Expanded thoughts on Ultimate Beat Pt 2: How deep does cheating run

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  • Published November 13th, 2013 in Poker

Scott Bell pulled back the curtain on the Ultimate Beat super-user scandal in his recently released documentary, Ultimate Beat: Too much to lose which you can purchase here. In this three-part series I want to offer up some expanded thoughts on different aspects of the Super-User period and how it relates to poker in general.

In each part I’ll offer up my thoughts on a different aspect of the super-user cheating:

  • Part 1: Players didn’t just lose money
  • Part 2: Was this exclusive to AP and UB?
  • Part 3: Who was at fault?

Was this exclusive to UB and AP?

Thesis: Cheating was almost certainly not confined to Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker.

Looking back at it now, I’m pretty much of the opinion that online poker in the early and mid-2000’s was a complete shit-show –and “shit-show” should carry some weight, as anyone who reads my columns knows I don’t swear very often.

There was shady stuff happening at every level, from the players, to the employees, to the owners, to the payment processing companies.  So if you think a company like Full Tilt Poker was above cheating you more directly than using your deposits for marketing you’re out of your mind. I don’t know if they did, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

Also, if you think a company’s only transgression was to falsely coded credit card transactions to skirt US law, you’re out of your mind too. The truth of the matter is we really don’t know the full extent of what went on at these sites.

UB and AP super-users were incredibly sloppy. Full Tilt Poker was caught only because of an act of god. Is it really too much of a stretch of the imagination to envision another company screwing around with their RNG or employing a massive fleet of poker bots to increase the number of tables running and to slowly bleed lower limit players?

After what we know as fact, can we put anything past these companies? And by anything, I mean ANYTHING!

In 2005 the notion that a wildly successful online poker room would cheat its players was laughed at, and it turned out to be true: In 2011 Tom Dwan was willing to vouch for Full Tilt Poker to the point of promising seven-figures of his own money, and he was only bailed out by PokerStars.

It’s not that I think big names like Party Poker or PokerStars have cheated their players, but let’s put them up on our shoulders as a symbol of purity and righteousness either. You and I have no clue what went on during the Wild West days of the online poker industry.


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