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Ultimate Bet Awards Hellmuth Pot With Losing Hand

by PokerPages.com
Thu, Dec 25th, 2008 @ 12:00am

Online poker site Ultimate Bet has found itself in the headlines again, this time after a pot worth more than $5,000 was wrongly shipped to UB posterboy Phil Hellmuth.

The hand, which took place on December 20th, was between Hellmuth and a player known as DOUBLEBALLER at a heads-up $200/$400 limit table. After Hellmuth called the final $400 on the river, the $5,600 pot was given to Hellmuth, even though DOUBLEBALLER had shown trip kings. The hand history later revealed that the 11-time bracelet winner mucked just a pair of deuces, but took down the pot anyways.

On Wednesday, Paul Legget, COO of Tokwiro Enterprises, the parent company of Ultimate Bet, released the following statement:

"On Saturday, December 20, 2008, two players DOUBLEBALLER and PHILHELLMUTH were playing heads up at a 200/400 table on UltimateBet.com. DOUBLEBALLER won hand #1162170993. The software malfunctioned and awarded the losing player PHILHELLMUTH the pot, instead of the actual winner DOUBLEBALLER. After learning of the incident, we credited the player the correct prize to his account. We then began an investigation into the malfunction. We have now completed our preliminary investigation into the software malfunction regarding an incorrect payout in hand #1162170993 on the CEREUS Poker Network.

We have concluded that the malfunction occurred because the winning player disconnected from the table at the precise millisecond when the software was awarding the pot, in conjunction with the "player's state" data being cleared from the memory cache."

Phil Hellmuth, who was involved in this incident, said, "The only time in my life where I've had one pair beat three of a kind is when I made a big bluff in a poker tournament and now because of a software malfunction in online poker. I am one of the most watched players on the Internet, and all I can say is that it is pretty obvious that there was no malicious intent and even more obvious that UB handled this problem well. Sometimes these things happen on the Internet. The important thing here is that I continue to have a ton of trust in UB's software and new management team."

Leggett's statement continues: "There is a prevention system in place designed to protect hand results against disconnections. However, after conducting an extensive source code analysis, we found logic in our code that we have enhanced to further ensure this malfunction cannot reoccur. We were able to reproduce the error on our testing systems by forcing a hand to disconnect its winning player at the precise millisecond the hand in question was awarding the pot and simultaneously flushing the "player's state" data. Had the disconnection happened literally a millisecond sooner or later the error would not have transpired.

"While enhancing the software to prevent this malfunction from occurring again, we introduced a new defect that caused 36 hands to award incorrect payouts. All players have been reimbursed for these hands as well.

"We have implemented a new method into the code and updated the game servers. Both errors are no longer reproducible. Furthermore, we are conducting extensive tests to simulate every possible disconnection scenario to ensure this type of malfunction cannot occur in the future.

"We are currently reviewing historical hands in our database to see if there ever were similar incidents in the past. Thus far, our investigation has been unable to unearth any additional historical occurrences of this malfunction. Our investigation will continue until we are satisfied that there are no additional historical occurrences.

"We recognize the severity of these issues and we will continue to give them the attention they deserve until we are absolutely certain that they cannot happen again."

Related:

  • Ultimate Bet to Refund $15.1M to Poker Players Affected by Scandal
  • CEREUS Poker Network Now Powers UltimateBet and Absolute Poker
  • UltimateBet Poker Scandal: Sanctions Imposed & Russ Hamilton Named
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