GGPoker Addresses Duthweiler Account Confiscation, Site Security

High stakes pro Tobias Duthweiler had his six-figure GGPoker bankroll confiscated for being previously banned on the network.

A post on poker forum Two Plus Two earlier this week by German high stakes pro Tobias Duthweiler detailing a six-figure confiscation of funds by GGPoker has prompted an official response from the online poker site.

On August 10, Duthweiler, who is also known by his screen names ‘dudd1’ on PokerStars and ‘Ben ABC’ on GGPoker, took to the online poker forum to explain how he came to have a $180,000 balance confiscated by GGPoker.

The post sparked a conversation, not just in the Two Plus Two forums but also spilling into social media, where players have been weighing in for days about the situation. Not only whether the confiscation was just but including insinuations that GGPoker banned Duthweiler simply for being a winning poker player.

On Friday afternoon, GGPoker released an extended timeline of Duthweiler’s GGPoker Network activities as well as a statement on the matter.

“We acknowledge that this case became complicated as the player signed up on multiple skins, where the GGNetwork security team does not have access to personal information including email addresses. Therefore, our security detection was limited to IPs and Mac Addresses when it comes to detecting trespassers. We will enhance our system so that we can request email addresses and personal information from our Licensee Operators,” the statement read.

“We have already shown our goodwill with a gesture to the player by returning the funds he has received from his friends. All of his winnings have been re-distributed to the affected players,” the statement continued. “We would like to apologize for the concerns that were brought up by this incident and will make sure that our security measures are more tight.”

In the original post, Duthweiler detailed a history of playing on the network since 2016, when he first made a deposit on Natural8 (a skin of GGPoker) and claimed his account was originally shut down without any communication from the site beforehand.

“After the first few sessions, with no warning, Natural8 told me to take my money and not play on their network anymore. These days GGPoker always gives a warning to players before banning them. They said that if I came back to play there, they would proceed with their ‘security protocol’, whatever that meant,” the post reads.

Duthweiler goes on to admit that years later he created a new user name on Bestpoker and eventually moved over to Betkings, both GGPoker skins. Eventually, he was forced to move onto a “real GGPoker account”, all the while he says he was using his real name and information.

“I was never trying to hide my identity nor was I trying to get any advantage from changing nicknames,” he wrote.

According to their timeline, GGPoker claims that Duthweiler was warned and then banned back in 2016 for “bumhunting and predatory behavior.” Additionally, the timeline also includes Duthweiler’s GGPoker deposit history which shows his balance was funded primarily through deposits from his affiliate and a person-to-person transfer, without his personal information having yet been verified.

Duthweiler wrote that he had no problem for the better part of a year and a half. He was able to deposit a large sum on the site, on which he says he was losing big and paying “thousands of dollars worth of rake” the entire time. Then, at the end of May 2020, Duthweiler went on a week-and-a-half upswing in which he turned $30K into $180K.

That was right around the time when GGPoker forced their high stakes players to switch from screen names to real names. It’s also when Duthweiler suddenly had a problem.

“So I was doing the verification yet again (recall that they already have all of my data: ID, phone bill, etc.) when my account suddenly got locked. I had no idea what was going on until a few days later when I got an email telling me that my funds had been confiscated because I wasn’t allowed to play on GGPoker in the first place.”

After talking with GGPoker security, the online site decided to return Duthweiler’s initial deposit ($49,547) however the German pro felt like the seizure was unjust.

“It would be much different if they told me in 2019, after a day, or maybe a few days, that I wasn’t allowed to play and that they’d have to return my deposit. But letting me play for such an extended time as 1.5 years, while losing, and then not paying me when I’m winning fairly, makes me wonder about two things:

– Either GG-Poker really didn’t realize I was banned for this entire period of time, and thus their security-system is the worst on the market; or
– I just got free-rolled for 1.5 years, good to them for only as long as I kept putting money into this highly questionable system.

Please feel free to decide which one you think is more likely.”

In their statement, GGPoker denies engaging in the banning of players based on their status as a winning player.

“GGPoker has not and does not ban players for winning. We have only banned players who have violated our Terms of Service agreement by cheating, bumhunting, colluding, or acting in a way we deem to be predatory. GGPoker maintains a healthy poker ecosystem and works to provide a safe and fair playing environment for all players.”