Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Plagiarism Shuffle: PokerUpdate's SLAPP C&D at PokerAddict

Author's note: I've moved this from its original posting location at FlushDraw.  Neither Ian or Paudie had anything to do with the publication of the piece there; it was mine and mine alone.  I've subsequently learned of additional legal threats, so I'm willfully moving this piece here, where it will stay up approximately until hell freezes over.  If Jamie and PokerUpdate want to sue me, well here I am. -- hh

One of those interesting stories about the inner workings of the poker world burst into public view for a brief time last week, involving a C&D (cease-and-desist) letter sent out on behalf of a site called PokerUpdate, which is connected also to PokerTube and an affiliate site called PokerVIP.

The notice was sent to writer John "PokerAddict" Mehaffey in response to a story and follow-up that Mehaffey published at  (Disclosure: Mehaffey's work also occasionally appears here at FlushDraw, though his work is featured predominantly at 4Flush and a couple of other sites.  This piece is an op-ed by me, without any input from Mehaffey or direct involvement in the situation.)

The original piece by Mehaffey (since deleted), complained about plagiaristic practices being employed by PokerUpdate in the production of content for their site.  PokerUpdate isn't much of a news site, and plagiarism complaints about it have been long-term and widespread.  Mehaffey is one of numerous legitimate writers whose work has been pilfered by PokerUpdate; they've swiped my stuff as well in the past.

Anyhow, Mehaffey recently discovered several pieces on PU -- oddly fitting, that acronym -- that were in essence cheap copy-and-pastes of several of Mehaffey's own pieces written for other sites.  Mehaffey had finally had enough, and wrote a piece called "PokerUpdate Wins Most Creative Copy Paster Award," at which he took a healthy swipe at PU's practice of swiping phrases, sentences and whole paragraphs from other people's work, and presenting them anew as PU content.

PU, and its boss, Jamie Nevin, didn't care too much for Mehaffey's journalistic insolence, and had a lawyer-in-a-box send off a cease-and-desist notice to Mehaffey on behalf of PU's corporate parent, both in regard to the Mehaffey protest against the plagiarism and against other pieces by Mehaffey against another squirrely enterprise of Nevin's, in which PokerVIP was actively linked to the surreptitious recruitment of American online poker players to play on international (non-US-facing) sites via VPN.

We also covered that story here at FlushDraw, though the actual news of how Nevin's PokerVIP site (specifically iPokerVIP as it related to the iPoker Network situation) was cracked down upon by the iPoker Network came first from other sites, when iPoker discovered the illicit American player ring participating on its network,

The smoke on that mess circled for quite a while before flaring into open flames.  The PokerVIP / VPN / Muchos Poker / Poker in Venice situation was discussed in a couple of private industry-only forums before any site reported on it, and eventually pokerfuse published a significant expose linking the iPoker crackdown to PokerVIP.

It appears that Nevin's SLAPP-based cease-and-desist against Mehaffey has regrettably worked to some extent, since either Mehaffey or 4Flush owner TJ has pulled down the story.  Oddly enough, the link now goes to an old an unrelated piece of mine over at 4Flush.

In addition, Mehaffey seems to have taken down other pieces of his that have portrayed Nevin and his business operations in a negative light, such as this one at Mehaffey's own site from last October, a piece called "PokerVIP and PokerUpdate Publish Unethical Article About PAS".  "PAS," or Poker Affiliate Solutions, is a competing affiliate operation to PokerVIP, and Mehaffey's piece detailed mudslinging tactics by PokerVIP in forum postings.

I've got the piece archived, even if it's no longer available; to me it's disappointing that Mehaffey pulled it down, but in the context of the larger situation over at 2+2, where Mehaffey serves as an unpaid moderator and PokerVIP buys advertising at that site, it's marginally understandable.

I'll just note for the record that I've had others take down things that I've written -- and heck, that's even a possibility here -- but that's always occurred over my protests.  (Note: In this case, I've voluntarily moved it; Ian and Paudie didn't ask me to.) I'll even happily send Jamie Nevin and/or his hired cartoony my address if he wants to send me a C&D; I could use the laughs.  And I will publish it if they send me anything.  Absolutely guaranteed.

Mehaffey chose not to publish the C&D in its entirety, for seemingly odd reasons.  In attempting to help close out the situation, Mehaffey even quoted some lawyer's press release claiming that a C&D itself might be protected by copyright.  That hilarious notion, published in a press release here, was quickly debunked by all sorts of legal experts.

What happened in the legal case this Dozier lawyer cited was a special circumstance where a copyright was filed in an underhanded attempt to unmask an anonymous critic, and the actual legality of the supposed C&D copyright or the opposing "fair use" doctrine was never even tested in court.  There's a lesson in that: Don't take a legal firm's press release at face value.

Which brings us back to Nevin and PokerUpdate.  The allegations as originally published by Mehaffey included the copy-and-pasting of paragraphs and sentences from several of his pieces into content at PU, without approval or proper attribution.  Those pieces have since been altered after the original author's name was removed; meanwhile, Mason Malmuth locked the thread at 2+2, censoring future commentary or not; as the owner he can do that.

However, what Mehaffey might not have known was that others were already on to the unethical journalistic practices at PokerUpdate.  I was working on my own expose of Ben Mezrich's horrid false story of the Absolute Poker situation, "Straight Flush," and as a part of my research I read all the early reviews of the book that were available.  And lo, and behold, a content rip-off by PU.

Here's the link to the NY Daily News review, and here's the link (target to which is likely to be deleted right soon!) to the PU rip-off, credited to writer "Firat Dural".  Just for the sheer joy of it, let's share some examples:

From the NYDN piece:
They were a band of frat brothers, just days away from reaping a billion dollars from their wild online poker enterprise. Then it all came crashing down. And their lives turned into a melee.

The story of the six is the subject of the new book, “Straight Flush,” and it’s by one of the coolest authors around, Ben Mezrich. His specialty is telling tales of reckless young men who make — or lose — a fortune by seizing a rogue opportunity that no one else has seen.
From PU:
In his latest book ´Straight Flush´, Ben Mezrich, one of the coolest authors around, wrote about the story of the six frat brothers who founded Absolute Poker in their basement. It is the story of a band of frat brothers who came very close to reaping a billion dollars from their wild online poker enterprise however it all came crashing down and their lives took a very dramatic turn.

Like Mark Zuckerberg. The movies “The Social Network” and “21” were based on Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires” and “Bringing Down the House.”  Normally his subjects are Ivy League types who make some audacious, if not criminal, moves.

His last books “The Accidental Billionaires” and “Bringing Down the House” also focused on Ivy League types, namely like Marc Zuckerberg, who make some audacious, if not criminal, moves.

Some of them grew up hardscrabble poor and only just made it to the University of Montana in Missoula. That’s where they came together in a fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

“One of them sold a cow to buy his first car,” Mezrich says. “That’s where they came from.”

... Scott Tom, who describes himself as “100% trailer park,” started it all. He grew up dirt poor...
It weren´t [SIC] all Ivy League types in “Straight Flush” though, some of these kids came from a very poor background. Scott Tom, who started it all, describes himself as “100% trailer park”. “One of them sold a cow to buy his first car,” Mezrich says. “That’s where they came from.”

They all finally made their way to to the University of Montana in Missoula and came together in a fraternity called Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
And on, and on, and on, in this piece and in many others, and now Nevin and PokerUpdate have threatened another writer for calling them on these practices.  Shameful.

Well, there's more than one way to skin a dead, stinkin' cat.  I've sent an e-mail to the NYDN, as follows:

Here's a poker site that has thinly rewritten a Times review; hilarious plagiarism.



Since this site (and its owner Jamie Nevin), is now filing C&D's against sites that are pointing out its ongoing thefts of content, I say, "Sic' em."


Haley Hintze

This falls under the heading of "just desserts".  (Thanks to Phillip Martin's site for the image above, from his free-to-use clipart collection.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Just Conjecturin', Volume 51: The Fraudulent Mezrich Book, Straight Flush

People who haven't checked out yet Ben Mezrich's laughably fraudulent "true story" of Absolute Poker, Straight Flush, have probably missed the thorough bashing its getting within the poker world, along with a few other select outlets, such as the review page for the farce over at Amazon.  I'm among the many who've reviewed it to to date, and I'll reprint my review here -- and fix a couple of typos along the way.  I wrote the initial review in a bit of a rush while traveling, and it shows.

I'd probably have dismissed the whole Mezrich book as a silly farce a month ago, if it wasn't so fraudulent, so false.  Had the story been even close to being true, I'd have congratulated Mezrich on a decent effort and moved on.  Instead, Mezrich has foisted upon the world what appears to be an image-remaking advertorial, possibly even subsidized by the AP frat boys themselves, complete with an extensive litany of literary sins I've since explored in a ten-part series at

From falsifying timelines to denying post-UIGEA ownership to omitting key evidence, Straight Flush is a horror and a sham.  If ever a "true story" book was deserving of a class-action lawsuit for consumer fraud, this is it.  I expected a bad book; what shocked me was how terrible, how false, how lying it really was.  It's a situation that needs correcting, and that's why I continue to pursue the story, in the faint hope that a mainstream outlet might yet be willing to shine a cold spotlight onto Mezrich's fraud.  It's not a matter of being petty or vengeful; it's instead a heartfelt effort to set the record straight.

Anyhow, here's a slightly updated version of that Amazon review:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Ben Mezrich's new book, Straight Flush, is a gigantic literary fraud foisted upon the reading public by an author with a decade-long history of fudging the details. This represents his most extreme effort in that regard, a bald and phony retelling of the Absolute Poker story from, as Mezrich himself disclaims, the "point of view" of the U. of Montana fratboys who founded the company. With a single deft phrase, Mezrich thus shields himself from the 300 pages of garbage he then proceeds to spew.

The problem is, the actions of those same fratboys were criminal, even if only one of them (Brent Beckley) currently sits in prison, while the primary founder, Beckley's stepbrother Scott Tom, remains on the Caribbean island of Antigua rather than face the charges still pending against him. In Straight Flush, Mezrich willingly recounts the fratboys' paper-thin lies while glorifying a decade or more of juvenile, sexist debauchery, punctuated by "amazonian" fantasies and re-imagined dialogue so horrific it could've come from an R-rated version of "The Secret Lives of Dobie Gillis" where all the women don't actually have names.

Mezrich's rapid discarding of any facts that don't fit his whitewashing of the AP tale represent the most horrid example of literary amorality to be published in recent years. Among the blatant omissions: detailed and irrefutable evidence regarding the cheating activities of Scott Tom,  utter disregard of Absolute Poker's other law-bending activities including the offering of online blackjack and the manipulation of the US banking system, and the publication by major Norwegian financial-news outlet Dagens Naeringsliv of a 2011 expose connected to Absolute Poker's ownership-hiding escapades, which included the revelation that Innovative Data Solutions (the AP customer-service business raided in 2011 by Costa Rican authorities) was -owned- by Scott Tom.

The Dagens Naeringsliv piece, based on months of investigative work by a DN business team that even traveled to Toronto to secretly tape an Absolute Poker board meeting, first published the stunning revelation that Scott Tom never left the company after all (contrary to the lies willingly spread by Mezrich in Straight Flush). Norwegian authorities subsequently launched the largest ever tax-fraud case in the country's history against an Absolute Poker ownership group through which paper profits were funneled, but you won't read about that here.

If you want to read juvenile fiction, Straight Flush is acceptable, but the book has no right to wear any sort of non-fiction label. For a high-quality examination, no better nor more accurate review of Straight Flush exists than that penned by James McManus for the Wall Street Journal after the book's release; McManus, who wrote Positively Fifth Street, is an exceptional writer with knowledge of the poker world).

Straight Flush is gaudy in its fraud.  Among the largest sins served up by Mezrich is his willingness to slap the readers directly in the face with his lies, confident that his audience won't care as he laughs his way to the bank.

In his story of how AP's founders disregarded a Caribbean back upon seeing the word "Loyal" in its name, believing that any bank that had to proclaim itself as "loyal" probably wasn't, Mezrich forgets the title of his own book: Straight Flush: The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire -- and How It All Came Crashing Down.

A "loyal" bank might not be loyal, and this supposed "true story" isn't even close to being true.

Just Conjecturin', Volume 50: Updated Index of Entries

At long last, time for some housekeeping.  Things are gearing up again, and it's a good time to get the old stuff in order.  Therefore, for easy access, here's a list of all 49-plus "Just Conjecturin'" posts, dealing with the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker insider cheating scandals, that have been published here to date.

Just Conjecturin', Volume 1

Just Conjecturin', Volume 2: Sebok Signing (w/ Update)

Just Conjecturin', Volume 2.5: Oh, Those UB Hand Histories

Just Conjecturin', Volume 3: The 56% Solution

Just Conjecturin', Volume 4: Inside the Excapsa Ownership Bloc

Just Conjecturin', Volume 5: If a Forrest is Silent, Does That Mean There Aren't Any Trees?

Just Conjecturin', Volume 6: More on Excapsa: The Missing 2.6 Million Forfeited Shares

Three supplemental entries connected to Barry Greenstein's early UB hand histories from the UB cheating days; Barry was among those who played against the cheating accounts.  These aren't great, and it turned out the HH's were doctored beforehand, so it was a wild goosechase before the good stuff rolled in in later posts.

Barry's HH's Part 1
Barry's HH's Part 2
Barry's HH's Part 3

Just Conjecturin', Volume 7: (Help Me, KevMath, Help Me... with this Numbering Mess)

Just Conjecturin', Volume 8: Make That the 83% Solution

Just Conjecturin', Volume 9: The 'Shut Up and Settle, Dammit' Scene

Just Conjecturin', Volume 10: Defaults and Dividends, Chorus #2

Just Conjecturin', Volume 11: Meanwhile, Over at Absolute Poker, It Seems Scott Tom Really Did It

Just Conjecturin', Volume 12: The Absolute Scandal and the Day Occam Rolled Over in His Grave

Just Conjecturin', Volume 13: Absolute and the Snared Screen Names

Just Conjecturin', Volume 14: More Snared Images from Absolute

Just Conjecturin', Volume 15: The Graycat File

Just Conjecturin', Volume 16: The Curious Case of 'brainwashdodo'

Just Conjecturin', Volume 17: The Real Story of the UltimateBet Refunds

Just Conjecturin', Volume 18: Fakes a-Plenty Among the KGC 31

Just Conjecturin', Volume 19: The Real Problem with the UB Hand Histories

Just Conjecturin', Volume 20: The Carpenter Connection

Just Conjecturin', Volume 21: Graycat the Traveler

Just Conjecturin', Volume 22: It's the Plane, Boss, the Plane!

Just Conjecturin', Volume 23: So What Happened to the Plane?

Just Conjecturin', Volume 24: Tying Together Some Leads

Just Conjecturin', Volume 25: Flotsam, Jetsam and Other Errata

Just Conjecturin', Volume 26: Who or What is Riviera, Ltd.?

Just Conjecturin', Volume 27: Uncovering Brainwashdodo

Just Conjecturin', Volume 28: The Brainwashdodo Correspondence

Just Conjecturin', Volume 29: Inside the Makar Email

Just Conjecturin', Volume 30: Naming Names -- Greg Pierson

Just Conjecturin', Volume 31: Intermezzo

Just Conjecturin', Volume 32: Cereusly Funny Missing Videos

Just Conjecturin', Volume 33: Down Goes Frazier... err, Cereus

Just Conjecturin', Volume 34: Behind the IDS Closing -- Olman Rimola vs. Paul Leggett

Just Conjecturin', Volume 35: Norwegian Exposure

Just Conjecturin', Volume 36: More Norwegian Exposure

Just Conjecturin', Volume 37: The Clown Prince, err, Chairman of the Board

Just Conjecturin', Voulme 38: The Sad Case of the UB Data Leaks

Just Conjecturin', Volume 39: The Leaked 'Russ Hamilton' Records

Just Conjecturin', Volume 40: Three Records

Just Conjecturin', Volume 41: The Episode in which I Discover I'd Moved to Afghanistan

Just Conjecturin', Volume 42: The Troublesome, Off-Topic Record

Just Conjecturin', Volume 43: AP's Chairman Janusz Targeted by Norwegian Bankruptcy Attorneys; $250 Million Corporate Theft Alleged

Just Conjecturin', Volume 44: The Dirty Birds

Just Conjecturin', Volume 45: The Mezrich Book

Just Conjecturin', Volume 46: Ultimate Burger

Just Conjecturin', Volume 47: New Russ Hamilton Cheating Accounts Revealed

Just Conjecturin', Volume 48: Real Names Behind the New Hamilton / Makar UB Cheating Accounts

Just Conjecturin', Volume 49: The Names Behind Seven More Russ Hamilton UltimateBet Cheating Accounts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just Conjecturin', Vol. 49: The Names Behind Seven More Russ Hamilton UltimateBet Cheating Accounts

Picking up where we left off this morning, this post provides the actual account information attached to seven more accounts used in the UltimateBet cheating which were known to be used by Russ Hamilton in his long-running cheating scheme at that site.

This morning, I provided the real names as listed for four new cheating accounts, whose screen names had been listed within a photo dump by long-time Hamilton computer guy Travis Makar. Those four accounts -- BEER2GO, DIAM123, ILENDU and GOGRACY -- can be viewed here.

I also speculated that the links behind some of those names suggested that the way they were created was for Russ Hamilton to supply names and addresses of friends from his vast circle of acquaintances, and Makar created accounts in their names. Investigations elsewhere have shown that at least six of the AOL accounts in the Makar photo dumps, all housed at AOL, were registered either specifically to Makar's wife, Lauren, or to an unidentified person in the Las Vegas area (which could still be one of the Makars).

Since then I've received confirmation from a secret (but quite trustworthy) source, this afternoon on Skype, that this is exactly how these accounts were created.  Hamilton supplied the names and addresses and Makar used them to create UB accounts.

Now it's on to the next seven, which were identified in indirect means from other information in Makar's photos. Those seven accounts' screennames were released yesterday right here -- BRANSON, DANAS, STRAYCAT1980, TUNICADOG, VEGASRUN, WINDSORWIN and GREEKTOWN.

On to the details and related thoughts:


Dana Moser
P.O. Box 7092
Branson, MO
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

In the last batch, there was a different Dana, a Dotson that lived in another town on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks (Fredericktown). This Dana's husband in named Darrel, and the two are in their 50s. Think that's a coincidence? Then there's this one:


Robert Stacey
3166 S. Morrish
Swartz Creek, MI 48473
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

Does DANAS refer to two people named Dana, in some memory game of Hamilton's? Who knows? ... or cares, really. But this account goes back to someone in Hamilton's old Michigan stomping grounds. Mr. Stacey is in his early 60s.


Timothy Morgan
P.O. Box 2829
Oceana, WV 24870
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

I didn't really believe there was an Oceana, WV until I looked, and yes, it's real, as is this gentleman, who today is in his early 50s. Again, the general age equality between all these people and Hamilton cannot be overlooked.


Louretta Daniels
P.O. Box 515
Laurel, FL 34272
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

The ID behind this one had me puzzled for a short while, until I found this link: Louretta and her husband, George W. Daniels, are around age 60 and actually live in nearby Nokomis, FL. I'm gonna guess the Daniels met Russ at Tunica, just to take a shot at it.


Sharon Ward
PMB 122
1750 N. Buffalo, Suite 104
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Sharon Ward sold a home to Russ Hamilton in Las Vegas which also included transactions to Travis's mother, Rebecca Makar. Clearly and closely tied to Hamilton.


Rickey Stacey
20259 Foxboro
Riverview, MI 48192
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

Back to Hamilton's old Michigan stomping grounds for this one. Is likely related to Robert Stacey (DANAS, above), and who knows -- there may even be a connection to the "Ricky C Gracy" stuff in this morning's account batch. Mr. Stacey is in his mid 50s.


Jim McCann
2765 Nearing
Rochester Hills, MI 48309
Relationship to Hamilton: Unknown as yet

And yet another account with a purported Michigan address, linked to the UB cheating. McCann is an outlier by age among this presumed circle of Hamilton associates, being only 42 or so today.

. . . .

All of these people -- very real people, to be sure -- would have been included in the KGC's list of alleged Hamilton co-conspirators had these accounts been identified earlier. Whether they actually had anything to do with the cheating is another matter altogether. Nonetheless, the accounts existed, and thanks to Russ Hamilton, their names are now linked to online poker's largest-ever cheating scandal.

Again, anyone who can provide specifics as to the linkage between these people and Hamilton is welcome to contact me, and can either get a public shoutout or remain confidential, according to wish. At this point it's nothing more than completing the jigsaw and dropping in a few more random pieces, but the project goes on.

Just Conjecturin', Vol. 48: Real Names Behind the New Hamilton / Makar UB Cheating Accounts

As we mentioned last tine out, a release of data by Russ Hamilton's former computer guy, Travis Makar, has led to the confirmation of eleven new known accounts used by Hamiilton in the UltimateBet insider cheating scandal.

Those familiar with the scandal may remember than four years back, when the Kahnawake Gaming Commission issued its report publicly blaming Hamilton, they also released a list of 31 people who were allegedly involved to various degrees. As exposed here back then, that list was composed roughly 50/50 of outright fake names created for Hamilton's use, along with a number of people associated with either UltimateBet or Hamilton himself who had some connection with the outed accounts.

Those also included in the KGC lists included Makar, his wife Lauren and mother Becky, along with several friends of Hamilton's including Natalie Digioia, Ron Saccavino and Dennis Novinskey.

Photos released two days ago by Makar included the screennames of four more UB accounts likely used by Hamilton in the cheating, and yesterday I published an additional seven accounts that can be gleaned by cross-referencing the photos to UB data files I have.  Those eleven new cheating accounts:



Today comes the publishing of the primary account information for each of the eleven files.  A couple of them  are already linked to Hamilton, and the task for readers (should they join in the effort) is to provide more links to the other people listed and confirm what's known.  Hat tips here to all who come up with relevant info.

My working assumption is that when Hamilton set up his scheme, he scoured his extensive lists of friends and relatives for people who weren't likely to play poker, or as in the earlier cases of Saccavino and Novinskey, he just went ahead and used an account in their name.  Unlike a theory proposed by Druff over at the pokerfraudalert blogs, I don't think that most of these were used for cashing-out purposes, though it's possible.  I think it's more likely that these accounts were used to cheat at the tables by Russ, who then transferred the illicit winnings back to other Russ accounts.

It is also possible that some of the people listed here have connections to close Hamilton associates such as Fred David or Charles "Woody" Moore, the latter who is actually the person linking Makar to Hamilton over a decade ago.

From the top, then, the first of two posts looking at the latest 11, which all seem to link to real people.  Let's start with the four accounts directly listed by Makar in one of his photos.  While these accounts appear to actually have been in use by Hamilton, if the standards used in the official KGC report on the UB cheating were applied here, then all of these names would have been included as purported co-conspirators, which also says something about the shoddy job done by the KGC.  Maybe they were, maybe they weren't, but their names are on these accounts:


Dana Dotson
P.O. Box 656
Fredericktown, MO

Mrs. Dotson appears to be a 76-year-old grandmother living in Fredericktown, a nice little town on the northeast edge of the southern Missouri Ozarks.  (I've been there.)  This account's info brings up a couple of points about this latest batch of accounts, in which the recurring theme of names and addresses general involves several distinct locations -- Las Vegas, Michigan (where Hamilton formerly lived), Texas (where a lot of Hamilton's associates have lived), and the Missouri Ozarks.

Most of the names in the latest batch also seem to be white men in their 50's, which would tend to be the general descriptor for many of Russ's sportsbetting/golf/poker cronies.  Mrs. Dotson doesn't seem to fit that bill, though either of her two sons, Doug or Ron, might.


Alfonso Ceron
3585 S. Maryland Pkwy, Ste. G
Las Vegas, NV

Alfonso and his wife Brenda (alternate spellings of last name include "Cerrone" and "Cerone"), own and operate the off-off-Strip business Gold Rush Jewelry Design; this is the business address of the place.  The connection to Hamilton may well come from a previous business venture of Hamilton and Mansour Matloubi's, in which they were involved in Thailand in a business that manufactured faux diamonds.


Pete Anello
"Great Anello" in street-address field
Las Vegas, NV  89123

Anello is a Vegas-area real estate broker who likely has golf (and possibly sportsbetting) ties to Hamilton.  Needs some firming up with additional info, and he doesn't seem to be a regular poker player.


Mary Banks
1291 Bruce St.
Pahrump, NV  89048

This one might be a fake, the only one of this first batch for which that can be said.  "Mary Bruce" is the only one of these four I can't match up via the intertubes to that address, which of late belongs to a man named Reed Reynolds, who runs a smallish AAAA Handyman Svcs. business from that address.  I doubt Reynolds has any more to do with this than "Mary Banks".

More interesting, perhaps, is the "gogracy" name, along with a "rickycgracy" as the password for one of this account's associated entries. While there is another "Ricky" attached to the next batch of accounts, there are a couple of Rick C. Gracy folks on the web who fit the general profile of some of these friends of Hamilton's.  Does anyone know?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Just Conjecturin', Vol. 47: New Russ Hamilton Cheating Accounts Revealed

Welcome back, friends and neighbors, to the blog series that never ends. This time out, we'll toss out a few more accounts that have been linked to Russ Hamilton's cheating at UltimateBet.

The information released today is either included in or derived from a handful of photos that Hamilton's long-time computer guy, Travis Makar, has released to Bryan Micon over at Donkdown. You can find front-page links to the photos this piece references there, but as always, note that DD is a NSFW site, sometimes excessively so.

We're not going to talk about the whys of all this stuff today, merely build on what's there.  One photo shows an account linked to ex UB head Greg Pierson, screen-named "ubplayer".  I can verify after checking several sources that "ubplayer" is an account that was deleted from later UB files.

Makar released four other small groups of e-mail addresses and account names, seemingly in connection with the UB cheating.  A good share of my Saturday was spent researching these accounts.
One image shows the following series of aol user names: THENUTZFORME, IGAME4ME, RKYDH, POFANME, AHHROUNDER and LPWDRY.  These are not UB screen names, but the last one can be linked conclusively to the "LIVTHELIF" account purportedly registered to a "James Brunson," one of about a dozen and a half fake names already known to be used by Hamilton, as revealed earlier on this blog.  There is reason to believe that all six of these AOL names are related to other fake-named UB accounts that have already been discovered.
Not so with the other three images.  One of those three shows four new screen names not previously associated with the Russ Hamilton cheating.  Those four accounts:
Each can clearly be added to the list of known UB cheating accounts.  That leaves two images from the latest Makar batch, which together show the log-ins at various third-party e-mail sites for accounts under Hamilton's control.  All told those images show another 11 accounts.
After a day's worth of unexpected work and exhaustive cross-checking of other files in my possession, I am able to put screennames to seven of those 11 accounts, and they should also be added to the known "Russ Hamilton" cheating list.  These are the seven additional UB screen names which can now be tied to the cheating:
Each of these 11 new accounts, in turn, may also have used multiple screennames during their existence. 
Now here's the kicker.  Without getting into the specifics in great depth, it appears that each of these accounts is linked to a verifiable, real-life person, much like the Ron Saccavino / Dennis Novinskey / Natalie DiGioia accounts among those already outed, where these people allowed their names to be attached to accounts in probable exchange for other favors and compensation from Hamilton. 
My working theory (as yet unproven), is that Russ supplied the names and addresses from his real life
list of friends and acquaintances, and Travis set up the accounts for him.  I'll be releasing these as I confirm some of the links involved.
In any event, this expands the list of actual accounts now known to be involved by another 30 percent or so.  There will be others.