PokerStars Responds To Cheating Allegations

In the wake of the Chinese cheating scandal which hit PokerStars earlier this year, the world’s biggest poker site has finally answered some of the burning questions surrounding the incident via e-mail with Poker News Daily.
A PokerStars’ Game Security team member called “Jackson” confirmed that the site had discovered discrepancies in the “Double or Nothing” (DoN) sit and gos in early February 2010, following reports on the online poker forum Two Plus Two.
Jackson further confirmed that the Chinese gang consisted of 38 members who regularly colluded in the mini tournaments to steal a total of $494,000 from unsuspecting players.
As he goes on to explain; “The cheaters were active across many stakes, some as low as our $10 and $20 DoNs. However, the vast majority of the collusion occurred at both the $50 and $100 levels.”
The potential for collusion continues to be a problem for the online game and some common strategies employed by criminals include a whole host of methods including soft play, dumping, signalling and whipsawing.
In PokerStars ‘“Double or Nothing” game, whipsawing was the gang’s preferred method of collusion and involved members raising and re-raising each other in order to trap players in between.
Since the discovery of the gang’s criminal activities, PokerStars has paid $2.1 million in compensation to the victims and is keen to assure its customers that everything is being done to prevent such incidences happening in the future. As Jackson explains:
“PokerStars has introduced a new security function to prevent players from certain countries from playing in the same Double or Nothing events together. This restriction will ensure that only one player from each of several countries will be able to play in these events. We continue to monitor the games for collusion and we do feel that they are now adequately secure, otherwise we wouldn’t offer them. The investigation of the accounts involved, as well compensation to players, have since been finalized.”
In the meantime, there has been no further news concerning the Chinese gang other than their accounts being frozen and $85,000 being confiscated. That still leaves a tidy profit of over $400k for the gang of cheats.

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