Subscribe to AIP newsletter
Sign up for exclusive casino bonuses, offers, and the latest news directly in your inbox.
The poker world was recently stunned when the news broke of a superuser scandal involving GGPoker. On 29 December, the site announced a security update and revealed that they had banned ‘Moneytaker69’ after discovering they took advantage of a security exploit that allowed them to intercept traffic, allowing them to guess all-in equity to improve win rates.
The player in question has won a GGMasters Sunday event for $47,586 in December. Suspicions about the player had been raised on 2+2 Forums before the ban from GGPoker. This is one of the most blatant superuser scandals since the POTRIPPER saga in 2007.
Although 2022 saw the number of poker millionaires skyrocket. This recent instance has covered the online casino industry with a cloud of suspicion.
On 28 December, a post on 2+2 Forums alleged that user Moneytaker69 of being a Superuser. The term superuser applies to someone with an unfair advantage at an online poker site, typically meaning they can see opponents’ hole cards.
According to the data presented in the post, Moneytaker69 had an 83.9% win rate over 9,200 hands, or around 77 buy-ins. The player had also won a $150 GGMasters event for $47,586. The analysis concluded that the player may have been able to see other opponent’s hands, likely through some type of exploit.
The post also pointed out that there is a hacker group known as MoneyTaker, which has stolen millions from organisations around the globe. It is unclear whether this superuser is related to the hacker group.
The day after the 2+2 post, GGPoker released a security update notice, noting “unusual gaming patterns and abnormal game client packets” from Moneytaker69. A client-side vulnerability was discovered and was patched to correct the problem. GGPoker has banned Moneytaker69 and confiscated $29,795 in winnings.
GGPoker also explained how the exploit occurred. The user in question was playing on the desktop client and could take advantage of code in the ‘Thumbs Up/Down Table Reaction’ that involves decompilation of the client software.
Moneytaker69 was able to customise his client software and intercept network traffic. GGPoker claims that Moneytaker69 could not see hole cards but could deduce all-in equity through data leaks from the client.
The vulnerability was discovered, and the reaction button was disabled on 16 December. However, Moneytaker69 was able to block updates and continued to accumulate the leaked data for the flop and turn. He was able to use this data to guess the win probability rate.
The company released future updates that eliminated data leaks and banned the player. They will be refunding $29,795 to affected players in cash games and will reconcile tournament payouts for the situation.
Some of you may remember the POTRIPPER superuser scandal of 2007 that resulted in over $1.6 million being stolen from players. Seven accounts on Absolute Poker, including POTRIPPER, were discovered to be superuser accounts with access to player hole cards.
Later, it was discovered the Ultimate Bet was involved in a more elaborate superuser scandal that resulted in over $22 million being stolen from players. Former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Russ Hamilton was one of the masterminds behind the cheating scandal.
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were ultimately fined over $2 million over the scandal. They continued to operate until they went bankrupt after the Black Friday poker crackdown in the United States. Russ Hamilton and others associated with the scandal were never brought to justice over the matter.
While the recent GGPoker superuser scandal is nowhere near the level of the POTRIPPER scandal, it is still a reminder that there are those out there who are looking to take advantage of the system. That’s why it is crucial that you play at licensed online poker sites and online casinos. That way, you’re protected if a scandal unfolds.