A large scale Chinese cheating ring has been discovered operating at the PokerStars' $52 through $108 Double or Nothing sit & gos from the summer of 2009 until February 2010. PokerStars have already agreed to pay $587,000 compensation to those players affected by collusion.
Things started to unfold in public when the user Jane0123 appeared on the 2+2 forum complaining that his account on PokerStars had been unfairly frozen with $10,000 in it. Jane0123 got an icy reception, one user responding, "Ya finally got busted huh? Well it's about time. I sent about 25 emails complaining about you ****ing clowns." Jane0123's Sharkscope data showed that he had played 11,766 DoN's with an average stake of $87 and a profit of $56,300.
It soon became apparent that many of the suspected cheaters dominated the DoN Leaderboard on PokerStars. The nickname wudiyg was the site's biggest winner at DoN games in 2009 with a profit of $96,000.
The total sum won by the suspected ring is somewhere around $750,000. Often half of the players in any given game have been part of the ring, most of them coming from the Chinese town of Hangzhou. Several dozens of players are involved.
Users on 2+2 accuse PokerStars of not acting as decisively as they could have in investigating the cheating. However, the company have started paying compensation to affected players. Approximately $85,000 in cash or FPP have been confiscated from the cheaters, but since the total sum to be paid is $587,000 at this point, it's obvious PokerStars will have to pay most of it themselves.
Many players are not happy with the compensation promised or already paid to them. The user Simplicity8 says, "I've played about 7000 $52-$108 dons in the first 6 weeks of 2010. I kind of felt like something was up, but I assumed I was a losing player and just gave up. If true, this makes me pretty sick as they have not only just stolen money from me, but they have taken away future earning power from me. I was on a pretty nice pace to hit SNE (Supernova Elite)."
According to some calculations, the cheaters have generated $600,000 rake to PokerStars. While users on 2+2 admit that DoN's are an easy target for colluders and such collusion can be difficult to detect, others say that the cheating happened on such a scale and duration that PokerStars' security should have put their sensors up much sooner.
Investigation is still ongoing, but many suspect that so is the cheating possibly by another group of Chinese players. In recent weeks a lot of players from the Wenzhou area in China have joined the $52 through $108 DoN's on the site.
Any player suspecting that they have been affected by collusion shoud contact PokerStars at email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timeline of the scandal here; the original thread started by Jane0123 here.