Collusion Identified in $109 Multi-Table Tournaments on Partypoker

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A forum poster at 2+2 accused some Partypoker users of collusion during recent high stakes multi-table tournaments. And the poker site responded by admitting it has discovered the allegations are true.

Partypoker tournament collusion
A Partypoker player identified collusion occurring in $109 tournaments, and the site launched an investigation confirming those findings. (Image: Partypoker)

On Oct. 21, an MTT online player with 13 years of experience named “FarseerFinland” opened a can of worms when he or she detailed their findings.

The forum poster made the final table in a $109 buy-in tournament on October 18. During the final table, he encountered some odd play from his final six opponents.

Player Exposes Malfeasance

FarseerFinland claimed that in 48 hands with “somewhat short stacks,” none of the final six other opponents went all-in while he busted three others. That alone isn’t proof of collusion. But the poster found it odd that as soon as he busted in 7th place, the tournament concluded just three minutes later.

After researching his final six opponents, the online poker player discovered each had signed up for Partypoker accounts in May, and were playing exclusively high-stakes MTT’s as of August.

The poker player shared their research with a Partypoker staff member who sent the accusations on to the security team to investigate. FarseerFinland also continued investigating independently and found more evidence on Oct. 20.

Instead of playing in the same tournament on that date as the alleged cheaters, FarseerFinland merely observed from the rail and jotted down notes of suspicious activity during the tournament.

The Party player and 2+2 forum poster found eight additional players who had odd betting habits and just so happened to have signed up for Partypoker this past May. Things that make you go, “hmm.”

Investigation Confirms Findings

After the forum poster informed Partypoker, the poker site began investigating. Soon after, the 14 suspected accounts were suspended.

Tom Waters, Partypoker’s managing director, spoke with the Calvin Ayre website to discuss the situation. He admitted his security team believes collusion occurred and, “a group of accounts were found to be playing in teams.”

Waters also noted that Party uses “sophisticated fraud control mechanics” to combat collusion, bots, and other forms of cheating. But he admitted it’s sometimes difficult to instantly detect because of the large number of hands required to confirm illicit activity.

The executive said that despite the recent incident, his poker site doesn’t need to make any major changes to its software. The problem, he suggests, has been identified and doesn’t pose a continued security threat.

GVC Holdings, Partypoker’s parent company, recently won two awards, including Poker Operator of the Year, at the EGR Operator Awards ceremony in London.

The poker site has made a strong push the past year to overtake PokerStars as the industry leader, an effort that includes the hiring of long-time WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton as Chairman, and signing big-name ambassadors such as Fedor Holz and Sam Trickett while also establishing a player advisory panel.

With that said, Partypoker isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, poker site to deal with collusion. But in this case, it was up to a player to help keep their game honest.

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