A documentary that covers the cheating scandal at UltimateBet in the mid-2000s will be released to the general public on October 22 in Video on Demand format.
Directed by Scott Bell, the film will show the crimes perpetuated by UltimateBet insiders and how those involved attempted to cover their tracks after being discovered. Produced by Doublehead Pictures, the documentary has been years in the making that required extensive research.
A press release issued yesterday describes the story line as “old school hustlers” using technological advancements during the online poker boom to launch a poker site and use software that allowed unaware players to be swindled “over a period of years without detection.” When the fraudulent behavior of the cheaters came to be known, the hustling UB insiders tried to further mask their deceitful practices “in order to repay less than the amount stolen.”
The story also delves into “how a small group of players crowdsourced an online investigation to force the site into repaying” the players who initially thought they were competing on an even level at high-stakes online poker tables at UB. No criminal charges were ever filed against the UB insiders.
The scandal was responsible for giving online poker a black eye, from which it may yet not have fully recovered. A further blow to the industry came on Black Friday when the U.S. DoJ seized the domains of PokerStars, Full Tilt, UltimateBet and Absolute Poker. The latter two sites operated together on the Cereus Network.
To the non-poker playing public, as well as perhaps to some who do frequent Internet poker sites, online poker appears to be an industry that cannot be fully trusted. The recent release of “Runner Runner,” whose story line also shows online poker as a shady business, further damages the already less than favorable reputation that Internet poker has in a number of jurisdictions throughout the world.
In the U.S., that tarnished reputation may be on the mend as several states have legalized online poker and gambling with several more states likely to follow suit in due course. Also, the reimbursement of U.S. Full Tilt players in the remission process that is currently underway may do some good in bringing a bit of respectability to the online poker industry in the eyes of many Americans, whether they play poker or not.
While PokerStars and Full Tilt players the world over will eventually be made whole following Black Friday, the same cannot be said for those players who frequented Absolute Poker and UltimateBet. When all is said and done after bankruptcy courts and attorneys sort out the mess, players at AP and UB may be lucky to receive pennies on the dollar, if any.