‘VeniVidi1993,’ others latest to claim GGPoker is banning winning players

Jon Sofen
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Posted on August 14, 2020 7:10 pm EDT

“VeniVidi1993” is back in the news, and this time it isn’t for blowing a $1 million lead in a heads-up challenge against Phil Galfond. The online poker pro — whose real name isn’t publicly known — claims he was also banned from GGPoker for the sole reason that he’s a winning player.

Tobias Duthweiler, aka “dudd1,” accused GGPoker in a recent 2+2 thread of refusing to refund his winnings after being banned from the site. He was previously banned from Natural8, a GGPoker Network skin, but claimed he was unaware the two poker sites were related.

Poker legend Fedor Holz, a GGPoker ambassador, defended the poker site’s actions. He informed the poker community that “dudd1” was warned not to sign-up for any of GG’s network of sites.

But since that accusation, more high-stakes players on GGPoker have come forward accusing the site of banning winning players. That includes a high-profile online pro — “VeniVidi1993.”

Does GGPoker fear winning players?

“VeniVidi1993,” who famously lost the first Galfond Challenge despite jumping out nearly a $1 million lead, shared his own story about GGPoker withholding money from players.

He claimed on Twitter that he was banned for “bumhunting.” That’s when someone takes a seat in an online poker game and refuses to play anyone not considered a weak opponent. Bumhunting is frowned upon among recreational players and many pros. But it’s been common practice among the top heads-up online players for years.

“VeniVidi1993” said in a series of tweets that he was banned by GGPoker for bumhunting and “told to never come back.” He claims he returned a couple years later and after he raked in $250,000 in profits, the poker site banned him again and confiscated his winnings, much like they did to Duthweiler.

“What they do is not illegal. They told me not to play on their network, so for me to return I broke their rules and they are allowed to confiscate my funds. I still think it’s very questionable how they rig the rules in their favor,” he wrote.

Andy Cooper (@coopah88) also shared a similar story on Twitter. He claims he won a bunch grinding cash games and earned over $17,000 worth of tournament tickets on top of that, which he never got to use because he was also banned from GGPoker for supposed bumhunting.

One Twitter user who often plays with Cooper on GGPoker — @dejank1337 — came to Cooper’s defense. He said he can confirm Cooper was starting games. If a player is the first to register for an online poker game, they aren’t bumhunting as it’s impossible to know which player(s) will register next. Bumhunters seek out games where “fish” have already registered.

Another GGPoker player in Cooper’s thread — @Platameri — also claims to have been banned for bumhunting. This player wrote: “I got banned for bumhunting with $28k winnings but was able to withdraw $15k after they banned me by contacting them that I’d be fine with it if they gave me half. They were generous and gave me a bit over half.”