Archive for January, 2012

Poker Pro’s Seek $20M In Stolen Cash

by | Published: Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Eight big time poker players have launched a complaint against Excapsa Software, the former owners of poker website Ultimate Bet.

They claim employees of the company swindled more than $20 million form them and other high stakes players.

The case involves poker pros Brad Booth, Tom Koral, Dustin Woolf and Daniel Smith who say they are down $2 million between them.

Their claim is that employees had access to their hole cards and thus could play against them on the same table knowing exactly what hands they were up against.

Extracts from the complaint read:

“Since at least June 2003 and until at least January 2008 Excapsa/UltimateBet did conspire to and did direct, effect, and permit the theft of over $2 million held in plaintiffs’ online poker accounts at Specifically, by creating and making use of an intentional a security flaw in the software, and with the assistance of owners, agents, and employees of Excapsa and its various subsidiaries that operated UltimateBet, defendants either allowed others to or did directly view plaintiffs ‘hole cards’ during high-stakes poker matches run at

“With the assistance of owners, operators, officers, employees, and/or agents of Excapsa and its subsidiaries, the cheaters were further able to change their online identities to avoid detection and to improperly funnel their illicit proceeds through various UltimateBet accounts in a manner that would have been impossible without insider assistance. Through these activities, defendants stole or caused to be stolen at least 20 million dollars from plaintiffs and other high-stakes poker players at games run by UltimateBet.”

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Englishman Steals Maiden Irish WPT Title

by | Published: Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

A beer and a game of poker goes almost hand in hand so it seems strange that it took thins long for the World Poker Tour to make it to Ireland.

The home of Guinness and an enviable pub per capita ratio, Ireland has long produced some of the world’s best players who now finally have the chance to play high stake son home soil.

It won’t please them one bit then that the inaugural event went the way of Englishman David Shallow.

He got the better of 338 others to pick up the €220,000 first place prize from the total prize pool of just under €800,000.

By the time he got to the final table he didn’t have to wait long to cash in either with just three hours passing from when he sat down to when he stood up as champion.

In addition to his cash prize he also qualifies for a $25,500 (€20,000) seat at the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas.

“It’s the first WPT I’ve won. It feels good,” he said. “It didn’t seem that quick to me, but obviously I was playing.”

It was another London based player Charles Chattha that claimed the runner up position turning around a rather hostile previous relationship with Ireland.

“Ireland has been really bad to me in the past,” he said. “When I first started in 2005 I came to Ireland three times and I did really badly. I vowed then I’d never play poker again in this country.”

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Belgium Could Become USA Test Case

by | Published: Thursday, January 5th, 2012

While the United States remains stuck in a rut when it comes to the legalization of online poker Belgium has taken a massive step forward.

The European nation has this week approved three separate poker websites to operate legally in the country for real money.

Those granted permission include PokerStars, Partouche and Casino777.

Each company is now allowed to create a website using the .be Belgium domain name.

The decision is designed to follow in the footsteps of the French approach by instituting regulations that allow the government to issue licenses to online gambling operators.

The licenses allow operators to create websites for the exclusive use of Belgium players.

As in both France and Italy the websites cannot give international players access or vice versa.

This does create a problem however as there is only a finite number of potential players in the country.

Approximately 11 million people live in Belgium and some argue this may not be enough to sustain three different poker websites.

It does act as an interesting test case though with many states in the USA looking to adopt a similar strategy with an equivalent or even fewer number of people.

Another aspect of the Belgium legislation though is a blacklist, a list of unapproved gambling websites that will be blocked form the country.

It’s not yet known though how effective that will be or how easy players will be able to get around it.

PokerStars made its way into the market thanks to a partnership with online gambling operator Circus Groupe.

“Attracting the world’s largest poker site was made possible by the remarkable work of the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Wallonia Ministry of Finance,” said Circus Groupe CEO Emmanuel Mewissen.

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