GGPoker ambassador Fedor Holz stands up for company amid alleged scandal

Fedor Holz GGPoker poker
Jon Sofen
Posted on: August 12, 2020 09:24 PDT

Fedor Holz wasted no time defending the company he represents — GGPoker — after a high-stakes player accused the poker site of stealing his winnings after they banned him.

Holz is one of the most respected players in the game, and also one of the most successful pros. But his defense of GGPoker was criticized by numerous other players on social media.

Tobias Duthweiler, who played under the screen name "Ben ABC" on GGPoker and also is known as "dudd1" on PokerStars, initially deposited $50,000 months ago. By late May, he ran that deposit all the way up $180,000, most of which he earned within a little over a week.

Following his heater, his account was eliminated and the funds, other than his initial deposit, gone. Duthweiler was ineligible to play on GGPoker in the first place. In 2016, he was permanently banned from Natural8, a GGPoker Network site. Thus, he can't play on any of that network's group of poker sites. Somehow, he slipped through the cracks for months but the security team at GGPoker caught it in late May.

Duthweiler claimed in a 2+2 forum post that he was unaware GGPoker and Natural8 were connected. Steffen Sontheimer, a German pro like Duthweiler, went to bat for his friend, and sought the return of his $130,000 winnings. But another German poker superstar, Fedor Holz, isn't standing up for the player who accused the poker site of stealing his money.

Poker legend defends GGPoker

Holz is one of the best players in the world, although he rarely plays these days. But even at age 27, he already has over $32 million in live tournament winnings. In 2016, he won over $16 million, including the $111,111 buy-in WSOP One Drop High Roller for $4,981,775.

Earlier this year, he signed on as an ambassador with GGPoker, months after leaving Partypoker. On Tuesday, he came to the defense of the poker company he represents, and shared details of the poker site's side of the Duthweiler story.

Holz, who doesn't tweet that often, posted a series of four tweets explaining the situation and GGPoker's reasoning for refusing to return the $130,000 profits to Duthweiler.

"I wanted to address the ‘dudd1’ case on GG that he posted about on 2+2 to share the perspective I’ve gained from talking to the management and looking into the case. From everything I’ve seen so far the integrity and quality of security at GG has been up to very high standards," Holz wrote in his first tweet.

Holz continued to explain that Duthweiler had been banned in 2016 from Natural8 and was warned not to sign-up for any GGPoker Network site. He claims the company's standard procedure after the initial warning is to "confiscate funds to disincentivize banned players to return, otherwise there would be no effect."

If true, Duthweiler likely has no case as he disobeyed the commands of GGPoker to not sign-up for any of their poker sites again. But, of course, this is assuming the GGPoker side of the story is accurate. Duthweiler claims he wasn't ever warned and that he had no idea GGPoker and Natural8 were connected.

Holz then addressed the issue of GGPoker failing to immediately remove him from the site. Duthweiler played for months without notice and it wasn't until he spun up a large bankroll before they confiscated his funds. The German poker legend defended the site and wrote: "The account hasn’t been immediately flagged because a lot of the provided information didn’t match with the initial account he created. Only after a recent internal check he has been flagged."

So, it all comes down to which side you believe. Both sides are telling contradicting stories. But, at least for the time being, it appears GGPoker isn't going to budge and return the winnings. Instead, as Holz informed poker Twitter, that money has been returned to the players Duthweiler won it from.