On Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, another piece of the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker superuser scandal was revealed to the poker world by Travis Makar. For those who don’t know who he is, Makar is associated with the superuser scandal as being the owner of several accounts that were used in the scheme. He was also a computer programmer who worked with UltimateBet and Russ Hamilton. He recently participated in two interviews with the DonkDown Radio show and has been releasing bits of evidence to host Bryan Micon. To read more on Makar and familiarize yourself with developments up to this point, check out our summary.
The most recent development came in the form of an e-mail containing an attachment of the “God Mode program,” which is the program that allowed the alleged cheaters to see their opponents' hole cards. The e-mail, dated Thursday, September 8, 2005, was posted by Micon on DonkDown and includes instructions on how to install the program. It also includes three names, which Makar blacked out and declined to identify; however, Micon did reveal that none of the names mentioned were Hamilton, the man who has been long suspected of masterminding the superuser scandal. Shown below is a copy of what the e-mail read, but keep in mind that the three names were blacked out and replaced with “superuser 1,” “superuser 2,” and “Programmer” designations.
So what does this e-mail tell us about the superuser scandal? First, it is evidence that more people used "God Mode" than just Hamilton. Second, it appears that anyone with an UltimateBet account could use the program, provided they downloaded the registry file. Both these facts support Makar’s previous allegations that there were many more people involved than just Hamilton, and, of course, raises the questions about who had access to this program and whose names were blacked out in the e-mail.
While the general public may have no idea, Haley Hintze, who has long worked on investigating the superuser scandal, has a few. In response to the most recent e-mail, Hintze took to her blog and said she believes the two blacked-out names, referred to as “superuser 1” and “superuser 2,” are, in actuality, UltimateBet founder Greg Pierson and 1990 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Mansour Matloubi. Hintze is essentially the foremost expert on the superuser scandal and offers compelling arguments, supported with sound logic and circumstantial evidence, that both Pierson and Matloubi were involved. Obviously, those arguments are laid out in her blog and can be read there.
In regard to the e-mail, Todd Witteles, co-host of the DonkDown Radio show, offered his opinion in a forum post: “I also think it's very interesting that this seems to just be a registry entry, rather than a third-party program that ran in the background on the UB server, as previously claimed by UB. This leads me to believe that a large number of people could have had access to the superuser mode, which might be the reason UB is so intent upon pinning the cheating on one person (Russ). If it got out that a large number of people were cheating, they would owe so many refunds that the company would go under.”
While new information is slowly trickling in, many people are urging Makar to release all his evidence, and they wonder why he hasn’t already done so. Makar insists that he has not released his information for fear of legal repercussions and does not want to implicate himself. While Makar’s association with the superuser scandal is far from innocent, many people seem willing to forgive him for his indiscretions in return for the information. Witteles captured what seems to be the general consensus among those in the poker forums:
“The speculation is that Travis wasn't as innocent as he portrayed, and a complete release of all the info could put him in legal jeopardy. To be honest, unless he was the mastermind or a major player in the scandal, I don't give a shit if he has some guilt in the situation. I just want to see all of the information out there, and for the entire truth to finally be clear. UB has been hiding behind a lot of bullshit for a long time, and it's clear that people were under-refunded, while many of the criminals skated away free without even damage to their reputation. I think the poker community is willing to forgive an accomplice if he's willing to come forward and shed light on what really happened. That's why the response to Travis has been positive, for the most part.”
So, to recap, the information released by Makar thus far essentially states:
- Various accounts were used to cheat in different capacities.
- There was a cover-up, involving extortion and hush-money, and it was intentional and massive.
- More people were involved than just Russ Hamilton.
- Money refunded was nowhere near the amount stolen.
- Anyone could download UltimateBet and use “God Mode” provided they imported the registry file.
Whether or not Makar chooses to come forward with all he knows remains to be seen, but rest assured that if and when any new information comes to light, PokerNews will be sure to keep you updated.