Duke Denies Having Access to Cheat Mode on Ultimate Bet
Poker pro Annie Duke has issued a second statement concerning her access to the “cheat” function of Ultimate Bet’s software, denying in no uncertain terms that she at any time used or was even aware of such a function.
Ultimate Bet became infamous after it was revealed that company insiders used a software function allowing them to view opponent’s hole cards to cheat players out of untold millions.
Duke stresses her innocence
Duke’s statement was made via her Facebook account. She had issued previous comments on the matter via Twitter earlier in the week, but those comments left some readers with more questions than answers.
Both statements were in response to the release of previously-unheard recordings by former UB employee Travis Makar.
As a small controversy over her initial statements brewed, Duke took the opportunity to correct some misimpressions stemming from her initial statement and offer further clarifications as to her role (or lack thereof) in the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal.
“Listening to the leaked audio that describes an elaborate attempt by some of UltimateBet.com’s founders, including Russ Hamilton and Greg Pierson, to cover up cheating reminds me once again how much I regret having been associated with the people that were involved in this conspiracy. The release of this audio has spurred accusations and I want to make it clear that I have never used a tool on a delay or otherwise that gave me or anyone else access to hole cards for use during real money play nor was I aware that such a tool existed until the scandal broke.”
Duke does not personally appear on the recording, but her name is mentioned during the course of it a few times, with Russ Hamilton appearing to imply that Duke had some level of access to the cheat mode contained in the UB software.
Hamilton has maintained a low profile in the wake of the UB scandal, but is periodically spotted in poker rooms – most recently in Florida.
Hellmuth joins former UB teammate
Phil Hellmuth, who once represented Ultimate Bet alongside Annie Duke, also reacted to the Makar recordings with a recent statement.
The Wisconsin native expressed regret for the issue and stressed his lack of awareness regarding the ongoing cheating at Ultimate Bet.
Excerpt from Hellmuth’s statement:
I should have said something about this long ago, but until I heard the voices on the tapes myself I never really knew how wrong and misled I really was. I empathize deeply with the players who were taken advantage of through UB. Whether it is this or Black Friday, too many of my fellow poker players have lost confidence and their financial savings simply by playing the game they love. I hope that in the near future we have a strong, regulated online poker environment in the US so that we can all get back to playing the game we love. In the meantime, I want to pass along my support to everyone affected negatively through UB and my apologies for my initial support of people who didn’t deserve anyone’s trust in the first place.
Ultimate Poker closed shortly after Black Friday. A significant number of customers lost their remaining balances at the room, the full amount of which remains unknown.
Duke is the sister of former Full Tilt Poker executive Howard Lederer. Lederer recently reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice over civil charges stemming from Full Tilt’s post-Black Friday collapse.
No connection to Ultimate Poker
Despite the similar branding, Ultimate Bet Poker is in no way connected with the recently-launched Ultimate Poker, which takes its name from a corporate association with the UFC and operates in the regulated online poker market in Nevada.