Ultimate Poker Drops iovation Over UB Allegations
Ultimate Poker announced on Saturday evening that it has severed ties with iovation, a Portland-based company used extensively by the gaming industry for fraud detection and player verification. The move comes in response to player concerns about the relationship between iovation’s CEO, Greg Pierson, and the now-defunct poker site UltimateBet, a site with no relation to Ultimate Poker.
An Ultimate Poker customer representative announced the change via forum post on poker forum 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,” the statement reads.
iovation was subcontracted by Ultimate Poker through CAMS LLC, a service provider with a Class 2 gaming license in Nevada. CAMS is authorized to provide support for, among other things, know your customer requirements, geo-location and device ID services, and fraud and risk management.
Ultimate Poker’s decision came after the public release over the weekend of bombshell secret recordings made by Russ Hamilton, a former WSOP Main Event champion and an early investor in UB, during the height of the UB cheating scandal. Hamilton’s recordings of two separate 2008 meetings with high-level UB executives, including UB founder and current iovation CEO Greg Pierson, implicate Pierson with direct knowledge of the cheating that went on at UB. Pierson can also be heard discussing the best ways to cover up the scandal with former UB in-house lawyers Daniel Friedberg and Sanford Millar.
Having successfully convinced Ultimate Poker to cut ties with Pierson, the poker community is now likely to focus its efforts on Amaya Gaming Group Inc., a Montreal-based online gaming solution provider that recently hired former UB COO Paul Leggett as its Head of Online Gaming. Although the new evidence provided by Makar does not directly implicate Leggett in the cover-up, it creates a strong presumption that Leggett had a much higher level of knowledge about events at the company than he previously suggested.
In 2010, Leggett wrote a blog post on UB’s website in which he said, in part, “Some people have a hard time believing that Russ was the only person involved in the cheating. The truth is that all of the data facts pointed to him.”
Subsequent investigation, including the release of this weekend’s tapes, suggest that at best Leggett’s statement is a half-truth. Given the vitriol that was unleashed when former UB spokesperson Joe Sebok – a man who almost certainly never had any facts regarding the depth of the corruption at UB – was hired by the World Poker Tour earlier this year, it’s likely that the community will attempt to use the recordings to pressure Amaya into firing Leggett.