Sleeper cells, super users: Joe Ingram continues his FBI like assault on ACR

Sleeper Cells, Super Users: Joe Ingram continues his FBI like assault on ACR

Joey Ingram continues to apply pressure on the owners of the Winning Poker Network and America’s Cardroom after releasing two more videos alleging widespread cheating on the site.

The wings of the Winning Poker Network (WPN) and America’s Cardroom (ACR) are crippled. The size elevens of Joey Ingram stands on them, crunching those smokey bones. Cat meat. Accusations of sleeper cells, collusion, super users and widespread bot use make them sound more like a terrorist organisation than a form of entertainment.

The scent of murder hangs in the air, and yet, despite the carnage that we witness thanks to the Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning of Joey Ingram; despite cheating scandals popping up like rockets bathing the poker communities awareness in a brilliant light, people will still carry on regardless.

Last week, Ingram posted an 18-minute video alleging rampant cheating across all games on ACR. The award-winning podcast host promised a follow-up video.

We now have two.

Video #2: The Loophole 

In the following video, Ingram confirms conversations have ensued between him and the WPN CEO Philip Nagy and his Director of Security in theSleeper Cells, Super Users: Joe Ingram continues his FBI like assault on ACR aftermath of the outcry produced by Video #1.

The most important point to highlight is Ingram’s concerns that Nagy’s focus seemed to be on his decision to release the video and not on dealing with the cheating accusations in the manner one would expect once you find out there is rampant cheating on your site.

The conversations did lead to the banning of 13 accounts, proving that some of Ingram’s allegations had merit. And yet, Ingram stipulates in the video that he has found 30 suspicious accounts, claiming:

“I have limited faith in their security to deal with this situation.” 

The situation that Ingram is referring to is a loophole that allows multi-table tournament (MTT) players to late reg an event at the same time. Ingram explains that if you’re leading a ring of colluders, sitting in a tournament at the same table has massive benefits. You can dump chips, share card information and put into play a myriad of other systems of cheating.

To highlight his point, Ingram used Sharkscope to reveal a series of accounts whose ITM win rate was so high it would make them some of the best MTT players in the business. Ingram rightly points out that for a rogue player to notice this apparent ring of cheats, and not the security team is preposterous. 

“It’s a shocking atrocity the way this has been handled.” Said Ingram. 

The Sleeper Cells 

In a switch that seemed out of the Homeland playbook, Ingram showed statistics leading to a credible accusation that this MTT ring had sleeper accounts that became activated to replace banned accounts.

Ingram showed a series of accounts who had played thousands of hands of freerolls with very little success only to burst into life hitting the 60-70% ITM win rates in $3 & $11 MTTs.

“I cannot fathom how deep this goes.” Said Ingram before stating he hopes ACR has redistributed the lost funds to the affected players. 

On the day Ingram recorded his second video, and in the wake of his conversation with the leaders of the WPN, an interested WPN player told Ingram to check out an MTT table during the late registration period. Ingram proceeded to witness people exploiting the same loophole showing the ACR security team had still not sewn it shut.

“These guys are never going to be caught,” said Ingram. 

Video #3: A Challenge to Nagy 

In the third video, Ingram records snippets of declarations that Nagy has made on Twitch about bot use and cheating in the WPN. Ingram initially applauds Nagy for emphasising the importance of fast payouts for players, but then criticises him for making promises he has not kept when it comes to the security of the site.

“I am taking bots probably more seriously than any other network,” said Nagy in a video Ingram shared. “Give me a month or so. I am going to make it very clear that other networks are going to be much more bot friendly than ours. I think I have come up with the single biggest deterrent to anyone doing bots. I will ban real people because they seem like bots and I will be merciless about it. If you end up being collateral damage, I apologise, but this is what the people want.” 

The video then leads into Ingram rightly questioning the lack of action to back up this claim. Where are the screams from those unfairly banned? What happened to the collateral damage? And then, Ingram makes his most serious allegations to date when he wonders, given that he dug up so much dirt after spending a few hours ploughing through Sharkscope if WPN and ACR even have a security team?

“It does not seem possible!” says Ingram. 

After several minutes of an agitated Ingram still sharing his disbelief that this widespread corruption is possible, there is the clearest indication yet that the WPN and ACR may survive, and it’s a problem online poker has had for a long time.

Ingram urges Nagy to do the right thing; to investigate the allegations, close the loophole, get rid of the Eastern European bots and make the site safe for legitimate players to enjoy a form of entertainment that has existed for hundreds of years.

“If your goal is to make a great poker site, you {Nagy} have to fix these problems now,” said Ingram. “These things can’t keep existing. Eventually, it will die. You have the opportunity to put emphasis on this and make this great. I don’t think it’s too late to fix this.” 

It takes me right back to the Isaac Haxton beef with PokerStars. It belies belief that someone like Haxton can have so much antipathy to a business and then continue to pay for its services.

This is the problem with poker.

It’s the game.

You sit down at a table, and your job is to take the money from the person sitting opposite you. It’s clear that this dynamic does something to the integrity of a select few.

During dinner with a player who competes at the very highest level in the game, when the discussion floated to Haxton’s decision to continue using PokerStars despite his apparent hatred of the site, the response I received was – he doesn’t have a choice. 

Of course, there is a choice.

It’s the same with WPN and ACR. Ingram is fanning the smoke. Sure, we can’t see the flames, but they’re there. We cannot see what’s going on behind the window pane, and the WPN and ACR will continue to place beautiful shiny objects in full view. Don’t be fooled. Refuse to play on the site. Don’t ask them to fix things. Run. Run as far as you can.

“I am in shock. I am baffled.” Said, Ingram, when talking about how easy it was to find these issues. “How can you not realise something is going on here? Casualties of war? WTF are you looking at?” 

Ingram wants Nagy to get the owners of these dodgy looking accounts on the blower.

“Get a translator if you have to,” said Ingram. “Ask them to set up a webcam. Ask them questions. If you give me an hour I will have a thousand questions for you and every legitimate poker player would gladly answer them.” 

I only have one question.

Why would anyone still want to play there?