The post on PocketFives.com was fairly innocuous and business-like. It read,
"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."
The ramifications are anything but innocuous. In the biggest case of multi-accounting in online poker history, Poker Stars WCOOP Main Event Champion TheV0id was stripped of his title, bracelet and over $1 Million in prize money.
Rumors were first reported on The Hendon Mob website that British poker pro Mark Teltscher had won the WCOOP Main Event under the name of ‘TheV0id," but that the account was set up in his sister's name and she had never played in a major tournament before. Teltscher is known to use the online handle "Play2Kill," and that screen name was entered into the Main Event, but busted early.
No elaboration was given on the method in which TheV0id breached the PokerStars terms of service, and Teltscher's name has not officially been linked to the account.
This news from PokerStars follows hard on the heels of rumors that Josh Arieh also played the Main Event under a screen name different from the one he was known to use on PokerStars in the past. Arieh confirmed in a recent interview with PokerNews that he was playing the Main Event under the screen name "nitbuster," but this is a new screen name that was an authorized change by PokerStars, and Arieh broke no rules in playing the tournament under his only screen name. Arieh finished sixth in the WCOOP Main Event.
Multi-accounting has been an issue in online poker for the last several years, with two of the most famous instances being JJProdigy winning a major tournament on Party Poker after entering under multiple screen names, and Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo playing multiple accounts in several major tournaments across several poker sites. Both JJProdigy and Bonomo received lifetime bans from several major poker sites as a result of their actions. Bonomo turned 21 years old soon after his online career was ended, and he earned success playing in live tournaments all over the United States. One seat at a time.
The noise over United States players being able to join in a friendly game of online poker grew into a gathering of mostly misinformation supplied by those that oppose any form of online gambling on Wednesday.