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
"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
"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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