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Poker News | World Poker News

Absolute Saga – The Latest Updates as the Scandal Continues

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Much of the dust seems to be settling in the Absolute Poker scandal that began rocking the online poker world several months ago. But the calm is only temporary as Mark Seif continues to hint at a lawsuit against Todd Witteles and as Nat Arem reveals more of what he discovered during his recent trip to Costa Rica.

The most recent statement by Absolute Poker was included in the last Absolute Poker article in which they denied the existence of a superuser account. While those who were cheated in the scandal are receiving reimbursements from Absolute Poker with interest, the site's unwillingness to address the seriousness of the problem, or name names of those involved, is unsettling to many online players.

Since Mark Seif and Todd Witteles appeared on RawVegas.TV to express their individual views on the Absolute Poker situation, Seif has posted a blog in response. He addressed his unwillingness to break ties with Absolute Poker, saying that he is waiting for the investigation to be complete before making a decision. He also stated, again, that he had nothing to do with the scandal.

Seif noted that he believes that Absolute Poker may have the hand histories from the online poker session in which his own play was questioned. The hand histories would be from February 15, 2006, and he claimed that he has been trying to get them and release the information for the public's examination, asserting again that he did not cheat in any way during the time frame in question. He wrote, "My opponent and his friend's claim will be proven false when and if the HHs [hand histories] are retrieved. I am certain of that because I know I did nothing wrong."

And to address Witteles, Seif said that Witteles made "several false claims and he continues to do so" with reference to the current Absolute Poker scandal as well as the 2006 poker session being questioned. Seif alleged that Witteles enjoys the spotlight and hopes to "elevate his standing in poker" by being so vocal on this issue. On a legal point, he contended, "I believe very strongly that he has knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth (which are not elements of the offense by the way) made at least one statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. That's all I can say about it for now."

While the war of words and threats continues, Haley Hintze has provided some intriguing insight into Nat Arem, one of the rogue investigators who exposed the Absolute Poker scandal in the first place. In the second of her two part series on www.PokerNews.com, information comes to light about the involvement of various accounts and executives.

First, two accounts that were mentioned in initial allegations - "MCBILL" and "OSCAR133" - were found by Arem to be clean and not involved in the cheating, according to hand histories examined.

Second, Arem discussed Marvin Ardon, the person said to have released the Excel file containing the plethora of information that led Arem and others to investigate it. It was revealed that Ardon lost his job due to violating the privacy of every player listed in the file. "Marvin told me explicitly that it was a mistake and not intentional. Someone else told me that they thought he did it on purpose, but I was not able to get more info out of that person and I don't find them to be credible, so I am currently of the belief that it was a mistake."

Third, AJ Green is Allen Grimard from Canada. Some Absolute Poker employees told Arem that Grimard confessed, and even though Arem was allowed to see Grimard's written statement about the situation, he will not reveal what it says because he signed a non-disclosure agreement. He does believe that Grimard was the "high-ranking consultant" mentioned in an Absolute Poker public statement.

Other information discussed by Arem included his belief that no other Absolute Poker officials - besides Grimard and Scott Tom - were involved in the scandal, and his belief that most of the funds acquired through chip-dumping by the cheaters were frozen, and never left the site itself. He was also told that Absolute Poker intends to make improvements and "be on the leading edge of game security even beyond the standard RNG and hold-card security."

One of the most interesting disclosures by Arem had to do with the deletion of hand histories, such as those that Seif is attempting to retrieve from 2006. Absolute Poker claims that they may have backup files only going back to August of 2006, though they are currently looking for everything prior to that. However, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission requires gaming records to be stored for a minimum of five years. If Absolute Poker cannot retrieve those old hand histories, they could face a fine or sanctions from the Commission.

While the public still awaits a final report from Absolute Poker and/or Kahnawake, some of the rumors floating around on forums have been squashed by Arem's statements and revelations. And though discussions have waned a bit over the past few weeks, it is clear that Absolute Poker will have to work to attempt to clear its name and reputation before it will be business as usual for the site.

In the meantime, Absolute Poker recently announced three new weekly online poker tournaments with a total of $325,000 in guaranteed prize money. The Absolute Poker Triple Header information was sent out in the form of a press release - sent to a larger group of people than its most recent statements about the scandal, by the way - in an attempt to bring players to the site.

The press release also states in the "About Absolute Poker" section: "Absolute Poker is committed to remaining the most trusted and best online poker experience, created by poker players for poker players."

It seems the poker playing public will be the judge of that.

 

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