Saturday, February 25, 2006

ZeeJustin and JJProdigy (and their 172,182 accounts): See Ya, Wouldn't Want to Be Ya

In case you've had your head under a rock for the last week or so, interesting doings are afoot, as far as sites finally cracking down on some high-profile online players that were running multiple accounts, often in the same tournaments and SnGs.

JJProdigy got the ball rolling, winning $140K in a Party tournament but being young/dumb enough to let people know via IM that he was playing two accounts. Well, when he realized what he'd done he initially tried claiming that his "grandmother" was playing the second account, registered in her name, and that after he'd busted Granny got tired, so he took over for her, and went on to victory. Umm, sure. All hell eventually broke loose and Party investigated, determined that the brainiac had registered multiple accounts from the same computer and was playing them all from the same IP address, and not only seized the $140K in winnings from the tournament (which they redistributed to all money winners in the tournament, bumping them up a spot), but also all the funds currently in his multiple accounts, which was $40,000 on Party alone. Other sites apparently followed suit, finding that he'd done the same multiple account trick elsewhere, as well.

Turns out JJProdigy was actually only 16 years old, which explains more than a few things, but also opens up other cans o' worms.

Next up is ZeeJustin, a wunderkind who's been tearing up high stakes SnGs for quite awhile. Except, umm, he was running multiple accounts as well, and, by his own admission, often sitting at the same SnG table with more than one of his accounts at the same time.

His "explanation" is pretty priceless, especially as far as how he'd open more SnGs to negate his advantage when running two accounts in the same SnG, and that he only opened multiple accounts because his screenname was too well known, and he was playing at a disadvantage.

Party has seized the funds in his six accounts, although the actual dollar figure seized isn't disclosed. I would imagine he'd already emptied most of them, given what was going on with JJProdigy, but he's already proven himself an idiot in many ways, large and small, so maybe he truly was dumb enough to leave many thousands sitting in them.

As far as the morality side of all of this, I'm fairly "meh" on that. Is running multiple accounts wrong? Sort of. I actually cut JJProdigy a bit of slack, assuming he's telling the truth when he claimed that none of his multiple accounts were ever at the same table in a MTT. Yes, it's technically cheating, but many sites (Stars included) have publicly stated that teams of people playing MTTs together, discussing strategy and how to play hands, doesn't violate their TOS, as long as the team members aren't colluding and dumping chips at the same table. What JJProdigy did was really no different than that, if you get down to brass tacks, but it does violate the TOS, so yeah, he's shit out of luck there.

ZeeJustin, though, deserves everything he got, plus some. Anyone dumb enough to play two seats in the same SnG without taking appropriate measures to take into account IP address, MAC addresses, etc., is a complete and utter moron. And the truly moronic part is that he's apparently able to beat those same SnGs just playing straight up, unless his cheating was much more rampant and widepread than he claims it to be (which is entirely possible).

Ignoring the issue of morality in both cases, for the love of Jebus, if you're going to cheat, cheat smartly. Use those ill-gotten gains to buy a cheap laptop if you're going to run a multiple account, set up second accounts on it and play from it, and get a damn AOL dialup account, so that your IP address is different. And that's the cludgey approach, as there are all sorts of more advanced ways to hide the fact yu're playing multiple accounts from the same computer/IP address. Even if you ignore all of the above precautions, going "Der, I'm a cheating mouth breather, why bother, it works like this and no one is punishing me, der...", don't leave multiple thousands of dollars sitting in your multiple accounts. Get that shit off the site as soon as possible, as you can always buy-in for more, if you need to replenish your bankroll.

What I'm really curious about, though, especially in ZeeJustin's case, is if Party plans to go back through the logs and distribute the money they seized from him to the players affected in the SnGs where he played multiple accounts. They've isolated his accounts so they have to know every instance he played multiple accounts, exactly how much he cashed, and the placement of every other player in those SnGs. Seems to me they have the obligation to distribute those funds accordingly, bumping people up in the cases where his accounts finished in the money, instead of simply seizing the funds and padding their bottom line.

Taking that a step further, if Party doesn't re-distribute seized funds in cases like that, it actually sets a pretty frightening precedent. The last thing we need is for Party to suddenly discover they have a nice little unexpected revenue stream on their hands, by uncovering all sorts of "wrong-doing" and seizing the funds of players involved. If you're talking about situations like ZeeJustin, yes, by all means, be vigilant there, but if you broaden "wrong-doing" to players playing from the same IP block or making blanket assumptions that all husbands and wives who have separate accounts are actually one person, etc., well, that could get hairy really quickly.

Edit: I should learn to read more carefully. To be fair, ZeeJustin claims he only had multiple accounts at the same table in MTTs, not in SnGs. My fault for screwing that up. Assuming that's true, ignore a good bit of my babbling above, as far as his blatant cheating at SnGs and the need to redistribute money in those cases as well. My bad.


ToddCommish said...

Yeah, I know for a fact that I came in 4th place in EVERY SINGLE TIME he played two accounts in a SnG, so I should have about $129K more in my accounts.

787Style said...

Maybe I misread, but he seems to state rather explicitly "I never entered multiple accounts into the same sit’n’go, never colluded with anyone, never soft played anyone and never chip dumped with anyone."

What he did was wrong to do in MTT's, but he did not play mutiple identities in a SNG.