GGPoker statement: We don’t ban players because they win too much

Jon Sofen
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Posted on August 17, 2020 5:26 pm EDT

GGPoker has taken some heat on social media for supposedly banning players simply for winning consistently. But the poker site claims those accusations are unfounded and they only ban customers for violating terms of service.

The negative publicity comes at an inopportune time for the growing poker site as it’s currently hosting the WSOP Online Bracelet Series.

Tobias “dudd1” Duthweiler, a high-stakes pro, took to the 2+2 forums last week to complain about his $180,000 being confiscated from the site. He claimed in his post that he spun up a $50,000 deposit and then was banned without the funds being refunded after GGPoker discovered he had previously been banned from Natural8, a GGPoker Network skin.

That sparked a plethora of poker players on social media, including “VeniVidi1993,” to share their own stories of being banned from the site, including some who claimed they were banned for simply winning too much. But there’s always two sides to every story, and GGPoker tells a completely different version of this tale. Their side is that players are being eliminated, more often than not, for “bumhunting,” a term used to describe an online poker player who seeks out easy marks and refuses to give action to other pros.

Poker site issues statement

GGPoker refuses to comment on specific accounts, but did release a general public statement in defense of the accusations, and also to share details of how a player gets banned from their poker site.

“GGPoker has not and does not ban players for winning,” the statement read. “We have only banned players who have violated our Terms of Service agreement by cheating, bumhunting, colluding, or acting in a way we deem to be predatory. GGPoker maintains a healthy poker ecosystem and works to provide a safe and fair playing environment for all players.”

Some online pros, especially the heads-up grinders, have been known to bumhunt over the years. It’s an act that is frowned upon by recreational players and other pros. A bumhunter is someone who won’t sit down at a game until a known fish takes a seat. And when a bumhunter is in a game with other pros, they will only play pots against the recreational or mediocre players at the table.

Bumhunting remains a difficult offense to prove. That said, GGPoker’s terms of service allow it to reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. But proving bumhunting isn’t easy because the poker site first has to determine the quality of the player being targeted.

“We consider both direct and indirect bumhunting,” the poker site said. “Direct bumhunting is defined as joining a table once the mark has joined and leaving shortly after the mark has left, even though the table has not broken. Indirect bumhunting is defined as refusing to give action to certain players while giving action to others.”

Other reasons that will lead to a ban include usage of bots and real-time solvers, repeated cheating, violation of Terms of Service, and ignoring a permanent ban.

That last one was a clear reference to Duthweiler, who knew he was banned from Natural8 in 2016 but still signed up for GGPoker last year. He does, however, also claim he was unaware that the two poker sites were connected. But Fedor Holz, a GGPoker ambassador, disputed that claim on Twitter recently and said he was warned not to sign-up for the poker site.