GGPoker’s public tarring and feathering seems to have ramped up this month.
This follows concerns that the site is banning players simply for being profitable. In each case, they gave a different reason for the ban. But the inconsistent nature of the bans and the fact that in many cases GGPoker — and its network skins like Natural8 — are keeping the players’ funds has the poker world worried.
Now a slew of old complaints against the company is resurfacing — going back from March this year to over two years ago. The WSOP has brought a lot of light to GGPoker. But it might not be proving out as the disinfectant we might hope.
Even as people hash out the legality and ethics of the matter, GGPoker is losing the confidence of its player base.
The big story was that of Tobias Duthweiler, or “dudd1”. His 2+2 post wove a tale of woe which moved the community. A losing player for years, Duthweiler was banned when he had some luck and finally came into a profit.
GGPoker took $180,000 from him.
The official reason was that he had been previously banned from GG’s other skin Natural8. But the company had allowed him to play and lose for years while having his photo ID on file.
This is a story many have heard already but interested in everyones opinions
A player gets banned from a network, they then return to the network on the same name and info 3 years later. They lose money until a 180k score. What should happen after?
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) August 15, 2020
The new cases
In an attempt to win back confidence while not admitting fault, GGPoker recently offered the chance to appeal bans.
This has simply resulted in a resurfacing of a string of old cases. In each case, the player was banned for a minor infraction and had their money confiscated. In a few cases, the money was returned. In others, players are still waiting.
Even the clumsy attempts of sponsored players to defend the site have done little to stem the tide of public feeling.
Grinded the cash games on GG poker recently, had won around $17,000 worth of tournament $ as I freq won the top prize of $1k playing 6k hands daily. Banned for bumhunting despite playing every table, they'll keep the prizes. #ggpoker @CrownUpGuy @RealKidPoker
— Andy Cooper (@coopah88) August 12, 2020
Even a successful appeal doesn’t seem a guarantee of being made whole. One player going by “Arggg93” on 2+2 claims his friend got his account back, but not the $17,000 that GGPoker pocketed.
Naturally, this worried some players. If GGPoker has terms and conditions that without investigation allow them to confiscate funds, then GGPoker has a blank check to take what they want.
They had it coming?
Meanwhile, GGPoker’s public statements run contrary to one another. In one interview, Jean-Christophe Antoine says GGPoker is not a site for pros at all…
I mean if the head of ggpoker says it's publically they don't believe poker is a job and if you want to play for a living it's not the place for you I don't think it's that bad to ban players once they're winning. They are public about it and they do it. Better than not saying it pic.twitter.com/TRTTcoqKUP
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) August 12, 2020
And yet, their recent press release stresses that pros are welcome. But only so long as they are “good” pros.
At this point I think they’re insulting the poker community’s intelligence. https://t.co/CGo10XJulN
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 23, 2020
Playing the players
If all these accusations are true, it seems hard to predict what will happen next. The endorsement of, and income from, the WSOP this year is likely to have given the GGPoker network a pretty decent pool of working capital.
Further confiscations could line their nest further if there is a run on withdrawals. Many players may even be attracted by the fact that GGPoker is driving the most profitable players out. It would certainly make for softer games.
That GGPoker could in theory use their anti-cheating policy to cheat players en masse and get away with it is almost too ironic.