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Poker News | World Poker News

Online Pro Apologizes to Poker Community

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Whether it was inspired by the spirit of the holiday season or the exposure of other recent online cheating scandals, online poker pro JJProdigy posted a public admission and apology for wrongdoings during his years as an underage online player.

During the week before Christmas when little was happening in the poker community, Josh Field, who uses the name JJProdigy on most online poker sites, posted a lengthy confession of sorts on the 2+2 forums. He admitted to numerous indiscretions, such as playing under the age of 18 and multi-accounting.

Several years ago, when Field was in his mid-teens, PokerStars and PartyPoker banned him for being underage and closed his accounts. Instead of accepting the punishment, he became more involved in the backing of other players and multi-accounting under false names. Over the years, he claims to have won hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of his account of the situation that evolved over a number of years is as follows:

“It’s hard to pick out where to start. The past few years, I have been forced to go underground and stay mysterious. It’s not something I really chose, but it was something forced upon me. I was fourteen turning fifteen, and I was much too immature to handle the situation (ABlackCar incident, and the underage violations that followed). I am almost embarrassed reading my posts about the situation, but I realize that I was still very young at the time. I don’t mean to use this as an excuse, but I was clueless. Ever since that day, I have been forced to stay under the surface…

“I didn’t think what I was doing was wrong. After that, it was a downward spiral. I was a fugitive in the online poker world. I used the reasoning ‘if I’m already a wanted man, I might as well maximize my value.’ It was terrible logic, but it made sense to me then…

“I loved the game so deeply that I would play it at any cost. I’d use screen names of people I hardly knew, which ended up in me getting screwed over multiple times. For some reason, I never cared. The money never mattered to me…

“I do believe I have matured and developed a sense of morals and personal ethics. I was always too scared to apologize to the community, mostly due to the fact I didn’t think what I was doing was wrong. I finally realize now that I was cheating completely. I neglected my fellow poker players and cheated a wonderful thing we have with online poker. I betrayed a community I cared so much about all for selfish reasons. It shames me to think about it. I did it for so long, and I never had the courage to quit and admit what I was doing was wrong.

“So, I write this to officially apologize to the community. I apologize to the people that have been close to me and have been given a negative name to do my actions. I apologize to all the players I played with under unknown names and gave myself an unfair advantage. I give my word that I will never multi-account again, and I will not play online until I am 18. I apologize to the sites that I unfairly took advantage of. I don’t expect to be forgiven right away, but I hope I can earn the forgiveness of the community, the sites, and even my friends.”

Field responded to numerous comments regarding his post on 2+2, and more information was revealed. He admitted to turning 18 in less than a month, which would allow him to play in the upcoming PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and Aussie Millions. And he acknowledged that his apology to the poker community was spurred on by the fact that a friend told his mother, who told Field’s mother, who told Field’s father. Evidently, the pressure of his family did a great deal to persuade the 17-year old to confess.

The immensely long thread in the forum also revealed that numerous players were banding together to write to PokerStars with a request that Field not be allowed to play in the live tournaments due to his past indiscretions. Many of said players posted their identical responses received from PokerStars:

Thank you for your e-mail.

PokerStars management has decided to extend player’s JJProdigy current ban to the PokerStars Carribean Adventure (PCA) event.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Regards,
Jacob
PokerStars Support Manager

Reactions to Field’s original post, his subsequent responses to readers, and the news that he is now banned from the PCA have been mixed. There are many skeptics who believe that Field merely wanted to clear his name before showing face at his first live events in the early months of 2008. There are others who accept his apology and see it as a positive step in cleaning up online poker. And yet others think Field is craving attention since being banned from so many sites and receiving advice (or possible punishment) from his parents.

While the public response to Field will continue in the post that is already more than 50 pages in length, the most interesting turn of events will likely take place in Australia at the Crown Casino. If he chooses to reveal himself at the Aussie Millions series of tournaments, that is when the true test of his apology will be gauged.

*Editor’s Note: Please leave a comment regarding your opinion on whether or not the online poker community – including online poker sites – should welcome Josh Field back.*

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