One of the biggest scandals last year – back when “superuser” was not part of our everyday vocabulary – was the disqualifying of TheV0id, WCOOP’s Main Event winner, who was divested of the $1.2 million first prize. Account owner Natalie Teltscher filed a lawsuit against PokerStars last year, but recently she dropped it and even agreed to cover some of Stars’ legal fees.
PokerStars released a jubilant press release announcing the withdrawal of Natalie Teltscher’s lawsuit, which clears the poker site’s name and actually adds a star to it in terms of its excellent security and collusion detection system.
In October 2007, player TheV0id entered PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) along with almost 3,000 players, who created a deep prize pool of over $7,000,000. A few hours later, the final table reached a deal and TheV0id took home a $1.2 million prize.
Talk started soon after: WCOOP champion TheV0id did not have much of a previous history, and it seemed suspicious that they would score so well on such a large tournament having no previous cashes. Further research showed the account belonged to Natalie Teltscher, a newcomer to poker and sister of well known poker pro Mark Teltscher. The plot thickened.
Two weeks after the WCOOP was played out, PokerStars decided to disqualify TheV0id and award the first prize to runner-up "ka$ino," bumping everyone up one place in the pay scale. At the time, PokerStars declared only that they had “determined, based on the totality of evidence that the tournament winner “TheV0id” was in breach of the PokerStars Terms of Service.” There was speculation about multi accounting and colluding, but Stars would not disclose more.
Even after being caught with her hand in the cookie jar, Ms. Teltscher decided to take a stab at recovering her $1.2 million, and she filed a case in the Isle of Man against PokerStars for what she claimed was an unfair disqualification and seizure of funds.
PokerStars evidence must have been very persuasive, because according to their release, “Ms Teltscher initially claimed that she had played the account.However, when faced with the results from PokerStars’ investigation she eventually admitted she hadn’t played. ”
To add insult to injury, Teltscher must now also help pay for the legal fees she made PokerStars incur: “PokerStars is pleased to announce that Natalie Teltscher has recently withdrawn her claim in the Isle of Man Courts against PokerStars. Furthermore, in discontinuing her claim, she has agreed to contribute a sum towards the legal costs incurred by PokerStars in this matter.” There is no information on how much this sum is, but we expect it will be enough to deter future wrongdoers from attempting this again.
OK, so PokerStars seems to be gloating a little, but we think they deserve it – after all, they caught a cheater red-handed, took immediate steps to address the damage and helped restore some of the player’s shaky faith in online poker. Not many sites can say this.