The Word on the Street: Annie Duke’s Statement in Reaction to the Ultimate Bet Cheating Tapes

TAGs: Absolute Poker, Annie Duke, cheating tapes, Facebook, God Mode, Joanne Priam, John Vorhause, Lee Davy, Phil Hellmuth, poker news, Twitter, Ultimate Bet

Annie Duke issues a statement via Facebook after the release of the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal tapes; a statement that has not been well received by the poker community.

The Word on the Street: Annie Duke’s Statement in Reaction to the Ultimate Bet Cheating Tapes

Annie Duke has followed in the footsteps of Phil Hellmuth by publishing a statement in reaction to the release of the Ultimate Bet (UB) cheating tapes. The statement was released on her Facebook page and includes testimonials from poker author John Vorhaus, and former Pro Relations Manager for UB, Joanne Priam.

From Duke’s perspective, the release of the tapes seem to help clear her name from any potential use of the ‘God Mode’ software that was created by Iovation founder, and former UB founder Greg Pierson, if only due to the lack of concrete evidence of her involvement brought out from listening to the tapes.

Duke draws attention to this in the statement, but she has fanned the flames somewhat by doing so just seven days after tweeting a much smaller statement that is now being viewed as a contradictory message.

On the 11th May 2013, Duke made this statement on her Twitter account:

On the 18th May 2013 Duke made this statement on her Facebook page: “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.”

It’s clear to me that on the Facebook statement she mentions ‘real money play’ and that is not what she is referring to in her tweet; but the two statements are a PR disaster that was bound to be jumped upon by the people who question Duke’s ethics, and is clearly something that needs clarification.

Despite having her supporters it seems there is a long line of people cueing up to take a pot shot at her, and you can see why. One of the most vocal men in poker, Daniel Negreanu, has gone on record several times to openly air his feelings about a women he has seen practicing unethical behavior at the poker players on numerous occasions. In 2006, her then boyfriend, and Hollywood actor, Joe Reitman, defeated 2,773 players to win a first prize worth $266,000 in the Ultimate Bet $1 million guaranteed event, whilst playing under the alias HHUMBERT, which was allegedly an account owned by Duke. To pour more gasoline onto the already burning pyre she was late for commentary during that final table and was trying to act as if she didn’t know who Reitman was, and yet her co-commentators had already told everyone who was listening that HHUMBERT was Duke’s man.

“Having Annie around doesn’t hurt either,” Reitman told reporters after securing his big win.

In addition to that mess, there are also rumors abound that Russ Hamilton purchased a $2 million home for her – free of charge, and the two people who have supplied testimonials for her Facebook statement are close personal friends.

The main bone of contention that the poker population is once again chewing on – thanks to Travis Makar, the former Tech Assistant of Russ Hamilton, and the man who released the tapes to the general public – is that Annie Duke must have known that something was untoward during her affiliation with both UB and Absolute Poker (AP) and did not step down and distance herself from the company. That decision now sees her carry a completely different label that the one she would have had pinned to her chest had she just stepped down.

So what’s the difference between Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke? Both players were heavily involved with the UB brand, both have insisted that they knew nothing of any cheating scandal and only stuck around for the benefit of the poker community once news of a scandal broke. One takes a little bit of stick for his attitude at the table, but generally has a few arms around his shoulder and the other is vilified from pillar to post.

My own personal opinion is the Negreanu rants have had a big effect on the way the poker community view the values of one Annie Duke. Then over time the UB scandal, her brothers association with Full Tilt Poker (FTP) and the disaster that was Epic Poker League (EPL) have all contributed to an opinion formed by the majority of the poker community that she is not to be trusted.

But in the defense of Duke there is still no compelling evidence that she benefited from the UB scandal, and if anything the publication of the tapes helps her argument. The only confusing thing, and something that once again riles the poker community, is why she hasn’t stepped forward and done the dutiful thing by taking an interview to answer all of these accusations once and for all.

Link to her Facebook Page statement –


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