Ultimate Bet Poker Scandal Unveiled: A Complete Documentary
Poker is one of the most popular card games in history. Although played in casinos, it involves a crucial skill component that has led to the creation of many poker films, mainly telling famous players’ stories. An article with the full list of poker documentaries will also include several poker sites that have been involved in scandals.
Perhaps the most significant online poker scandal was the Absolute Poker / Ultimate Bet. Over a decade ago, a group of players started complaining about extremely successful players who seemed to know what to do even in the most challenging spots. Over time, both sites were forced to admit the presence of “superusers,” leading to a chain of events that ended with the final closure of the sites.
Ultimate Bet Scandal
The cheating scandal was first reported in 2007 on Ultimate Bet’s sister site — Absolute Poker. Players began to complain about the possible presence of super users (players with the ability to see all hole cards) after reviewing hand histories that proved unusual moves. It worth saying that UB and AP merged into the Cereus Network but only in July 2018. The site banned the account but said nothing more about the situation.
A few months later, the same problem was reported on Ultimate Bet; many players reported super users on forums. The site admitted the cheating: a group of players used a superuser account that informed them how to act. After an investigation, UB was fined over a million dollars by the Gambling Commission.
Famous players were involved in the cheating scandal. In particular, WSOP Main Event champion Russ Hamilton, who was found guilty of stealing over 20 million dollars after a compromising tape admitting to fraud, was released.
Ultimate Beat: The documentary
Scott “ElevenGrover” Bell released the poker documentary UltimateBeat – too much to lose in 2013. In the 94-minute piece, the director explains in detail the Ultimate Bet scandal and includes interviews with affected players and industry experts. The film was released after a KickStarter crowdfunding campaign.
The documentary reveals the truth based on the facts and states that although many people were involved, no one was investigated or prosecuted. It is the result of a five-year investigation, and it does a great job uncovering the facts, although many considered it a documentary for advanced players only due to the terms used.
Bell was appraised by the poker community for his research, and a new version of the documentary was released in 2014, including more footage and interviews, although it remains a film only for the poker-educated community.
Nowadays, you can watch the full documentary on YouTube, although when it premiered was only available on the Vimeo platform for a few dollars.
Years later, in 2017, the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section finally pronounced in favor of affected players reimbursing 33.5 million dollars seized on Black Friday, although the amount that was stolen was much higher.