Online Poker Cheating at Ultimate Bet Poker
The investigation into the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal has named Russ Hamilton,
winner of the 1994 World Series of Poker Main Event, as one of the people behind the
scam that involved user accounts with the ability to see other players’ hole cards.
This is a similar cheating scandal to the one seen at Absolute Poker when a user
named Potripper was detected winning a big tournament through suspicious means.
The online poker cheating came to light when several players expressed concern over
the questionable actions of some online poker players. The players then started
charting the suspicious account activity in an attempt to uncover a track record of
questionable decisions that benefited these suspicious accounts. In light of these
activities the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses many of the online poker
rooms, launched a full-scale investigation. The KGC hired a gaming consulting firm run
by Frank Catania Sr., a former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General.
According to the IGamingNews report, which takes its information from the KGC’s
preliminary report, Russ Hamilton was behind the superuser scandal as he gained
access through his work with the Ultimate Bet affiliate program team. The scam is
estimated to have been running for three and a half years, costing Ultimate Bet players
No other names have been revealed yet, but the KGC is already taking action based on
the preliminary report. The full report on the incident is expected to be ready by
November, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission has said that they will be working
with law enforcement agencies in order to bring the poker cheaters to justice.
The KGC has imposed a fine of $1.5 million on Ultimate Bet and has put forth a number
of actions that Ultimate Bet must take before this cheating episode is concluded.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission issued the following press release pertaining to
the cheating scandal and the actions Ultimate Bet must take.
Kahnawa:ke Gaming Commission (”KGC” Chairman Dean Montour today announced
the initial findings of the audit conducted on licensee Ultimate Bet, as well as the
sanctions to be imposed.
The Commission found clear and convincing evidence to support the conclusion that
between the approximate dates of May 2004 to January 2008, Russell Hamilton, an
individual associated with Ultimate Bet’s affiliate program, was the main person
responsible for and benefiting from the multiple cheating incidents. Furthermore, the
KGC is currently in contact with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and intends
to fully cooperate in the prosecution of all individuals involved in the UB cheating
As a result of the KGC’s findings of fact, the Commission called a special meeting, at
which time it was unanimously decided to impose the following sanctions against
1. Ultimate Bet is directed that by November 3, 2008 it shall, under the close
supervision of the KGC, its employees and agents, commence refunding all players
accounts found to have been adversely affected by the cheating of individuals under
the control and supervision of the licensee. It is estimated that Ultimate Bet has to date
reimbursed $6.1 million USD to players’ accounts found to have been adversely
impacted by the cheating activity
2. Ultimate Bet is directed that by November 3, 2008 it is to remove any and all persons
deemed as “unsuitable” by the KGC from all involvement with the company, which shall
include all levels of ownership, management and operation. Ultimate Bet during that
time period until November 3, 2008 is required to continue to provide complete details
of all day-to-day operations of the company. These shall include financial as well as
daily gaming records to Frank Catania and or his assigns. It is anticipated that this
action will provide full disclosure and prevent any further improprieties or wrongdoing
from occurring while ensuring that the public is being offered fair and honest games
and all player monies will be protected.
3. Ultimate Bet’s control system as defined in section 9 of the Kahnawa:ke Interactive
Gaming Regulations has been modified to prevent any further incidents of cheating or
4. Ultimate Bet will not delete or modify any logs including but not limited to web logs
and game logs as required by the Kahnawa:ke Interactive Gaming Regulations and will
continue to have those logs immediately available for inspection by the KGC or its
5. Ultimate Bet shall immediately pay a fine of $1.5 Million USD to the KGC for its failure
to implement and enforce measures to prohibit and detect fraudulent activities.
6. Ultimate Bet’s failure to comply fully with these measures will result in the immediate
revocation of its KGC gaming permit.
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