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 Post subject: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Could become interesting: http://www.onlinepoker.net/poker-news/poker-law-industry-news/lawsuit-filed-full-tilt-poker-80k-confiscated-online-accounts/1518

EDIT /Indiana/: THF, I took over this OP to keep the most important info in it.

The full complaint is here:
http://playpokergirl.com/fulltilt_complaint.pdf

spadebidder wrote:
It isn't on Justia/PACER because it isn't filed in Federal court, just the Los Angeles Superior Court. Sillysal posted a copy of the complaint on her web site:
http://www.playpokergirl.com/story/

EDIT: found it, http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civil/
Click Case Summary on the left, and enter the number in the search box.

Case Number: BC423036
LARY KENNEDY ET AL VS FULL TILT POKER ET AL

There's nothing else there yet other than the complaint she posted on her web site.


Quote:
Lawsuit Filed Against Full Tilt Poker After $80k Confiscated From Online AccountsOctober 2nd, 2009 Author: B. SolomonFull Tilt Poker has had a law suit filed against them in the Los Angeles County Superior Court after two players had $80,000 confiscated from their online poker account having been accused of using poker bots.

Full Tilt Poker strictly forbids the use of poker bots and maintains that the funds were seized after site experts investigated and concluded their style of play was consistent with that of a bot. The site also asserts that one of the players had another account at FTP in contravention of its multi-accounting policy.

Lary Kennedy and Greg Omotoy have both professed their innocence in the matter and have named Full Tilt Poker and share holders Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Howard Lederer, and Phil Ivey in the law suit. As well as seeking the return of their money, the pair are alleging Full Tilt uses bots of its own to increase the element of luck in the game, as well as filling empty seats.

Poker bots, despite being banned from many poker sites, are still increasingly common and these poker software calculators can run on auto pilot continuously, never tiring and playing consistently throughout the day, often in multiple games thus giving them an unfair advantage over their human counterparts.

This is just the beginning of a very interesting court case that will reveal details of the state of bot activity online and is sure to send a clear message to bot users that such activity is not tolerated, is being monitored and if discovered will lead to frozen accounts and confiscated funds.

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 Post subject: Re: Lawsuit filed against FT after $80k confiscated from "bots"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Very nice find THF.

I think if FTP doesn't settle that out of court it could become a bit tricky for them.

Not only they would need to prove he is a bot, but they would need to prove that they don't use bots. To do that, they might need to make all their internal systems available to botter's laywers.

There was a website where one can search, and track for all documents for given lawsuit. We should be able to find out the exact documents on how the suite was filed.

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 Post subject: Re: Lawsuit filed against FT after $80k confiscated from "bots"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Some other interesting quotes:

Quote:
At the same time though any kind of enforcement would have to come through the WTO and current fair trade agreements, that requires the US to not interfere in foreign nations businesses, but until Antigua gets their justice dont hold your breathe...


OK, This seems to be the well know SillySal's case (I kind of forgot already if "poker girl" was == sillysal. But seems not, as these two are guys).

Quote:
Two players in California have sued presumable principals of Full Tilt Poker in LA Superior Court. Lary Kennedy (aka Poker Girl) and Greg Omotoy (a Vegas-reared LA nightclub manager) claim that Full Tilt confiscated $80,000 from their accounts, believing they were bots.

We haven’t seen the legal docs yet, but named in the lawsuit: Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Howard Lederer, and Phil Ivey (a November Niner).


From TMZ.com:

Quote:
Poker Legends Sued for Robot Fraud

For all the obvious attempted shakedowns and plausibly legit payment beefs, this one (not sure how much they are seeking in damages) could be downright fascinating — on its surface at least — because it cuts to some key issues that are super-relevant to the past, present, and future of online poker … where the decisions any court renders (assuming there’s at least a smidgen of factual basis for the claim) affect not just the plaintiffs and defendants, but 10s of thousands if not millions of players.

I remember thinking when that PokerStars WCOOP 2007 champ, TheV0id, got her $1.2 million prize-money re-distributed, and ZeeJustin for that matter … they have theoretical American dollars ganked from them for alleged rule violations, and yet no recourse should they disagree with the site’s ruling nor a valid, independent avenue of dispute. It’s like Guantanamo Bay in Pokerstarzistan, man, and likewise for Full Tilt, which can serve as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to deciding what to do with its players’ money.

The ironic thing … Howard Lederer, who seems to be the guy-with-the-money attorneys always have their sights set on, is arguably THE BIGGEST fighter for an American regulatory system that would remove this power from online poker sites, his own included. In the world he’s pushing for (and spending shitloads of money on), Full Tilt and PokerStars would essentially have to relinquishcontrol over matters of fiscal disagreement with their customers.

Top it off with claims in this suit that Full Tilt may seat bots at its own tables. Supposed word is that Full Tilt absolutely does not — and if that’s the case the suit becomes questionable. I don’t have an opinion on whether or not that would be a good or bad thing … but it’s a reality that will have to be dealt with in the future. Does your American-friendly site use bots? Is that OK? Should they have to disclose their identities? And if not, why don’t real human players get to use under multiple accounts and/or screen names?

We’ll have to see how much Omotoy and Kennedy are suing for. That will tell a lot about whether they’re just throwin’ shit against the wall to see what sticks or if they have a legitimate beef in wanting to prove that, hey … we’re not bots, give us our friggin’ money back and/or let us take our business elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Lawsuit filed against FT after $80k confiscated from "bots"
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:45 pm 
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Here is another one, from neverwinpoker:
http://www.neverwinpoker.com/forums/sho ... 71007.html

So SillySal == PokerGirl.
I had some emails with SillySal at the time ...

DanDruff wrote:
Some of you might remember "Sillysal" from 2+2. She showed up on 2+2 in February, 2008, claiming that Full Tilt wrongly accused her of botting. Full Tilt closed her account, took her money, and redistributed some of it to past opponents she beat.

She filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt and all of its owners in a California court today.

Sillysal, who played on Full Tilt as "Pokergirl z" and "greggo777", maintained her innocence. She swore up and down that Full Tilt wrongly "convicted" her of using bots. She insisted that Full Tilt simply took the word of fellow players making the accusations, rather than performing an unbiased investigation.

At the time (before I was banned from 2+2), I followed the story closely. I had always been fascinated by the "bot" situation involving heads-up limit hold 'em players. In fact, I strongly believe that I lost thousands of dollars to bots in various heads up games over the years. Some sites, such as Absolute Poker, Pokerroom, and Ultimatebet, were known to be extremely lenient with bots, pretty much completely ignoring the problem. Others, such as Full Tilt, were said to be overaggressive in removing bots, perhaps ensnaring innocent people in the process.

I took particular interest in this case because I had some history with Sillysal.

Sillysal was not my friend. In fact, I didn't like her at all. We had a lot of arguments regarding the "rights" to a particular heads up table, and when someone is expected to leave. The details of our feud are unimportant now, but suffice to say that I played a lot of heads up against Sillysal on several sites, and I knew her style of play quite well.

Now she was accused of being a bot.

"Could it be?", I wondered. "Was I actually playing a bot all of this time?"

Part of me wanted it to be true, since I didn't care for her. However, I tried to reserve judgment for awhile, and watched the 2+2 thread unfold. She had the crowd on her side initially, but lost nearly everyone's support when an additional fact came out:

Sillysal had been multi-accounting.

She wasn't multi-accounting in the ZeeJustin cheating way. She was only playing heads up tables, and simply used a second account to get additional action. A bit unethical? Yes. However, that doesn't constitute cheating, and it had nothing to do with botting. However, this fact turned the 2+2 nerds against her, as they felt she was withholding important information back, and they wondered what else she wasn't being honest about.

I waited for some of the smoke to clear, then jumped into the fray myself. She and I went back and forth several times. I was trying to be as neutral as possible, but she wasn't making it easy. Finally, though, after enough facts emerged, I came to a conclusion:

Sillysal was innocent.

See, I had played Sillysal on many other poker sites in the past. I knew her style. I knew her tendency to tilt at times. I even knew her habit of bolting from the table abruptly after taking a few bad beats or coolers in a row, whether she was winning or losing. All of these very un-bot-like characteristics were still present in Pokergirl z's game on Full Tilt. I know, because I played Pokergirl z a number of times on Full Tilt. It was definitely the same player, and it wasn't likely to be a bot.

Also, unlike a bot, Pokergirl z was game selective at times. While she was willing to take on competent players at times, she would often sit out and type "no more" if she determined the opponent was really good -- whether she was winning or losing.

There were a few strikes against Sillysal in the court of public opinion.

She was from the Los Angeles area, yet none of the poker community there had ever met her.

She hadn't been up front about her multi-accounting using greggo777.

Her messages on 2+2 were often cryptic and lacking enough detail to be judged credible by certain people, and she would act offended if people asked for more.

Worst yet, Full Tilt hired Darse Billings, a well known bot programmer from the University of Alberta, to analyze the data on Sillysal's play. Billings concluded that, due to "timing issues", Sillysal was indeed guilty. This was the final blow against her in the eyes of 2+2.

However, I can tell you from personal experience playing her that Full Tilt is full of shit on this one. There were no "timing issues". I played with her, and she acted just like any human opponent would. Sometimes she played fast, sometimes she'd slow down when it came to a big decision, and sometimes she played a bit slower. If they claim that she always acted within a very specific amount of time, they are flat out lying. Other than the "timing" matter, Full Tilt will not cite any other evidence as to how they "know" she used bot software.

This woman did not use a bot. There are a number of past heads-up opponents whom I could easily believe were bots, but she is not one of them.

I have a friend who mostly plays heads up limit hold 'em, who has even more history playing Sillysal than I do. Like me, she also did not like Sillysal personally, but also agrees that it is highly unlikely that she used a bot.

Sillysal and I no longer dislike each other. We are not close friends, but we get along fairly well now. However, I am not posting about this because I'm trying to help a friend. I'm posting this because I think it's a terrible thing that Full Tilt has confiscated an innocent player's money.

What about the endorsement of Darse Billings regarding Full Tilt's accusation? That's the strangest part. I doubt that Billings was in on any sort of lie/cover-up, but it's quite possible that he was given hand-selected, doctored, or flawed data to begin with.

The lawsuit, which I will receive a copy of on Monday, is interesting in itself. Part of the lawsuit makes the claim that Full Tilt operated bots on their own, in order to both earn extra money and keep games running. That is, Full Tilt is accused of using bots as their own shills. If true, this would be highly unethical. Supposedly there is evidence and inside information supporting this, but we'll have to wait and see.

A mediation between Sillysal and Full Tilt took place a few weeks ago, but neither party could come to terms.

Two other lawsuits have been filed against Full Tilt poker. One involves the allegedly improper appropriation of Clone Gowen's ownership in the company, and the other involves the allegedly wrongful firing of super-utility-man Jason "JDN" Newitt. Neither has been settled.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:18 am 
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This trial may indeed be very damaging to Fullt Tilt. I still can't understand how Lederer and co haven't been arrested for illegal gambling in the USA. The personal risk for the owner is huge and if the trial eventually expose the offshore shell as void they'll have to pay huge fine and/or do some time.

Anurag Dikshit (co-founder of Party Gaming) had to pay $300 million (plea bargain) for illegal gambling! And I guess that the Scheinberg family (owners of PokerStars) never had and nevel will put a foot in the USA... So how come Full Tilt owners be so relaxed about all their blatant gaming operation in the country they live in?

I know they are already exposed to legal publicity with the Gowen trial, but still...

In any big business with shady operations, a bad settlement is always 100 times better than a bad trial. I can only imagine what Kennedy has asked as compensation for out of court negociations failed.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:58 am 
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Also in financial times:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a86580ec-afb3 ... ck_check=1

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:19 pm 
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This could be rather damaging for botters.
Up till now, there was no political or juridical interest in botters, and we managed to stay in a 'grey zone' for quite a while.
In Belgium for instance, while organising poker events is illegal, playing poker online is not (yet). Since botting itself is not illegal either, there is no real risk in botting.
However, this law suit will draw the attention of governments and political institutions and might eventually be the cause of new laws in the future... just like cheating in a casino is officially seen as 'fraud'.
Don't like this at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Bots will never be outlawed, because there are casinos that want to run bots themselves. And there are sites that want to welcome bots. And there are people that want to build them. Why should anyone outlaw this?

I think most of the issues in this lawsuit is - is poker illegal in US and FTP should return funds to players (why are their owners not arrested in US like the one of PartyPoker are) and othe things like this.

Already today - if FTP used bots and did not tell players about this - this is illegal under UK law.

Also, if Sillysal manage to defend her case in court, this will make FTP in the future to think more before seizing a lot of money from players with no (or very little) evidence.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Interesting news guys, thanks for the heads up.

It'll be interesting to follow this closely... I have hopes that the Obama administration does something about it. I mean, when they're done with their 2 wars, Iran, North Korea, the Recession, health care and environmental issues, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Quote:
Billings concluded that, due to "timing issues", Sillysal was indeed guilty.

Very interesting. I'll bet he found a correlation between hand strength and response time, which is detectable even if you throw in random delays: say you build one histogram of response times for strong hands, and another for weak hands. The two will have the same shape, except the one for strong hands will be shifted to the left (faster if stronger... I think). The solution would be to to generate the random delays in a different way for strong hands than for weak ones. The histograms would still be shifted, but they'd have a different shape -- like all humans.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:06 pm 
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If you multitable, any statistics on timings are pretty useless IMO.

Also I think some guys said that they had a look at the FTP client, and they have not found any timing statistics being done.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Statistics can be done on server side.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:51 pm 
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That won't be quite accurate due to network lag (if we speak about milliseconds).

And I still don't get how would you correlate such time with anything. Players do all kind of things with time - wait for a while before play, etc. If you have included even basic randomiation, that would be enough to make you "non-special", IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:09 am 
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If they confiscated her money they probably had something pretty solid, and if Darse says it was timing issues, I believe him. Even if they're not looking for correlations with hand strength, I'm 90% certain that they're building histograms of response times and looking for distinctive bot "signatures". For instance, if you just add a delay of (rand%4000) milliseconds, the histogram will look like a block -- a flat top out to 4 seconds, then a vertical wall.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:42 pm 
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You would never add just a flat random.

But even if you do that, there is additional time it took you to get to the table (due to action on another table, or in general - to scrape that it's your turn, react to that, etc, press the mosue button etc., then network lag, that adds a lot of noise.

I agree that Darse is credible guy, but so are Ivey, Ferguson and so on. If FTP tricked Darse that "they need a proof by expert" and paid him a lot of money, then there could be all kind of outcome.

Also, AFAIK PokerStars has worked with Darse in the past, but stopped doing so as they were unhappy of their joint work.

If the court does not dismiss this, and FTP doesn't attempt to settle it out of court, we might see FTP being udited (software, emails etc) in relation to this case, and the allgation that FTP uses bots.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Obviously this is a very interesting case if it goes through. I'm a bit puzzled about the "FT is running bots" part, and that they supposedly have insider information that they are. If that's true (that they have insider information) this could get really entertaining.

However, do we know for a fact that Lederer/Ferguson/Ivey are part owners of FTP ? I'm not saying they aren't, but are there sufficient proof that they are so that a US court could go after them ? Because if there isn't any proved direct link the case will likely be thrown away.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:26 pm 
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Ivey/Ferguson/etc. (about 15 pros) own [%] of the software that FullTilt uses. The software is developed by TiltWare (a US company), and FullTilt (actually the company is named differently) licences their software. But this way they have a legal business in US, and at the same time have control over the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:02 am 
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Interesting, so they just build the software and "lease" it to the Full Tilt for ... a % of the profit? Sound like botters to me. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:06 am 
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indiana wrote:
Ivey/Ferguson/etc. (about 15 pros) own [%] of the software that FullTilt uses. The software is developed by TiltWare (a US company), and FullTilt (actually the company is named differently) licences their software. But this way they have a legal business in US, and at the same time have control over the site.

And possibly protection from lawsuits. Guess we'll see how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Sillysal files Lawsuit against FullTiltPoker
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:08 pm 
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If the allegation is "offering illegal gambling services" - they might have protection, if the accusion is bots - then they might not have protection, as they are delivering the software, after all :)

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