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A thread has been started on an obscure Russian poker forum that has started to gain ground on 2+2 leaving some players to call into question PokerStars.  An alleged “former” employee of PokerStars started a thread on an obscure Russian forum claiming that PokerStars uses superuser (SU) accounts to cheat high stakes players and fix tournaments so particular people can win.  This employee claims to have been behind Isildur1 winning two SCOOP events and numerous other activities that show the most trusted poker site in a bad light.

Now that I have thoroughly caught everyone’s attention I would like to poke some major holes in this guy’s story, because this reeks of a disgruntled player who has nothing better to do with his time.  The poster claims to have been hired by PokerStars when Isai came from IBM Canada.  He claims to have been working in security under Isai, so the move was natural.  He then claims to have become disgruntled with his employer so he was promoted to the SU department and that is when he started doing these alleged activities.  He was subsequently fired because he used his powers to win numerous tournaments that the upper management was not okay with.  He says that no evidence is forthcoming; because he fears PokerStars will have him killed if they know who he is.  Also, he claims that PokerStars will default in September. (This just seems to be tacked on randomly.)

Just reading that above explanation should give you some idea of the major problems in this story.  He claims to fear for his life, but gave enough information that they should know exactly who it is that started these rumors.  PokerStars promoted him after he become disgruntled, he worked for IBM with Isai and he was responsible for fixing the matches.  If he truly feared for his life, you would figure that he wouldn’t give such obviously details about who he actually is.  This huge fail in logic calls into question anything that he would say, because his story isn’t even believable.

Further, the above story tries to make an excuse for not wanting to put out evidence, but if you nailed yourself down so perfectly anyway, then evidence shouldn’t matter, unless you don’t have any…. That’s always a very real possibility.  This story has no evidence, it has no logical follow-thru, and it makes almost no sense.  A poster with no posts uses broken Russian to relay a story that Stars is rigged.  The least he could have done is making it an interesting story.

Don’t confuse this article with me saying there is zero chance that PokerStars is doing something they shouldn’t be doing.  It wouldn’t be the first time a site that we thought was trustworthy wasn’t being completely clean and open with its customers, but if I am going to put my faith behind something, I want to be able to at least believe the story that is being told. I want it to be logical, and I want it to have evidence.  Every time that someone has played the whistleblower role in uncovering something about a site, it has come with substantive evidence, and this just doesn’t meet those qualifications.

The thread is still something to read though, and in reality it gives you some look into how some people think.  The disregard for logic at times is a little much to wade through though, but keep in mind that these are the players that you are playing against.  If they think like this about issues, imagine what they are thinking at the table.  If this does happen to be true, than I will eat crow, but right now, I am not looking for any particularly large black birds.

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Andrew Schupick