Posts Tagged ‘paul leggett’

DonkDown Releases UB Scandal Email

More UB Scandal Dirt

by , Feb 23, 2011 | 4:19 pm

Yesterday we brought you the transcripts of the Travis Makar transcripts thanks to the guys over at DonkDown. In the short synopsis that we gave you we made mention that Bryan Micon had planned on meeting up with Makar to take a look at some of the documents he supposedly was in possession of.

Well that meeting happened yesterday and Micon was able to walk away with more than just some mental pictures of the documents. He actually got Makar to let him leave with one of the many emails that he made mention of during the interview. You can view that email and Micon’s thoughts of the meet-up over on the DonkDown Forums.

If you are still wanting some more information on the meeting then be sure to check out the DonkDown Radio show tonight at 10:30 PM ET where Micon will be giving more details and be answering questions throughout the show.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, UB COO Paul Leggett has posted his own response to the original Travis Makar interview here.

Cereus Poker Network Sold

Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet under new ownership

by , Aug 26, 2010 | 4:13 pm

The Cereus Poker Network, home of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, have been sold to “e-gaming entrepreneur” Stuart Gordon, creating Blanca Games to purchase the company previously owned by Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG.

The full press release appears below:


Cereus Closing Down Kahnawake Offices?

Informed industry sources say yes; muckrakers say such is 2010

by , Jun 13, 2010 | 7:46 am

No details, and no confirmation … but who wants action!?! is saying that the Cereus Network — the beleaguered yet thriving online poker+blackjack collective — is shutting down their office in the Kahnawake territory. The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, of course, roughly 18 square miles located just outside of Montreal, has long been a refuge for online gambling sites operating literally outside the reach of US law. It has been the home of Ulitmate Bet (now UB) since 2001 and Absolute Poker since 2003.

No clue at present what this would mean if true, nor what might be the implications for representative players such as Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, and Trishelle Cannatella. Maybe it’s simply a matter of Cereus COO Paul Leggett just responding to Daniel Negreanu’s call for him and his business to take a hike?

It’s also possible, of course, that maybe their lease was just up, and they found a sweet new pad with a view of the St. Lawrence River?

We’ll surely see in coming days and weeks. But I’m at least 90 45 72 percent sure that such a move isbig deal in some capacity, and it coincides with more lawuits Pokerati hasn’t even told you about. I literally can’t keep up with all the shizznit heading toward various fans at this moment. I’m trying though … Stay tuned today, tomorrow, and in coming weeks to learn about more business and legal matters that may well affect operations at the 2010 WSOP and beyond.

UPDATE: Plausibly connected … @KevMath (of course) tips me off (and the folks at 2+2) to a letter from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, dated May 10, 2010, acknowledging a “memo of understanding” between them and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Alderney is the small British dependency in the Channel Islands that currently licenses and regulates Full Tilt.


More security issues with AP/UB

Cereus not so serious about their security?

by , May 7, 2010 | 3:10 pm

The scandal-plagued Cereus Network, home of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, took another hit on Thursday regarding their encryption procedures. Poker Table Ratings issued a “security alert” advising players not to play at AP/UB as they revealed a major security flaw as Cereus was using XOR encryption rather than the poker industry standard SSL protocol for all network transmissions.

An example of what PTR found is in the video below:

Cereus COO Paul Leggett issued a response shortly after the PTR report came out Thursday evening and posted a status update just a few minutes ago stating that they’ve issued an update to their software earlier Friday and are working with PTR on the new encryption and the eventual release of a more advanced solution using the Open SSL protocol, scheduled to be available in one week.

WTF-LOL: UB (Hostiley) Taking Over Independent Blogs?

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 7:56 am

I kinda thought I was the boss around here … but we recently got a letter from Google informing me that Paul Leggett is now the “Ultimate COO” of

Crap, if he’s moving in I guess I gotta get an airbed?

UB issues another statement on UB software issue

by , Jan 2, 2009 | 11:54 am

On December 31, Ultimate COO Paul Leggett issued an update on previous software issues that happened earlier in December. It’s linked here, or you can click on the button below to read it in full:


UB and Tokwiro issue statements on UB software issue

by , Dec 23, 2008 | 7:32 pm

Ultimate COO Paul Leggett has given an update to the blog at Ultimate Bet about the Phil Hellmuth v DOUBLEBALLER hand that caused all sorts of controversy in the online community since Saturday morning, a portion of that comment is excerpted below:

As we explained in our press release, the incorrect payout was caused by a software malfunction. The software malfunction occurred when the winning player was disconnected from the hand at the precise millisecond the software was determining whom to award the prize. This in conjunction with the “player’s state” data being cleared from memory caused this extremely improbable incident to occur.

Originally we were unable to reproduce the error in our test environment, until we programatically forced a disconnect to happen at the precise millisecond the hand was being awarded.

We have never had an issue like this reported previously and we have reviewed all of our database and application logs for December and November and have been unable to find any historical occurrences. We are continuing to go back further into the historical data to ensure no hands from the past need to be corrected. Analyzing this data takes time but we will continue to go back further and further into our history to ensure no one else was affected.

Leggett’s entire statement can be found at the Ultimate Bet blog.

Tokwiro Enterprises, who own Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, issued their own statement on the matter, after the jump:


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

by , Nov 29, 2008 | 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.

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.

RE: Paul Leggett Speaks (At Length) about Tokwiro, AP, UB, Kahnawake, Joe Norton

by , Nov 13, 2008 | 8:13 am

Of particular interest to me in this series of Tokwiro-sponsored videos was Leggett’s confirmation that no one was or will be legally prosecuted in the Absolute Poker scandal.

When the perpetrator was discovered in the AP insider cheating scandal, he was given protection from prosecution in exchange for information about the crime. If he told Tokwiro exactly how he got the hole card information, his name would not be released to the public and no legal action would be pursued. Leggett said that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission still reserves the right to prosecute if they so choose, but Tokwiro will not.

Leggett noted that the $800K that was stolen during the crime was still in the cheater’s online account and thus confiscated by Tokwiro to repay customers. However, Tokwiro had to pay an additional $800K out-of-pocket in interest to those customers. I guess the perpetrator’s inside info was worth nearly a million bucks…

Also interesting was the specific mention of Scott Tom in order to clear his name. Leggett said that he was only implicated because his IP address was used by the cheater. Really? So, does this make AJ Green a.k.a. AJ Grimard the one and only perpetrator, as no effort was made to clear him? And I suppose the lessons learned in the AP scandal better prepared Tokwiro to identify the problems in the UB scandal, not needing any information from Russ Hamilton and allowing prosecution in that case.

This is discussed in the video below (Part 2, Section 2) and starts at the beginning:

Paul Legget Speaks (at Length) about Tokwiro, AP, UB, Kahnawake, Joe Norton

And Annie Duke Says: “I don’t think there’s anywhere safer to play.”

by , | 6:49 am

It’s not quite 60 Minutes … in fact, it’s closer to 73 minutes. Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet honcho Paul Leggett speaks with the CBC’s (Canadian Broadcast Company) Susan Reisler for an extremely detailed and stoic Q&A. I can tell you I’m very suspicious. This looks like an infomercial to me. (The apparent title of the show is simply “Poker” — I wasn’t aware of that investigative journalism news program.) Though she gets into all the controversial issues — and even the inbred nature of AP/UB/Tokwiro/Norton/Kahnawake — there’s no follow-up to anything that might sound peculiar (like the inbred nature of AP/UB/Tokwiro/Norton/Kahnawake) … she just allows him to state the facts and timelines, as if he were giving a legal deposition under questioning from his own attorney.

CONFIRMED: This is indeed a production by Tokwiro Enterprises, aka AP/UB. Anyone wanna wager on how many attorneys were standing off-camera to keep all commentary in legal line?

Sorry if I sound cynical. Really, it’s an admirable effort from Paul Leggett, the guy Annie Duke stands so strongly behind. Via the mock news program format, he addresses just about any question any of us have had about the whole Black Sox of Poker sitch. Kudos to you, Mr. Leggett, seriously, and thanks for finally coming forward with so much candid info. Personally, I’m starting to see your point of view on all this … and there were only a few questions where your answers made me wonder why Ms. Reisler didn’t follow up with: “But don’t you think that sounds fucked up?”

Click here for the entire 9-part library
… bonus points if you can find the point where Leggett says “We were the victim here.”

Also check out the vid below, where Annie Duke speaks her mind on why she’s so loyal and has so much faith in AP/UB security … right down to algorithms and dealing with bots … and be sure to watch 4 minutes and 10 seconds in, where Reisler does her 60 Minutes style wrap-up: Everything is safe and secure, and Russell Hamilton is the Ultimate Bad Guy — he’s not part of Tokwiro and is in really big trouble if they can ever get their hands on him.

[Cue neoclassical new-age healing music.]

NOTE: KafkaCR? That’s the new YouTube video uploader’s name … OK, the CR is for Costa Rica … but Kafka? The Jewish-Bohemian novelist who, according to Wikipedia, wrote about “troubled individuals in a nightmarishly impersonal and bureaucratic world”?

Oh, wait … I get it … Metamorphisis! Very clever project name, whether intentional or not.

Excapsa Pays Tokwiro, UB Player Refunds Complete

Grand Total of Transactions = $15 Million

by , Nov 5, 2008 | 5:00 pm

A press release was just received from Tokwiro Enterprises, noting that a settlement was reached between Excapsa Software (previous owner of UltimateBet) and Tokwiro Enterprises (current owner of UB) for $15 million. The amount is the same as what was still owed to players who were cheated in the UB scandal, as determined by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in its decision on the case, and those players have now received their refunds.


Tokwiro Claimed Damages As A Result of UltimateBet Cheating Scandal

Refunds To Affected Players Completed

MONTREAL (NOVEMBER 5, 2008) — Tokwiro Enterprises, ENRG (“Tokwiro”), the owner of AbsolutePoker and UltimateBet, today confirmed the settlement of its claims against Excapsa Software, the previous owner of UltimateBet. The Honorable Madame Justice Sarah E. Pepall of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice endorsed the settlement on November 3, 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, Excapsa will pay US$15 million to Blast-Off Ltd., the Tokwiro-controlled company that originally acquired UltimateBet. This payment will be used immediately to refund players who were affected by the cheating scandal that Tokwiro inherited when it purchased the business from Excapsa.

Paul Leggett, Tokwiro’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are pleased that we have finally agreed to a settlement with the previous owners of UltimateBet, and we are happy to announce the completion of the final refunds to players. Together with our regulatory body, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, we have fought long and hard to hold those responsible accountable for the fraud, to refund players, and to ensure this can never happen again. Now that the main perpetrator has been named, the settlement with the previous owners is behind us, and players have received refunds, it should now be apparent that Tokwiro had no involvement in this cheating and that we have fought to correct it with every tool at our disposal.

“We continue to reserve the right to pursue further legal action against any individual or individuals involved in stealing from us or our customers. With this settlement, however, our claims against Excapsa are satisfied, and all player refunds will be completed. This brings us significantly forward in our search for justice in the aftermath of the cheating scandal,” concluded Mr. Leggett.

RE: Tokwiro COO Speaks on Security, Scandals, and Investigations

by , Aug 14, 2008 | 10:55 pm

As noted in the original post, I recently interviewed Tokwiro Enterprises Chief Operating Officer Paul Leggett about a number of issues the recent UltimateBet and Absolute Poker scandals.

The interview transcript has been broken up into three parts and posted on PokerWorks. Part 1 focuses on Tokwiro’s purchase of AP and UB, and how any inkling of impropriety could be missed in the due diligence phase.

Part 2 delves deeper into the investigations – the internal UB one concluded by Tokwiro itself, the ongoing UB investigation by Gaming Associates, and the “surprise” assignment of Frank Catania to audit Tokwiro as a company. Leggett also discusses the reasons for the reimbursement process lag time, whether or not Russ Hamilton was involved in the cheating, and the roles of Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke in it all.

In Part 3 I gave Leggett a chance to discuss what has been done at UB to rectify the problem and improve security going forward, and why customers should have confidence in UB and AP.

I feel that Leggett was as forthcoming as he was allowed to be, considering the restrictions inherent in the pursuit of legal action. He helped dispel some myths and rumors, though his inability to discuss Hamilton’s alleged involvement or any evidence in the case keeps interested parties in limbo for awhile longer. However, he helped put somewhat of a timeline on information he hopes will be released to the public, and he provided some details about how Tokwiro has tried to overcome the scandals, close security gaps, and regain the trust of the poker public.

Tokwiro COO Speaks on Security, Scandals, and Investigations

Paul Leggett Answers Questions about UB, AP, and Russ Hamilton

by , Aug 12, 2008 | 10:52 pm

Some might say that I’ve been a raving lunatic somewhat vocal about my frustrations with the AP and UB scandals. This is true, and thus I attempted to contact UltimateBet once again in July for answers to some of my questions. To my surprise, I was contacted by the Vice President of PR at Tokwiro Enterprises, UB’s parent company, who said she would respond to my inquiries. After two weeks of no such thing, I was on the verge of writing another rant/post here sending a polite follow-up when I received an e-mail asking if I’d like to speak with the Chief Operating Officer of Tokwiro, Paul Leggett. Ummm, yes, please.

I conducted the interview on Friday, Aug. 8, via telephone, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at Mr. Leggett’s willingness to answer my questions as he was able and be as honest as the corporate attorneys would allow. He has been reaching out to other media outlets lately, having done guest appearances on 2+2 and Pocket 5 podcasts, and I was happy to finally have a door opened and someone coming out to answer questions.

The full interview has been submitted to PokerWorks in a three-part series due to the length of the transcribed interview. The first article is up now, and the others will be posted in subsequent days.

Highlights of the interview included dispelling myths and rumors, speaking of the utmost confidence that the perpetrator(s) will be caught and prosecuted, and giving details about new security procedures and systems to prevent future improprieties.

A few excerpts:

In response to a question about how two companies, AP and UB, could be purchased without any knowledge of cheating going on at the highest levels:

“There definitely was due diligence done at the time of purchase… but this is a very large platform that we purchased. Unfortunately, during this due diligence process, we simply did not discover the code that was put on there…”


Tokwiro Completes its (Self) Investigation at UltimateBet

How Many Companies are Trying to Own This Investigation?

by , Jul 30, 2008 | 7:40 am

Despite the fact that things are finally happening and some progress is being shown with regards to the UltimateBet investigation, it seems that everyone involved wants to suddenly be a part of bringing the scandal to some sort of resolution. After six months of acknowledging and investigating and hoping it goes away, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Gaming Associates, Frank Catania, Tokwiro Enterprises, and UB all care deeply about getting this done.

Funny how when a third party is brought in to investigate Tokwiro Enterprises, owner of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, Tokwiro suddenly concludes its own UB investigation days later. Wait, Tokwiro was investigating its own company’s scandal? Sounds a little like the U.S. Government…but I won’t get into that here.

In a statement published on the UB website, Tokwiro comes to the surprising conclusion that it had no part in the cheating that took place on UB prior to the purchase of the company. It notes that there were 19 accounts and 88 usernames associated with the “complex web of player-to-player transfers and withdrawals” that took place to scam real players on the site, and refunds to cheated players are in the process of being determined and issued. All results of the investigation have reportedly been turned over to the KGC.

Here is the statement in full:

MONTREAL, CANADA – (July 25, 2008) – Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG (“Tokwiro”), proprietors of (“UB”), one of the ten largest on-line poker cardrooms, today announced that it has concluded the investigation into allegations of unfair play on UB’s web site.

Tokwiro has compiled complete forensic evidence including the IP addresses, devices, transfer and withdrawal histories, and names associated with the player accounts that benefited from illicitly viewing hole card information. The results of Tokwiro’s internal investigation have been turned over to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) and its auditors, as that regulatory body continues its independent investigation. These results are in addition to the data which Tokwiro has already shared with the KGC.

Tokwiro has identified a total of 19 accounts and 88 associated usernames that were involved in the cheating, including the accounts that were named in Tokwiro’s publicly posted investigation updates of May 29, 2008 and July 8, 2008. The same perpetrators that were previously identified controlled all of these usernames. There are no new perpetrators involved, only new usernames. Usernames were changed many times over the course of the cheating scam in an apparent scheme to avoid detection. Our complete list of usernames involved in the cheating scheme has now been turned over to the KGC, and the Company does not expect to uncover any additional usernames.

Paul Leggett, Tokwiro’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “Make no mistake: our management team is outraged that this cheating occurred on our site through illicit software placed on the UB servers prior to our purchasing UltimateBet. Tokwiro is aggressively pursuing legal avenues of redress in order to protect and compensate our players and the business. Rest assured that we will release more information to the poker community and to the public at large as we enforce our and our players’ rights.”

“With respect to refunds to the affected players, we are continuing our analysis in order to determine the refund amounts. We will move forward with another round of refunds in the weeks ahead. We thank the poker community for its invaluable contributions to this investigation and assure it that we remain committed to fully investigating any claims of fraud on our site,” Mr. Leggett said.

The investigation revealed that the perpetrators logged into the client software, using an account that had the ability to view hole cards. The ability of a specific account to view hole cards was enabled by illicit software that was placed on the UltimateBet servers prior to October 2006, which was before Tokwiro acquired the business.

The account that was used to view hole cards never actually played in a game. Instead, the perpetrators used hole card information gained from logging in with this account while playing on other accounts, which thereby benefited from the cheating. The money won by the accounts that received hole card information was then moved around and off the site in a complex web of player-to-player transfers and withdrawals. This contributed to the complexity of Tokwiro’s efforts to uncover the truth.

Mr. Leggett concluded: “We cannot over-emphasize the fact that Tokwiro and its entire management team had no knowledge of the illicit software until it was revealed by our investigation; and no one associated with Tokwiro was involved in the cheating scheme at any point.”