Posts Tagged ‘Absolute Poker’

60 Minutes to Re-Air AP Cheating Scandal Story

This Sunday, June 28

by , Jun 26, 2009 | 7:03 pm

On a day when the world’s eyes will likely be focused on Day 3 of $50k HORSE USA vs. Brazil, 60 minutes is rerunning their story on the biggest scandal to hit online poker.

Curious timing. It could just be a throwaway piece of filler, or it could be given an introductory time-hook connecting it to the kickoff of the WSOP. (The non-poker world that hasn’t been following us for the past month thinks the World Series starts next week.) Or … might the replay have been pushed in connection with National Poker Week and the supposedly soon-to-be-heard Barney Frank bill?

ADDENDUM: Yep, pushed back to September.

If that’s the case, you gotta wonder which side pushed for that — the side that contends prohibition is necessary because online poker is a crooked, degenerate pursuit, or the side trumpeting regulation in part because of the assistance needed to keep the game clean.

Online Poker Film by Rounders Writers, Starring Leo DiCaprio

by , Jun 16, 2009 | 1:45 am

The Hollywood Reporter is, well, reporting from Hollywood that Leonardo DiCaprio is pegged to star in a film about online casinos based in Costa Rica. Not only does the star currently aligned with the film give us hope that it won’t be another Deal, but the writers – Brian Koppelman and David Levien – are the same ones who penned Rounders. And Paramount Pictures has picked up the script. (Note to self: Check in with former employer Paramount for possible consultant positions available. Cha-ching!)

Hmmm, Costa Rican-based online casinos…like UltimateBet and Absolute Poker? Scandals and cheaters and Russ Hamiltons, oh my.

Since the movie is yet untitled, let’s throw out a few gems for Paramount to consider:

Titanic (ooooh, sorry)
UB and Me
Rounders 2 (or Part Deux for my French friends)
What’s Eating Russ Hamilton?
Gangs of Costa Rica
The 11th Hand

Okay, I’m done. Anyone else?

Lacey Jones Re-sponsored by Absolute Poker

by , May 29, 2009 | 12:19 pm

I had been hearing murmurs … and now we get the word from @LaceyJones herself that the hostess of tomorrow night’s WSOP launch party is back with her former backers at Absolute Poker.

Though I haven’t had a chance to ask her about it yet, it’s a curious move … considering she was a disgruntled former face-person for AP with plenty of reasons to believe they may have been a shady operation even before the cheating scandal emerged. (It was the bogus charity popcorn sale at the 2006 WSOP, I think, that really chapped her hide.)

While I suppose it’s theoretically possible that Lacey is such a degenerate poker addict that returning to her former abusers was the only way to get her tournament fix, might it more so suggest that one of the purest poker hotties has re-evaluated the company and concluded that the new-and-improved operations at Absolute are clean and dandy?

RE: Minnesota attempts to block online gambling (2)

Minnesota DPS picked list of sites randomly

by , Apr 30, 2009 | 7:19 pm

The 200 companies that are to supposed to be blocked by 11 ISPs to Minnesota residents has now been published by IMEGA, which can be found here on their site . The list of 200 companies is an eclectic list of sites, because it was chosen randomly. While sites like Bodog and Full Tilt Poker are on the list, there are a few notable omissions: Absolute Poker, PokerStars, and Ultimate Bet. The list also contains sites that don’t take US customers (BetFred, Everest Poker, Interops, William Hill, among others).

The WSOP has a Poker-Palooza & UB/AP sponsoring UFC?

by , Mar 24, 2009 | 6:14 pm

In previous years, the World Series of Poker would hold a Gaming Life Expo during the first four days of their main event. In the good old days (pre-UIGEA) numerous online poker sites would pay to have their own suites where you could stare at their stars, have a pillow fight with strippers models, etc. Nowadays, the GLE has been a scaled down affair where companies try to sell their various poker related products like books, bobble heads, training sites, poker associations, and many other products.

This year, they’ve retooled their GLE into what they’re calling Poker-Palooza. From their website:


Perspectives Friday: Verdict in Washington State

by , Feb 13, 2009 | 2:04 am

A Judge in Washington State has made a ruling in the online gambling case involving our old friend, Nick Jenkins! Plus, we cover industry news from the United Kingdom about Google’s online gambling advertising policy, and the Toronto Sun article about which finally covers the Absolute Poker cheating scandal.

Currently Listening to: PokerRoad Radio

Annie Duke on 60 Minutes, Washington Post

by , Dec 15, 2008 | 7:09 am

The new episode is a pretty good one … Joe, Gavin, Shronk (via robot voice), a hot girl, and the other guy Ali Nejad haven’t even gotten to the Annie Duke interview that I clicked over to listen to yet … but they’ve kept me thoroughly infotained talking about the Bellagio 5-Diamond blind structure, November Nine TV appearances, and a few poker hands.

Good stuff. Goes well with FoxNews in the background: PokerRoad Radio, with Annie Duke

UPDATE: OK, I listened … and though I’m not sure I cared to know so many details about Annie Duke-Joe Reitman sex, she does answer some questions revealing why she didn’t participate with 60 Minutes (her claims of their falsehoods to lure her into the story seem totally believable to me — media people do say these things — though I do wonder could they have gone with a more regulation-oriented storyline had she or Paul Legget gone on camera), why she is indeed so confident about AP/UB/Cereus’ commitment to running an honorable business, why she remains a loyal face for the brand (it’s not the money), and how she wants to see Russ Hamilton burn in non-Atheist hell.

She also dances around questions about her rumored appearance on the upcoming season of The Apprentice in a way that semi-confirms she has intimate knowledge of a show beginning in March with a finale in May.

DanM live on Wise Hand Poker tonight

by , Dec 3, 2008 | 5:14 pm

Pokerati’s own Dan Michalski will be on Wise Hand Poker shortly (5:45pm PT?) to discuss the 60 Minutes/Washington Post pieces on the Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet incidents. To listen live head to

UB and AP Block Kentucky Residents

Look What a Newfangled Security System Can Do!

by , Dec 2, 2008 | 8:08 pm

Tokwiro Enterprises announced that it has chosen to follow the Kentucky court order and block Kentucky residents from accessing Absolute Poker and UltimateBet. In an explanation, COO Paul Leggett said, in so many words, that the purpose it to protect the domain names for the entirety of its customer base.

Being anxious about following the letter of the law when trying to rebuild a reputation is one thing, but could this be jumping the gun a little? The case is currently on hold due to the appeal process, and the deadline for blocking Kentucky residents has been postponed until the appeals court hears the petition, which is scheduled for December 12th. Today is December 2nd. Just sayin’.

The entire press release from Tokwiro is as follows:


Customers Connecting from IP Addresses in Kentucky Will Be Unable to Play on Absolute Poker and UltimateBet Sites

MONTREAL, CANADA (DECEMBER 2, 2008) — Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG (Tokwiro), the owner of the Absolute Poker (AP) and UltimateBet (UB) poker sites, announced today that, in order to fully comply with the Franklin County (Kentucky) Circuit Court’s recent orders, it is restricting access to Tokwiro’s sites by Kentucky residents.


60 Minutes report now online

by , Nov 30, 2008 | 5:44 pm

They report, you decide:

Watch CBS Videos Online

As has been discussed earlier, Mike Sexton, Greg Raymer and Linda Johnson were also interviewed for the story. In this web exclusive, Steve Kroft discusses tells with them, which seems silly to talk about in reference to online poker.

Watch CBS Videos Online

RE: WaPo Story Now Online

Everything all better?

by , Nov 29, 2008 | 9:40 pm

OK, I just read Part 1 of the Washington Post story by Gilbert Gaul on cheating at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. I thought it was great and on target and technically correct to the letter when discussing legal matters. I learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know, too.

Two-and-a-half specific things caught my eye:

(The name of the alleged cheater has circulated widely among poker players on the Internet. The Post is not publishing his name because, even though he purportedly confessed to AbsolutePoker, the company did not release its records and would not discuss the matter. The alleged cheater declined requests to be interviewed.)

Maybe I just haven’t been following it close enough on the forums, but I’m wondering whom they’re referring to here.

The story also doesn’t reference the new formation of Cereus, after acknowledging that UB would likely lose its license and be out of business soon. Hmmm. But that’s really new, and this story was possibly put to bed a few weeks ago?

The other thing is the last graf:

The Kahnawake now say they operate one of the most secure Internet gambling operations in the world. Tokwiro says it has “established cutting-edge security systems that make us the safest site in the industry.” But Catania said he does not expect cheating to stop: “I’m sure there are people out there right now figuring out, let’s say, ‘Here’s a way we can do it again.’

Yikes, that last sentence leaves it open-ended as to how part two of the story will fall when it comes to legalization efforts.

I really like poker’s chances (because I sincerely believe despite our internal battles with shadiness, our industry is on the right side of legal issues here) … and from what I’ve learned in my rookie dabblings in poker (and strip-club) politics, the treatment this story is getting in Washington DC — a big investigative feature spread out over two days with lots of informative sidebars — now guarantees (I’m like 86 percent sure) that our issue is on the 2009 political agenda. I’m not totally comfortable yet, of course. Current feeling in my gut is comparable to waiting for the river when all-in against an 8- or 9-outer. A little unsettling. But hey, that’s what we came here for, right?

In addition to the story itself, the WP’s got a bunch of goodies for those who want to dig deeper, or just check their work:

So there you have it. It would hard to expect anything more thorough. Kudos to “special correspondent Gary Wise“, too, for playing poker-biz fixer for the WP investigative team turning over rocks.

WaPo story now online

by , | 8:01 pm

Part 1 of the WaPo investigative report

They’re running the story over 2 days, Sunday covers the AP/UB situation. Monday asks the question: Should Internet Gambling Be Legal?

The Reporters Notebook by Gilbert M. Gaul helps answer the question as to how the Kahnawake Nation became a leader in online gambling.

RE: 60 Minutes to Air AP/UB Story (3)

by , | 1:54 am

Dan Druff over at Neverwin breaks down the Paul Leggett memo in a way that might make some think the AP/UB scandal is still going on, or at least a cover-up is:

* Tokwiro agreed not to prosecute the perpetrator in the Absolute Poker cheating, and to protect that individual’s identity, because this was the only way to ensure that the ability to cheat was fully discovered and disabled. Because of this decision, AP could continue operating and begin to reimburse affected players as quickly as possible.

Pretty sweet deal for the guy, huh? Wouldn’t you like to work for a company that will agree not to prosecute you for stealing millions from them, provided that you just show them how you did it, if caught? There is zero chance that this is true. It would have been easy for them to deconstruct this after-the-fact without this asshole’s help. Obviously they are protecting him either due to continued association/affiliation (likely), fear that he will spill the beans on everyone and everything else there (also likely), or both (most likely).

Must-read for anyone who wants to understand what all the hubbub is about.

Washington Post story on AP/UB incidents Sunday

by , Nov 28, 2008 | 1:46 pm

While most of the poker community will anxiously be awaiting the 60 Minutes piece on the Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet incidents at around 7pm ET Sunday; the Washington Post, who were investigating the story along with CBS News, will have their own story available in their Sunday edition. Their piece, which will also be found on their website, may be a better indicator as to how the 60 Minutes story will be covered later that night. Also, it’s figured that the Washington Post won’t be as limited in trying to tell the complete story, since 60 Minutes has to try and explain the situation along with discussing the legality of online gambling in a 12-15 minute piece. . There will also be an online chat on Monday with WaPo investigative reporter Gilbert M. Gaul and Serge Ravitch, an online player who was also involved in the investigation.

RE: 60 Minutes to Air AP/UB Story (2)

Tokwiro fears for reputation of online poker or Tokwiro?

by , Nov 27, 2008 | 9:53 am

Nat Arem sure has sources. He recently received a forward of an inter-company memo from Tokwiro Enterprises COO Paul Leggett regarding the upcoming 60 Minutes story. Leggett has reason to believe that there will be a bias against Tokwiro and its companies, going further to say that online poker will emerge with a bad reputation. Thus, they did not appear on camera for interviews. (A little like saying that the jury has a bias, the judge is going to declare me guilty, so why defend myself?)

Leggett wrote:

“We have every reason to believe that the 60 Minutes producers are intent on portraying the online poker industry and our companies in a negative light, and we do not expect that the program will be either fair or balanced.

Because of 60 Minutes’ apparent bias against Tokwiro and online poker, we have decided not to appear on camera. We have, however, had many conversations with the program’s producers. We provided them with extensive background materials and documents, and we answered questions on-the-record, but off-camera. Despite all this, it is not likely that our views will be properly represented. Therefore, it is important that all of our staff know the following facts about our company:”

The remainder of the memo states some facts about Tokwiro Enterprises and the cheating scandals, most of which were released to the public in UltimateBet, Absolute Poker, or Kahnawake Gaming Commission press releases or statements.

The tone of the memo and words chosen by Leggett indicate that the 60 Minutes piece could portray online poker in a bad light. In fact, what Leggett fears is that Tokwiro and its online poker entities will look bad. Well, that is entirely possible because the way in which the scandals were handled was bad, and if that comes out in the reporting, who is really at fault, especially when the company in question refuses to go on camera with a statement and show otherwise? And in truth, what is said about AP, UB, and Tokwiro really doesn’t reflect on the entire online poker world, and there still remains some hope that the reporters for 60 Minutes and the Washington Post will make that clear distinction.