60 Minutes to Take on Absolute Poker Insider Cheating Scandal
Online poker is about to get some unwanted mainstream media attention.
Word from various sources is that 60 Minutes, the venerable television news program watched mostly by people who do the early bird and smell like mothballs, is doing an investigative story on the Absolute Poker insider cheating scandal, which didn't so much rock the online poker world last October as much as it became forum fodder for a few weeks then fizzled.
According to Nat Arem, the Atlanta kid who helped break the scandal wide open, veteran reporter Steve Kroft will be getting his Mike Wallace on in places like Canada, Costa Rica and Las Vegas as he does a "soup to nuts" piece on how AJ Green, a VP at Absolute Poker, was able to swindle millions of dollars from online poker players by using a "super user" account that allowed him to see opponent's hole cards.
From Arem's blog:
"A few weeks ago, I was contacted by 60 Minutes in conjunction with a reporter from the Washington Post regarding a story about the Absolute Poker scandal from last fall. I was told that they wanted Adanthar and myself for on-camera interviews with Steve Kroft. I later found out they were also interested in interviewing Michael Josem and Marco Johnson. Basically, I spent a little while on the phone with the producer and the Washington Post reporter and recapped the whole story as well as I could from memory. I talked about my involvement and contribution, along with all the other people who were involved."
Over at PokerListings.com, WSOP media director Nolan Dalla shares what he's heard about the forthcoming 60 Minutes story, and says he is concerned that the target of the piece won't be the long-haired a-hole AJ Green or the shady founders of Absolute Poker but instead "the entire online poker industry."
"If this is indeed the spin 60 Minutes uses, such a story could not come at a worse time. While there is admittedly no chance the federal government will revoke the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006, nor pass any of the pro-online legislation offered by our good friends in Congress within the current legislative session, public perceptions will be shaped for a long time by what is shown and seen by 20 million viewers on 60 Minutes.
I fear the portrait will be ugly - a slimy, unregulated, corrupt band of outlaws operating way outside the boundaries of the law or justice. Never mind that many online sites are publicly traded companies with top-flight managers and personnel, and are strictly regulated within their host countries. Perception and reality are two completely different things."
Read Nolan's entire piece here.
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