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Merge Security Issues As Poker Community Finds Possible Collusion On Network

The Merge Gaming Network has been questioned by the poker community over their claims that “no true markings of collusion” were found after an e-mail disclosing the names of three accounts were given to them could appear to be untrue, according to PokerFuse.

This comes at a bad time for the poker network, as earlier on in 2011, Jose “Girah” Macedo, a professional player who had been sponsored by Lock Poker, a skin on the Merge Network, had been found to be guilty of a similar scandal of collusion with another player, sharing hole-cards of those he was “sweating”, while watching their tables over screen-sharing software.

It is believed that three account names were e-mailed to the network, over allegations of chip dumping, collusion or multi-tabling, most commonly in the format of PLO8 tournaments. The Merge network apparently had gone through their necessary procedures and reported that “no evidence of wrongdoing was discovered”

However, the sender of the e-mail to the Merge Network was “Gunth0807”, a regular contributor to the poker forum TwoPlusTwo with over 7500 posts. He was unhappy with the quick reply from Merge, stating that he felt the poker network did not look into the serious matter as extensively as he had hoped for. He had also chosen not to attach any evidence to the network along with his e-mail, as he wanted to see what they found in their own investigations.

Instead, he opted to post his findings in a TwoPlusTwo thread, showing three of the biggest PLO8 MTT winners on the network, apparently chip-dumping to each other in Heads-Up games afterwards and seemingly taking days off from collusion around the same time period. Despite this, the Merge network stated in a reply to his e-mail that after investigations “they have not sat together with any noticeable frequency, and that the hands they were involved with together last night did not have any of the true markings of collusion”.

The post quickly became a five-star thread and further investigation was done by other TwoPlusTwo posters, showing the same three players playing the same seven games between the 21st -23rd December.

The player accused, known on TwoPlusTwo as “ AJB444”, claimed this was only due to staking arrangements being more difficult since the results of Black Friday and that after a discussion with Merge security, all is resolved, however, many of the questions previously asked by forum posters were left unanswered.

  • If they were being staked by AJB444, and they were his horses, why was it that his horses were taking the time off on the exact same days that he was, when he would want them to be playing poker?
  • There are means of legitimate player transfers on poker sites, why was this not method not used?
  • Why was it that Merge stated that the accounts in question had not played in the same games, when it was shown that all three players had played 7 tournaments at the same time in a time span between the 21st-23rd December, and had only played each other in the few high-stakes heads-up SNG’s that they had all played, between the months of October and November?
  • How do they explain the statistics shown by TwoPlusTwo forum posters, of the sudden dramatic increase, between their average ROI apart, and their average ROI together?

As this thread grows, more players are coming out with their own hand histories, along with a new twist to the situation with allegations involving the same player doing similar actions on poker sites including Full Tilt Poker, the Cereus Network, Cake Poker and Pokerstars. The thread and story continues.


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Perry Garland