettable experience for the Company, its employees, and its customers.

“The KGC points out that ‘AP has taken the appropriate actions to address the vulnerability in its systems…and to prevent its systems from being compromised again…’ AP has appointed a team of both internal and external members to improve controls and install safeguards, and accepts the audit findings as an opportunity to improve our internal practices and guarantee the safest playing environment in the industry.

“We are pleased that the KGC’s findings of fact point out that ‘there is no evidence to indicate that the impugned activities were initiated or sanctioned by AP…or were intended to benefit AP, as a corporate entity.’ The report also states that ‘AP made expeditious efforts to appropriately reimburse all players…with interest’ who were affected by the cheating.

“The Company also regrets the inadvertent deletion of certain gaming logs and records during the course of the investigation, although AP is relieved that these deletions did not, according to the KGC, ‘prevent the Commission from obtaining sufficient information…’

“Having experienced first-hand the devastating impact of a security breach, we fully appreciate the importance of trust and security for AP itself and the broader industry. A secure site goes to the heart of player confidence, and we are more committed than ever to ensuring that confidence. To that end, we have taken it upon ourselves to convene on January 18, 2008 the first of a series of ‘poker security summits’. AP will invite respected and independent members of the poker community to focus on innovative and cutting-edge ways to further improve AP’s security and enhance its transparency.

“As AP has repeatedly stated in the past, we regret the damage done to our players and to our own reputation by this incident. We acknowledge that the Company did not act with sufficient speed to uncover the fraud; however, once we were convinced of the veracity of the allegations, we moved quickly to inform the KGC and to reimburse affected players. While AP is paying a severe penalty for the fraud perpetrated upon the Company and its customers, we are gratified that we can now close the book on this sordid affair and return our full focus to providing the safest, most secure, and most eenjoyable poker playing experience in the industry.”

21 Comments to “Absolute Poker Releases Statement”

  1. Short-Stacked Shamus

    “we moved quickly to inform the KGC and to reimburse affected players . . . “

    Couldn’t be bothered to inform its customers, though. Only those who happen to read Pokerati (or other forums/sites) would have the first clue anything happened at all . . . .

    Meanwhile, I expect AP will be trumpeting the successes of them “security summits” far & wide.

  2. DanM

    You know, we saw basically this same situation play out in the Dallas underground (just with less technology and far fewer zeroes). Basically there are some scumbag crooks in the Dallas poker scene — and how can you expect anything different when you are dealing with a legally questionable enterprise … which online poker is.

    Anyhow, these bad eggs get busted, they get robbed, various inside jobs … and yet they continue on in the poker biz because, frankly, my guess, they don’t know any other way to make a living.

    And despite their bad reputations, they are always able to find at least a few people to help them make a game.

  3. JJ

    DanM: curious who some of the bad eggs in the Dallas underground were, so I can avoid them in the future…

  4. judson shaplin

    It is amazing to me that noone has read the about us section at absolutepoker.com….in this section they state they are presently undergoing a licensing process with the kahnawake gaming commision…..does anyone else think this is a gross misrepresentation of the facts in an attempt to use the commission to lend credibility to their site? i have written one email to AP asking to remove or clarify that they are being sanctioned not undergoing a license process …i have also written 2 emails to the commission complaining asking them to force AP to remove this misleading statement….i have as of yet received no reply (its been 2 weeks since first emails to ap and commission…i wrote second to commission today now that i have read pdf about violations and sanctions)….i expect no reply because i do not believe a commission which is governing their ex-chief MR.Norton at AP will ever be honest and thourough in an investigation of their own….i hope that this will bring more attention to the fact that AP is still conducting buisness in a misleading and possibly fraudulent manner …..Thanx for your time

  5. DanM

    Interesting stuff, Judson. Please keep us posted.

    JJ, I would love to tell you, but on some of this stuff I don’t exactly have any hard proof, so I can’t really go skewer the name(s). However, send me an email and let me know where you do play and I’ll happily give you my non-legally binding opinion about places I’d avoid.

    (It should be noted that MOST of the poker operators in Dallas are good people running good businesses. Just a few bad apples.)

  6. Short-Stacked Shamus

    JJ is right . . . in fact, it was well into November before Absolute removed the statement that they were licensed by the KGC (changing it to that business about “presently undergoing a licencing process”).

    N.B.: As JJ mentions, AP tends not to respond to emails about this matter. Nor, obviously, do they inform players who don’t bother to contact them. True “sanctions” (from an independent body — which the KGC/Gaming Associates ain’t) would’ve certainly involved making public what the hell happened, e.g., with announcements on the site, emails to players, etc.

  7. Enrique

    Now they have uncovered superuser accounts at Ultimate Bet. Ultimate Bet and AP are owned by the same people. Does this mean they should immediately lose the security deposit paid to the Kahnawakes?

  8. DanM

    Enrique … do you have a source/link related to Ultimate Bet superuser accounts?

    According to a press release I received very early today, Phil Hellmuth is headed overseas right about now to play in a PartyPoker event. Coincidence?

  9. California Jen

    I think Hellmuth has played in that event before. I don’t think it has anything to do with his sponsorship with UB.

  10. Enrique

    It’s a very long thread, and the investigation is just now developing, but Hellmuth has responded:


  11. California Jen

    Enrique, can you point out what page Hellmuth’s comment is on? The thread is already 44 pages long…

  12. judson shaplin

    This is the e-mail AP sent me when i asked them to remove the about us section references to the KGC Dear Judson

    We have been informed of some concerns of yours in regards to one of the sections of our website.

    The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is an Indian reserve on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec , Canada , across from Montreal . The Kahnawake Gaming commission is an independent entity. Therefore any relation of Absolute Poker to Kahnawake is merely related to the Territory as a physical place and not as some people think to the regulatory body that uses the name of the place where is based at as part of it’s own name.

    Should you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at any time


    John Ethan

    Director of Client Services

    DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK THAT THIS IS FISHY? EITHER THEY OUTRIGHT LIED TO ME IN THIS E-mail OR THE KGC HAS ALOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO AS DOES AP (i can send a copy of this email to pokerati if they contact me at the email address i have supplied them)
    Thank you for your time JUDSON SHAPLIN

  13. Judson Shaplin

    by the way this is what the about us section at absolutepoker.com says

    About Us
    “Absolute Poker and this web site is the sole, true and lawful property of “Tokwiro Enterprises Enrg”, whose operations are located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, nine (9) miles south of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, located on lands known as the Mohawk (Kanien:kaha’ka) Territory of Kahnawake, belonging to the Mohawk Nation.

    “Tokwiro Enterprises Enrg” is a recognized Mohawk owned and controlled, gaming sole proprietorship, presently undergoing a licencing process with the “Kahnawake Gaming Commission” (“KGC”), which was itself established on the 10th day of Ohiarí:ha/June, 1996. The “KGC” is empowered to regulate, control and licence all forms of gaming and gaming-related activities conducted within and from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, in accordance with the highest principles of honesty and integrity. The “KGC” enforces regulations, which are designed to ensure, amongst other goals, the following essential elements, which are clearly enshrined in all gaming-related activities:

    that only suitable persons/entities operate within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake;
    that all games offered by the Licencees of the “KGC” are both fair and honest to the player;
    that all winners are paid

  14. California Jen


    I agree that AP’s response was fishy, if not completely wrong. While the KGC is an independent company, it is the entity that grants licenses to online sites like AP. And the connection between Tokwiro Enterprises and the Mohawk territory – specifically that the owner of Tokwiro had been the Grand Chief of the Kahnawake Mohawk territory for 25 years.

    AP’s response to you was a direct contradiction to their website statement.

    I’m getting confused… but if we’re waiting for AP or Tokwiro or KGC or any related entity to clarify, I’m afraid we are going to wait a long time.

    If I gain access to any further information, I’ll post it on Pokerati.

  15. Judson Shaplin

    I am sorry to post so much but i also had received a response from the KGC and didnt know it .it had gone to my bulk folder instead of my inbox….because of how harsh i was on the KGC i feel it is only fair to post it here as well…i received this the same day i received the e-mail from jonathan ethan from AP Jan 17

    Hello Judson Shaplin,

    The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (“KGC”) has received your email and has
    proceeded with contacting Absolute poker.

    The KGC allows an operator a maximum of two (2) weeks to respond to any
    inquires /investigations we put forth.

    If your complaint with them has not been resolved within the two week
    limit, please get back to me so as I can look into the issue further.
    your issue does get resolved before the two (2) week time limit please
    contact me so as I can close your file.


    Administrative Support Clerk
    Kahnawake Gaming Commission

    This goes along way into reassuring me of their attentiveness to this issue and i will post the results in 2 to 3 weeks
    Thank you for your time
    Judson Shaplin

  16. California Jen

    Thank you, Judson. Not many are as persistent as you with this topic, and I’m happy that KGC contacted you back. Please post any new developments!

  17. Absolute Poker Bonus

    If you want to come to the race you have to pay the price for cutting corners. Bite the bullet and move on.

  18. California Jen

    Maybe I’m still the only one calling for it, but Absolute Poker should be boycotted. The site’s apology was half-assed at best, the sanctions imposed by the KGC were insufficient, and those who caused the scandal in the first place are not being prosecuted.

    If you value your hard-earned dollar or your principles, Absolute Poker isn’t the place to put your hard-earned money.

    (This is solely the opinion of California Jen and does not reflect the opinion of Pokerati as a whole.)

  19. Dan M

    Frank over at Life’s a Bluff agrees with you, Jen, and I am sure a lot of other bloggers do, too. But I just can’t bring myself to tell stupid people to not be stupid. I mean I guess I am boycotting — I haven’t given Absolute a nickel in forever and have no plans to … but I’m fine with reporting the facts and letting people do what they want.

    Maybe I am just too lazy or not down with the lynchmob mentality that i think most boycotts bring out. But there’s a big difference between boycotting a law or a system and boycotting a person/company. I mean really, what would make you happy in this case — to see the Absolute crooks have their eyelids sewn shut for peaking at other people’s cards?

    What would make me happy is if I didn’t see their ads all over the place these days — because bottom line is that TV exposure=players — but hey, free speech is free speech, and now we know from all those taking Absolute’s crooked money are full of shit when they talk about being all about what’s “good for poker.”


  20. California Jen

    What would make me happy in this case?

    I’d like to see the crooks from Absolute prosecuted in a court of law for the crimes they committed.

    I’d like to see Absolute Poker pay a fine that fits the crime, if not have their license suspended for a period of time that would truly hurt the company and make an impact.

    I’d like to see an apology from Absolute Poker that doesn’t focus on how bad it’s been for the company but truly addresses what they’ve done to the industry.

    I’d like to see magazines like CardPlayer and Bluff publish articles that tell the whole story and stop taking ad dollars from a company that admits to such wrongdoing.

    I’d like to see anything honest and forthcoming from Mark Seif.

    That’s enough for now… Very frustrating…

  21. Review

    This is never easy.