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GGPoker Introduces Poker Integrity Council, Plans to Blacklist Cheaters
The online poker site GGPoker announced last week that it will introduce a so-called Poker Integrity Council (PIC). This is to spearhead an industry-wide initiative to protect the integrity of the poker game. The function of this council is to investigate allegations of cheating, conduct fair reviews and enforce sanctions for convicted cheaters.
In an official statement, the company describes the panel as consisting of respected community members. They are said to investigate suspicious behavior at the GGPoker tables independently of the provider.
Process and Actions of the PIC
Each case brought to the panel is to be investigated through the following process:
- Detection: suspicious behavior such as collusion, use of bots or supporting software (known as Real-Time Analysis), or ghosting will be flagged for review.
- Review: The relevant hand histories will be reviewed by members of the panel. The player data in the hand histories is anonymized.
- Ruling: Panel members vote on whether or not action is required.
If the PIC panel decides to take disciplinary action, the player will face a warning, temporary account closure or a permanent ban, depending on the severity of the offense. The latter may be accompanied by confiscation of the player's funds.
In the most serious cases, it may also be decided to blacklist the player. The PIC and GGPoker have already partnered with the biggest live poker tours and casinos to enforce bans away from GGPoker. Partners include the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, Triton Poker, the Poker Go Tour, Kings Casino and the Battle of Malta.
Members of the Poker Integrity Council
The voting members of the Poker Integrity Council are highly respected and accomplished representatives of the poker community. Jason Koon was already hired as GGPoker's integrity ambassador last summer. Other members of the PIC will be Andrew Lichtenberger, Fedor Holz, Seth Davies and Nick Petrangelo.
High time for an integrity board?
In recent months, there have been an increasing number of apparently well-founded allegations of fraud against well-known players on the scene. Among the very big names on the scene facing allegations of cheating are Ali Imsirovic, Bryn Kenney and Jake Schindler. All three are banned on GGPoker. GGPoker released no details in this regard, but people close to both of them suspect that Imsirovic and Schindler used so-called Real Time Assistance software - programs that can calculate the optimal move in any situation. Kenny is accused of running a collusion and ghosting scheme at GGPoker.
Considering the increasing number of cases of cheating allegations, it seems high time that GGPoker, as well as other online providers, become more active and transparent against these. Even though it will be impossible to completely prevent any cheating, at least a step in the right direction can be taken with the newly founded Poker Integrity Council.
Further Reading: Alex Foxen Accuses Ali Imsirovic of Systematic Cheating