Ultimate Poker has decided to utilize former Ultimate Bet software provider, Iovation, to provide player verification services.
Iovation was at the heart of the 2008 Russ Hamilton cheating scandal that devastated the poker community. Ultimate Bet co-creators Greg Pierson and Jon Karl are the founders and current owners of the software company.
During the early 2000s, Pierson and Karl decided to create Ultimate Bet in connection with its software company, Iovation. In the early stages, the partners needed some funding and contacted 1994 Main Event Winner Russ Hamilton. After the launch and public offering of Ultimate Bet, Pierson and Karl authorized the creation of a tool called “God Mode” that allowed the owners to view player hole cards in real time. Although this tool was not endorsed by the software team, Pierson and Karl allowed Hamilton to utilize this software to catch cheaters at the high stakes poker tables.
Russ Hamilton utilized this super user software from 2004 to 2008 to extract millions from players. In 2008, the Kahnawake Gambling Commission accused Hamilton of masterminding a cheating ring that involved several other members. It eventually led to a $15 million settlement for the owners of the company and a full refund for all cheated players. Although Pierson and Karl were not indicted in this scandal, many people in the community believe that the two were closely involved with Hamilton and authorized the use of this software.
Pierson and Karl remain the current owners of the company and have evolved the business into a verification and online gambling reputation service. Although the company is not licensed in Nevada, Iovation has entered the market through its partnership with Verifi’s CAMS, which is being used by most online providers in the state. Ultimate Poker has explicitly stated that it has no direct relationship with Iovation and is connected only as a subcontracter for certain services.
Nevertheless, poker players have voiced their concerns over the use of this software company to provide verification for security purposes. Former Ultimate Bet players have voiced concerns over the use of the software that was utilized in the super user scandal, especially since the verification service asks for highly personal information. Many players feel that the two current owners were intricately involved in the scandal and stole millions from players through this device.
Despite the discovery of this controversial connection, Ultimate Poker had a great debut for its grand opening tournament and has been steady in its player traffic since its launch.