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GGPoker, Poker Tours Team Up To Create 'Industry Blacklist' For Cheaters

Players On New Blacklist Would Be Barred From World Series of Poker

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The online poker site GGPoker on Friday announced the formation of a quasi-independent council to review allegations of cheating within the professional poker community.

The new body is called the Poker Integrity Council (PIC), and its mission is to “protect the integrity of the poker industry by investigating allegations of cheating, conducting fair and independent reviews, and enforcing industry-wide sanctions for the most egregious cheaters,” according to a press release.

Cheaters who are “industry blacklisted” by the PIC will be barred from participating in any tournaments and events under the following brands, all of which apparently have agreed to enforce the ban against proven cheaters.

  • Poker Masters
  • World Series of Poker
  • World Poker Tour
  • Poker After Dark
  • High Stakes Poker
  • Super High Roller Bowl
  • Asian Poker Tour
  • Rungood Poker Series
  • The UK Poker Championships
  • Ace Poker League
  • Triton Poker
  • PGT
  • King’s Casino
  • Battle of Malta
  • DTD Club
  • Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party

The press release made no mention of any official gambling regulatory body being involved. It’s unclear if the new blacklist is even legal under Nevada law, for example. The Silver State has its own list of excluded persons who are barred from entering any casino.

That said, casinos can refuse service to anyone as long as it isn’t discriminatory.

It’s also unclear if the blacklist will be applied retroactively to past allegations of cheating, whether online or in-person, or against misconduct that didn’t involve cheating, such as former principals at the defunct poker site Full Tilt Poker. The GGPoker press release left this part out.

Earlier this year, the high-stakes poker community suffered a black eye when some of the game’s biggest winners — Bryn Kenney, Ali Imsirovic, and Jake Schindler — were accused by other players of misconduct over the internet. It’s unclear if any of those players will be placed on the PIC list. Kenny, Ismirovic, and Schindler all played at the WSOP this summer.

The PIC is comprised of “voting members” who include: Jason Koon, Andrew Lichtenberger, Fedor Holz, Seth Davies, and Nick Petrangelo. It’s unclear how that list of voting members was selected. Koon is a GGPoker sponsored player, according to the poker site.

The PIC is looking to expand its membership.

“We are actively seeking to expand our PIC Voting Members for diverse representation and to maintain independence and neutrality,” said the presser. “Please get in touch with GGPoker or Jason Koon if you wish to apply to be a PIC Voting Member.”

While an industry blacklist is what many within the high-stakes poker community have been clamoring for, less severe punishments can be handed down.

Cases that go before the PIC have a range of possible outcomes:

  • Warning
  • Account suspension
  • Permanent ban from GGPoker
  • Permanent ban from GGPoker and confiscation of funds
  • Industry blacklist

UPDATE: On July 5th there was a press conference featuring several of the players from the council. Card Player TV was there to learn more. Check out the video below.