WSOP bracelet winner launches site to expose scandals

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Apr 16, 2012 Posted in Interviews | 1 Comment »

Todd Witteles is perhaps best known for his World Series of Poker appearances where he, and his bottle Head & Shoulders shampoo used as a card-protector, became a prominent part of ESPN’s coverage. Witteles’ poker acumen speaks for itself; “Dan Druff” as he is more readily known in the poker world (get the Head & Shoulders bottle reference now) is a WSOP bracelet winner, with 13 WSOP cashes including five Top-10 finishes. But there is another side to Witteles, as the long-time poker pro has built up a reputation as a staunch critic of misconduct in the poker world.

Witteles has been one of the most vocal and outspoken critics of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker during and after the Super-User scandals, even appearing on 60 Minutes to warn players of the potential that cheating in online poker did not begin and end with these two sites. It’s Witteles’ personal crusade to “out” these poker cheats, scammers, and scandals that spawned his new website,, or PFA as it is known by its core members, is an upstart Poker Forum that is dedicated to reporting on any legitimate malfeasance that is taking place in poker. Whether the sins were committed by specific players or by an online poker room, Witteles is hoping that his site will be the go-to place for poker players who want to tell their side of the story, as well as being a resource for players to make use of.

Just weeks after the site’s launch already has a very active forum and Witteles has hosted a handful of Radio shows on the site; including a Black Friday Anniversary show that took place this past Sunday –this show and other previous shows can be found in the Radio Archives at the site.

I recently had a chance to pose some questions to Todd “DanDruff” Witteles about his new site and get his thoughts on some of the other news going on in the poker world.


Steve Ruddock: You have created a new website, which seems designed to take on poker scammers and scandals head on. What is your primary aim with the new site?

Todd Witteles: The primary aim is to have a site which specializes in exposing scams and scandals within the poker community. Two Plus Two has done this over the years, but their forum is so huge that all but the most major scandals tend to get lost within all the noise, and few people end up reading about the lesser-known shady incidents in poker. There is also a lot of unfair censorship over there, especially if the accusations are against 2+2 sponsors or authors. PokerFraudAlert will always allow all scamming accusations to be freely posted, and we will take it a step further by analyzing and investigating these situations ourselves. I’m hoping that eventually, whenever someone gets cheated in poker (whether live or online), their first thought is to come to my site and report it.

SR: What can people expect when they visit, and what plans do you have for the site in the future?

TW: The site has only existed for 6 weeks, and is still growing. My plans include a weekly radio show (which should be launching very soon, and has already had a few spontaneous episodes), and a comprehensive analysis of all US-facing poker rooms, with unbiased commentary on where your money is the safest.

In this part of my Interview with Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles we talk about current events in the poker world as well as his upcoming plans. The conversation moves away from, but the subject stays squarely on the Scams, Scandals, and Shadiness of the poker world.

Steve Ruddock: You have been a longtime critic of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, and were instrumental in rekindling people’s interest in the Super-User scandal when you landed an interview with Travis Makar that brought new evidence to light. Have you felt vindicated in your criticisms of the people involved with UB and Absolute Poker, as well as your insistence that there was more to uncover, after Makar’s revelations and the details that emerged regarding ownership of Absolute Poker since Black Friday?

Todd Witteles: I am only partially satisfied with the current fate of AP and UB. I am ecstatic that the site is down and won’t be cheating anyone for any longer. I feel it’s fitting that the people who continued playing there, despite their numerous scandals and cover-ups, suffered the consequence of losing their money as a result. Remember that these people helped keep the site active, and without them acting essentially as unpaid props, the activity would have dried up there a long time ago. One unfortunate side-effect of Black Friday was the loss of public interest in the AP/UB scandal. Everyone was excited about the Travis Makar revelations in early 2011, but that fell out of everyone’s minds when Black Friday turned online poker on its ear on April 15th of that year. I do feel a bit vindicated that the DOJ indictments verify that the AP guys were still owners (despite what Joe Sebok and Annie Duke repeatedly insisted), but I think that most people following the situation always believed this, anyway.

SR: Since you’re trying to expose shadiness in the poker world could you give me your thoughts on the most recent scandal in poker: The Epic Poker League?

TW: What a disaster! Not that anyone is particularly surprised. This was a company with all kinds of crazy expenses, almost nonexistent income, and no realistic business plan for making money. I can’t imagine how they possibly convinced suckers to invest in this thing. They must have been mesmerized by the “big names” involved such as Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack — two people I would have highly advised against ever trusting! Not surprisingly, despite Epic Poker League failing and its parent company declaring bankruptcy, Pollack, Duke, and others each made several hundred thousands of dollars from their “work” on the whole thing. What are the chances that they get together and contribute that money to the million dollar freeroll that the players got cheated out of? I’d say about zero point zero.

SR: What do you think the prospects of a deal between Full Tilt Poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie are, and what do you think the end-result will be for the poker world?

TW: At this point, I’d say less than 50%. I used to feel cautiously optimistic about the whole thing, but there are inexplicable delays here that can’t be a good sign. Most importantly, I have a feeling that Groupe Tapie has come to realize that Full Tilt simply isn’t worth the approximate $300 million price tag.

SR: We have about two months until the World Series of Poker, what are your WSOP plans this year –other than winning multiple bracelets of course!

TW: I’ll be thrilled with just one bracelet! It’s been a long 7 years since the first one. I’m going to play all of the limit hold ’em events, the mixed hold ’em events, a random selection of NL events, and of course the Main Event, where I came maddeningly close in 2010 by finishing 88th out of 7319 people. I just missed cashing in 2011 in the Main Event by a hair (beat like 87% of the field), so I’m excited to see what I can do in 2012. Anyone who would like to buy a piece of me in the WSOP can visit and take a look at the thread near the top of the Flying Stupidity forum.

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