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May 19, 2011

Absolute Poker: Not Good

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Written by: Chris Wilcox
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Absolute Poker Fighting to Survive

Scandal after scandal has rocked the boat of Absolute Poker, and the recent Black Friday incident made this popular online poker site all the more infamous. Right now, Absolute Poker is trying to cut a deal with the Department of Justice to gain the controls back of their online poker site, giving their players a glimmer of hope.

The Scandals

When Absolute Poker was launched in 2002, it became a huge success. Millions of dollars were poured in by the players who signed up with them, players coming from all over the globe. However, in 2007, its reputation suffered a massive blow when Russ Hamilton, who also happened to be one of their original investors and software developer, had the online poker site’s developers create what is known as a “super user” account. Hamilton explained that the “super user” account is going to be utilized to catch cheaters, especially since it can see and monitor the cards of all the players. At first it was used for that purpose, then greed struck. The “super user” account was then utilized to take advantage of the players and cheated them out of their money. All in all, it racked in over $22 million dollars.

It was a PR nightmare indeed when they were caught, and it is still a PR nightmare until now. Things just got worse when they were involved in the Black Friday incident. The United States Department of Justice accused them of fraud and money laundering as well as illegal gambling. Their .com domain was seized, and their account and funds were frozen, leaving players incapable of withdrawing their money.

The Deal

Absolute Poker struck a deal with the United States Department of Justice to survive.

In order for them to gain back the control of their .com domain and have their account and funds unfrozen, they will no longer accept any players coming from the United States who are going to play for real cash. By doing so, Absolute Poker can finally return the funds back to American players, and the players can finally withdraw their money.

Absolute Poker can still continue their operations abroad, but they can never accept cash deposits made by players coming from the United States.

The US DOJ is facing a multitude of criticism, too. Antigua is going to file a lawsuit against the big bully, stating that the country is violating the international trade agreements. Millions of people are watching how this saga will end.

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