Is there widespread collusion, super-accounting and bot use on America’s Card Room? According to a video released by the award-winning podcast host, and high stakes Pot Limit Omaha player, Joey Ingram, that answer is yes.
There is a book called SuperIntelligence wrote by a brilliant man named Nick Bostrom in which he talks about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it makes humans appear like small children playing with a bomb.
“We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear, we can hear a faint ticking sound.”
That faint ticking sound has been driving Joey Ingram insane, and he’s finally popped.
Speaking on an 18-minute video, the Global Poker Index (GPI) American Poker Award winner, and Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) cash game player makes it crystal that you should not play on the Winning Poker Network (WPN) aka America’s Card Room (ACR).
“I want to believe I am wrong about this stuff,” says a visibly upset Ingram. “Stay away from ACR. Stay away.”
Ingram talked about wanting to make this video for a while but feared for the repercussions of the online cash games, and how people view online poker. And that makes sense given Ingram’s standing in the poker world. He is one of the most visible players in the poker industry thanks to his award-winning media platforms.
In the video, Ingram explains how in the past he has recommended ACR to players and has a good relationship with the leaders, including the WPN CEO Philip Nagy, who in 2016 declared war on bots!
What is most alarming was the casual way that Ingram discussed that bots have been on ACR for some time now. In fact, his use of language (both verbally and physically) when talking about bots shows how widespread and accepted this problem is. It’s something to certainly think about the next time your friend tells you, over a cheese and pickle sandwich in your kitchen, that online poker is rigged.
To highlight the prevalence of this issue, which is only going to be picked up and discussed by the grinders, someone posted Ingram’s video on the 2+2 Gossip column only for someone else to complain that there were four other threads discussing bot use on this site.
Ingram claimed, without providing any evidence, that there has been widespread cheating through bots, super collusion and people playing more than one account for some time now. And he has personally viewed and recorded hours of footage and talked to other people including those who run bot-accounts. He didn’t share any of the footage but claimed on the short video that he intends to create a more thorough video in the future.
The primary reason Ingram is coming forward now (aside from being picked off himself) is the lack of interest from Nagy. Ingram claimed that it took Nagy six days to replay to Ingram’s email advising him of the intention to create a video.
“He doesn’t give a fuck,” said Ingram. “They know what’s happening. They aren’t fucking dumb.”
In an interview with Virtue Poker’s Ryan Gittleson, recently, I asked him what success would look like, five years from now.
“Five years out we aim to be able to have solved the trust problem in poker and have happy customers who feel that the game has been reinvigorating, not bot infested or shark ridden.”
Virtue Poker wants to deal with this problem by giving bot users visibility and a place to play but in a controlled and regulated environment.
Are reputable companies fighting an unwinnable battle hiring AI geniuses to create algorithms to keep out the algorithms? Does Gittleson have the right approach? I think he does.
Ingram claims that in the past he could beat the bots claiming they aren’t the best bots, but they’re solid. Recently, things have changed, and Ingram believes the games are now unplayable. He talks primarily about the Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) cash games across most stakes, but also alleges widespread bot use in No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) cash games and tournaments.
Two accounts that Ingram mentions are Sleepberry from Turkey and ElJackEl from New York. The podcast host talked about watching the former playing at $1/$2 and $2/$4 with awful pre-flop stats and hardly any post flop mistakes. Ingram also spoke about watching this account moving higher up the stakes, playing HU and never losing. The account then plays with Ingram and stacks him twice in very dubious circumstances. Ingram said at one time he called him a cheat in the chat and the account immediately stopped playing.
“I have played millions of hands. You can tell when you play an inauthentic account.” Said Ingram.
Ingram talks about the widespread use of bots on numerous sites, citing the high profile bot ring uncovered on PokerStars in 2015. He talks about the high number of reports to ACRs reps and the lack of action. Alarmingly he talks about bot use at the micro stakes cash games.
“These bots are there, and present and nothing is being done.” Said Ingram.
Moving onto collusion, Ingram says he received the most detailed message about collusion he has ever received (but didn’t share). He talked about someone competing at the High Stakes PLO tables with three different accounts. At this point, Ingram said he had known people in the past (friends) who have done similar shady things, and said I am not the beacon of light when it comes to TOS. In highlighting his past mistakes, it does give an air of authority and legibility to the video.
Ingram named three suspect accounts:
Create my own energy – USA
GreenSpirit – USA
44 bars – Portugal
He also pointed out how dumb some of these cheaters are. Take 44bars, for example, at the recent BOSS festival on ACR he won the first three events.
Talk about grabbing the spotlight and shining it in your face.
“This guy is a little bit smarter than the fucking idiots.” Said Ingram.
I’m not so sure.
“I could be wrong,” said Ingram, “It could be the most unique website of all time.”
Ingram’s logic dictates that that cheating is rifer than he suspects. If the bots/colluders are this dumb then how many super smart cheats are circumventing security and robbing people blind? More openness came when Ingram admitted not making a video sooner because he was winning.
“I have been naive for years,” said Ingram. “I have always won so why should I care? I’ve been selfish.”
At the end of the video, it seems like Ingram admits to dubious personal practices in the past when he warns people to not fall for the ruse when one bot deliberately loses to another bot.
“I did this back in the day,” says Ingram. “You show up and play like an idiot.”
Is this the state of online poker right now?
Is this what you have to expect from a poker room operating in a grey market?
Or do we have to accept that we are all children playing with a bomb that will go off some point in time and there will be no online poker?
ACR does have one defender.
Reacting to Ingram’s tweet about ACR, Doyle Brunson, who used the platform when Doyles Room was in business, said:
“While I have no interest in the cardroom now, I have a difficult time believing there is cheating going on there. Why? I know the owners and all my dealings with them were more than satisfactory.”
If we are to be worried then perhaps one of the responses to Brunson’s tweet says it all.
It has nothing to do with the owner, online bots, collusion and cheating is just part of online poker as it happens way too often.
This is the state of poker, right now.
I hope I am wrong and none of this is happening.
Check out the video for yourself.