Friday, August 24, 2007

Account-Selling Scam Affects 8/12 Stars Million

The list of headaches caused by the sale of 'horse' accounts to top-line players late in major online events gained another entry two weekends ago. The event affected on this occasion was the August 12, 2007 Stars Sunday Million, with the event's original fifth-place finisher, a Norwegian account with the screen name 'Flyndra,' disqualified after turning his account over to another Norwegian account, 'ambi,' late in the event.

The 'ambi' account had already bounced out of the event earlier, rendering it ineligible to re-enter the action. Not only did the investigation show a previous relationship between Flyndra and ambi, but the Flyndra account had very little action other than that prior to the event, while the ambi account had recorded $90,000 in winnings on Stars, meaning that the loss of the $42,000 in fifth-place money was a hefty penalty indeed. The $42,000 was redistributed down the payout list for the event, with all players finishing on the cusp of money jump receiving extra winnings after the fact.

PokerStars has strengthed its 'one user per account' policy in light of the recent account-selling scandals. Whereas the Stars Terms of Service allowed for special circumstances where replacement players were allowed to sit in on an account --- as in, for example, the case of power outages --- that language has now been removed from the Stars ToS, since these players were abusing the privilege. In its place is much stronger language forbidden account sharing, in section 5.2, Personal Use. That section now concludes with the following:

"A User may only have one account with PokerStars and shall only use the Service using such single account. Furthermore a User shall not permit another person to use the Service via his account."

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