ZeeJustin is perhaps the most well known individual player controversy in the history of online poker. In a game that has had more than a few scandals and cover ups, finding yourself atop this list is quite an accomplishment. Fortunately for ZeeJustin, now better known as Justin Bonomo, his reputation has largely been cleaned up. So, what did Bonomo do? Oh, nothing much, just entered the same tournaments with multiple accounts.
Bonomo was the poster child for why you shouldn’t multi account. When he would bust from an event, Bonomo would simply switch over to one of the other accounts that he entered into the same tournament. This would allow him to have an obvious (huge) edge over his opponents. If he got off to a hot start, he could all but ensure a cash, because he had a back up plan if he happened to get knocked out. Any tournament player would be able to find a ton of success if they were able to have another plan if things didn’t go well the first time around. Bonomo owned up to his mistakes, though, and has been accepted back into the poker community.
Today, Bonomo is a high stakes cash game and tournament regular. Though players still like to crack ZeeJustin jokes in regards to his multi-accounting history, he has done his best to put it behind him. He can hardly get angry about some light hearted (or even mean spirited) jokes about what he did, though, as he flat out broke the rules. He served as a great example for poker sites around the world, and it is a near certainty that his public exposure from the cheating has made some people think twice about multi-accounting.
JJProdigy has one of the funnier stories in online poker, as his cheating was covered up with laughable lies. When “ablackcar” won the Party $500,000 Guaranteed tournament back in 2006, no one thought much of it. After a little bit of research, however, it became clear that “ablackcar” was not a random player. Instead, this account was in fact controlled by none other than JJProdigy. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this in and of itself. The real issue stems from the fact that JJProdigy was also behind at least one other account in that very same tournament.
It was later found that JJProdigy, real name Josh Field, was orchestrating the multi-account scheme in many tournaments, all of which carried sizable buy ins. No one ever denied that Field was a good tournament player, but much of his success stemmed from obvious cheating. His cover up for the Party Poker situation were laughable, as he claimed that his grandmother was playing the tournament for most of the event, and that he only took over as it came to a close. He could have said his brother, neighbor, anyone, but instead he said it was his grandmother. This blew the cover on cheating that everyone already knew about it, and helped to ruin Field’s reputation both in real life and online. He was banned from a handful of live events, and was never able to gain back the (legitimate) notoriety that he once had.
Brian Hastings should have been in the article about d-bags. It is one thing to do something (technically) against a poker site’s terms and conditions, but it is another to brag about it. When Hastings was able to conquer Islidur1 in one of the biggest heads up matches ever, it was a major deal in the online poker world. He took Isildur1 for millions, and the mystery man would never be the same. But what he did after his big win was nothing short of stupid.
Most players would be happy about earning millions from one of the top nosebleed heads up players, but they wouldn’t cheat to do it. If they did cheat, though, they sure as hell wouldn’t tell anyone. Hastings figured this was a bit too much thinking for him, so he not only issues a public acceptance speech after his victory, but also thanked the people who shared their information on Isildur1. Now, everyone knows that data mining and hand sharing is widespread, and few people think it is shady, but the fact remains that it is against Full Tilt Poker’s user agreement. Nonetheless, Hastings openly admitted that he broke the rules to cheat Isildur1. There is a fair chance that he never would have even been able to beat him without these hands. Either way, he all but got away with it, so maybe it isn’t a big deal to FTP when players cheat (assuming your name is in red at the tables, of course).
Phil Hellmuth has said that poker is his life, but he usually only wins when he is holding the best hand. In late 2008, though, he managed to find a way to win even when he had the losing hand. Pretty impressive! The problem is that his victory was the product of a glitch in UltimateBet’s software, not one of his amazing skills. The pot that he won was for a fairly large amount too, $6,000, but few people thought he was actually in on the cheating.
The irony in this situation is that Phil Hellmuth has, for a long time, been one of the biggest names on UB’s list of sponsored pros. So when he was awarded a pot wrongfully, it was the perfect recipe for drama. There were plenty of people who were still upset about UB’s super user scandal, so this only added fuel to the fire. In the end, UB was able to get things right, but it surely didn’t go unnoticed.
TheV0id has a bit of an ironic name. After landing the WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) at PokerStars, TheV0id saw his victory, well, voided. This loss was particularly big because it was for over 1 million dollars, and is, to this day, one of the largest first place payouts in online poke history. The rumored story was that TheV0id and his sister, who lived in the same house, were both in the tournament. Of course, this is against PokerStars rules as it would allow for players to multi-account. Nonetheless, no mercy was given in this case.
For the other players in the WCOOP Championship, it meant a boost in pay. The bubble player was able to earn their min cash, and the other players were all moved up a notch. The second place player, ka$ino, was able to move into the first place money. These two players, ka$ino and TheV0id had previously made a deal at the final table, so it was as much of a gain for ka$ino as it was a loss for TheV0id. Well, it was obviously much more devastating for TheV0id, but you get the point. Hopefully everyone learned their lesson, though; don’t cheat
This post provided by Mike Wittmeyer of www.BestPokerSites.org – an online poker portal that reviews the best poker sites.