Absolute Poker Audited Over SuperUser Allegations

It's pretty common to see comments such as "Online poker is rigged" in chat windows of your favorite online poker sites or on your favorite online forum.

Of course it always ends up being some tinfoil-hat wearing fish waving the rigged flag, so it's usually easy to brush it off.

If these people used their common sense they'd recognize that online poker isn't rigged: thousands of players in the United States and abroad make a good living off playing the game online and its integrity has never been brought seriously into question.

However, claims have surfaced about Absolute Poker that are hard to ignore. After a $1,000 multi-table tournament Sept. 12, rumors of a player cheating at the game by using a sort of "god mode" or "super user account" started to spread, and the story unfolded in several online forums.

It All Began With Potripper

It began with a player named Potripper winning the tournament when he made a miraculous call with ten-high, no pair, no draw while heads-up to win the tournament.

CrazyMarco, the player who finished second, was obviously instantly skeptical. In the days following the tournament he e-mailed Absolute Poker to ask them for the hand history from the tournament. What he received was a massive 10MB Excel spreadsheet.

When CrazyMarco opened the spreadsheet he had no idea what he was looking at. He was overwhelmed by all of the data and miscellaneous information that it contained. Not sure what to make of it, he promptly closed it and forgot about the file.

As the days went by he got to talking about the incident with some of his fellow poker players and mentioned this file. They decided to distribute it to a few people in the close knit 2+2 community. These individuals included N 80 50 24, ampokerdb.com maintainer and part owner of Bluff Media, and 2+2 forum poster SnagglePuss.

They independently examined the document with a fine-tooth comb. During the course of their communications, they realized that they were looking at the smoking gun. This file contained the entire hand history for the tournament, showing all tables and everyone's hole cards rather than just CrazyMarco's information.

It also showed the IP addresses and e-mail addresses of players both playing and observing the tables. So far, there's no explanation for how the document was released. Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, said in his NY Times blog that he believes the file was leaked from the inside by a whistle-blower who wanted expose the cheater.

Hand History is Most Telling

The hand history would turn out to be the most telling. Even if this was the only information that was extracted from the Excel file, it would still be obvious to everyone that something strange went on.

The data was plugged into a program that can take hand histories and play them back like a movie that is uploaded to YouTube. It was obvious to anybody familiar with the game of poker that something wasn't right.

First of all, Potripper played every single hand in the tournament. This playing style would cause any normal player to bleed money through the nose.

However, Potripper never, ever made a wrong decision. He always made a bet when he was ahead, he always folded when he was behind, he always bluffed at exactly the right time. He never made a mistake.

Furthermore, the only time Potripper folded before the flop was when someone at the table held a high pocket pair.

User 363 Opened and Observed the Entire Tournament

The giant Excel spreadsheet that was leaked also contained a wealth of other information. Whenever somebody joined a table it recorded their IP address, e-mail and user ID.

N 80 50 24 pored over all of the data, especially at Table 13 where Potripper was seated. What he found was that a player with a very low user ID, User 363, opened the table and observed it for the entirety of the tournament.

The significance of this User 363 is that such an incredibly low user ID must have been created by Absolute Poker, probably as a test account when Absolute was in its beta testing stages. This "User 363" had a Costa Rican IP (Absolute is based in Costa Rica) and shared the exact same IP with another user, "[email protected]."

Through further investigation, the Internet sleuths at 2+2 traced the Rivieraltd.com domain name back to the same servers that host Absolute Poker. They then set their sights on unmasking [email protected].

It didn't take them much longer to crack the case. The same IP had been used for an account on the 2+2 forums. Using this connection to 2+2, the IP address in question was identified as belonging to Scott Tom. Scott Tom was an executive and partial owner of Absolute Poker.

Potripper Belonged to AJ Green

It was also discovered that the Potripper account belonged to AJ Green, alleged best friend of Scott Tom and former director of operations at Absolute Poker. Was this all just a big coincidence or evidence of a much more sinister scandal?

Despite the mounting evidence, Absolute Poker issued a statement denying any and all allegations made against the company. They claimed that Scott Tom has not been employed at Absolute Poker for more than a year. They also stated that it is impossible for any user to see everyone's hole cards.

Absolute Poker remained steadfast in their position that no "super user" account exists. Beyond that, Absolute hasn't answered any questions about the incident.

Now, Absolute Poker is set to undergo an "independent third-party audit" by the firm Gaming Associates, after the Kahnawake Gaming Commission asked them to investigate the situation. Absolute Poker is licensed in Canada by the KGC.

A Debacle at a Bad Time

This debacle could not come at a worse time. The atmosphere around online poker and other online gambling is still in question in the United States where the government has already been working to ban the industry.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed in the U.S. in fall 2006 has already created extreme restrictions around financing online poker, and many in the American government are firm believers in "the horrors" of online gaming.

A fraud on this scale may only serve to solidify the opinions of naysayers.

Unfortunately, the scandal will shift focus away from the real debate. This is not a widespread problem. It is likely an isolated instance in which some former executives found a way to bamboozle their former customers.

It should be obvious to everyone that stepping up and dealing with a problem is going to be better in the long run for Absolute Poker than just stonewalling and flat-out denying any wrongdoing.

Just look at Poker Stars and how they handled The V0id and his multi-account playing during the WCOOP. Granted, that isn't as serious as a player being able to see hole cards, but nevertheless Poker Stars looked into the matter and discovered that there were activities going on that were against the rules. They dealt with the problem swiftly by disqualifying The V0id, seizing his $1 million in prize money and redistributing it to the proper winners.

Poker players need to be to feel at ease playing poker online. They need to be able to believe that if something like this happens, as rare as it is, the support on their site will come to their aid and do the right thing. Absolute Poker needs to step up and take responsibility: it needs to admit that some shady activities went on, make reparations for them and enact measures that will prevent incidents like this in the future.

Related Articles

Unibet Poker Open 2023
Unibet Open Bukarest 2023 – Here we go!

Unibet Open Bukarest alkoi pari tuntia sitten, pahoittelut että blogi pääsee vauhtiin myöhässä. Syytetään Lufthansaa, joka onnistui eilen jättämään matkalaukkuni Frankfurtin kentälle. Nyt on laukku saatu tänne Bukarestin Marriottiin ja…

November 30, 2023 | Juhani Tyriseva
WSOP banner
WSOP Schedule 2020

The 2020 World Series of Poker kicks of in Las Vegas on May 27th. With a time frame of more than 7 weeks and 100 tournaments this will be the…

August 21, 2023 | Arved Klöhn
WSOP banner
Pikku tauon jälkeen jatketaan

Pidettiin pieni tauko, nyt peli jatkuu tasolla bb ante 4K, blindit 2K/4K. 111/573 pelaajaa.

July 25, 2023 | Juhani Tyriseva
melvin shroen live reports from The Festival in Nottingham 2023
PokerListings set to do Live Reporting from The Festival Series in Nottingham (13-19 February 2023) 

Melvin Schroen - Live Reporter For the first time in the history of The Festival Series, an event series is being held at the Dusk Till Dawn Pokerclub in Nottingham.…

March 22, 2023 | Melvin Schroen
PokerListings Awards 2022
PokerListings Operator Awards – Winners 2022

Since 2020, we have been awarding the best poker operators and innovators in the poker business with our PokerListings Operator Awards. Every year the operators are nominated and awarded in…

January 11, 2023 | Bjorne Lindberg
Oliver Hutchins Wins the Trophy in the €500K GTD PPC Malta Main Event (€71,000)

Oliver Hutchins Wins 2022 PPC Malta Main Event United Kingdom's Oliver Hutchins won the trophy in the €500,000 guaranteed PPC Malta €550 Main Event for €71,000 after a back and…

April 7, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Final Table Payouts

PlacePrize1Oliver HutchinsUnited Kingdom€74,000*2Damir SavioCroatia€58,000*3Jingchun YuChina€31,0004Massimo RossiItaly€21,0005Wouter SchuurbiersBelgium€16,0006Federico CirilloItaly€13,0007Federico PetruzzelliItaly€10,0008Bradley GudgeonUnted Kingdom€8,0009Guiseppe DiBellaItaly€6,400 *Reflects heads-up deal.

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Hutchins Doubles with Ladies to Take a Massive Lead

Level 41: 400K/800K (800K) Damir Savio jammed for 15 million from the button with 7 6 and Oliver Hutchins quickly made the easy call with Q Q from the big…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
All Poker News
2017-09-14 06:39:54

100% michael, i hate!!!! them now lol

2017-09-14 06:38:05

why did i not find this site sooner!! lol no more online poker for me

2017-09-14 06:36:09

110% just off , off paddy power there, hammered on river card every time with good hands, i raise on KK sure enough Ace always flops out, i catch trips , sure enough he catches a straight er somebody catch’s a flush, so i go all in on flop holding KK again , as 3, 6 , j flops out , wanker had trip 3’s, sky poke r sky is awful as well, heck there all awful sorry RIGGED!!! , , to many hard luck story’s for it to be coincidence, never!!! again, iv said that wayy too many times, stick to horses or football, they cant influence the outcome but sure there is feeckin cheating there too ya cant win guys just give up gambling!! 😉 but if your a problem gamble r like me yer up and were relying in that all in win winning , and looses out to paddypower cheating me , makes ya fricking LIVID!!!!!!!!, , ballecks was my Paddypower poker name, kinda sums up their site, , ill never deposit another r penny with em ever, im one sore!!!! looser this day, scumbags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Schutte
2015-08-21 18:19:30

All online poker is 100% rigged and this stupid site won’t say that off course cause you earn money from poker players…all these bullshit action flops the whole time runner runner bullshit one after another come on you must be really stupid and blind to not see this haha

sae as
2014-01-29 03:14:07

the fbi and all top 20 countries need to help people.. the poker site and all gambling site is gonna send a bunch of people suicidal and pist off making them a walking weapon to the world. i won some hand in poker heads up that make no sense .

2013-12-12 12:12:18

Paddy power poker is the biggest scam I have ever seen.i have had some good wins, but as soon as I make a little cash,if I play on the very same thing happens,in the last 2hours I have been beaten with aq v a10,flop come jqk, I was dominating ak v a2 he hits trips,guy calls an all in reraise from me preflop with my kk and turns over 2,7 worst hand in game,hits a house.its rediculous whenever I win I usually get retarded good luck too even when I don’t need it. It’s like they build you up if they know ul keep playing,and they give you a good hand so ul put all ur chips in the pot,before some poker bit sucks out on d river. There should be some way this site especially can be brought to justice,it is rife with these scenarios on a hugely consistent basis,having just read this article I have decided to delete the account it is an absolute crime and these crooks should be burned alive!!

big blue
2012-05-07 13:18:36

how many times on pp do you see big slick and aa turned over,especially by the chip leader,if your low stack and going up against chip leader you may as well turn off your computer,cause you have no chance,,another thing how many times do you see split pots,,playing live for 10 years in casino poker and iv never seen one,,course its rigged.

2012-01-29 17:44:25

i dont think the program is dealing random cards.i’m always beaten as low stack.in live poker i’ve often come back from low stack to get in the money.never with paddy power.this speeds up the game.perhaps you’ll play the next tournament-more money for them.if this is the case and i strongly suspect it is (see patrick harrison comment above)then we should ask for the site to be investigated and ask for our money back.if they are running a program which favours big stacks then the site is not fair and we should ask for our money back.

2011-12-09 13:51:16

Hey all, I have played on Bwin more than half a million hands, got breakeven. I am not an idiot to balme a pokersite for my failure but: whenewer I moved up, got my 80+ situations screwed, but ok. Some day there was there a player, who spoke french, cant understand that language properly, but he mentioned my name, MY FRIGGIN NAME. Not my nickname, my BIRTHNAME, then he went away fast. You may think, I have registered at a site and may have given my name, but I have not, definetely not. My OPINION Bwin is rigged, but that is only an opinion. I have cashed out and now I am giving a shot to IPOKER, where after a few ten thousand hands I make over 10bb, micro stakes although. GG all.

Fred Jewell
2011-11-27 10:30:38

All the sites are the same. Ive played twenty or more ,iam the best live poker player in my city, when playing online you see unrealistic calls ,which is fine explains donks, but the unrealistic part is they should lose about 70to80 percent of the time statistically, instead they win 65 percent its a fixed program to keep money circulating until all is given to rake.

2011-10-26 14:00:23

Of course THE SOFTWARE is rigged. the scam is to drag as many players to the river as possible and make maximum profit for the website. you needn’t worry about other players cheating you, worry about the fact that the FBI is going after these “honest” people who run these websites for 3 billion dollar pozi schemes and it only stands to reason to anyone with a brain in his head that the software is staged to make these websites max profits. it’s software. it does what they tell it to do. therefore poker is OBVIOUSLY rigged.

2011-10-05 23:15:57

completely agree about ppp, won $500 in a tournament a couple of weeks ago, was in the bottom of leaderboard for most of the tourny and shouldnt of won, been getting river raped ever since, losing to low o/s hands against AA,AK,JJ etc., I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s been in my head but it just keeps happening, time to change

2011-10-03 22:02:28

just playing a free-roll. had a lot of chips so called a guy with only 10’s just to see if he was bluffing. he wasn’t had a full house so i mucked.
Another guy at the table said “you called with 10’s”. nobody else knew what he meant.

2011-09-16 21:33:08

paddy power poker is so rigged. its absolutely disgraceful. just after playing cash game. had kings. fella went all in pre flop for 200euro. i called and he turned over 8,3 off suit. he hit trip 8’s. i then put in another 100. went back in to the same table. got dealt kings again. i went all in for 90euro. was called by 10, 5 suited and he hit trip 10’s. this was all in the space of 15 minutes. how can that be possible. its unbelievable how fucked up that site is. i think ur playin against ppp players. why else wud u be called with that shit

2011-09-16 20:36:09

this site is defiantly rigged. was playing 4 tables at once. within the space of 10 minutes i went all in ahead every time, dominating in 3 of them. i lost on the river in all 4 tables. how can that possibly happen. cant just be unlucky. that site is the biggest joke. its like ud be better off goin all in with 8 3 off suit. they seem to be the best hands to win. its laughable

2011-07-26 13:19:55

Yes bwin is rigged for sure, i’ve won a little and then hand after hand i lose, AA against A10 and he hits 3 10’s and more of those hands, i’ve written them an e-mail and they’ve answered back that they have checked every thing and that there are no problems with their program, ridiculous…

2011-05-09 07:54:10

*slw I couldn’t agree more on that. Also, had a bit of success with bwin and then there was not a single chance to play my hands right. Loosing AK against A6 ( having 6 on the river – AAJ7 6) is just one case. Then loosing AA two times in a row and again AK against short hands. Additionally, when you have a high pair (QQ JJ KK) you can be 100% sure that there is another one somewhere else – again, that is very uncommon in normal game scenario. As for me, I’m out of bwin definitely.

2011-04-29 23:21:10

to anyone who thinks that online poker is run by reputable business people who play fair, I wonder why the FBI are arresting the owners of most of the bigger sites.

I agree about PaddyPoker being less than correct, I played 35 hands tonight, was ahead on the turn on over 22 of them and rivered on 19 of the 22.

No one is that unlucky

2011-01-26 13:31:54

have had kk beat 45 times played them every way you can think of even folde on the flop only won with them 6 time odds do not agree

2011-01-04 05:21:44

stone monkey i have the same tought…when i first played poker on bwin i had a little success, but than the bomb drops i cant win nothing absolute nothin several times when i think i have the best possible hand..i loose it anyway, just by one value.. like 888 10 vs 888 J it always happens like that in various hand ranking form this isnt normal!!! i wait like 10 turns to get a good hand and iven that one is beaten…real poker isnt like that, i know this game its all about patience but for chrst sake…. i cant be that fuckin patient that i have to wait 20 turns to get a real good one, to pokerstars the same issue

2010-12-14 05:30:18

pokerstars is the worst site out of all of them… i know ive been beatin more times than i have won with best hand post flop then get beatin with straights and flushs runnner runner, and now ive requested my stats i cant even get them!

2010-11-19 16:21:34

AA vs KK vs KK not normal 😀

2010-11-19 00:45:20

If these people used their common sense they’d recognize that online poker isn’t rigged: you just wrote an intire article that online poker IS RIGGED! LOL :)is it so hard to see the truth? I can’t believe those bastards at Absolute still are in buisiness :O and with an ever growing player base, are people stupid or what??? anyone stupid enough to play at Absolute deserve to get their intire bankroll ripped off, LOL

big slick
2010-11-11 20:20:56

“If these people used their common sense they’d recognize that online poker isn’t rigged”
What common sense dictates that people WONT do things not so honest to make money?
The cards that come up in most online poker games are clearly too good to be true… almost like the owners are making everyone think that their hand is a guarantied win, to encourage bigger bets, more money transfers, more money for the owners.

I guess thats just crazy “tinfoil hat wearing” thoughts to think anyone would ever do such a thing. silly me.

Barry Furlong
2010-10-06 14:59:54

Playing on PP looking to see if any friends on same site .They showed one friend in lobby watching a table .When he was 200 miles away at a live poker tourne. Another night a friend rang me for info on a game on PP .He said I was in lobby watching a game .MY COMPUTER WAS NOT EVEN SWITCHED ON.HOW AND WHY

W.L. Padgett
2010-09-13 17:02:24

Pokers has frozen my account over one of their mistakes. They have taken all my money. Two days ago they said they would call me first thing in the morning. I cant sit here and wait on the people day after day. They being from another country can do us anyway they want and get by with it

patrick harrison
2010-09-10 05:54:00

I believe what you are observing is nothing more the software program based on a term called the Inducer which often places one hole card shared by 2 or more players to ‘induce’ action.

It is not fixed to make any one player win but is fixed in the sense that games get over quicker for a reason you will find in an eBook which is coming out, TRAPPED BY THE DEALER,
an 8 year investigation into the software programs used by online poker rooms.

Should be out in time for Christmas. It will not show you how to win but show you the repeatable patterns in the software that causes players to think they have a fighting chance while the big stack player hits practically anything they play, even 23s vs AA.

For more on that, you’ll have to wait for the eBook.

2010-09-06 21:50:11

paddypowerpoker is fixed definatly always the river. so obvious doh got called by a fella with QQ I had KK the flop was AKQ another Q comes on the river..??were would ya get it like..?

stone monkey
2010-04-06 13:53:13

i am of the opinion that Bwin is also rigged i get far too many bad beats for it not to be. I get called by someone where they’ve got to hit 1 card to beat me just the river to go and they hit it. This is a regular thing. Anyone else having this crap happen to them?

2010-01-26 08:28:49

Poker nordica is rigged
Flopped flush for 2-3 players is normal 3-4 times daily 4 hour session
AA vs lower pocket allin preflop statistics of 100hands are 53% to 47% other pockets the same vs lower
When player tilting and allin preflop after big losses at table he wins everything

2009-10-04 17:51:00

paddypowerpoker is fixed.
always river poker wins
always worst hand wins
always something in the flop for at least 3 players to suck you in!

Comment on that

Your message is awaiting approval