Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bot Funnies, Part 1: A Bogus Winholdem Site Ripping Off Players' Reputations?

[Cal here, kicking off a series of weekend posts---]

If you're going to be a scammer for a living, you have to be creative. After all, once your original scam gets old, it becomes unprofitable. So you have to keep coming up with new ways to peddle the same old bullshit, right?

Enter a new thread in the News, Views and Gossip section of the 2+2 forums, titled "Pokerstars Cheaters". Given that Stars is the biggest site and people always have questions about the integrity of any poker game, online or otherwise, it's a sure and catchy hook.

Inside, though, the thread accuses a number of well-known Stars players of cheating using some multi-player function of the infamous and crappy "poker bot" software program, Winholdem, the creation of Ray Bornert III; Bornert's been ripping off suckers for years, dodging serious legal consequences under the "this product is for entertainment purposes only" disclaimer illegal and ToC-violating software always carries. (The software doesn't work as advertised by the way, and if you're stupid enough to purchase it, let's just say you deserve what's coming.)

However, let's return to the thread. The original posting points only to a strange website at, which displays 'Wanted' posters of 23 prominent Stars players, accusing them of using the Winholdem software. Winholdem is very prominently pimped on this site, ever so coincidentally, with the full URL to the garbage software site displayed in several spots.

This site's claims are utter garbage as well -- none of the players use the product. The idea is to promote the idea that since these winning players are using Winholdem (they're not, of course), then the losing players who stumble across the site should run out, buy Winholden and level the playing field. Worse, it's complicated by bogus offers to pay people $2,000 for information as to these players' real identities, this despite the fact that many of the players are already well known.

Nice scam. It's a re-do on an older, somewhat similar site at, which attempted to do the same thing and was every bit as bogus.

Most of the players named have already disavowed any knowledge of the site or use of the software, though digging out the information for the slanderer's identity isn't exactly worth the effort. If it's indeed a sick commercial for Winholdem, then it's Bornert or someone working as an affiliate, trying to sell his software, and the site is hosted at the moment by Chicago-based Here's hoping it gets nuked quickly.

It's just that some people are really deserving of being run over by a dump truck, and whoever put up this site is one such person. One poster mentioned a grease fire; that's a bit harsh.


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