If you haven't read the report from the KGC, which detailed the findings of Gaming Associates (the company hired by the KGC to conduct an audit of Absolute), you probably have seen the same information from the myriad investigations originally initiated by the notable online forums and Nat Arem.
Gaming Associates found pretty much everything stated by Arem and company to be true, including that Absolute personnel were behind the infiltration, among other things.
After reading the report, though, I still had some questions:
1) Who were those responsible for the violations? Other than reporting the screen names of the players who were involved in the transgressions, the report from Gaming Associates didn't mention how high up in Absolute's organization the cover-up went other than stating those persons have no further involvement with the company.
Thus, we are left wondering if this was just due to a "rogue employee," as Absolute said early on, or if it was a conspiracy that reached into AP's ownership.
2) How did the players develop the ability to breach Absolute's security? Did they use a specially created program or did they have someone "on the inside" who used their position to violate the trust necessary for online poker to exist?
3) Finally, who was the party responsible for releasing the first hand histories that brought the story to light? It is highly likely that, without the release of those hand histories, online players would never have learned about the debacle and it would have continued.
I guess only with time will we see the final act of this play. Will players vote with their wallets and avoid playing on suspect sites, or even online at all? That remains to be seen...
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure wrapped up earlier this week and the players who weren't there were almost as noticeable as the ones who were.
Josh Field, the notorious "JJProdigy," had made overtures toward the online community in December 2007 regarding his actions of a couple of years ago. In making his mea culpa, though, he also stated he still was violating some of the tenets of fair play.
The overtures he made were widely derided as pandering to online players so he could play in the PCA after his 18th birthday without facing the wrath of said players. A drive by many players, both participating in the PCA and not, to banish Field from entering led to PokerStars carrying over its online ban to its live events.
Field wasn't the only player who was kept out of the PCA, though.
Mark Teltscher, the European Poker Tour champion who had allegedly been a part of "The V0id" scandal in the World Championship of Online Poker, was also kept away from the action at the Atlantis. And, like Field, he went to Australia for the Aussie Millions instead (where he was the runner-up to Howard Lederer in the $100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament).
The continuing ban of online players from live events is merited, but most likely won't have much of an effect in the future.
Because PokerStars is the main sponsor of the EPT and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (one of the other major international tours), they do have the right to determine who can play in their events. That won't carry over to other tournaments, however, because those tournaments are run by casinos rather than a particular online site or organization.
It will be interesting to see whether Teltscher will play in future EPT or APPT tournaments or if he was just going "where the money was" for the juicy games in Australia. As far as Field is concerned, he'll probably have to wait until he's 21 and can enter other events in the U.S. or play in other worldwide tournaments PokerStars has no say over.
Either way, by continuing its live-event ban on online players who break its T&C's, PokerStars is making sure people think twice before violating the rules.