The LVH (formerly Las Vegas Hilton) learned the hard way recently the outrage the poker community can muster when you hire a former prominent Ultimate Bet employee for any kind of job in a poker room, especially if you decide to make that person manager of your brand new room. Bonnie Leinhos was fired by the LVH less than a month after getting the job, because of her involvement with the UB cheating scandal. She claims to have had nothing to do with the cheating scandal, but can’t provide answers for the things she is accused of, and the LVH decided to escape the firestorm by firing her and suspending their poker room until a suitable replacement can be found.
This is the second story in the past couple of months of a major poker upstart trying to hire a former UB associate to do business with them. It’s pretty unclear in both situations whether the company was just uninformed, or if they just didn’t think it was a big deal to hire the former UB associates. The first case was with ioVation and Ultimate Poker. Once the outrage reached a fever pitch Ultimate Poker quickly dropped them as an ID verification service, and tried to distance them from ioVation as much as possible. They claimed to have no knowledge of their dealings in the past, but it’s hard to be sure of things like that since companies will try to protect their reputation through thick and thin. The outrage was not enough to put everyone in the poker world on high alert about what happens if you hire former UB employees and associates, as evidenced by the recent happenings at the LVH.
ElevenGrover, one of the true experts on the UB cheating scandal, breaks it down pretty well with regards to what Mrs. Leinhos is accused of. She was transferred $213k from different cheating accounts and withdrew over $1 million despite over $50k of losses on the account. Her husband who still golfs with Russ Hamilton also funded accounts before they went out and stole money from other players. EG then posts some very detailed logs of the money she received from different accounts and who those accounts were registered to.
Bonnie Leinhos took to her Facebook to defend herself and say that she had no knowledge of the cheating scandal. She claimed to have gotten money from Russ Hamilton, because she was in charge of setting up different tournaments and needed the money, so he would just send the money through P2P transfer. This apparently ignores the fact of money laundering that she would then be guilty of. There is no accusation of her using the software to see hole cards though, and the fact that she lost $50k on her account, it’s unlikely she did that.
ElevenGrover has been contacted by lawyers in the last few days about where they can serve a Cease and Desist letter, which could be a very important development in the entire UB scandal. If he does get served with ones of these letters, Bonnie Leinhos will be responsible for proving that EG is saying to be false, which means finding out information that is gathered through sworn testimony. The implications of this are of course enormous, but it’s still early, and it might just be a ploy to get Russ Hamilton to say something publicly, or stop articles from being posted about her out of fear. Considering that there was a few articles posted initially about this when it was early, chances are that there is more than 1 person who was contacted about being served with one of these letters.
The important thing about this story and the ioVation story is that former cheaters associated with the UB scandal were not able to get away with everything and get well-paying jobs as a result. It’s also proof that brick and mortar casinos care about their reputation enough that transgressions that happened online can’t go unpunished. This represents a change of what people thought would happen, but it’s a much welcomed change.
(Information from 2+2 used for this article)