Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Return of JJProdigy

[Canada Cal here, plugging away from the shores of Lake Superior---]

Say you're a hot, young online-poker whiz kid. A little too hot and a little too young, as it turns out, and when you're accidentally outed (by one of your best online friends) both for your misdeeds and your real underage status, it becomes a mini-scandal in the online world. Your cover is blown, naturally, but what are you supposed to do? Is there any real expectation that a kid who's grown up cheating the system from Day One would continue to do anything else but, once he'd seen some of the big dollars roll his way?

The answer is of course not, and a year and a half after being drummed off all the major online sites, JJProdigy (aka Josh Field), is back in the news again. It turns out that JJProdigy never went away, of course, nor did the wise money expect that he would; he simply went through his slightly older online friends to set up a new series of anonymous online accounts and went back to playing the same old crooked multi-accounting game. It turns out that JJProdigy was playing in secret again almost immediately after his high-profile outing; it's widely believed that a March, 2006 Stars Sunday Million final table that saw Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer finish in the runner-up spot was most unusual, because the account that beat Raymer was likely being played by JJProdigy at the time.

Of course, it gets much worse. JJProdigy and two of his two closest friends, 'gbmantis' and 'YourTimeIsUp' (YTIU, aka stealthmunk, aka Justin Schwartz), have also now been embroiled in the multi-accounting and account-swapping schemes, with all three of them having been booted by Full Tilt after evidence of their manipulation was uncovered, manipulation that may very well have factored into one of Tilt's important and highly promoted FTOPS events. Expect to see other sites follow once they've finished their own investigations.

gbmantis, also known as Nick Niergarth, was the Wisconsin kid who accidentally outed JJProdigy in the first place by openly bragging about the multi-accounting practices last year. You'd think that in the face of the backlash from the online community, that the cheaters would have cause to reexamine their priorities. It happened that way for Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo, who's already begun rehabilating his image from a similar multi-accounting scandal that broke shortly after the JJProdigy mess became public.

Bonomo learned; the core of cheaters in this scandal didn't. In fact, Niergarth, now that the truth is emerging in a bloodbath on Niergarth fully admitted to helping JJProdigy (Schwartz) establish a new network of accounts, and also continued with the account swapping and sharing practices that continue to undermine the sites' desires to provide fair games. In Niergarth's own words:

"I got the banhammer on ftp for letting someone who is not me use my account for cash games, but I don't care, I hate ftp anyways.

"JJ really is one of the smartest people ive ever known. To him, multiaccounting is not cheating (im not saying that he does it)... b/c he thinks alot of people are doing it , and if he doesnt, he's missing out on an edge (plus its unenforcable).

"I'm not putting words in his mouth, I got that from one of his 2+2 posts a while back.

"In spite of that, he really is one of the more ethical people I know, and I would trust him more than anyone else I know online, or in real life, probably, with my money."

That's a funny post, to be sure. Another frequent theme is gbmantis's frequently inviting friends or roommates over to his apartment, who then just go on to big scores in events gbmantis himself has busted out of. Here's one example, again from Niergarth himself:

"Snake413 is my best friend , and he played the tourney from my apartment.

"Gbmantis12 did NOT play this tourney from my home, gbmantis12 played this tourney from las vegas. Gbmantis12 account, which is registered under my name, was playing in the tournament, but it was played by hitur2outer, who JJprodigy backs, in las vegas.

"Snake413 is just a $10 micro donk player who gives me $10 and i get him online money a couple times a week. Anyways, being the degen I am, I lost like $150 or some shit the night before to snake413 playing madden 07. He said he'd settle for a ftp million stake, so I obliged.

"I wasnt registered for the tourney. Snake413 played it at my house. He got like a 90k stack, and I bought his share out for $4500 cash, which was a huge -ev play by him, but he's never seen cash like that before, so he took it. I ended up helping him win the thing, and then we xferred the money out to my backer, since I trust a millionaire with 100k then i do a kid who works for $12 an hour.

"Full tilt investigated the situation, and it was found that we were in no wrong-doing." [well, maybe not so fast -- CC]

"There is nothing against ftp's TOC that says you cant' buy out a players stack, or anything like that. And I was NOT gbmantis12 in that tourney, which is why FTP freed the funds and said what we were doing was fine.

"But thanks for "outting" me boke. Next time just ship me a pm or aim me if you have concerns."

If you don't see the huge problem in this series of low buy-in events, take a look at the top of the fourth of the five images. Is it just possible that an account was rented here?

In any event, the posting of the susspicious account activity was followed, shortly, by this:

A chat with gbmantis' roommate, MATTISBEST
by MUPokerPlayer on 8/17/2007 15:57

I got PM'ed by MATTISBEST and he asked me to chat with him on AIM, because of this thread, where I accused mantis of playing for MATTISBEST:

This is the content of the conversation, but our names have been changed. I'll let you make your own interpretations...

MUPP: hello

MATTISBEST: hey whats up

MUPP: hi, watching baseball

MATTISBEST: ya i seriously did win that tourney

MUPP: cmon man

MATTISBEST: i just didnt wanna bring attn to it because it would create drama for him

MATTISBEST: ive played a bunch of big tournies

MATTISBEST: i seriously dont play MTTs

MUPP: 3 big tourneys on one day

MATTISBEST: i play sngs and HUs

MATTISBEST: ive played big events in the past

MATTISBEST: ive played in the main event

MATTISBEST: what game u watchin

MUPP: you played 3 big events in one day, all over $100 buyin

MATTISBEST: why are u so concerned

MUPP: and no other tourneys over $20 in 4 months

MATTISBEST: ya i dont play MTTs

MUPP: cause it is cheating man

MUPP: it is unfair

MATTISBEST: dont give yourself a heart attack

MUPP: i'm fine, i just think its bs


MATTISBEST: seriously tho

MATTISBEST: you arent solving anything just to let kno

MATTISBEST: i mean do u think its going to stop anyone from playing

MATTISBEST: you can get infinite accounts



MUPP: it will make people think twice before doing this

MATTISBEST: mantis could care less about rankings

MATTISBEST: and JJ as well

MUPP: if mantis gets $$ confiscated

MATTISBEST: its all about money

MATTISBEST: the money is out of all the accts and has been for sometime

MATTISBEST: i seriously would just concentrate on your own game

MATTISBEST: and congrats on all your success btw

MUPP: lol

MATTISBEST: you are an accomplished player

MUPP: how much did mantis give you?

MUPP: of the winnings?

MATTISBEST: what i usually get when i get backed

MATTISBEST: and that is not something i am going to discuss

MUPP: lol

MUPP: dude, seriously

MUPP: look at the situations

MUPP: horrible excuses

MUPP: i am not gullible

MATTISBEST: and seriously i am his roomate

MUPP: i know

MATTISBEST: he plays snake madden all day long

MATTISBEST: its sick

MATTISBEST: im movin out at the end of september

MATTISBEST: all they do is play madden

MATTISBEST: and snake is goot

MATTISBEST: mantis loses to him

MATTISBEST: and then snake plays all these big events like its a joke

MUPP: he is fooling no one with his excuses

MUPP: seriously

MATTISBEST: lol i kno

MUPP: esp not me

MATTISBEST: they are madden obsesors

MATTISBEST: he would rather play madden than poker

MATTISBEST: its sick

MUPP: i'm not talking about madden


MUPP: how many accounts has mantis won big $$ under?

MATTISBEST: gbmantis i am pretty sure is the only one

MUPP: ....

MUPP: like i said, i know you didn't win, nor did snake

MATTISBEST: he loses bets to people and puts them in big events for a piece of the action

MATTISBEST: i mean that is the truth


MATTISBEST: dude i played in the main event

MATTISBEST: i kno how to play

MUPP: irrelevant

MATTISBEST: i dont play for money

MATTISBEST: i play for fun

MUPP: but all of a sudden decided to play 3 of the biggest tourneys on one day, and never play them again

MUPP: and happen to win one

MATTISBEST: ya dude he lost a madden bet to me and put me in them


MATTISBEST: ya i won

MUPP: when you have played hundreds of small tournies and never won anything b4


MATTISBEST: i started with 2 dollars on stars

MATTISBEST: and built it up to like 4-5k

MATTISBEST: then i won that and cashed out all of it

MATTISBEST: took a trip

MATTISBEST: and put it away to pay off some school loans

MUPP: hey

MATTISBEST: i seriously am not comfy playing at that level

MUPP: i am not gullible

MUPP: neither you nor snake won

MATTISBEST: im just tellin u how it is

MUPP: enough

MATTISBEST: well u can believe what u want


MUPP: i hope your friend gets caught

MATTISBEST: your getting stressed to solve nothing

MUPP: cause its crap

MUPP: i'm not stressed

MUPP: i'm fine

MUPP: mantis is the one stressed

MATTISBEST: seriously they are just gonna get more accts and IPs

MATTISBEST: hes not stressed at all

MUPP: he made a post in OT saying he was

MATTISBEST: i havent seen him in like 2 days

MATTISBEST: maybe he is suicidal idk

MATTISBEST: but hes good

MUPP: why do the good players like he and JJ feel the need to cheat?

MATTISBEST: i think JJ is like17 still

MATTISBEST: ive never talked to him

MUPP: why does mantis feel the need to cheat? he's good enough to win without being involved in that shit

MATTISBEST: ive never seen mantis play more than his own account

MATTISBEST: so i mean its wierd with all this drama

MUPP: he played yours man

MUPP: cmon

MUPP: i heard from a reliable source

MATTISBEST: dude i dont let people play my acct

MATTISBEST: whose your source

MUPP: cannot say



MATTISBEST: cause like i am gonna stab him or something

MUPP: but i found out you were roommates


MATTISBEST: so u have no source

MUPP: how did i find that out

MATTISBEST: you tell me

MUPP: then how did i know to search your name

MATTISBEST: ive posted about it quite sometime ago

MUPP: and find the link

MUPP: b/t your acct and his

MATTISBEST: i just dont understand why u are probing so much

MATTISBEST: dont you have better things to do?

MUPP: because, this stuff has got to stop

MUPP: i really care about online poker

MATTISBEST: its not going to stop bro

MATTISBEST: what u are going to do

MUPP: and want to expose the cheats

MATTISBEST: is create so much drama that internet poker gets shut down

MUPP: cause they don't deserve the money they're stealing

MATTISBEST: they are winning

MUPP: mantis and JJ are as bad as thte people who steal people's passwords


MATTISBEST: you are wrong

MUPP: it is stealing either way

MATTISBEST: its winning either way

MUPP: not if they already busted in that same tourney

MATTISBEST: like i said

MATTISBEST: ive only seen mantis play his own acct

MATTISBEST: i have no idea what else goes down

MUPP: he played yours and snakes

MATTISBEST: all i kno is i was stiked to win that tourney, but i couldnt get excited about it because i know it would trow up red flags

MATTISBEST: and now i kno if i ever win shit again i will never get the credit i deserve


MATTISBEST: ive played in the main event and won my own seat

MATTISBEST: played next to tilly and busted when my top set got rivered

MATTISBEST: im prolly the best player of mantis's friends


MATTISBEST: i play for fun only

MATTISBEST: good luck on your quest to solve the poker worlds problems

MATTISBEST: but they will exist forever

MUPP: lol

MATTISBEST: GL at the tables also

MUPP: listen

MATTISBEST: hit me up if u want to talk about legit stuff

MUPP: why would you care about red flags if there was nothing wrong going on?

MATTISBEST: cause he is my friend

MATTISBEST: and it would cause red flags because i am his roomate

MATTISBEST: think about it

MATTISBEST: that is alot of cash for me

MUPP: why would you care about red flags if it was all on the up and up

MUPP: what's mantis' full tilt name if he doesn't play under his own account?

MATTISBEST: i kno he doesnt play mantis that is all i kno

MATTISBEST: someone else plays mantis

MUPP: ok, enough, you are lying as much as mantis, its pointless for me to talk to you

MUPP: goodbye

MUPP: enjoy your ill-gotten funds


MATTISBEST: already did

Sad stuff. Clearly the account-swapping and multi-accounting and buying out of other accounts deep in big tournaments has gotten way out of hand. What's worse is the defiance being shown by the system cheaters, which seem to make up about 20% of the current pocketfives crowd, based on post frequency. (Note that several other big names, such as Chris 'brsavage' Savage, are stridently against this type of cheating.)

As Niergarth's roommate stated: "seriously they are just gonna get more accts and IPs."

Or as another post on pocketfives began to explore... :

YTIU, Mantis, JJprodigy
by moneyinbag on 8/16/2007 03:37

I have information on the whole YTIU, Mantis, JJprodigy scandal. My friend was right in the middle and here are the conversations I had with my friend. Sorry if my post is a little confusing, I will try to answer your questions if you have some.

I do not know if you guys remember bodog4life, but he is mygood friend. The account got 9th in the $200r and 12th in the Sunday Million onJuly 29th. My friend does not have this type of money and does not have the skill to do this well, so i was wondering what was going on. I contacted him the next day and this is what I found out.

My friend decided to lend out his FTP and Stars accounts toa friend of YTIU. He occasionally talked to YTIU and asked YTIU if he needed an extra account to play. YTIU said no, but someone else soon messaged my friend.

Friend(3:33:36 PM): he is nasty

Friend (3:33:38 PM): some pro kid

Friend (3:33:45 PM): a friend of justin schwartzs

Friend (3:33:50 PM): im lettin him play that account

Friend (3:33:52 PM): gettin fpps

I will call the guy my friend talked to MA (for multiaccounter). They discussed a deal where MA would keep the account until January 2008. This is the same deal that MA haswith froggymizz, who my friend knows from college. My friend met a few kidsfrom college who are friends with YTIU. So, according to my friend, froggymizzbelongs to MA and $warbucks$87 (another friend from his college) belongs toYTIU.

Friend (6:12:20 PM): warbucks told me shwartz has his account till january 1st

Friend (6:12:38 PM): they are both registerd fro thattourney

ME (6:12:50 PM): how u know warbucks

Friend (6:12:55 PM): friend from school

Friend (6:13:00 PM): plays very little

Friend (6:13:13 PM): he is friends with schwartz from school

Friend (6:14:09 PM): froggymizz is another friend of mineand iemdavid has his account as well

Friend (6:14:26 PM): froggymizz and bodog4life were bothregistered in that tourny

ME (6:14:29 PM): how u find that out

Friend (6:14:42 PM): because froggymizz warbucks and I allwent to bentley

ME (6:14:47 PM): oh

Friend (6:14:49 PM): we are all friend

Friend (6:14:54 PM): they know shwartz from home

Friend (6:15:01 PM): i spoke to schwartz online

Friend (6:15:28 PM): shwartz has warbucks and aperfectgent

Friend (6:15:37 PM): iemdavid has froggymizz and bodog4life

So, my friend got his account back and we checked the transactionhistories. On Full Tilt transactions were sent to gbmantis and ronaldkosh andon stars transactions were sent to iemdavid. As you can tell by the chat below,it is obviously not the first time MA has multi accounted. He has muchexperience dealing with these issues.

MA (5:14:51 PM): alright the accounts are urs

MA (5:14:53 PM): same pwrod

Friend (5:15:34 PM): ok u sketched out?

Friend (5:15:47 PM): didnt mean to sketch u

MA (5:15:48 PM): right when you asked that, i know its downhill

Friend (5:15:50 PM): it was straight

Friend (5:15:53 PM): why?

MA (5:15:56 PM): this happened to me the first time, and itwas terrible

MA (5:16:00 PM): i cant trust you right after that

MA (5:17:34 PM): its not ur fauly

MA (5:17:40 PM): just right when u ask that i know i canttrust you
My friend asked for a monetary amount in order to lend out his account. When he asked this question to the multi accounter, it immediately alerted him that my friend could no longer could be trusted (which was obv the case).

Friend (5:56:39 PM): holy shit ... he purchased 20K andreturned 35 K ... he made 15K in 4 days

Friend (5:56:40 PM): unreal

What we know for a fact is that YTIU introduced my friend tothe MA and that the MA sent money to gbmantis. So, knowing that these three areall friends and that our MA has experience I think that the MA is JJprodigy.When Gbmantis said he was not involved in any of this stuff, that was completebullshit. If you db some of these accounts like bodog4life, froggymizz, etc,you will see that they just randomly start playing higher tourneys. This multiaccounting nonsense needs to stop.

That last line, of course, is right on the money. And look for renewed efforts from the sites to make sure that it does.

Nor are these the only tales now popping into public view. We may return to this with a few of the better ones in the days ahead.


Anonymous said...

wow, nice story..... too bad your clueless, I know JJProdigy was caught multi-accounting, but I guess now he is Multi-named? Justin Schwartz is yourtimeisup/stealthmunk not JJProdigy.... gg research

guest said...

Only partially -- just mixed-up notes. YTIU is Justin (who lives in CT), JJProdigy is Josh Field; they're both still cheats. I'd swapped text back and forth in trying to get the pieces into place and forgot to correct that.

-- Cal