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

UB Statement About Hand Malfunction Involving Hellmuth

Share this
If it ain’t one scandal, it’s another. And if it’s not a scandal, it’s another situation that calls into question the legitimacy and trustworthiness of UltimateBet. The COO addressed the problem, which involved a hand on UB in which Phil Hellmuth won the pot with the worst hand, but not until a week of speculation around the internet had worked itself into somewhat of a frenzy.

As the end of 2008 approached, it seemed as if the UltimateBet scandal had been somewhat resolved and on its way to the annals of poker history. Not only did the Kahnawake Gaming Commission publish its decision in the case, but Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, the parent company of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, won a settlement with the former UB company of ownership to finish repayment of its cheated customers. And at the end of November, Tokwiro announced that the rollover of UB and AP into the CEREUS software platform, which would supposedly be the most secure and safe for its customers with all of the new measures put into place since the scandals.

Yet, despite the attempts to rid themselves of the scandals, a new one emerged in the week prior to Christmas, albeit on a smaller scale than the major UltimateBet scandal. This involved a hand played on December 20th between UltimateBet-sponsored player Phil Hellmuth and a player named DOUBLEBALLER. The two were playing $200/$400 limit hold’em, and one particular hand enraged DOUBLEBALLER when his K-Q lost to Hellmuth’s 10-2. The board hadn’t done anything magical for Hellmuth, and DOUBLEBALLER, according to the hand history, won the hand, but the pot was awarded to Hellmuth.

When DOUBLEBALLER contacted UltimateBet’s customer service with the hand history, he was awarded a $2,300 credit, which was only a portion of what he was owed. As word spread about the software glitch and the length of time it was taking UltimateBet representatives to acknowledge the scope of the problem and reimburse the cheated player in full, the internet poker forums were bursting at the seams with other players claiming to have been a victim to the same type of glitch.

Tokwiro Enterprises COO Paul Leggett posted a blog entry on the UltimateBet blog later the same day, though his response to the issue was brief. “Earlier today we learned about a poker hand where our system paid out the losing player instead of the correct winning hand. The hand number is #1162170993. We are investigating this software malfunction as our absolute top priority. This is the first incident of this kind we have encountered. We are currently examining the poker system and the application logs in order to pinpoint the cause of this malfunction.”

And with each passing day, speculation grew that the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, issuer of the gaming license for the site, was not pleased to hear about this malfunction in a new software platform that was supposedly tested and retested to ensure the security of its players. While there has been no formal statement from the KGC about this matter, it is likely safe to assume that no one involved is particularly happy to see this situation arise.

Several days later on December 23rd, an official statement, entitled “Winning Hand Correction,” was released by Leggett via the Tokwiro public relations department. It read, in part, as follows:

“After learning of the incident, we credited the player the correct prize to his account. We then began an investigation into the malfunction. We have now completed our preliminary investigation into the software malfunction regarding an incorrect payout in hand #1162170993 on the CEREUS Poker Network.

“We have concluded that the malfunction occurred because the winning player disconnected from the table at the precise millisecond when the software was awarding the pot, in conjunction with the ‘player’s state’ data being cleared from the memory cache.

Phil Hellmuth, who was involved in this incident, said, ‘The only time in my life where I’ve had one pair beat three of a kind is when I made a big bluff in a poker tournament and now because of a software malfunction in online poker. I am one of the most watched players on the internet, and all I can say is that it is pretty obvious that there was no malicious intent and even more obvious that UB handled this problem well. Sometimes these things happen on the internet. The important thing here is that I continue to have a ton of trust in UB’s software and new management team.’

“There is a prevention system in place designed to protect hand results against disconnections. However, after conducting an extensive source code analysis, we found logic in our code that we have enhanced to further ensure this malfunction cannot reoccur.

“While enhancing the software to prevent this malfunction from occurring again, we introduced a new defect that caused 36 hands to award incorrect payouts. All players have been reimbursed for these hands as well.

“We have implemented a new method into the code and updated the game servers. Both errors are no longer reproducible. Furthermore, we are conducting extensive tests to simulate every possible disconnection scenario to ensure this type of malfunction cannot occur in the future.

“We are currently reviewing historical hands in our database to see if there ever were similar incidents in the past… We recognize the severity of these issues and we will continue to give them the attention they deserve until we are absolutely certain that they cannot happen again.”

Tokwiro and UltimateBet did respond to this incident in a timely manner, and all players affected have been reimbursed. Whether the incorrect payout would have been detected had DOUBLEBALLER not posted it on the internet forums immediately cannot be known, but UB did respond quickly and, at a glance, thoroughly.

UltimateBet seemed to rebound from its previous scandal, as did Absolute Poker, so this current software glitch and the problems that ensued may not affect the player base of either site. However, for those who were wary of the sites before, this may not fare well for UltimateBet as its new and much-lauded software platform is in full effect but with glitches that are being discovered as players encounter them during play.

Tokwiro Enterprises has nothing short of a full-time job on its hands to get past this mid-December snafu and repair its image going into the new year. 2009 will be a challenge, but Tokwiro has shown that it is no stranger to that and will not back down from it. Time will tell how the site recovers and moves forward.

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