GGPoker Bans Superuser Moneytaker69 After Client Vulnerability Exposed
Online poker has come a long way since the "POTRIPPER" superuser scandal of 2007, and yet...
GGPoker today sensationally issued an announcement stating that a player called "Moneytaker69" had been banned, with almost $30,000 in unfair winnings confiscated. Details of the scandal came to light following a post on the 2+2 poker forums.
"We sincerely apologize for the incident," GGPoker said. "Which has caused many poker players to worry about the games integrity and shaken their trust in GGPoker to provide the best poker experience.
"We take this incident very seriously and continue to work hard not to disappoint poker players."
The Smoking Gun?
"We take this incident very seriously and continue to work hard not to disappoint poker players"
On Thursday, December 28, a user by the name of "GGSuperUser" posted to the 2+2 Forums alleging that user "Moneytaker69" was superusing on GGPoker.
A superuser is a commonly used term for a player with access to special privileges or tools within a poker client that enables them to gain an advantage over their opponents, often by seeing opponents' hole cards.
In the post, the statistics of "Moneytaker69" were outlined and scrutinized, as well as posts of several hand histories that were suspicious. "Moneytaker69" won at 90bb/100 over a sample of 8,900 hands in December alone, with a VPIP (Voluntarily Put In Pot) of 53 and a PFR (Pre Flop Raise) of 17.
VPIP (Voluntarily Put In Pot): The percentage of all hands a player voluntarily (when not in the blinds) decides to put money into the pot. PFR (Pre Flop Raise): The percentage of all hands a poker player enters by raising before the flop.
According to the original poster, a player typically playing within this VPIP/PFR range would be in the -50bb/100 range. Away from the cash game tables, "Moneytaker69" also won a $150 GGMasters Sunday MTT for $47,586.80 in the month of December.
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The original poster had mentioned that GGPoker had acknowledged the situation privately and were preparing to address it. And, 15 hours later, a statement was issued on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In the statement, GGPoker says that through the use of the 'Thumbs Up/Down Table Reaction' feature, "Moneytaker69" had been able to customize the game client, alter game packets and intercept network traffic. "Moneytaker69" was then able to use this information to deduce all-in equity by exploiting what GGPoker calls a "client-side data leak vector."
GGPoker says its engineers had detected this vulnerability and had issued an emergency update on December 16 to disable the feature.
However, due to the customized game client already being in the hands of "Moneytaker69", the user was still able to continue using the exploit. According to GGPoker, through the data accumulated, "Moneytaker69" could guess his win probability "with reasonable assurance."
GGPoker has said that the client-side vulnerability has now been fixed. "Moneytaker69" has also been banned, and unfair winnings of $29,795 confiscated. They have also said that payouts for any impacted tournaments, namely the $150 GGMasters Sunday MTT won by "Moneytaker69" will be reconciled in the next 24 hours.
"We can assure you that the security and integrity of our games is our priority so that we can offer safe & fun games for ll our players," GGPoker said in a follow-up post. "We have, and will, always do everything within our power to prevent cheating in any form."
This is not the first time GGPoker has taken steps to combat online poker cheats. In September 2020, the site claimed to have banned 40 accounts for RTA usage and $1,175,305 confiscated from 13 of those accounts.
A month prior, in August 2020, they banned German poker player Tobias Duthweiler for "bumhunting and predatory behavior".