Ultimate Poker Cut Ties with UltimateBet Dropping Iovation and CAMS

Posted By: Date: 05/14/2013 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

In a historic move, Ultimate Poker became the very first legal US online poker room to launch on American soil just two weeks ago. Already, Ultimate Poker, or “UP” as it’s being dubbed, has made a drastic change to its backend by dumping CAMS as its security provider. This news comes as a relief to informed poker players as CAMS was discovered to be a subcontracting Iovation, a security platform that was directly associated with the super-user cheating scandal of UltimateBet in 2007. 

The announcement came on Saturday, May 11, from an Ultimate Poker representative, who posted the site’s decision to drop Iovation on the popular 2+2 poker forums after the community voiced dire concerns over Iovations ties to the defunct UB poker room. For those who don’t remember, the owner of UltimateBet was caught by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission using Iovation’s backend ‘God Mode’ feature to view the cards of players on the site, effectively cheating them out of millions of dollars.

Just recently, a former employee of Russ Hamilton, the owner of the condemned UB poker room, released taped recordings of a meeting held back in 2008 where Hamilton discussed the situation with board members. On the recording, he admitted to multiple cheating allegations and talked the group into hiding the fact that they were involved in it from players on the site, as well as from record-holding 13-time WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth, the site’s top dog in terms of sponsored players.

Somehow, CAMS received approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to supply security services for the state’s regulated online poker networks. Now that it has been revealed that Iovation was subcontracted by CAMS to provide player verification services to Ultimate Poker, the state is investigating the situation and the company’s license.

Making matters more vital for Ultimate Poker, the owner of Iovation is listed as none other than the founder of UltimateBet, Greg Pierson. Pierson was implicated in the UB cheating scheme that took place from 2003 to 2007, where an estimated $20 million was stolen from players using the God Mode function developed by Iovation. It was initially believed that Russ Hamilton was the sole culprit of the cheating scandal, but thanks to Travis Makar, former computer expert for Hamilton, the recordings finally made their way to the surface. It is now known that Hamilton and Pierson, along with two attorneys, Daniel Friedberg and Sanford Millar – all present at the recorded meeting – were well aware of what was happening, and fully committed to covering it up.

Ultimate Poker is making every effort to ensure its name does not become associated with the disgraced UltimateBet site of old. In reality, the name is derivative of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC); a mere coincidence that it is so closely akin to the former scandalized poker room, UltimateBet. To help reassure its members, a UP site rep, under the moniker Dax@UltimatePoker, posted the following statement on twoplustwo:

“As of late Thursday night, May 9th, Ultimate Poker discontinued the use of all services from Iovation. We understand that there were concerns among some of our customers, we hope this makes our players feel more comfortable.”

UltimatePoker went live on April 30, 2013, dealing its first online poker hand at 9am to officially establish itself as the very first online poker site regulated in the USA. It is currently open only to residents of Nevada. The online poker site is owned and operated by Ultimate Gaming, a subsidiary of Station Casinos LLC; the distinguished proprietor of more than a dozen Station Casinos in an around Las Vegas.

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