Official Absolute Poker Response To Player Fraud Allegations

Official Absolute Poker Response To Player Fraud Allegations
October 12, 2007

Absolute Poker takes all allegations of player fraud and collusion extremely seriously. Fair play and security are of paramount importance to us. Our Security and Fraud Department is dedicated to ensuring that everyone on the site has a fair opportunity to win, and that no improper methods, devices, programs and/or other unfair advantages are ever utilized in our games.

We were greatly concerned by a recent thread on the 2+2 forums along with emails and other communications we received, regarding alleged player fraud. We thank the vigilant players who reported this matter to us, giving us an opportunity to investigate these serious allegations. We spent extensive resources thoroughly investigating and analyzing our players’ claims. While our investigation is ongoing, we feel that we have enough information at this point to share with you some of our findings.

Hearsay and Truth?Please be advised, that we will continue to investigate each and every claim of wrong-doing on an individual basis and we will report any further significant findings that are appropriate for public review. Also, please keep in mind, while we endeavor to provide as much information as possible on a public level, we take our players’ privacy issues very seriously, and will never compromise this. As a matter of Company policy, Absolute Poker never divulges personal information about our players nor do we make public any hand information that did not go to a showdown, ever. As a result, we are limited in terms of the level of information that we can provide for public review.

In response to the allegations, we froze the accounts of the players in question while we performed an extensive investigation. The result of our investigation is that we found no evidence that any of Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security were compromised. In other words, we have determined with reasonable certainty that it is impossible for any player or employee to see hole cards as was alleged. There is no part of the technology that allows for a “superuser” account, and there is no way for any person to influence the game software to their advantage. We base this finding on a thorough security check on a technological level, coupled with a thorough investigation of hand histories including those that did not go to a showdown. As a part of our investigation, we also tested the integrity of our certified random number generator (“RNG”.) We determined that our RNG was not compromised either.

Details of the investigation

We combed through all hands involving the accounts that were mentioned in the online forums. Please note that only a select number of hands were featured in the threads. Our ongoing investigation continues to show that there were countless instances where a somewhat unorthodox poker strategy resulted in a loss. Allegations that the player accounts at issue “always guessed right” are unfounded.

We examined screen shots from Poker Tracker Software that displayed an “infinite” river aggression factor for one of the player accounts at issue. We examined similar screen shots which showed a lower but still relatively high river aggression factor. We were very concerned by this anomaly. Accordingly, we reviewed each and every hand that this player played during the relevant time period and determined that while the play was extremely aggressive, particularly on the river, there were several instances where the player merely called on the river. Thus, the allegation that the player accounts at issue “never called on the river, they either raised or folded” are also without merit.

With respect to the allegation of chip dumping, we have determined that chip dumping by at least one of the accounts at issue, did in fact, take place. We have determined that the chip dumping was made to several seemingly unrelated accounts. We are continuing to investigate this issue.


A ‘super-user’ account does not exist in our software. Absolute Poker was created by poker players who value security and fair play. The back-end of the Absolute Poker software prevents the possibility of any such feature. Our game client only receives data regarding an individual’s hand and no other player hole cards are ever visible – by anyone – except in the event of a showdown. Having said that, we will continue this investigation as well as look into any other allegations of wrong-doing. If appropriate, we will freeze funds and reimburse effected players.

Absolute Poker remains a 100% secure place to play. We value all of our players and we will continue to provide our community with a safe, secure and exciting online poker experience.
The Absolute Poker Management

Absolute Poker updates their official release with a promise to undergo an independent audit concerning the poker cheating allegations:
October 17, 2007

Absolute Poker Management wishes to inform the poker community of the following information in response to the most recent claims posted over the past 48 hours on the 2+2 and Pocket Fives forums wherein again it is alleged that some person or persons breached Absolute Poker’s redundant and varying levels of game client security. As was stated in Absolute Poker’s Official Response released on Friday October 12, 2007, Absolute Poker conducted an extensive investigation in response to the claims it was made aware of and received. The results of that investigation indicated that to the best of Absolute Poker’s knowledge, information and belief there was no security breach. Specifically, Absolute Poker’s internal investigation determined that it is impossible for any person, device, program, script or other means to see hole cards.

Based on the most recent claims that Absolute Poker has been made aware of and at the request of some of our players and business partners, Absolute Poker has agreed to retain a widely acclaimed independent third party auditor, Gaming Associates, to conduct an independent audit of Absolute Poker’s security systems. Specifically, Absolute Poker has requested that Gaming Associates conduct a thorough and extensive review of Absolute Poker’s practices and security systems to determine whether it is possible for any person, device, program, script or other means to see hole cards thereby gaining an unfair advantage.

Absolute Poker has agreed to fully cooperate with Gaming Associates and its investigative team and to provide the above with unfettered access to all systems, protocols and databases at Absolute Poker worldwide. Absolute Poker has also agreed to allow Gaming Associate’s final report to be made available to Pocket Fives and Bluff Media for their review.

With respect to the claims that Scott Tom, a former Member of Team Absolute Poker, is in anyway involved in wrong-doing, Absolute Poker has requested a formal investigation into that matter as well. Mr. Tom has not been involved with Absolute Poker for over a year and to the best of our knowledge, information and belief has not had access to any of Absolute Poker’s systems, databases or information.

Absolute Poker reserves the right to pursue any and all remedies whether in law or equitable which may procure to it as a result of any unlawful and injurious actions taken by any individuals who may have falsified any information, documents, files, or have by other means attempted to disparage and/or harm Absolute Poker, its Players, its current or former management, employees, business partners or affiliates.

Absolute Poker shall bear all expenses related to such investigation and is eager to learn about Gaming Associate’s findings. Absolute Poker highly values and intends to protect its players, shareholders, business partners, and affiliates.
Absolute Poker Management

Absolute Poker releases an email statement that acknowledges the breach in security of their poker rooms:
October 19, 2007

Dear valued player,

Absolute Poker has identified an internal security breach that compromised our systems for a limited period of time. The cause of the breach has been determined and completely resolved. In addition, all necessary resources, both internal and external, have been engaged to ensure this does not happen again. Our investigation is not fully concluded, and we wish to thank the extended poker community for any and all assistance related to the matter.

Game integrity has always and continues to be of the utmost importance at Absolute Poker. The Management of Absolute Poker is appalled by these findings, and is committed to our players and to the integrity of our site and the online poker industry.

All players affected by the security breach will be identified during the audit process that has been initiated and all funds, including interest, will be returned. Absolute Poker would like to apologize for the recent events and is committed to diligently working with outside security firms, auditing firms, the extended poker community and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to ensure the situation is entirely resolved.

A comprehensive statement will be forthcoming shortly providing more details of the situation.

Joe Norton, the former leader of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, releases an official statement which continues on their promise to fix and rectify this Absolute Poker cheating scandal:

Kahnawake Gaming Commission
October 21, 2007

Dear AP Player:

I am the former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and the owner of Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, which holds a 100% interest in Absolute Poker.

As many of our players are aware, there has been a security breach in our system that allowed unlawful access to player information that resulted in unfair play. I am writing to you today to let you know what we know so far in order to set the record straight, and to assure you of AP’s commitment to player security. I am sure that this letter will not address all of the questions and concerns you may have, nor will it extinguish the heated discussion surrounding this issue. At this point, our intention is to let you know all we can disclose and to assure you of our continued efforts to keep you informed as best we can as the investigations continue.

We deeply regret this situation has occurred. A breach in security in online poker is serious and of great concern to players and the industry worldwide, and this particular situation has been the subject of debate within the poker player community and in the media, giving rise to the creation of several websites and hundreds and hundreds of comments, opinions, and theories of what occurred – some of which are accurate, and some that are not.

Like you, I have not been happy that during the initial stage of our investigation, AP has not been more forthcoming in providing a timely or comprehensive explanation on this matter, giving rise to anger, suspicion, and concern on the part of our valued customers. I hope that our customers can appreciate that this remains an incredibly complex and sensitive issue, and I want to give you my strongest possible assurance that we will be as forthcoming as possible on how this breach occurred and what we are doing to remedy the situation.

What We Know and Actions We Have Taken

AP was notified by a customer that a possible cheating incident occurred during a recent tournament, and in response forwarded players’ hand logs. This disclosure of the hand logs prompted our customers to determine that a more serious security breach had occurred. We immediately launched an internal investigation and also requested a formal audit by Gaming Associates, an acknowledged world-wide expert in audits, interactive gaming tests, and information security.

Based upon our preliminary findings, it appears that the integrity of our poker system was compromised by a high-ranking trusted consultant employed by AP whose position gave him extraordinary access to certain security systems. As has been speculated in several online forums, this consultant devised a sophisticated scheme to manipulate internal systems to access third-party computers and accounts to view hole cards of other customers during play without their knowledge. As this consultant was aware of the details of our fraud detection process, the likelihood that the scheme would be uncovered through our normal procedures was minimized. We consider this security breach to be a horrendous and inexcusable offense.

We will pay for all losses suffered by the affected players as soon as our audit is finished and the amounts are determined. Although we are in the process of attempting to recover all the winnings of this consultant, any unrecovered losses of affected players will be paid by Absolute Poker so that all affected persons will be made whole.

Next Steps

We are still investigating whether the consultant was acting alone or in concert with others, and it appears at this time that all account holders are innocent of collusion and were unaware of any wrong-doing by the consultant, who was immediately terminated. We continue to investigate this matter aggressively, and all of these preliminary findings are subject to the audits currently underway. We have recently uncovered additional accounts used by the consultant that have not been publicly reported. So as to not compromise the investigation, we are not releasing the names of these additional accounts at this time, and will contact these affected customers individually.

The specific allegations of unlawful activity are being investigated both by AP and by the authorized authorities, including the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. We will continue to actively cooperate with these authorities in full compliance with the Regulations Concerning Interactive Gaming. In addition to our own investigation and the audit by Gaming Associates, we have also submitted to an audit by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

Please be assured that we have corrected the problem that allowed the system to be unfairly manipulated. We are working furiously to increase the safeguards within our systems. While we are satisfied that our systems are secured, we realize that our security systems must be continuously monitored and enhanced.

Without question, this incident has been unfortunate for all concerned, and we will emerge as a stronger company. I realize it will take some time and much more information for AP to re-earn the trust and confidence of our customers who are in doubt of our commitment to the highest levels of security, privacy and integrity. As we move to address and correct this situation, our valued customers have played a vital role in uncovering this scheme through various online forums and have become an active part of the solution.

With my full sincerity, I thank you, and I promise to keep you updated as we bring this situation to a close.


Joe Norton

To read more on the scandal rocking the poker world, go to The Absolute Poker Scandal post and discussion right here on CasinoSmack.

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