Hellmuth issues statement after secret UB tapes released
The revelations in the recently released tapes by Travis Makar have brought the Super-User scandal that occurred at Ultimate Bet during the poker boom back into the spotlight, showing precisely how groundbreaking, heart-wrenching, and downright inexcusable the scandal was and is. The tapes released by Makar, a former confidante and employee of Russ Hamilton were allegedly secretly recorded by Hamilton himself, and while the tapes haven’t revealed any information that wasn’t already speculated on, they have confirmed many people’s assumptions, and answered a litany of unanswered questions that the poker community has been waiting on for years. As many have called them, they are indeed “A smoking gun.”
One of the questions the poker world wanted answered was the involvement and/or knowledge by sponsored pros at the site, and the tapes supplied us with the answers to at least two of these players; the two biggest names at UB Poker, Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke.
While the tapes revealed that not only did Annie Duke know about the “Audit Monster” program, she had used it on a delay when she served as a tournament director at UB – a charge Duke confirmed on her Twitter account. For Hellmuth the tapes confirmed most people’s suspicions that the “poker Brat” had nothing to do with any cheating and in fact had zero knowledge of the program. Still, with the UB scandal now back in the headlines, Hellmuth made the decision to release a statement on the matter.
The statement by Phil Hellmuth was issued through his agent, Poker Royalty’s Brian Balsbaugh, to Kevin “KevMath” Mathers who posted it on the 2+2 poker forum:
I’ve made a living off of reading people at the poker table and in the business world. Trusting my gut has allowed me to be at the top of my profession and develop a lifetime of friends and great experiences.
Unfortunately, I made a horrible read regarding my relationship with the founders of the now defunct online poker site Ultimate Bet.
I trusted their team and believed in their ability to run a first class website and business. Most importantly, I allowed them to convince me that they were honest and forthright. I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.
When I became aware of the cheating scandal, I immediately insisted that everyone be paid back and whoever was responsible be banished from the company. At the time, I was led to believe that if I left UB right away the business would be impacted and then less likely to pay it’s obligations to the victims. As such, I made the decision to believe the leaders of UB and stayed on in the hopes that they would make right to anyone cheated.
Listening to the recently released audio tapes of the UB founders has brought this situation back into the forefront of my thoughts. To hear them discussing this situation and actively deciding to keep me in the dark disgusts and infuriates me. They lied to me about their activities and I made a big mistake in trusting them for way too long.
I should have said something about this long ago, but until I heard the voices on the tapes myself I never really knew how wrong and misled I really was. I empathize deeply with the players who were taken advantage of through UB. Whether it is this or Black Friday, too many of my fellow poker players have lost confidence and their financial savings simply by playing the game they love. I hope that in the near future we have a strong, regulated online poker environment in the US so that we can all get back to playing the game we love. In the meantime, I want to pass along my support to everyone affected negatively through UB and my apologies for my initial support of people who didn’t deserve anyone’s trust in the first place.
You can listen to the lengthy audio recordings here:
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