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Online Casino News - October, 2009

Full Tilt Poker More Popular With Poker Bots Than Players


  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

October 6, 2009

Just when things were looking bright for the future of online gambling in the U.S., who else but Full Tilt Poker steps in to mess things up. Certainly not good for establishing credibility in the eyes of all those who are skeptical that online gambling is a viable industry, Full Tilt Poker is now involved in yet another lawsuit, essentially stemming from their own accusations that two poker pros frequenting the site were unfairly using poker bots to win cash pools.

The whole debacle started when Full Tilt Poker banned two professional players, Larry Kennedy and Greg Omotoy, from logging into the online poker room, asserting the two players were using programmed bots to oust other unsuspecting, or rather, unknowing players from their share of winnings. In total, the pair accumulated over $80,000 in winnings, which Full Tilt has now confiscated.

In response, Kennedy and Omotoy have filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker, claiming the website is participating in fraudulent activities of their own, as well as libel and slander. Seeking monetary damages (over $25,000), non-monetary and punitive damages, the plaintiffs have called out several recognizable names in the online poker community, all of whom have a share in the ownership of Full Tilt to one extent or another.

Most, if not all of the names mentioned in the lawsuit (apparently obtained by online poker site, Pokerati) are professional poker players themselves, and include Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Gus Hansen, Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel. The Plaintiffs specifically call out Ferguson, saying he took part in developing poker bot code so that Full Tilt could fill more tables and ultimately earn more rake from real players.

What are certainly very serious accusations, it would appear that Kennedy and Omotoy were in on a massive conspiracy, if indeed the accusations hold true. Perhaps a falling out amidst poker buddies has led to the current situation, and now the time is ripe for it all to come into light. A potential drawback is that brining all this baggage into light when lawmakers are looking regulate online gambling in the U.S., could give legislators good reason to believe that online gambling sites cannot be effectively regulated.

Those of us in the industry, however, know it's the other way around. Just look at the progress made in the UK.And maybe, just maybe, lawmakers will see all these scandals as just another reason why regulation is so urgent. As for Full Tilt Poker, you'd have to be pretty much out of you mind to gamble there after hearing this news. There are plenty of other online poker rooms in business today, and it is becoming very clear that something is tilted over there at Full Tilt Poker.



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