Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Poker News

UltimateBet Releases Investigation Findings

Share this
After months and months of uncertainty and unresponsiveness from UltimateBet, the company’s management released a statement regarding the insider cheating scandal, and it was done on May 29th, the day before the start of the 2008 World Series of Poker. While the delayed response to the severe improprieties was late by almost anyone’s standards, UltimateBet’s statement was more comprehensive than that of Absolute Poker several months prior.

The scandal was first brought to light in January of 2008, UltimateBet did not acknowledge the existence of any wrongdoing until March, and no further statement was released until May 29th. Charges of unfair play were investigated by online players who felt they were victims of the possible superusers, and it turns out the rogue investigators were correct in their assertions. More details of the main points of the scandal thus far were detailed here.

Leading up to the official UltimateBet statement, posting members of various online poker forums promised an uncomfortable World Series of Poker for the site’s representatives, including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, and newly-signed Cliff Josephy. Several members of the poker playing community also promised to wear shirts indicating that UltimateBet could not be trusted. In light of such threats, and with the start of the gathering of thousands of poker players where conversations about poker-related subjects abound, UltimateBet released its statement on the issue the day before the start of the WSOP. Timing is everything.

The statement came from Tokwiro Enterprises, proprietors of UltimateBet, in conjunction with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and with assistance from independent, third party auditors Gaming Associates. In part, it read as follows:

“The investigation has concluded that certain players accounts did in fact have an unfair advantage, and that these accounts targeted the highest limit games on the site. The individuals responsible were found to have worked for the previous ownership of UltimateBet prior to the sale of the business to Tokwiro in October 2006. Tokwiro is taking full responsibility for this situation and will immediately begin refunding UltimateBet customers for any losses that were incurred as a result of unfair play.

“The fraudulent activity was enabled by unauthorized software code that allowed the perpetrators to obtain hole card information during live play… Our investigation has confirmed that the code was part of a legacy auditing system that was manipulated by the perpetrators. Gaming Associates, independent auditors hired by the KGC, have confirmed that the software code that provided the unfair advantage has been permanently removed.”

A summary of the investigation timeline was given as follows:

January 2008 – UltimateBet was alerted to suspicions of unfair play by player NioNio, contacted the KGC that an investigation was initiated, and suspended NioNio and related accounts.

February 2008 – Suspect accounts were found to have had “abnormally high winning statistics,” and Gaming Associates was hired to conduct the independent investigation. Those accounts were found to have connections to individuals previously employed by UltimateBet, and a code was discovered to have been used to obtain hole card information during live play. The code was removed and security was upgraded.

March 2008 – Accounts said to have participated in the cheating were identified as NioNio, Sleepless, NoPaddles, nvtease, flatbroke33, ilike2win, UtakeIt2, FlipFlop2, erick456, WhackMe44, RockStarLA, stones2nite, monizzle, FireNTexas, HeadKase01, LetsPatttty, YMobser, and WhoWhereWhen.

May 2008 – Cheating was determined to have taken place between March 7, 2006 and December 3, 2007. The software code that enabled the unfair play was removed in February of 2008. Plans were made for corrective action and reimbursement to affected players.

UltimateBet vowed to have taken the following actions to rectify the problems:

• Security hole was eliminated.
• A state-of-the-art software Security Center, consulted on by gaming mathematicians, poker professionals, and security software developers, is established to immediately detect abnormal winnings.
• Account name changes were disallowed unless chat room abuse can be proven and a name change approved by the Chief Compliance Officer.
• A poker security team of professionals has been added to prevent fraud.
• Customer refunds began to refund all losses.
• A specific accounting of all actions involved in the cheating has been documented to ensure future safety of players.
• Accounts related to the cheating have been disabled, and individuals involved have been permanently banned from the site.
• Tokwiro Enterprises is pursuing legal options.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed