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Friday, 27 January 2012 08:51

Online Poker Players Sue Ultimate Bet

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A $75million claim has been filed against Canadian company Ultimate Bet amidst allegations of cheating.

Leading online poker site UltimateBet.com is at the centre of a scandal that could bring the company to its knees. Eight players have launched a case against the company and unnamed individuals claiming that the poker software allowed a group of players to cheat and defraud other players of at least $20m.

 

Cheaters manipulated the Excapsa Software, which previously owned UltimateBet.com, so that they could see their opponent’s hole cards. The scam is similar to the one that occurred on UltimateBet’s sister site AbsolutePoker.com, but UltimateBet’s ran for far longer – a total of three years leading up to January 2008. The scam was discovered when suspicious players posted on a free poker forum that they had spotted certain high-stakes players were employing unusual strategies and winning at an incredible rate.

 

UltimateBet became aware of these allegations and launched their own investigation. They eventually refunded the money lost in the high-stakes online poker games, but the suit has been brought as the players allege UltimateBet has underestimated the amount by failing to consider the amount not wagered by the cheats when they realised their opponents had winning hands.

 

Because internet poker was deemed to be illegal, UltimateBet.com advertised their free poker ‘play for fun’ tables and featured famous poker professional Phil Hellmuth. After Black Friday, it was one of several sites shut down by the US Department of Justice. Despite the recent reversal of the reading, sites like Virgin Poker are still unavailable in the US.

 

Despite the strong publicity and the fact that three well-known professionals are included in the plaintiffs, players are not hopeful about receiving their money back.