Poker Pro Annie Duke is not only well known within the poker world. but even overseas, especially since she appeared on the Celebrity Apprentice. However, of late Duke an ex-UltimateBet spokesperson and Excapsa corporate shareholder has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons.
A Russ Hamilton audio recording towards the middle of May, suggested that Annie Duke was aware that UB was using fraudulent software to trick all of its online players and make a huge profit. Based on reports, UB is accused of using a cheat software called “God Mode” to swindle its online players out of nearly $23 million dollars within a 4 year time period that took place between 2003 and 2007.
Due wanted to clear the air and had earlier released a detailed statement via Facebook that denied she was a part of the scheme. In the Facebook report, Duke wrote
The release of this audio has spurred accusations and I want to make it clear that I have never used a tool on a delay or otherwise that gave me or anyone else access to hole cards for use during real money play nor was I aware that such a tool existed until the scandal broke.
However, there are many in the poker community who find it hard to believe that Duke was completely unaware of what was happening as she a part of the UltimateBet management for a long period of time. Apart from this, Duke spent close to two years working closely with designers to set up the UltimateBet website. Duke also played an important role during the initial years of Ultimate Bet as she helped programmers tweak and fine tune the website so as to ensure that poker players were happy and had a real time gambling experience.
To add more credibility to her statement, Duke had a couple of her close friends add their support. Poker author John Vorhaus along with corporate exec Jo Priam, came out in support of Duke.
Duke also went on to write
The audio recordings and the data dump from Travis Makar and others also make it completely clear who the perpetrators of the UltimateBet.com cheating were, and that I was not involved in their scheme in any way. For those who have not taken the time to listen to the full audio, at one point Russ Hamilton mischaracterizes my legitimate role as a commentator as he tries to concoct a cover story for his scheme. I can only assume that he is referring to the several times that I commentated on tournaments in which a delayed broadcast was provided to the public, as this was the only delay that I was ever aware of.