Online Poker Scandals: Super User #363

AbsolutePoker3For as long as the game of poker has been played, there have been unscrupulous players who would find ways to cheat. Just like their Wild West counterparts, who often faced down angry players who had lost, online cheaters today result in scandal when they are caught. Be it players or the House, online poker scandals are becoming publicized news events with Google reporting 685,000 hits for the search phrase “Online Poker Scandals”.

One notorious case of in-house online poker scandal was that of Super User #363 at Absolute Poker during the summer of the year 2007. This cheat was built into the software upgrades on the site and created a super user, which was allowed to see all of the hole cards for players in the game. Originally built as a safety measure for testing the newly designed software at Absolute Poker, this super user was not allowed to participate in game play, but merely to see all of the cards in play so that programmers could detect errors. Unfortunately, the good intentions of the original programmers landed Absolute Poker in the middle of a large online poker scandal.

How did it happen? To put it simply, dishonest employees created the problem. A consultant hired to work on the software noticed the ability of the super user version to see hole cards and deduced how this ability could be used to an advantage in the game if only the super user version were allowed to participate in game play. By doing a bit of research, he found at least four inactive accounts and hatched a plan that lead to one of the most notorious online poker scandals of our time and at least $800,000 being stolen from players at Absolute Poker.

Using the four inactive accounts of Potripper, Steamroller, Doubledrag and Graycat (user accounts well known for losing rather than winning), the crooked consultant would go into the game rooms, even entering tournaments with as much as a $1000 buy in. Simultaneously, he used a second computer to login in to super user #363 version so that he could see all the cards in play. Logistically, it was a perfect scheme… playing a game of chance without taking any risk.

The consultant then set up additional accounts on the system so he could access his winnings since there was no way he could legitimately withdraw money from the accounts of Potripper, Steamroller, Doubledrag and Graycat. Then, using a ploy commonly called “chip dumping”, he would drop money into these accounts by inviting them into a short sitting with one of the hijacked accounts and then losing to them. In one such session, there was an obvious chip dump of over $300,000 from Doubledrag all the way to Romnaldo.

Unfortunately for our unscrupulous little friend, he made a few mistakes. One was the obvious chip dumping that we have mentioned already which caused concern of online poker scandals throughout the forums of poker players who diligently watch their games and those who they play with. Then, when suspicions of cheating were already aroused, he decided to go all in. September 13, 2007 was the date that super user #363 became super scandal for Absolute Poker.

In a tournament with $1000 buy-in, Potripper made all the right moves. So much so that when Potripper bet approximately $20,000 with T-high, then got hard-pressed to go all-in by CrazyMarco, and then called the $180,000 to beat CrazyMarco’s deceiving bluff of 9-high, CrazyMarco got suspicious. This suspicion resulted in the downfall of the cheating super user #363 because CrazyMarco asked for and received the hand record file from Absolute Poker. That history proved there had been an online poker scandal and placed super user #363 in the halls of infamy.