Thursday, November 15, 2007
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit!
What a week. Frazzled is an understatement.
But I'm starting to get jazzed for Vegas and blogger shenanigans in December. I've taken a look at the list of attendees and things are looking superb. Can't wait to see ya'll in a few weeks.
But for now, let's throw a little poker your way. It is what we do here, after all.
Daniel Negreanu on Live vs Online Poker
I actually went into the cesspool of RGP to see if anything interesting was said about the Absolute Poker scandal, and yes, I finally managed to scrape up one little nugget.
Poker writer extraordinaire, Lou Kreiger, had some thoughts on the situation and Alan weighed in with an interesting and thought provoking response.
Another question or two about Absolute
I'm curious as to who released the spreadsheet that contained all the tournament details. Could the person who released this information be someone highly placed in Absolute who was aware of what was going on and wanted to blow the whistle?
If that's the case, why didn't he just post it somewhere, or send it to a some journalists along with an explanation of what that spreadsheet contained? That's a lot surer way of taking action than sending the entire tournament in lieu of a hand history and hoping the player receiving it is savvy enough to puzzle out what it all means.
Could the person who released the spreadsheet have been a customer service representative who worked for Absolute and released it inadvertently? But if a customer service representative-clearly not a job that's high up in Absolute's chain of command-had access to that data (whether accidentally or on purpose) it points to an abysmal absence of security.
How much security could there be if someone could release information that sensitive? If one customer service representative was able to release that data, so could all of them. When you have an entire class of employees with information so sensitive it could bring down an entire company-and perhaps an entire industry-there is no security at all.
This is like peeling onions. The more you peel back, the more that remains to peel. It's a long way from over, and we may never know all the answers.
I don't know this for absolute fact, as so much of what is being reported about AP borders on rumor and speculation, but the way the spreadsheet data wound up being released to Marco Johnson may have had a certain "revenge" component involved.
I can't recall now where I read or saw this, (it may have been somewhere in the jungle of information over at 2+2), but this AJ Green character - in addition to all his other qualities - may have had a knack for treating subordinates (and employees) in a very disrespectful manner. Green, in short, may have engendered a sense of hatred and loathing among his employees - including the support personnel. These feelings of personal animus, if true, may have been seething under the surface for quite some time. Also, it is highly likely that at least some (if not several) of the lower-level folks at AP either knew (or strongly suspected) that "something fishy" was going on involving AJ Green and this Scott Tom man.
So, as the scandal began to break and the initial reaction of AP's owners and senior management was to deny and obfuscate, the slighted employee(s) - whose suspicions were being confirmed in spades - may have seen the perfect opportunity for revenge. Rather than trust a "journalist," (who can be forced by a judge to reveal their source), the "whistleblower" probably decided it would be more effective to leak the spreadsheet file to the actual victim of the scam since the "victim" would presumably have a stronger interest in getting to the bottom of all this. (Also, Mr. Johnson had made a formal request for the hand histories which was initially rebuffed - if my information is correct.)
I have had a bit of private communication with some individuals who have more detailed knowledge as to what is going on at Absolute Poker. I haven't been told much in the way of "inside information" that has not already been publicly disclosed, but I suspect you are right with your "peeling back the onion" analogy. There are more shoes still to drop in this saga. (I guess in journalism circles the
operative phrase would be "This story has legs.")
I have argued (in previous posts) that the unregulated online poker industry needs to clean up its act. Prior to this incident occurring, the knee jerk response of the industry was to insist that something like this was impossible. With these revelations, we now know that deliberate cheating and fleecing of customers (on a possibly massive scale) is very possible. I imagine this has also been very
distressing to those professionals, like you, who have lent their names and credibility to the online poker industry. I imagine you (and other prominent endorsers) probably feel as if you have been punched in the stomach.
This imbroglio also does damage to the efforts of organizations like the Poker Players Alliance who are trying to get online poker legalized (and regulated) within the continental United States. Now all their opponents have to do is say two words: "Absolute Poker."
This scandal also adds to the overall stigma that poker has suffered over the years from a large segment of society who have always been opposed to our beloved game.
The only individuals I know who could possibly be taking comfort from this scandal are the owners (and shareholders) of the traditional brick and mortar casinos. I imagine some of them are dancing with glee ...
It's a distressing thought to realize that one (or two) individuals could have caused all this damage. If all these allegations are proven to be true, no amount of punishment can be too much for the guilty parties.
Alan C. Lawhon
I suggest the penalty of Death by Razz.
I was going to leave you with some photo's but I'm dog-ass tired. Stay tuned cause they are coming.
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