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Did 60 Minutes Story Help Absolute Poker, Online Poker Rooms?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/02/2008
Absolute Poker

Maybe websites like Gambling911.com are all too caught up in the online poker scene to really understand the true impact of Sunday evening's 60 Minutes segment pertaining to the much talked about Absolute Poker "cheating scandal" that we lost sight of how regular Joe Publics who have never played poker online in their life actually perceived the story.

Guess what?  The majority we spoke to did not see Absolute Poker in a bad light.  In fact everyone is now talking about online poker since the story aired...people who had no idea it even existed.

"It is great that the Indians were on top of this," said one viewer, referring to Absolute Poker's licensing arm, the Kahnawake Mohawks, conducting an audit and revealing who the identity of the cheater as one Russ Hamilton. 

At first, 60 Minutes took us down to Costa Rica where Absolute Poker is based and we were shown video of some pretty dilapidated buildings - many of which looked like they were part of a shanty town.  We were told that online poker is mostly unregulated. 

Just when we are led to believe there is no recourse to those who have been cheated by the culprits, along come those Mohawks.  Joila!  Players are paid and the cheater's name is broadcast to millions of US households.  Russ Hamilton must be feeling pretty good about himself right about now.

"That poker site was the victim," said one viewer not familiar with the world of online poker, referring to Absolute Poker.

Our own Payton O'Brien was fielding inquiries throughout the day.  An unusual response:  "I never knew how safe online poker was that players do have recourse and those Indians are doing a great job." 

60 Minutes went as far as to demonstrate how one can join the Absolute Poker website.

Some on the poker forums have blamed Absolute Poker for their slow reaction and unwillingness to disclose the true identities of those involved.  That has had little affect on Absolute's business, however.  They remain the third largest Internet poker room catering to the US market.  Now called the Cereus Network, they had a peak of nearly 4000 real cash players online at any given time Monday. 

Ace King, Gambling911.com        

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