Tokwiro releases UB investigation results

Phil Hellmuth

Tokwiro Enterprises, owner of UltimateBet, issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the hand in which the losing player was rewarded the pot instead of the winner.

"On Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, two players DOUBLEBALLER and PHILHELLMUTH were playing heads-up at a $200/$400 table on DOUBLEBALLER won hand #1162170993. The software malfunctioned and awarded the losing player PHILHELLMUTH the pot, instead of the actual winner DOUBLEBALLER," said Paul Leggett, Tokwiro CEO.

"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."

According to Leggett, the company 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.

"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," said Phil Hellmuth, who was the losing player awarded the pot.

"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."

Tokwiro said in their statement that there is a prevention system in place that is designed to protect hand results against disconnections. However, extensive source code analysis revealed logic in the code that UltimateBet enhanced to further ensure this malfunction can't reoccur.

"We were able to reproduce the error on our testing systems by forcing a hand to disconnect its winning player at the precise millisecond the hand in question was awarding the pot and simultaneously flushing the 'player's state' data. Had the disconnection happened literally a millisecond sooner or later, the error would not have transpired," Leggett said.

"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."

UltimateBet has now implemented a new method in the code and updated the game servers. According to Tokwiro, both errors are no longer reproducible, and the company is continuing to test the code by simulating possible disconnection scenarios to ensure this type of malfunction can't occur in the future.

"We are currently reviewing historical hands in our database to see if there ever were similar incidents in the past," Leggett said. "Thus far, our investigation has been unable to unearth any additional historical occurrences of this malfunction. Our investigation will continue until we are satisfied that there are no additional historical occurrences.

"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."

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