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Poker News | World Poker News

Absolute Saga – AJ Green Hides, Mark Seif & Todd Witteles Speak

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Oh, what a tangled web they (allegedly) weave.

The Absolute Poker saga continues to become more complicated as time goes on. As of the last PokerWorks article , there had been a fairly lengthy statement released by Joe Norton of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission regarding the third-party investigation of the Absolute Poker cheating allegations. A security breach was acknowledged, the role of a "high-ranking trusted consultant employed by Absolute Poker" was admitted, and an Absolute Pokerpropriate repayment of funds to cheated players was in process.

Ten days after that e-mail was sent, no further word has come from Kahnawake, but more importantly, Absolute Poker has still yet to admit its erroneous and inadequate self-investigation or Absolute Pokerologize to the general public for its inability to sufficiently protect its players.

Meanwhile, rumors are circulating about the whereabouts of A.J. Green, the supposed person who used the "POTRIPPER" account name to cheat players out of tens of thousands of dollars on Absolute Poker. Reported to be good friends with Absolute Poker executive Scott Tom, also alleged to be involved in the scandal, neither implicated party has spoken publicly about the matter, nor have they been arrested on official charges.

Various reports indicate that A.J. Green is actually Alan John Grimard and is hiding in his native Canada. Gambling911.com has released his e-mail address to the public, in addition to having spoken to former coworkers of him from Nine.com. Those employees stated that he made many enemies at the company, berating those who worked for him and taking credit for work that they did.

Other articles point to the possibility that Grimard/Green is hiding out in Panama City, Panama. And he is reported to have a serious drug addiction problem when he lived in Costa Rica. Rumors swirl, and until Grimard/Green comes forward, or until an arrest is made, the speculation continues.

Another person who has been near the center of the Absolute Poker controversy is Mark Seif, the professional poker player sponsored by the site. On October 18th, he posted his first personal blog about the situation and admitted that he was open to the possibility of wrongdoing but wanted evidence before coming to any firm conclusions. He confirmed this in an in-person interview with Dan Michalski of Pokerati.com on October 20th and emphasized his desire to see this matter resolved.

However, Seif is not only being targeted because of his representation of Absolute Poker, but a minor controversy from the early months of 2006 has resurfaced in light of the current scandal. During heads-up play at a $75/$150 table on Absolute Poker in February of 2006 against opponent "stuckinpgh," Seif lost several hands in a row and seemed very frustrated with his opponent. He took a break, reportedly told the other player he would return in a moment, then came back and said, "I'm ready to take you down." Within a matter of 15 minutes, Seif went on a rampage and won an estimated $10,000 to $12,000, and during that time, he made moves that seemed suspicious, like folding out of turn when "stuckinpgh" flopped a full house. As other evidence emerged from observers and "stuckinpgh," many who analyzed the action felt that Seif may have cheated.

Seif has long denied any wrongdoing in the February 2006 game, but now that it has been proven that an Absolute Poker official was able to see hole cards, many in the poker community are again questioning Seif's friendships with the cheaters and his own gaming record. With Seif being very aware of the accusations circulating, he reportedly told poker player, Nat Arem (also one of the primary rogue investigators who uncovered the Absolute Poker cheating scandal), that he has attempted to retrieve the hand history from the 2006 game in question but to no avail.

Absolute Poker claims that they do not keep hand histories older than six months in their database. Seif forwarded a chat log with one of the Absolute Poker's technology/software people in which he practically begged for the hand history as his reputation was in jeopardy due to the cheating accusations. Arem questioned Absolute Poker's reasoning for not keeping hand histories for a longer period of time, stating in a message to Seif, "I will, of course, also advise Absolute Poker to start saving HHs [hand histories] considering that 500 GB hard drives are only $100 these days. Since he says a month of hand histories is 30 GB, it seems absolutely retarded to be deleting hand histories after a few months. I can't believe how dumb they are for doing that and it makes me question a lot of things."

In lieu of all of the questions surrounding Seif and his role with Absolute Poker, he allowed RawVegas.tv to film a verbal statement from him for public broadcast on October 26th. In it, he claims that he is still attempting to retrieve the hand history from Absolute Poker for the tournament in question, and he is still waiting to see how Absolute Poker responds to the entire scandal before choosing a course of action or making any scathing statements about Absolute Poker.

Seif mentioned in the video that he met A.J. Green in Costa Rica some time ago, and said, "I found nothing extraordinary about him. He certainly didn't talk about any hole cards." Then he chuckled.

In addition, Seif spoke about Todd Witteles, also known as Dan Druff, who is an online poker pro and one of the players who was a key person in the dissemination of information about the Absolute Poker scandal. Seif said that Witteles "has made some remarkable statements, some untrue statements, some highly exaggerated statements, some third-party statements that I have no idea how he could make those statements since he was not a part of anything that actually took place that he commented on... He kept vouching for the argument that I was involved... I'm very disturbed by that... I think he's actually engaged in some civil liability. Whether or not I do anything about that is something I'll think about later."

Witteles then met with the RawVegas.tv crew and filmed a rebuttal that was aired online on October 31st. He began by saying, "The first thing I don't understand is that Mark seems very concerned about his own reputation... But I would think that somebody who is so concerned with his reputation would have resigned as spokesman and face of Absolute Poker as soon as this scandal broke."

Next, Witteles explored the accusations pertaining to Seif's alleged cheating. "I'm not the one who made the accusation... However, the form of cheating that Mark was accused of engaging in was being able to see his opponent's hole cards... While I'm not accusing Mark of cheating, and while he very well may not have, he cannot be insulted that people want to see this hand history. He can't be insulted that people are calling this into question and want complete transparency on the part of Absolute and him..."

And with regards to the current Absolute Poker scandal, Witteles said, "There was unanimous agreement that there had to be cheating in that tournament. The only one person in the world that I've ever seen that viewed the POTRIPPER tournament reenactment and was not convinced that there was cheating was Mark Seif. I think Mark wasn't convinced because he didn't want to be convinced."

As a personal response to Seif's near-threat of legal action, Witteles stated, "I didn't find it very funny when the top level executives at Absolute Poker stole over $15,000 from me in what I thought were supposed to be honest games. Why did Mark not say one thing about hoping that the perpetrators go to jail? This guy was working for people who stole over a million dollars from players on their own site, players who trusted them, and yet all of the legal threats are saved for one of the victims... My whole part in the Absolute Poker scandal has been trying to get the truth out of Absolute Poker and trying to get the victims repaid."

Will there be a re-rebuttal video from Seif? Will Absolute Poker step up and help Seif save his reputation in the poker community? Will Absolute Poker make any further statements about anything?

Any developments, and there will certainly be some, will be reported here. Stay tuned...

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