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Aussie company comes under fire for probing scandalous poker site




Aussie company comes under fire for probing scandalous poker site
Aussie company comes under fire for probing scandalous poker site



http://www.itnews.com.au/News/66328,aussie-company-comes-under-fire-for-probing-scandalous-poker-site.aspx 

By Liz Tay
5 December 2007

The engagement of Australian consultancy Gaming Associates to 
investigate an alleged $7 million scandal has raised more questions 
about the integrity of Absolute Poker and its parent companies.

Gaming Associates was commissioned last month to conduct an audit into a 
suspected security breach that gave one player full view of the cards 
held by his opponents.

The audit comes several months after the scam was first uncovered by a 
group of players on the Two Plus Two online discussion boards. Current 
investigations have, as yet, failed to placate users of the popular 
U.S.-based forum.

"This proposed investigation makes us uneasy for a few reasons," said 
Mason Malmuth of Two Plus Two Publishing. "First, according to its press 
release, Absolute Poker is funding the investigation directly, with no 
third party involved to ensure objectivity.

"Finally, Two Plus Two believes that a report from Gaming Associates, an 
Australian company apparently dealing primarily with Antigua and 
Barbados companies, may not maintain the same weight and reliability as 
the international law firm retained by Two Plus Two."

Earlier this month, Two Plus Two Publishing was approached by an 
Absolute Poker representative, who wanted Two Plus Two to release a 
statement supporting Absolute Poker on its forums, Malmuth said.

Malmuth responded with a fraud investigation proposal in which Two Plus 
Two would act as an unbiased, non-profiting arbitrator between Absolute 
Poker and the investigators. The offer was declined.

"Two Plus Two is essentially the only entity that would be considered 
unbiased in this matter. So anything done with our name on it would have 
much credibility," Malmuth told ITnews.com.au.

"We felt this problem was bigger than Absolute and that by doing this 
investigation it would be good for the whole industry.

"Absolute Poker has now told us that they have no interest in our 
proposal. So I expect nothing will come from it," he said.

Gaming Associates' audit report is not expected until 7 December. In the 
meantime, however, the online poker community has been handing out its 
own version of Citizens' arrests.

Fingers have been pointed at Absolute Poker's co-founder, Scott Tom, and 
former Operations Director, Alan 'AJ' Green, and punishments range from 
degradingly edited images, to accusations of drug abuse, and even to 
what might be perceived as threats to Tom's family.

"Is this Scott's first wife and child," asks one discussion board user. 
"What's her name? Any previous wives and/or children? Any other weak 
spots besides father? Mother, siblings, other family members?"

"Does anyone know AJ's educational background," another post reads. 
"Where did he go to college? What were his majors and/or minors?"

Official statements released by Absolute Poker to its users seem to 
confirm allegations that an employee had been involved in the alleged 
security breach.

"Based upon our preliminary findings, it appears that the integrity of 
our poker system was compromised by a high-ranking trusted consultant 
employed by AP whose position gave him extraordinary access to certain 
security systems," writes Joe Norton, owner of Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG, 
which holds 100 per cent interest in Absolute Poker.

"We consider this security breach to be a horrendous and inexcusable 
offence," he said.

Absolute Poker is currently in the process of reimbursing players who 
were affected by the cheating account. It is yet to be seen if the 
scandal leaves a permanent scar on online poker, which requires a great 
deal of trust between players, their opponents, and gaming platforms.


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