In the last day, a three-hour videopopped up online that allegedly features Russ Hamilton(pictured) and UB reps including former legal counsel Dan Friedberg discussing the ongoing security issues at Ultimate Bet. A 10-minute highlight reelwas subsequently posted on YouTube that featured Hamilton allegedly saying in part, “The tools were regularly set for a 15-minute delay… Annie Duke used it on a 15-minute delay quite a few times.” Players were cheated out of millions of dollars, and Hamilton was named the primary man responsible for the misgivings.
In terms of what to do about the money potentially owed to players, the video narrated, “First of all, have the company pay it right off the top… Norton’s business… The new enterprise… They’re not morally responsible. However, they did buy this business. They bought it; you always take a risk when you buy businesses. Plus, they made money on the combined business for a year. They can pay money right off the top.”
Hamilton explained during the course of the video, “I did take this money and I’m not trying to make it right … so let’s get that out of the way.” There are also plenty of references to Freddy Deeb, including staking money for Deeb furnished by Hamilton, who said in part, “Freddy Deeb got most of the money.”
The video is ripe with references to Duke(pictured), Phil Hellmuth, Jim KrazyKanuck Worth, and Deeb. When it came to spending money, Hamilton asserted, “I spent a lot of this money on things for people out there,” referring to UB’s marketing efforts. He added, “Jim Ryan knew it was there.” In terms of an overall strategy, a UB executive in the video argued, “Shift responsibility to Excapsa, which is my current thought; unfortunately, they’re the only people who have the money.”
In a discussion about hand histories, another voice in the recording tells Hamilton, “The only way to satisfy these geeks was to send them they’re entire hand histories… They have most of them already.” Hamilton countered, “You can’t do that. You cannot send hand histories… There’s not one hand that they have that show’s it’s bad. Not one… Like the AP thing, it was the most obvious thing in the world. They can go through every hand they have here… There’s not one hand.”
Twitter and Two Plus Two were ablaze with the news. Kevin kevmathMathers was among those Tweeting about it, writing that in a second recording from Hamilton, “Russ claims Mansour Matloubi was aware of the scandal. He threatened to go to DOJ and give info re: J. Ryan, G. Pearson (who played on site)… Russ takes a call from Blair Rodman around the 1:14 mark, Blair tells him to be careful. Russ says he has nothing to worry about.”
Haralabos Voulgaris was also Tweeting about the audio file, saying that Hamilton recorded it and then had it stolen. He added, “By the way, how dumb was this Russ Hamilton guy to make all the tape recordings where he outlines how he stole 20-30m from poker players?”
The tape left plenty of questions. One poster on Two Plus Two pointed out, “This tape is fascinating. Coldly admitting it and being unremorseful. Freddy Deeb being mentioned as ‘being on the list’ as being cheated out of $50k, but at the same time saying Russ dumped money to Freddy.” With regards to Duke, one poster questioned, “I guess this gave Annie access to all the opponents’ hole cards 15 minutes afterwards? Why wouldn’t she just use the normal god mode program? I guess even with this, you can basically suss out your opponent’s entire strategy.”
Players on Ultimate Bet and its sister site Absolute Poker have not yet been paid back following Black Friday, and the rooms’ parent company is reportedly in liquidation. Former COO Paul Leggett is now with Amaya, which owns and operates the Ongame Network. Leggett is pictured.
The video also makes reference to a company called Iovation, which is currently providing verification services for the legal Nevada online poker site Ultimate Poker. About 20 minutes into the alleged meeting, the following is said: “It’s not taking the ultra high road. It’s not saying we’re not going to do anything. It’s something in between, but the point is they’re interested in coming up with reasonable arguments to minimize it. That’s a big part of what Iovation is doing right now.”
Listen to the reported three-hour meeting. You can also visit this PocketFives thread to discuss.