Gambling Controversies

Gambling Controversies

The world of gambling is full of surprises and comes with its fair share of ups and downs. Sudden wins can make one a millionaire and losses can leave one penniless. The stakes are always high and so is the temptation to cheat! Naturally it is always surrounded by controversies. Let’s take a look at controversies which have taken the world of gambling by storm.

Absolute Poker

Tokwire Enterprise ENRG decided to invest in Poker industry and hired programmers to develop advance Poker software which in the process created a super-user account. The Super-user account could not play the games but could see the hole cards, open/close tables. It was a measure to reveal errors in the software but was ultimately used to trick users of millions of dollars’ worth of cash

Potripper, Steamroller, Doubledrag & Graycat were the four accounts which were used carry through this con. These players were losing a lot of money in the summer of 2006 and eventually left the site. However a year later they came back on the site beating all the pros and winning consistently.

The four accounts were used as a camouflage. The password and personal information was replaced so that the original users could not access their accounts. The four accounts played short sessions at different time and always won. The Super- user logged in from a different computer at the same time gaining access to information and loop holes. Both the accounts were tracked to the same IP address. Several other real accounts were created to chip dunk the winnings from these fake accounts.


Ultimate Bet Super-User Scandal

One of the most talked about controversies in the world of online gambling Ultimate Bet Super-User Scandal involved Russ Hamilton and the CEO of Ultimate Bet Greg Pierson and Jon Karl.

It is said that when Greg Pierson and Jon Karl started their own online Poker website Ultimate Bet Russ Hamilton invested money in the website. Soon after the website started Russ felt there was a need to create a tool which could catch cheats on the website.

Greg Pierson being the software developer for the website created a tool which when used by Super- User would be able to see through all the loop-holes. Though made under the pretence of catching cheats this tool was later used to shark friends, associates, and customers out of millions of dollars.

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Billy Walters

The previously poor 69 years old Poker player Billy Walters is a staggering example of rags to riches. This Las Vegas professional gambler and businessman who previously used to work as a car salesman in Kentucky is now the owner of various car dealerships, high-end golf courses, a private jet and plush housing estates in Palm Desert and Cabo San Lucas. It becomes quiet apparent that his success does not come with a fair share of controversy. For four decades Billy has won million dollars in gambling and has been the source of investigation of various state and federal agencies. All his operations are under the scanner.

Another controversy that surrounds Billy talks of how in the year 1986 he had hired trackers to document spins on different wheels in Atlantic City. The data collected pointed to a wheel at Golden Nugget which was biased to the numbers 7, 10, 20, 27and 36. It is said that Billy flew down to the casino and won $3.8 million in a span of two days till the casino was shut down.


Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is a ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner. Along with his help Cheung Yin Sun who is famously known as ‘sorting Queen’ and is banned from many casinos went on a massive winning streak and won a total of $20 million from two casinos in a 6 month span from April to October 2012. Phil allegedly deceived in baccarat by using a method known as edge-sorting which gave him an unfair advantage

Ivey played for huge sums, $50,000 and $150,000 a hand and requested a special deck of purple cards- Gemco which allegedly helped him identify the cards from defect in the pattern on the back. Ivey reportedly won $12.1 million at swanky Crockfords in London, but Britain’s oldest casino refused to pay the winning which has resulted in Ivey suing them. Crockfords won the lawsuit but Ivey was thought to be innocent by the Court.  Ivey won $10 million at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Borgata refused to pay and is suing Ivey, Sun and Gemco.


Philip Hellmuth

Philip Hellmuth is an American born Poker player who has won 14 bracelets at WSOP and is a member of the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame. Phil has a Poker brat personality, is involved with regular spats with fellow players and is always surrounded by controversies.

On December 20, 2008 Hellmuth was playing $200/$400 heads up limit hold em on Cereus Poker the conglomerate of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. He was the face of Cereus Poker at the time and in close association with Russ Hamilton. A software glitch occurred and the $5599 pot was awarded to Hellmuth, even though he held the worst hand. He was immediately informed of the error by the fellow player. He commented that such error always occurred which was in contradiction of the official statement provided by Ultimate Bet that no such error occurred previously. Phil’s lack of empathy and response shocked everyone involved and pointed towards the previous Ultimate Bet scandal.


Who can truly determine whether they have actually happened or are mere allegations? As long as gambling exists allegations and controversies will always follow!



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