The PokerStars WCOOP Scandal

The PokerStars WCOOP Scandal

The winner of the WCOOP was TheV0id.

Keyword in that sentence is was.

What’s the WCOOP?

WCOOP stands for the World Championship of Online Poker and it’s an online poker tournament series sponsored by PokerStars. It started in 2002 as the online version of the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

So you said “was”. TheVoid isn’t the winner anymore?

TheV0id was found to be guilty of multi-accounting and has been disqualified as the winner of WCOOP 2007 Main Event.

What does it mean to have multi-accounts?

You are only allowed one account per person on most online casino and poker sites. Some people cheat the system by having multiple player accounts and using it to their advantage.

“A single player is not allowed to have multiple accounts,” says PokerStars Poker Room Manager Lee Jones. “We have had (for years now) a dedicated collusion team that catches colluders. We also have software that proactively searches out colluders and multi-accounters. Our team reviews any hits that software produces, plus (of course) any complaints we get from players, reports we read on the Internet, etc. When we find colluders, we close their accounts, confiscate their funds, and restore funds to the victims. We do permit people in the same household to play in a multi-table tournament together at PokerStars (wife/husband, college roommates, etc). However, they can’t play in cash games or sit-and-go’s together. We have software to block that. Furthermore, that couple (roommates, whatever) have to play absolutely independently (as any two players must). We will punish any soft play or chip dumping.”

What do professional poker players feel about multi-accounting?

“It’s a shame that the raw pursuit of money causes people to act unethically, but I think that’s what it comes down to,” says poker pro Shane Schleger. “I talked to many players about multi-playering and was quite surprised that most people didn’t consider it blatant cheating, but rather some ambiguous ethical issue, that the brave new world of online poker is one without ethics or boundaries. I am secretly relieved that multi-playering has been clearly identified as a non-ambiguous method of cheating.”

WSOP bracelet winner and online professional Brett Jungblutt says, “The issue of it being possibly unenforceable is not a valid reason for justifying it. Bottom line is that a man is only as strong as his values, and a society is only as strong as its accepted values, or customs, and I am not prepared to let the very poor and selfish minds of a few players lead to compromising the integrity of our great game.”

“Using multiple accounts in one tournament is 100% cheating. No gray areas,” said Paradise Poker player ambassador Todd Arnold.

Pro David Cossio said about the situation, “For me, this is my job. The one that allows me to feed my family. We cannot let the greed of a few destroy our job. We should do as much as we can to help Internet poker grow. I think a lot of younger players don’t understand this point.”

Has PokerStars released an official statement on this cheating?

The investigation into the WCOOP Main Event has now been concluded.

We have determined, based on the totality of evidence, that the tournament winner “TheV0id” was in breach of the PokerStars Terms of Service.

In the interests of Game Integrity, “TheV0id” has been disqualified from first place.

All other WCOOP Main Event prizewinners in addition to the player who originally bubbled in 415th place will therefore advance one place in the prize pool. The necessary financial adjustments to reflect the revised tournament places will be made within the next 24 hours.

Please note that we are unable to release further details of this investigation, for reasons of confidentiality and privacy.

How did the cheating suspicion of The Void start?

These cheating rumors first started after poker community members discovered that TheV0id had never played in a tournament at PokerStars before this championship and in his first appearance he won the biggest online poker tournament of the year.

Now that’s he’s disqualifed from the WCOOP, who’s the new winner?

The runner-up ka$ino is now the WCOOP 2007 winner and will collect a $1.378 million first prize, which is $530,000 more than what he would have won as a runner-up. TheV0id is now banned from PokerStars.

How does this affect Poker Stars?

Well this obviously is not a great situation for the poker company. Having said that, they handled this situation in the best way possible. They immediately reached out to their players and explained the situation while being completely transparent as to what they planned to do. Once they discovered TheV0id was cheating, PokerStars immediately took corrective action. It’s a tough situation, but they’ve made a great impression on their public relations on this one. Here’s hoping this is the last time we hear about a situation like this.