The Persecution of Jack Bates, Part 2: Misattributions and Harangues

(Author’s note: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 of this series are available through these links.)

As we began to explore in the first part of this short series, the persecution of Jack Bates dates to two important missteps in the investigation of the cheating at UltimateBet.  The second one was the disgraceful insertion by California attorney Alan Engle of Bates as a possible “John Doe” defendant in the civil case Engle brought against UB owners Excapsa, while the first was a mistaken-identity mention of Bates by a Costa Rican customer-service worker who saw the whole UB cheating scandal as his opportunity for personal riches.

excapsaThere have been a couple of instances of blackmail buried within the years-long sordid affairs of the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker affairs, but the one which led to years of consternation for Bates was the appearance of a mysterious poster with the screen name of “brainwashdodo,” on the 2+2 forums.

Brainwashdodo, in real life an Absolute Poker customer-service worker named Zoltan Rozsa, thought he’d stumbled into a goldmine when he did some searching on records related to “Russ Hamilton” in the UB player records, which at the time had recent;y been joined with Absolute Poker’s as part of the process by which UB and AP became the Cereus Network.

What led Rozsa to pursue his blackmail scheme remains at least a partial mystery, though he is alleged to have had a falling out with AP management over being passed up for a raise and promotion.  It occurred even as all of AP reeled from its own exposed scandal, centered on CEO Scott Tom, which was covered up by the same management with which Rozsa likely had these other issues.

Several of the Costa Rican CS workers later turned out to be enterprising sorts, including some who later spirited out customer mailing lists associated with both UB and AP, selling them on the black market after AP’s 2011 collapse.  By then Rozsa and a second, unnamed worker were no longer part of AP, having been booted after the blackmail scheme’s fallout.

What happened was this: Rozsa and his friend uncovered numerous records showing Russ Hamilton’s irrefutable involvement in the UB cheating, including massive transfers into and out of the cheating accounts and player-registration records for many of the accounts that directly them to Hamilton and those around him.

After Rozsa’s private attempts at blackmail proved unsuccessfully, he took the matter public, outing Hamilton’s involvement on 2+2.

Rozsa posted the following regarding the question as to whether a programmer named Kevin Steele might have been involved in some of the early programming stuff then being discussed, in the same timeframe as Rozsa then disclosing his own cache of Hamilton info.  It was a throwaway line, not linked directly to the other stuff:

Views: 113,665
Posted By brainwashdodo
Re: UB Press Release! UB Admits to 20+ months of cheating.Continues to cover up the tNah, it was Jack.http://www.tiltedplacitan.net/jack_resume_current.html

“Absolute honesty and integrity are non-optional for this job. Insomnia helps too.”

The link pointed to Jack Bates’ programming resume, and Bates’ name could possibly have been thrown about at AP as one of UB’s early programmers.  It’s even possible, given the animosity between Bates and UB founder Greg Pierson that precipitated Bates’ departure and jump to Full Tilt, that the name “Jack Bates” was invoked as the name to blame whenever UB programmers and brass wanted to pass the buck.
In any event, Rozsa had the wrong “Jack”.  Bates had nothing to do with the management stuff at UB, and that Jack was instead Jack McClelland, of Binion’s Horseshoe and Bellagio fame, who like Russ and Annie Duke and Phil Helllmuth and Dewey Weum was one of the original poker-world investors in the UB site.  Rozsa served up the following correction ten days later, once he realized his mistake:

07-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #82


Re: Annie Duke a liar?

You not gonna like this. This will be not a well constructed, well planed post, just throwing stuff out on the run. First, sorry for the confusion with Jack Bates. The other jack is;


In other words, Rozsa admitted he’d named the wrong Jack; Bates was indeed part of the early programming stuff, but had nothing to do with the ownership and illicit cash transfers involving Hamilton and UB, which is what brought Rozsa to 2+2 in the first place.

The ongoing problem, however, had been created, and certain people continued to use the misidentification as a way to harangue Bates over the following five years, whether to blame him for the creation of the “God Mode” tool at UltimateBet (false), or to try to coerce him into sharing his story with others.

Some people react negatively to coercion, and Bates, an iconoclastic man who lives with his family in rural New Mexico, certainly qualifies on that count.  It’s absolutely mystifying as to why Engle would have included him in the 2012 lawsuit, grabbing Bates’ name out of all the dozens associated with UB, including (like Bates) handfuls of former workers who had nothing to do with the cheating.

The big question: Was Engle prompted to include Bates by someone else, or did he include Bates on his own initiative?  That’s a good question with which to start the next post in this series.



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