Poker Cheat Russ Hamilton's Banner Back Up At 2012 WSOPJune 6, 2012 1:13 pm
After several years of absence, the WSOP has decided to rehang the huge banner of UltimateBet superuser Russ Hamilton on the wall of its Amazon Room, along with other WSOP Main Event winners.
Russ Hamilton worked as a consultant for online poker room UltimateBet when he masterminded an online poker scam which cheated customers out of $22 million of their funds. Incredibly, despite the Kahnawake Commission finding “clear and convincing evidence” that Hamilton was the main person behind the cheating scandal, he was never arrested and continues to wander free in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Subsequently, the disgraced 1994 WSOP Main Event winner had his Champion’s banner hidden at the Rio All-Suite Casino with the WSOP even discluding him from the Main Event winners invitational 40th Anniversary tournament.
This year, however, Russ Hamilton’s banner is back up, which has caused a bit of a stir amongst players and poker fans alike. Unsurprisingly, a lively debate sprung up on the TwoPlusTwo forum, with one poster writing:
“How the hell does this banner get re-hung? Why would the WSOP insult it’s customers by hanging the banners of those who have stolen their money?”
Nevertheless, others seem to believe that Harrah’s can’t just pick and chose who’s banners to display and who’s they should not. Otherwise other candidates might have to face scrutiny, such as 1972 winner Amarillo Slim and his questionable win over Puggy Pearson, 2000 winner Chris Ferguson currently embroiled in the Full Tilt Poker scandal, or even the 2006 winner Jamie Gold, who tried to welch on paying half his $12 million winnings to his backers.
One man who obviously agrees with them is WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart who recently, in an unsubtle swipe at the Epic Poker League, explained that the organization didn’t “want to get into having a standards and ethics committee.”
Ultimately, though, Russ Hamilton’s banner being displayed in the Amazon Room could be viewed as a record of history and nothing else. What’s your opinion?