Ecogra Endorses Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet

pokeraddict

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The CEREUS Poker Network, which includes UB and Absolute Poker, received an endorsement from one of the leading online gaming regulatory bodies Tuesday.

The e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) organization announced that CEREUS passed the requirements for its Certified Software accreditation seal.

Absolute Poker and UB Poker were both mired in cheating scandals that came to light in 2007 and 2008 and initially cost players millions of dollars. The money was eventually returned to the players after a series of investigations.

Doing everything possible to reassure the poker community that our operation and software are completely safe and secure is a priority for us, said Tokwiro CEO Paul Legget. This is why we decided to work with eCOGRA and apply for the Certified Software accreditation seal.

eCOGRA was established as a non-profit organization by Microgaming and 888.com and has since become one of the most respected regulatory bodies in the online gaming world, reviewing over 150 sites including industry leaders like PartyPoker and bwin.

According to eCOGRA representatives, the CEREUS Poker Network was very open in the rigorous inspection process.

CEREUS managements complete cooperation and commitment to an in-depth inspection and monitoring process involving the networks transaction records and its software has been remarkable, said eCOGRA chief executive Andrew Beveridge.

Going forward, we are confident that the networks adherence to our standards and best business practice requirements will prevent any reoccurrence of the unfortunate incidents of the past.

The on-site review encompassed every aspect of CEREUS software development activities was conducted earlier this year by professional eCOGRA auditing and technical staff.
 

Simmo!

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A step in the right direction for AP and UB but one suspects they have a long way to go to regain the full trust of the community.
 

same_old

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Sorry I just have to ask as a general quesiton.

what would eCORGA'S stance on knowing the past scandle with UB/AP with this be.

Are they happy to take them on board even due to the past shannigans that went on?

what lengths would they be able to go to to make sure this type of stuff wont happen, dont get me wrong at least eCORGA is on board as opposed to noone?
 

bernynhel

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Sorry I just have to ask as a general quesiton.

what would eCORGA'S stance on knowing the past scandle with UB/AP with this be.

Are they happy to take them on board even due to the past shannigans that went on?

what lengths would they be able to go to to make sure this type of stuff wont happen, dont get me wrong at least eCORGA is on board as opposed to noone?
I don't know about "happy to take them on." "Stuck with them" since UB and AP satisfied the criteria for an endorsement is more like it.

And as far as I'm concerned, eCORGA's endorsement of UB and AP does more to discredit the validity of an eCORGA endorsement that it does to give any immediate legitimacy to anything UP or AP might be up to, these days. Only time will tell, but not with my dime! Hey! Get Mikey! He'll try anything! :lolup:
 

Simmo!

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This announcement will definitely divide opinion. We know that some people consider eCOGRA ineffective and some people consider it useful. We also know some people think the brands should be retired, while some people see the measures taken to remove the human element responsible for the problem as a solution to a repeat performance.

I'm pretty sure that if people are already opinionated on either body, eCOGRA or AP/UB, this move won't change anyone's opinion.

Bottom line for me is that if AP/UB are going to continue to operate, which they clearly are, it makes sense to have in place as many avenues for players to protect themselves as possible.

I think the word endorsement in this context is potentially ambiguous aswell. If we are to assume the author of the article takes certification to mean endorsement, we should also accept that it's certification of new management and operations after the initial issues have been rectified.

Strictly speaking, using the word "endorse" here is wrong (but AP/UB will be happy the author used it I'm sure): when you endorse a company you are saying that you not only agree with the way they act until this point, but beyond it, which is why you see so many people/companies refusing to endorse suppliers and products that they deal with. In eCOGRA's case, they are saying the changes made satisfy certification criteria and that they will monitor the company ongoing. That's not an endorsement, that's a commitment.
 
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Roanan

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Sorry I just have to ask as a general quesiton.

what would eCORGA'S stance on knowing the past scandle with UB/AP with this be.

Are they happy to take them on board even due to the past shannigans that went on?

what lengths would they be able to go to to make sure this type of stuff wont happen, dont get me wrong at least eCORGA is on board as opposed to noone?
New owners (Tokwilo Enterprises), new software and new management team.

I've stuck with them through thick and thin and will continue to do so.

I love Ultimate Bet
 

bernynhel

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New owners (Tokwilo Enterprises), new software and new management team.

I've stuck with them through thick and thin and will continue to do so.

I love Ultimate Bet
I did not know that, thanks! Back in the day at AP before the transparant hands fiasco was exposed, I was playing a tournament when, in one hand, every other player's cards were displayed up! I couldn't believe it! I typed in the table chat for everyone to please protect their hands and they didn't know what I was talkin about. But even before that, I swore to everyone I could that AP was crooked just based on my play at the BJ Table.(remember the little off to the side BJ game? Am I remembering correctly: you could play it in a pop up during poker play?) Anyway everyone said I was nuts then it all went kaBLOOEY.
 

LinkinFart

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I tried Absolute Poker recently, don`t ask me why, and 2 things made impression on me.

First, support on live chat is excellent, except one person, and is able to solve any issue immediately.
Second, once verified my account withdrawals to Moneybookers took around or less than 4 hours.

About ecogra certificate, well they didnt had one when I played there and everything was fine.
 

skiny

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Personally I put a lot more stock in what real players say about a casino or poker room than I do in an eCrap seal anyway.
 

lots0

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Could this possibly be more about MONEY than it already is? I doubt it.

I guess if the entire story on the cheating scandal had come out (it has not) and if the parties responsible for cheating had gone to jail or least been charged with a crime and if ALL the stolen money had been returned to players...

I could see ecogra giving these crooks a endorsement... but the fact is the people that stole all that money from players are still working there(running things) and the there has NEVER been any Justice for anyone involved.

To be honest... I think the people running ecogra have had a major BrainFart and can't seem to clear the air.

I guess I am amazed that ecogra continues to expect people to consider them a "Player Advocate" when they NEVER side with players and ALWAYS side with the MONEY.
 

Casinomeister

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...I guess I am amazed that ecogra continues to expect people to consider them a "Player Advocate" when they NEVER side with players and ALWAYS side with the MONEY...
And you base this on what evidence? That statement is beyond absurd. Have you ever looked at Tex Rees' stats for disputes?
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LOL. Well I guess that ends that potential debate then :D
Ditto on that. :rolleyes:
 

lots0

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And you base this on what evidence? That statement is beyond absurd. Have you ever looked at Tex Rees' stats for disputes?
OK I'll admit that my statement was over the top and definitive when it should not have been.

Using the words "Never" and "Always" was out of line on my part. There have been occasions where ecogra has stood up for the player...

But, no matter how absurd you think my statement, you have to admit that in the case with Absolute Poker ecogra's decision leaves some folks scratching their heads... Why would ecogra endorse a company that still has known thieves or people who covered for thieves running it, if they are real player advocates?

As far as ecogra's own stats:
Do you really expect ecogra or any comparable organization to put out stats that don't show themselves in a good light?

Bryan, I know the people at ecogra are your good friends and this is your forum. So I'll shut up now before I get thumped.
 

Simmo!

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would ecogra endorse a company that still has known thieves or people who covered for thieves running it, if they are real player advocates?
The author of the original article chose that word, presumably to emphasise AP/UB are moving in what he/she considers to be the right direction but eCOGRA are making a commitment, not making an endorsement.

Incidentally, I thought I read somewhere the original perpetrators of the crime were removed and the company sold into new ownership. Are you saying that's not the case lots0?
 

vinylweatherman

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OK I'll admit that my statement was over the top and definitive when it should not have been.

Using the words "Never" and "Always" was out of line on my part. There have been occasions where ecogra has stood up for the player...

But, no matter how absurd you think my statement, you have to admit that in the case with Absolute Poker ecogra's decision leaves some folks scratching their heads... Why would ecogra endorse a company that still has known thieves or people who covered for thieves running it, if they are real player advocates?

As far as ecogra's own stats:
Do you really expect ecogra or any comparable organization to put out stats that don't show themselves in a good light?

Bryan, I know the people at ecogra are your good friends and this is your forum. So I'll shut up now before I get thumped.
It's around 50% of the time that eCogra finds some degree of legitimacy in a player's complaint. The player may NOT get everything they asked for in a resolution though.

By giving the seal to AP and UB, eCogra are putting THEIR OWN reputation on the line. If AP or UB screw up whilst having the seals eCogra's reputation will be in ruins. eCogra therefore must be confident that there CANNOT be a repeat of what happened before under the new systems and management.

AP and UB had no choice BUT to mend their ways, and achieve the eCogra seal, as it was a case of "get independently accredited" or "go out of business".

For players, playing at a sealholder means that they are subject to ongoing review, whereas a non-sealholder may be subject to NOTHING in the way of a review.

Now they HAVE the seal, they can LOSE it, and this should happen BEFORE the "s*** hit the fan", giving players the chance to get their money out.

TUSK poker (and the casinos) lost their seals some 2 weeks before they went bust, players could have ignored all the assurances from the company, and got their money out fast, and NOT put any back UNTIL the seal was restored. I believed the assurances, and ALMOST got my fingers burned in the casino to the tune of 2200, but I was lucky, got it all out Mon and Tues, and when I went to deposit again, MGS had already pulled the licence, and I couldn't. Next time eCogra remove seals, I will be less likely to believe platitudes from the casino.
 

Casinomeister

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...Why would ecogra endorse a company that still has known thieves or people who covered for thieves running it, if they are real player advocates?
Again - this is based on what evidence? I - along with a number of others - thought that there were changes made and those guilty parties were either fired, punished, or both. If there is evidence that points to thieves still running the joint, then this should be substantiated. And I'll be happy to update AP's rogue listing to reflect this.

Do you really expect ecogra or any comparable organization to put out stats that don't show themselves in a good light?
Well actually, I would expect an organization that is dealing with industry checks and balances to be upfront and honest with its stats. Please note that handling complaints is not the primary function of eCOGRA, and they aren't whitewashing these stats either. It's pretty straightforward.

It's hard to compare this to other organizations, but for what it's worth, 32red published a not so happy clappy report about its earnings a couple of months back. A number of the publicly traded companies have been upfront with bad news as well, so yeah - I would expect that companies with high profiles to give us honest reports without the hype.

Bryan, I know the people at ecogra are your good friends and this is your forum. So I'll shut up now before I get thumped.
I think this paints an incorrect picture. The relationship is business, and we share basically the same philosophies on player treatment and responsible gambling. There is a good amount of communication between us that has been beneficial to a lot of people - especially when it comes to looking at player issues or casino policies. We meet up occasionally at conferences and share ideas, and that's about it - it's not like we're naming our children after each other :p

You know me - I only "thump" people when they pull stuff out of their fourth point of contact and say it's true :p
 

lots0

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Casinomeister said:
Again - this is based on what evidence? I - along with a number of others - thought that there were changes made and those guilty parties were either fired, punished, or both. If there is evidence that points to thieves still running the joint, then this should be substantiated. And I'll be happy to update AP's rogue listing to reflect this.
Now you see I was under the impression that just the opposite was going on.

As far as I know there has never(I know I am using that word again, but this time its appropriate.) been a complete accounting of what happened released to the public.

There has never been a completely independent report released to the public, nor has there ever been any type of unregulated or government/law enforcement investigation allowed nor legal charges or lawsuits filed.

There have been numerous conflicting statements of what happened released from the Owners.
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But never an independent investigation that has made its results public.

The big question is... What ever happened to and where is Scott Tom, EX-CEO of AP and alleged perpetrator of this major rip off?
Last report I saw, a few months ago, he was seen in AP's offices in Costa Rica sitting at his desk, with a new title...

This entire Absolute Poker scandal still stinks to high heaven...
 

johnsteed

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Considering that EVERYONE is keeping an eye on AP/UB, and that CEREUS Poker didn't do a face lift by changing and repackaging the brand names (and they easily could have like some of those rogue RTG and PlayTech casinos have done in the past), one would have to think that the new management team is serious about not letting this sort of thing happen again. They're in knee deep with those who question their legitimacy, very rightfully so, but as someone who's watched the way that they've gone about trying to fix their mistakes/reputation, I appreciate that - for the most part - they've taken it on the chin.



I know some other serious poker players who get paid, feel that it's fair, and are more than happy going there because the field there is EXTREMELY weak; compared to PokerStars and FullTilt.



I would agree with the other poster, that it's not so much about who's the regulatory body watching over any particular site that helps me decide where to play, rather it's about player feedback/experience first and foremost.



Steed

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jetset

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The author of the original article chose that word, presumably to emphasise AP/UB are moving in what he/she considers to be the right direction but eCOGRA are making a commitment, not making an endorsement.

Incidentally, I thought I read somewhere the original perpetrators of the crime were removed and the company sold into new ownership. Are you saying that's not the case lots0?
I think Simmo makes a good point here - my understanding of the matter is that the management at UB/AB/Cereus, having shelled out literally millions in compensation and fines for the evils of the past, have for the past year or more been involved in an attempt to protect their probably substantial investment by taking precautions against the same thing ever happening again.

This has involved going to extraordinary lengths to make sure their software and management systems are squeaky clean in order to protect existing and future business. My personal belief is that the creation of the Cereus brand was part of that strategy, but that's not confirmed.

This is an understandable business initiative to try and repair the damage caused by the likes of Russ Hamilton et al who (allegedly) were consultants who manipulated imperfections in the software which have since been rectified.

Another part of the rehabilitation strategy, judging by the press release from Tokwiro which started this thread, is bringing in an independent professional services outfit to inspect and monitor going forward.

Whether you personally accept it as credible or not, the fact is that as an independent organisation eCOGRA has a powerful and professionally qualified audit team and a proven system for checking software and management systems.

It's a pretty rare combination which most jurisdictions cannot claim to have on the same cross-jurisdictional scale, and it has the respect of major outfits like EGBA and many of the major industry groups that are not associated with eCOGRA founders MGS/Ongame/888.

That makes it a suitable business choice for an organisation that is prepared to open up its systems and software to on-site inspection, and to subsequently adhere to a set of international best practice standards reviewed on a regular basis.

It's a matter of opinion as to whether a disgraced company should be permitted to rehabilitate itself, which is what I think Tokwiro is trying to do here.

I appreciate that emotionally one's inclination is to say the hell with 'em, and run them out of town on a rail, but business has to think rather more objectively when it comes to a profitable company in which a lot of cash has been invested.

I don't personally believe this is designed to further screw players or delude them - it's a plainly business strategy to restore confidence and obviate any reoccurrence of a horrendously expensive company debacle.
 

jetset

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Lots0, the question of impartiality often resides in the opinion of a person.

As one of the stronger and sustained critics of AB/UB and the way it initially handled this scandal through denial, then argument and finally acceptance (thanks to those incredible player-detectives on sites like 2plus2) I think I can present a reasonably informed opinion.

This is again dependent on your view, but the KGC (eventually) got its collective ass into gear under public pressure and appointed first Gaming Associates and then Frank Catania to conduct an investigation. Again, you may have an opinion about Catania's consultancy associations with the Kahnawake, but he was appointed anyway and his legal and enforcement credentials cannot (imo) be questioned.

Catania submitted a report, much of which was made public by the KGC when they hammered Tokwiro with some heavy duty fines and laid down conditions for its licence which included reimbursing players - those were millions of dollars more than the fines it had to pay. It had to do other stuff to show it had mended its ways, too like sorting out its software and submitting to a KGC review schedule.

The (unconfirmed) argument for not publicly implicating Scott Tom, AJ Green and others alleged on the message boards to be involved was that they had cooperated in the investigations, which in the end fingered Russ Hamilton as the main culprit, publicly naming and shaming him....but that's all.

This is a point on which I, like many others, remain dissatisfied, because although the KGC said it had handed all its information to the local Quebec cops there appeared to be no charges laid or prosecutions ensuing. So after taking millions, Hamilton remains a free man. I think that offends most everyone's sense of justice denied.

Unfortunately we may never know exactly what went on behind the scenes during these crises, and that may be another motivation for not dragging these wretches into a court of law. But that doesn't change the need for the current owners of the company to clean up their act and ensure it stays that way in the future.
 

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