Another controversy at online poker website UltimateBet.com surfaced over the weekend, resulting in Hand #1162170993 becoming a much discussed topic on the respected poker forum 2+2, where the details of the hand were posted. In essence, it appeared that although poker ace Phil Hellmuth mucked his hand, he was still awarded a $5 599 pot.
The trouble started early Saturday morning when international poker pro was engaged in a tense game with a player using the nick "Doubleballer." Despite having the weaker hand, Hellmuth was awarded the pot on completion of betting, triggering a complaint to management. UltimateBet officials, no doubt sensitised by the site's past cheating scandal, were quick to acknowledge that there was a problem, and promised an immediate and thorough investigation.
With no hard information yet available, the speculation is that the incorrect decision may have been the result of a technical glitch in the newly upgraded Cereus poker network software (see previous InfoPowa report) UltimateBet and its sister Absolute Poker are the main operational components of the newly launched network.
Paul Leggett, the COO of Absolute and UltimateBet owner Tokwiro Enterprises reacted quickly, too, writing on his blog: "Earlier today we learned about a poker hand where our system paid out the losing player instead of the correct winning hand. We are investigating this software malfunction as our absolute top priority. This is the first incident of this kind we have encountered." He went on to advise that that the system and all relevant application logs were being examined in an attempt to track the fault down.
Exchanges between "Doubleballer" and Hellmuth, who promotes UltimateBet, later revealed that the site planned to credit the former with half the value of the pot - $2 300. There was no further information available when InfoPowa went to press this morning.