Court’s in Session: GGPoker Unveils Poker Integrity Council to Clean Up Game; Jason Koon Leads Effort

GGPoker recently launched the Poker Integrity Council (PIC) to spearhead an industry-wide effort to help protect the integrity of the game.

The company made the announcement on July 5 at the World Series of Poker and hopes to help investigate allegations of cheating, conducting fair reviews, and enforcing sanctions for the most egregious cheaters.

The move comes after some recent cheating allegations involving some of the biggest names in poker. That included allegations of collusion, multi-accounting, real-time assistance (RTA), and other improprieties that are against most online poker operators’ terms of service.

GG ambassador Jason Koon is one of those on the council and looks forward to working with others toward bettering the game.

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“I joined GGPoker with an important objective in mind, to help the GGPoker team make their poker games more secure and fair than ever,” Koon said in a news release.

“It’s an honor to launch the Poker Integrity Council and take another massive step in ensuring online poker is safe for all players. Our long list of allies also means that the wider community will be better protected via the industry-wide blacklist; we’re sending a united message that there’s no place in this game for cheaters.”

Steps in the GGPoker integrity review process

The move by GG comes after significant debate in the industry regarding security efforts. Some have favored an outright blacklist of cheaters. Others believe it’s simply up to operators themselves to police rogue players.

GG’s Poker Integrity Council is composed of some well-known players and includes:

  • Jason Koon
  • Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger
  • Fedor Holz
  • Seth Davies – Run It Once
  • Nick Petrangelo – Upswing Poker

The group will independently investigate suspicious behavior flagged at the site’s online tables, according to GG. The company has put in place several steps involving cases the council reviews. That includes:

  • Detection – Suspicious behavior such as collusion, bot play, use of RTA, or ghosting is flagged for review. RTA is a type of software offering players game theory optimal (GTO) guidance as they play a hand in real time. This type of aide is banned by most online poker operators.
  • Review – Relevant hand histories, with the player remaining anonymous, are reviewed by Koon and PIC members.
  • Ruling – Council members vote on whether or not disciplinary action is required.

Disciplinary actions

The PIC will consider several options if disciplinary action is warranted. This can include a warning, account suspension, or a permanent GGPoker ban. This could also include a permanent ban combined with confiscation of funds.

In addition, in the most serious cases, a decision can be made to add the player to an industry blacklist. Beyond these, the company has also partnered with other poker operators to punish those who are found to have been cheating. Those companies include:

  • World Series of Poker
  • World Poker Tour
  • Triton Poker
  • Poker After Dark
  • King’s Casino
  • Asian Poker Tour

These groups will then bar blacklisted players from their events. With the inception of the council, GG can review the status of players previously blacklisted from the online poker room upon their request. In certain circumstances GG may remove or reduce the bans currently enforced.

As of now, GG hasn’t announced a player appeals process. Also, GG hasn’t released details on the other groups’ efforts at identifying possible cheating.

It’s unknown if other online operators will be be part of the effort with a similar process. GGPoker will announce more partners in the coming weeks.

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