Online poker websites invest heavily into security measures to protect themselves and their players from being exploited by hackers, malware and bots. The top online poker operators in the world such as PokerStars, 888poker and partypoker foil numerous online attacks every year as their websites continue to be a prime target for criminals.
High Stakes Collusion
An online poker player who uses the handle ‘DukeOfSuffolk’ and plays regularly at the partypoker website recently took to the TwoPlusTwo poker forum to share his suspicions in a thread entitled ‘Huge collusion ring in High Stakes MTTs at PartyPoker’ where he alleged that high stakes games were being subjected to collusion by a number of players. His thread received a lot of attention and partypoker also responded stating that the company would look into these allegations and launch an investigation of its own.
DukeOfSuffolk states that he has been playing online poker for over 13 years and for the last 18 months has been spending a lot of time playing events which have buy-ins that are $109 and over. He stated that there were two separate incidents in October that made him suspicious over possible collusion and resulted in him launching his own investigation into the matter which further proved that he was right. A representative of partypoker stated that collusion did take place as the DukeOfSuffolk had alleged and the online poker website had banned those players involved in the collusion and issued refunds to all those affected in those colluded games.
First Incident
The first incident of collusion came to light on October 18 in a game that the DukeOfSuffolk was involved with. The Wednesday Turbo Highroller final table was suspicious because in 48 hands which had short stacks, a particular group of players did not go all in nor did they call each other out. DukeOfSuffolk said he busted three players and when he went bust, the tournament finished in three minutes.
He investigated and found that six players using the handles PowerCarl, domingo661, Sorcian, SciorXxx, GASSGUSS and dimitriax were featured amongst the top seven and all six players had joined partypoker in May. These six players preferred playing high stakes tournaments and since August all six players showed a strong preference of playing similar tournaments. DukeOfSuffolk contacted a partypoker intermediary who raised his concerns to partypoker.
Second Incident
DukeOfSuffolk noticed on October 20 that four of the online players had once again entered a high roller event and just before the event could start, the other two players also joined. On further investigation, he found that there were an additional eight players who had joined partypoker this year and hand similar hand histories from May 2017. He also brought the names of these eight online handles to the attention of the partpoker representative who promised to look into the allegations.
partypoker Action
The partypoker representative informed the DukeOfSuffolk that the online poker website had suspended those accounts that he had highlighted and was conducting a detailed investigation. However the DukeofSuffolk pointed out that even though partypoker had confirmed of suspending these accounts, he still found ‘PowerCarl’ playing a $215 multi-phase tournament.
Partypoker has asked its risk team management to look into the allegations and investigate the matter. Tom Walters, the managing director of partypoker said that an initial investigation showed that there were a set of players who had colluded amongst themselves to play as a team in order to gain an unfair advantage over the rest of the players. He also admitted that due to an error, a few of the accounts could have remained active for a short while. partypoker will investigate each of the accounts before deciding which accounts it will shutdown for good.
In a statement, Walters said “It’s also important to note that 99% of collusion accusations are proved to be false. A lot of people get suspicious based on the emotion of losing pots, running under EV in general and against specific players. It is important that our security team is as informed as possible to be able to quickly identify if it is indeed collusion or not. We cannot simply close every account that is emailed to us as being suspicious of collusion.”

This site is registered on as a development site.