Poker News Daily has continued its reportage on the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker hole card cheating scandal with fresh allegations that embrace accusations of extortion and intimidation. The multi-million dollar cheating debacle re-surfaced last week when an individual claiming to have a wealth of evidence on the cheating scam, Travis Makar, was interviewed on the DonkDown poker radio show.
This was followed by Makar meeting with show presenters to produce proof of his evidence, garnered years ago whilst he was involved in the computer repair business.
The evidence started another round of recriminations, pulling up the name of one Zoltan "Brainwashdodo" Rozsa, apparently an opportunistic former Support Centre worker at AP who has sought to extort money from the CEO of the internet poker sites, Paul Leggett.
Rozsa had also collected evidence on the cheating, presumably whilst he was working for the company, and he apparently sought to turn this material to his financial advantage.
In a detailed report on the attempted extortion at http://www.pokernewsdaily.com/ub-com-coo-paul-leggett-responds-to-allege..., PND refers to emails produced by Makar implying that Leggett discussed and considered a pay-off but in the end reported the matter to the Costa Rica equivalent of the FBI. What happened in that investigation is not clear.
Leggett reacted by blogging at http://blog.ub.com/2011/02/temp-title/:
"Firstly, I want to make sure everyone knows that I never made an offer to pay-off Brainwashdodo and I never did pay or instruct any payment to be made to Brainwashdodo. It is true that he tried to blackmail our company by threatening to release a bunch of confidential company information including financial records and player data. However, after unsuccessfully trying to pursue him with the help of local law enforcement, I simply told him that I was unwilling to pay anything to him.
"There is no doubt that Brainwashdodo did try to extort me. I did arrange to meet him because I did not want him to post our company's data and I wanted him arrested for trying to blackmail the company. I do remember considering paying him to not release a bunch of information but after a great deal of thought, I decided it was best not to take part in the extortion and we never paid him a dime.
"I saw the email copy posted online, and while I obviously do not remember every email I've sent over the past three years, I can believe that it was written by me. Another blogger has already posted that they have evidence stating that I turned down Dodo and that he got money from somewhere else:
On February 24, Leggatt blogged:
"Today I wanted to comment on the recent interview with Travis Makar and subsequent discussions.
"After I turned Dodo down, I believe he then finally realized that I didn't have any connection to the people he was really trying to extort and I never heard from him again.
"I would like to make it clear that our company is truly different from Excapsa and the other companies involved in the operating of UltimateBet before 2007. I have never met or spoken with Russ Hamilton or Travis Makar or any of these people. We also worked tirelessly to get the money together (including $15 million from a settlement with Excapsa) to refund players and we have worked hard to financially punish those who we felt were responsible in anyway for players being cheated.
"I also want to make it clear that we have always hoped that someone like Travis Makar would come forward one day and release information regarding whom else, in addition to Russ, was involved in the cheating. We very much want this to happen.
"Regarding the claim that HH's were tampered with, we have no evidence that points to this. All of the HH's we were able to obtain in the public domain always matched the UltimateBet database exactly. However, we do believe that prior to us taking over UltimateBet that software source code records were deleted as well as other evidence.
"We encourage Travis or anyone to make any data they have or opinions public. Up until this point, we've had to rely almost completely on data and we strongly encourage anyone who has any information about HH's, guilty parties in the UltimateBet scandal, or anything related, to please post all of your information for the masses to read."
Leggett's reference to the Haley Hintze blog underlines once again the thoroughness with which this former Poker News editor continues to investigate the hole card debacle. Hintze probably knows more about the scandal than most, having devoted herself to digging up all sorts of interesting information from a wide assemblage of sources.
She continues to investigate the now years-old affair, blogging regularly on new discoveries that throw light on what was and is still online poker's biggest and most shockingly criminal scam.
At http://haleyspokerblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/just-conjecturin-volume-27-u..., Hintze writes about her latest conclusions and the Rozsa-Leggett tit-for-tat.
She claims that Russ Hamilton, a central and much reviled figure in the scandal, did pay a substantial sum of money to the Hungarian blackmailer...who ceased posting about his evidence on the twoplustwo forum, but then came back for another bite.
And in another astonishing revelation, the blogger reports that Leggett at one point back in 2008 decided to try to intimidate Rozsa by hiring some 'thugs to sit in a parked car outside Rozsa's apartment'. Apparently this report has been confirmed by Makar - although not absolute proof, an indication that others knew about the incident.
Hintze whets the appetite of spectators following this historic scandal, which seems destined to remain a live issue for some time yet, by concluding her current update:
"Anyhow, knowing that the information I have is indeed legit and that the information brainwashdodo holds is also possessed by others, it's time to swing the hammer again and knock down another wall. Let's see where the rats scurry this time."
Source: InfoPowa News