GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon has called for live poker stops to blacklist online poker’s worst cheaters, the plan being to cause “higher-stakes repercussions” for those who flout the rules of the game.
Jason Koon wants online poker cheats to be Blacklisted
There need to be higher-stakes repercussions for people who are continually caught cheating at online poker; It is in the best interest of the entire poker community. In my opinion, the major live-tournament stops should share a blacklist of online poker’s worst cheaters.
— Jason Koon (@JasonKoon) March 5, 2022
Quite who or what had pushed Koon to take to Twitter wasn’t clear, but there have been several high-profile, highstakes players over the years who have cheated.
Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo was banned for multi-accounting on partypoker a decade and a half ago, while Daniel “Jungleman” Cates was publicly outed by Dan Bilzerian for ghosting on a private poker app in 2020.
Last year, at the height of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese pro Zhuang Ruan was outed for using RTA (Real-Time Assistance) on several US-facing sites. German pro Fedor “GlitchSystem” Kruse was also outed for using RTA to cheat.
Koon’s plan to slap a healthy ban on cheats across multiple sites and operators received a huge response from poker Twitter fans and fellow highrollers.
Rob Yong, the Dusk Till Dawn casino boss and partypoker partner, wasn’t averse to the idea…
100% agree – just need to get all parties to co-ordinate
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) March 5, 2022
That, however, could be the main stumbling block, as data protection laws differ around the globe, and passing details of, say, cheater “JoeBloggs#1” who was banned from PokerStars, to Triton Poker, would likely be illegal.
As one Twitter user, @titaniumbean, posted, “Data protection laws. Intellectual property issues. Unequal inputs/skill levels. All would combine to get in the way of anything like this.”
Yong responded with: “This was main problem I ran up against – GDPR, data protection laws.”
As the conversation took hold and Koon’s idea got a wider airing, Matt Berkey had this to say: “We, as a community, only circulate the info internally among others in the arena. Sadly, so long as the public is left in the dark I don’t really see a world where online casinos share the info, publicly or in a coordinated effort with live casinos/tours.”
Among the problems, of course, is that banning a player who is said to have cheated on one site would hurt the bottom line of the other operators, having had no input from themselves on the “cheating”.
Doug Polk, who recently bought a share of the Lodge Poker Club in Austin, Texas, along with Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme, chimed in with some serious questions about how such a plan might work…
In theory I like it, in practice how does it work?
If the Lodge got a list of names from PokerStars of banned players, we should automatically ban those players? Feel like we would need to evaluate each case, and now we need staff to review online poker bans
Is that realistic?
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) March 6, 2022
With no clear consensus on how operators should go about implementing a “shared banhammer”, it is likely that the poker community will have to do its best to simply avoid the cheats, scammers and ne’er-do-wells and be happy when they are caught and/or outed.
Last year, French online poker company Winamax, had to ban one of its own pros. WSOP bracelet winner Ivan “ValueMergez” Deyra was found to have multi-accounted his way to victory.
Suspicions arose after the Winamax Series €2,000 Super High Roller had finished, with the tournament top prize of €83,300 (about $101,000) going to an account belonging to Deyra’s own father.
Deyra, who lost his Winamax Team Pro contract because of his cheating, revealed that he was trying to avoid player notes being used against him. He described his punishment as “heavy, very heavy”, but admitted it was “logical and understandable.”
The list and stories of known and suspected cheats in the poker world would fill an entire book, or perhaps a trilogy. Do let us know what you think of Koon’s idea on our social media channels.
At the moment the best we can do is to keep you as informed as possible about those trying to (“illegally”!) separate you from your money.
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