re: Poker & The Rise and Fall of Isildur1
This was the response from Full Tilt Poker
Sorry for the delay in posting, I just wanted to make sure I had all the facts together prior to doing so.
First, to clear up some of the current confusion about the current state of the rules at FTP:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing hands, discussing opponents, or discussing strategy with other players while away from the table. I think most people are aware of this, but I just wanted to ensure that was clear from the beginning.
We have rules (quoted many times in this thread) about collusion, datamining and sharing hand history databases. I only make mention of collusion here to emphasize that nobody involved is suspected of collusion. If we were talking about collusion, we’d be seeing a much different outcome for this case (since in the poker world, there are very few rules as important).
Importantly, our rules apply to our Red Pros just as much as any of our players. In fact, we often have to be tougher on our Red Pros than our players because not only do they represent our site, they are looked up to by players as role models.
After doing an investigation and speaking with Brian Hastings, Brian Townsend, and Cole South, the Fraud and Security team have come to the conclusion that the statement taken from the ESPN article describing the three combining their hands into a shared database was inaccurate. Further, Brian Hastings and Cole South were found to not have breached our rules in any way. They did discuss hands, an opponent, and a strategy for that opponent, but it was all done away from the game. While they were playing it was always one player to a hand.
A breach of the rules did occur by Brian Townsend, and was related to datamining. Normally we wouldn’t share that information (for privacy reasons), but due to the fact it was a Red Pro who represents the site, we feel it’s important to clarify the situation.
As for the punishment:
On the spectrum of rule breaking, datamining, while serious, isn’t at the top of the list. Contrary to popular belief, we almost never close an account for a first datamining offense. We understand that not all sites have the same rules, and there is definite confusion surrounding datamining specifically. For this reason, we try to give our players the benefit of the doubt in many cases and allow them a warning to make sure they’re now aware of the rules and agree to follow them moving forward.
However, like I said above, we have to hold our Red Pros to a higher standard. So in addition to the warning, we’ve stripped Brian of his Red Pro status for a month. I understand this won’t feel like enough of a punishment for many of you. Many options were considered, but at the end of the day we felt this punishment best fit the offense.
It’s certainly embarrassing to all of us that this has happened and upsetting that the facts of the incident were not reported correctly. We will ensure that all our Pro’s understand that they are under the utmost scrutiny and are held to the highest standards of all of our players when it comes to the integrity and promotion of our brand.
We apologize for the delay in responding, and for the confusion that resulted from that delay
Sean (Full Tilt Poker Representative)