Absolute Poker Situation: Unofficial Interim Audit Statement Released
The latest in a series of unofficial statements from representatives of Absolute Poker (AP) was released on Thursday night, offering an interim report on an audit of AP being conducted by Australia-based Gaming Associates. The statement was sent to selected, prominent members of major poker-discussion forums, and, as with early unofficial releases was not released directly to major news media nor included in the "press" area of the Absolute Poker website.
Nonetheless, the statement as presented appears genuine, referring to an earlier statement made by former Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton, and releases specifics on the insider-cheating affair not made public by the company until this point. The statement corroborates the seven known cheating accounts listed in our most recent piece on the situation, Part 1 of our Q&A series with Nat Arem, who recently traveled to Costa Rica to meet with AP officials first-hand.
Other notable inclusions are that the length of the cheating is believed to have been for 40 days, beginning on August 14, 2007, and that Absolute has, to date, paid out $1.6 million to players. That figure includes payments made to those directly affected by the cheating and those who were negatively impacted in other ways.
The complete statement as it was posted to major poker forums is as follows:
ABSOLUTE POKER ISSUES INTERIM STATEMENT ON SECURITY BREACH
(NOVEMBER 8, 2007) --- Absolute Poker (AP) issued the following statement today with respect to its on-going internal investigation of the recent security breach in its system.
As Former Grand Chief Joe Norton, the 100% owner of AP, previously stated, Absolute Poker will, when appropriate, issue periodic updates concerning the recent security breach in its system. Because the Kahnawake Gaming Commission's (KGC's) investigation is on-going, the information provided in this interim statement is subject to the completion of the final KCG inquiry. Gaming Associates (GA) is in the process of auditing AP's systems as part of the KGC inquiry. AP continues to cooperate fully with these investigations.
First and foremost, we would like to assure our players, once again, that the security breach, which resulted in unfair play, was resolved immediately after it was discovered and confirmed, and AP's sites are absolutely secure.
At this point, all players known to have been adversely impacted by the security breach have been fully reimbursed with interest. The amount that was illicitly 'won' by the illegitimate accounts was approximately US$800,000. The amount reimbursed to players by AP as a result of the security breach was approximately US$1,600,000.
Thus far, our internal audit has uncovered the following additional information:
The known period of unfair playing was approximately 40 days in length, beginning on 14 August 2007.
A known perpetrator was immediately terminated upon discovery of the scheme and no longer has access to AP. AP's internal investigation continues.
The system breach was the result of a recent internal software release impacting internal reporting. The breach was exploitable only by an authorized AP person that manipulated the internal reporting software, together with the AP gaming software. The security breach was not, therefore, the result of an external action, and no individual outside AP could exploit the breach.
There is no evidence of the current or past existence of a "super-user" account. There is no player account in the AP system with the ability to see other players' hole cards.
The names of the accounts known to have cheated are: potripper, graycat, steamroller, doubledrag, payup, supercard55, and romnaldo. These accounts have been closed. All players that played hands and lost funds during the period in question, against these accounts have received refunds, plus interest, for the net amounts lost.
All accounts associated with the perpetrating accounts are under investigation. If any other accounts are deemed to have engaged in illicit activities, AP will refund all affected players in the same manner.
AP can confirm that not every hand played by the perpetrating accounts during the said period was compromised by the tool enabling the unfair advantage. Nonetheless, AP has refunded players for the net loss resulting from every hand played against the perpetrating accounts during the affected period.
All hand histories with respect to the affected period were retained by AP and were made available to both the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the internal auditor for detailed review.
All registered accounts in the AP database are under investigation to ensure that there are no other compromised accounts with links or associations to the closed accounts. If the on-going investigation determines that there are any further accounts that were used in connection with the unfair play, all affected players will be reimbursed in full, with interest.
AP regrets the damage that has been done to its players and to its own reputation by this incident. We are absolutely focused on doing the right thing for our loyal customers, employees, consultants, and business partners, and we will continue to work with KGC and Gaming Associates to bring this incident into the full light of day and to right any wrongs done to innocent victims of this unfair play.
Currently, thousands of people are playing on AP both for real money and for free. AP is a safe, secure and fun place to play poker.