Poker Player Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for Online Poker Cheating

January 21, 2015

The online poker world should officially take notice of what’s going on with the situation relating to player Darren Woods. As they say, no bad deed goes unpunished, and Woods now finds himself facing some major trouble for essentially cheating in the online poker world. He was playing on two different sites, 888poker and the iPoker Network, and on both sides/networks he has been charged and found guilty of defrauding players on internet poker sites. It’s just as serious as it sounds, because he didn’t just get a “slap on the wrist” for it, but instead he will be seeing prison time.

Woods is from England, and lives in Healing, a town around halfway up the east coast of the country. His prison time was handed down recently, and on top of the 15 months that he’ll be serving at the Sheffield Crown Court, he’ll also be paying a cool £1 million in restitution within the next six months to keep himself from being hit with yet another sentence. If he doesn’t pay the fee? Well, he’s going to be looking at an additional six-year sentence. The cheating scheme apparently ran over a span of January 2007 to January 2012, and he would use his well-known status in the poker community to his advantage.

Back in 2011 is when things really started to hit the fan for Woods, as he was outed in September by another player on the Two Plus Two forum. The player “feruell” says that they were originally approached by Woods, who was sponsored and playing on 888, and was offered a rakeback deal. Woods, who mainly played in the high stakes, fixed-limit hold’em games, was pretty well-respected, and he even provided coaching videos for PokerListings.com as well. This is where the plot thickens, as the situation with feruell got a bit interesting.

During one of Wood’s training videos, feruell realized that it was actually his own username that was the opponent during the tutorial process. When looking into his game record online, Woods had apparently used a different screen name during that sessions, which was obviously a huge red flag. This meant that Woods had more than one account, which players are obviously not allowed to do. This was just the start of things, though, and feruell seemed to notice more and more things pop up as time went on, and the other high stakes players were realizing it as well.

A player who many knew as a “weak” player was at feruell’s table at one point, and after that table got cleaned out quickly, another came, and then another after that. The key was that these were obviously all the same person. The research was done over about a month and a half, and it was learned that Woods was in the game, with his original screen name DooshCom that every game one of these players was in. He was playing terrible according to the reports, but he was still winning a ton of money, and one of the new players was as well.

Then one of the new unknown players would consistently try to get feruell to play him heads-up at a short-handed table. He would agree, and then a few minutes after the action began, DooshCom would show up in the action. He would also never sit right next to the other player, but instead would keep a seat between the two of them. The idea was to get a player to sit between them and to set the other player up for a disaster.

As you could have guessed by now, Woods was the man behind all of the different accounts, and not surprisingly, was colluding with himself to take advantage of all of the other players He had multiple computers set up that would disguise locations from the online poker rooms. It made it look like the accounts were all just different players. In the end, it was a total of 13 counts of fraud that Woods was charged with, and he originally pled not guilty to them. After the trial began last October, he changed his plea to guilty on nine counts. He’s had a total of more than £900,000 in assets seized, and around a third of that is going to the players who were cheated out of their money.

It’s amazing to think about how far Woods has fallen, as this was once a man who won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet back in 2010 as an 888 sponsored pro.

PokerStars Million Dollar Spin and Win Jackpot Hit

January 15, 2015

Well, it’s safe to say that this has been a pretty eventful start to the year. After hearing about the fact that two New Jersey online poker sites would be sharing their player pools, Full Tilt Poker extending their Gold Rush promotion and PokerStars deciding to backtrack on their decision to change up the rake structure, this is some great news to read. One player on PokerStars has officially had a day that could very well change his life forever, and it’s all thanks to those fun Spin & Win Jackpot games that we’ve heard so much about to this point.
What happened, you ask? Well, there was so much talk about the $1 Million Spin & Go promotion on PokerStars, but the odds on a player actually hitting the one million dollar prize pool had to be absurd, right? Yes, they are. Fortunately for player “sss66666″, luck was on his side, as he ended up taking down a cool million dollars. This promotion was a part of the December Festival, but PokerStars decided to extend it throughout the month of January, since no one had hit the jackpot and won the big pay day. The promotion was pretty straight forward, as there wree special $5 Spin & Go tables that work just like all other Spin & Go events, except that the prize pool multipliers for the highest tiers would be increased.
As for the increases in potential prize pools, the second highest tier was going to seet he prize pool set at 1,200 times the size of the buy-in. The top tier is what everyone was talking about though, as this is where the money was really going to jump up quite a bit. The prize pool was 240,000 times the buy-in, and there was an extra 20 percent added to be split between the second and third place finishers. The winner of the highest possible level was, you guessed it, one million dollars. It’s a great day for online poker, because of the fact that a player literally just won a million dollars for one single game, which features just three players.
If you don’t know much about Spin & Go’s yet, then you should definitely take in the knowledge know, because they are on the rise. These tournaments are three-handed, hyper-turbo Sit-N-Go tournaments. The interesting part is that players have no idea what the prize pool is going to be before the game starts. This is when one of the eight potential prize pools are randomly determined and revelaed. The bulk of the time, it will end up being two times the size of the buy-in, but it can go to four, six or 10 times higher in some cases. The bottom five prize pool tiers will feature the winner taking down all of the prize money, but for the top three, PokerStars will add 20 percent to give to the losers, with the winner getting 100 percent of the regular prize pool.
If you really want to look at the 240,000 times buy-in option, it’s literally projected to be spun just three out of ever 10 million times. For those of you who aren’t incredibly good at math (like myself), it’s a probability of 0.00003 percent. Essentially, there’s basically no chance that it was going to come for a very, very long time, but apparently that time was now. What makes it so amazing is that the three players sat down to play for $5, and when the spinner landed on 240,000x, it’s impossible to imagine what was going through their heads. The minimum pay day was going to be $100,000, but obviously each wanted the million.
When the hand came down to it, it was between sss66666 and geldduvel, with sss66666 leading by a few chips. He saw a flop for cheap holding A-8 off suite, and the flop came down A-8-9 of all spades. He check-raised and saw a Jack of diamonds on the turn. He then moved all-in and saw he had the had won, with his opponent holding A-5 off suite, with no spades. The million dollars was awarded, and three players were left stunned.

Full Tilt Extends Gold Rush Promo

January 7, 2015

The world of online poker is currently in full-go mode right now, as the New Year has things off and running in the right direction. One site who has seen things go incredibly well to this point is the popular Full Tilt Poker. The site has risen from the ashes, and a key to their success has been the fact that they are running great promotions, popular game types, and things that are really drawing players into the action. Their most recent promotion went so well, that they’ve actually decided to extend it beyond its original ending date, which will give players the chance to win even more money.

The promotion that we’re talking about here is the Gold Rush promotion from Full Tilt Poker, and while it was set to end on New Year’s Day, Gold Rush is going to last an extra week and a half, and will now wrap up on Sunday, January 11th. The general idea behind the new promotion is to get the players over to the Rush Poker action. It’s interesting that they chose this route for the promotion, mainly because Rush Poker is already insanely popular and is one of the fan favorites for any online poker site, but specifically for Full Tilt Poker.

The promotion itself is incredibly simple, and it gives you a chance to win some nice money. All you have to do for the promo is play in real money Rush Poker ring games, and you’ll have a chance ot win. There’s no specific number of hands that you have to play, and you actually don’t even need to win the Rush Poker games in order to be a winner. The promotion is truly luck, but playing more will help you out in terms of your chances to win big. Let’s take an in-depth look at how the promotion works, and how you can win some money from playing Rush.

How this works is that any lucky player who hits the random number generator (basically, you’re just randomly selected) is going to be moved to another table after the hand, but this isn’t like a normal move in Rush Poker. In this situation, you’ll be moved to a special Gold Rush prize table. At this table, players are going to get three cards, each of which is face down. The player will choose one of the cards, and when the card is turned over, it’s the prize that they’ve won. So basically, you play Rush Poker, and if your number randomly gets called thn you get a free prize.

After you choose your prize, you’ll heda back to the normal Rush Poker tables and continue playing as you were. There are a wide range of different prizes, but they can include up to $10,000 in cash, Rush Poker ring game tickets, Full Tilt Points, tournament tickets for the Gold Rush freeroll tournament and tournament tickets for Gold Rush freeroll satellites. While you can win a wide range of things at the cash game tables, even if you just play for fun, you can still win different play chip bundles if you decide just to mess around at the play money tables for a while.

It is important to note that the only real requirement may be to play in the action, but you do need to contribute to the pot to have a shot at the drawing. Posting blinds will count in this situation, and on top of that, the ring game table must have more than two full tables worth of players in the player pool. So basically, there just needs to be a good chunk of players playing for you to have a shot at the prizes.

While the bulk of the Gold Rush freerolls are already in the books since the promotion was set to end a few days ago, the site has decided to add two more on Saturday January 17th, with the first being a $2,500 freeroll at noon EST, and the other one being a $5,000 freeroll at 12:30pm EST. For those who are curious, the freeroll tournaments are Flipout Tournaments, which use a Rush Poker format. So basically they are all shootout events, and just one player from each table will advance. The shootouts are truly based on luck, as everyone is all-in on each hand until only one person remains. After all the shootouts are done, the tournament will continue as normal, and players are able to re-enter up to nine times if they have that many tournament tickets.

WPN Bumping Up the “The Beast” for the New Year

December 31, 2014

There’s nothing better than the word “free” when it comes to online poker or online gambling in general. Heck, there’s nothing better than the word free when it comes to pretty much anything. Well, that’s the best part of “The Beast” on the Winning Poker Network (WPN), which is the weekly rake race on the site. It’s a pretty generous promotion, in all honesty, and it doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should on a regular basis. Basically, any player who plays in real money cash game poker can have a shot in this promotion, and since it’s a rake race, the players who play the higher stakes are obvious the favorites to take down the big payday, but realistically, anyone could have a shot at hitting the main prize.

Anyways, if you’ve been paying any attention to the Winning Poker Network, which features poker rooms such as America’s Card Room, BetCRIS and True Poker, you’ll find that the Beast has decided to take their game to the next level for the New Year. It’s going to be a great year, and this is something that you should be taking advantage of. The promotion basically takes a portion of all of the rake, and they put it into a progressive jackpot for the Beast promotion. It’s a great way to help out the players and give them some extra incentive with a shot at winning some big money.

For those who are curious, no, you are not charged any additional rake for taking part in this rake race, as this is a piece of the standard rake that the site just puts aside. Basically, for every two players at the table, two cents will be removed from very six cents in total rake that is taken out. The max per hand is four cents, and with three players, the max is eight cents, four players or more players has a max of 24 cents that can be sent into the jackpot. A point will be earned for the table that you’re playing at for every two cents of rake that is put into The Beast. This means that a maximum of 12 points can be awarded during every cash game hands. The points are awarded based on how much money was put into the pot and how much each player contributed to the rake.

This is where things get fun (after you get past the breakdown of how it all works, obviously), and the points are all added up and put into a leaderboard for the week. When each week comes to an end, the to point earners are going to get their share of the jackpot. The first place payday is going to add up to right around 9.75% of the total jackpot, and it is capped at $20,000. The prize pool will be the determinant of how many places get paid out at the end of the day. The example that is given is that if 200 players get paid, then the prize pool will be $50k, and if 360 players get paid the prize pool is $90k. It’s a great promotion, and in all honesty, there’s no reason to not take your shot at picking up as many points as possible and trying to rake in the nice free cash.

To kickoff 2015, the Winning Poker Network has decided to up the stakes a bit and boost The Beast, in a new promotion that they’re calling “The Beast Roars.” In this promotion, it’s the exact same breakdown, but each week for the month an extra $20k will be put into the prize pool. How they are doing this is that an extra $1,000 in cash will be given to each of the top 20 players on the leaderboard at the end of the each week. So the site is adding $80k in total to The Beast, and kicking off the New Year with a bang.

This is a nice move by the site, especially since they were the ones who just recently had the tough spot when the DDoS attack hit their $1 million guaranteed tournament. This meant that the tournament had to be cancelled after sever hours, and this wasn’t the first time that the attacks hit the network. In the weeks leading up, they were hit a few other times, but they did make sure to refund every players’ money and reschedule the huge tournament in February.

Daniel Colman Takes a Clean Sweep of POY Races

December 26, 2014

The man himself, Daniel Colman, saw multiple players try to make a push on his run towards to the three different Player of the Year races, but no one could get the job done. Colman, who dominated the High Roller circuit this year took down all three of the major Player of the Year races this year, and did so in impressive fashion. Let’s take a look at what Colman has done, and also look at each of the different Player of the Year races to breakdown how large of a margin that he got the job done by. First thing first, though, congratulations to Colman for the impressive accomplishment.

For the Bluff Magazine countdown, Colman had such a dominant lead coming into December, that it was very unlikely that anyone would be able to catch him. He didn’t even cash a single event throughout the month of December, but his 1447.7 points were more than enough to holdoff the second place finisher, Mike Leah, who had 1149.64 points. The remainder of the five for the Bluff POY race included Dan Smith with 949.35 points, Ami Barer with 930.79 points and Ole Schemion with 927.56 points. It was a fun race to watch, but there wasn’t much to worry about for the eventual winner.

As for the remainder of the top 10, Martin Jacobson found himself in sixth place due to awin in the 2014 WSOP Main Event, and Mukul Pahuja had 882.4 points to hold off Pratyush Buddiga with 881.36 for the next two spots in the race. Lastly was David Kitai and Doug Polk in ninth and 10th place. All of these players had over 800 total points, but couldn’t come within striking distance of anywhere near the top five of the race.

Now, to the CardPlayer Magazine rankings, where Colman had to hold off a late push for Barer. Barer grabbed two cashes during the Asia/Pacific Poker Tour stop in Macau, and he pulled in a total of 5042 points, which was a very impressive finish. Unfortunately for Barer, it wasn’t enough to surpass Colman’s impressive 5498 point total. Leah found himself in third place in the CardPlayer rankings with 4830, and to round out the top five we saw Mustapha Kanit in fourth iwth 4514 and Jacobson with 4148. For the rest of the top 10, it was Pahuja with 4146 points to fall just short of the top five. Seventh through 10th were held by Dylan Wilkerson, making his first showing on this list, as he had a nice run at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, as well as Jake Schindler, Kitai and Simon Deadman. It was a nice list of players who all had strong runs.

But out of all three of the major POY races, it was the Global Poker Index race that was the most exciting to watch. Colman had 4141.91 points going into the final month of the year, but Schemion nearly made another incredible run to take down the POY honors. In 2013 he took it down in the final month to keep Daniel Negreanu from taking down all three. Schemion ended up settling for seocnd place when all was said and done though, ending the year with 4125.39 points. Kitai did a great job this year and got a ton of respect, as he finished in third place with 4096.1. To round out the top five, it was Barer with 3873.15, Smith with 3839.04, Kanit with 3656.31 and last but not least was Schindler with 3604.15. The final 10 were Keven Stammen with 3591.38, Jason Mercier with 3545.77 and Scott Seiver with 3480.86.

Colman had an absolutely incredible year, bringing in close to $22 million, but 2015 kicks off on January 6th with the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. After that comes the Aussie Millions on January 14th and the L.A. Poker Classic just a single day after that. It was a great race for the 2014 POY award, but Colman got the job done and was well-deserving of each and every one of the different awards.

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