Americas Cardroom CEO Phil Nagy is considering posting a reward for information about the source of the recent distributed denial of service attacks on the site. XL Eclipse got underway today at 888poker. A New York radio personality has been arrested for scamming money to cover gambling debts. And more.

The Company You Keep…

Last week, Americas Cardroom had to postpone the final, highest-stakes leg of its Online Super Series Cub3d, due to a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Although the site’s programming team was ultimately able to put an end to the attacks, sufficiently many mid-stakes tournaments had to be cancelled before that happened that the integrity of the series leaderboards was compromised. Ultimately, the decision made by the site was that the whole series – MOSS, OSS and BOSS (Mini-, regular and Bigger versions of OSS) – would be repeated, starting late in September and running through most of October.

On Friday, Americas Cardroom’s CEO Phil Nagy went on stream to announce that someone claiming to be involved with the attacks stated – while demanding a ransom in an on-site chat room – that he was in the employ of an unspecified rival. Hacker culture being what it is, it’s as likely as not that the claim was made as a smokescreen or simply to troll, but Americas Cardroom is considering the possibility that it could be true, and contemplating offering a 10-bitcoin (approximately $42,500) reward for evidence of its veracity and of the identity of the rival responsible.

If the claim were to be true, there aren’t very many possibilities for who it could be. Americas Cardroom is the primary skin on the Winning Poker Network, which serves the US black market. It’s in close competition there with the site formerly known as Bovada, before it was taken over first by Ignition Casino and more recently by the Hong Kong investment group Pai Wang Luo. Chico Network is the up-and-comer, currently about 60% of the size of Winning Poker and Pai Wang Luo. That’s about it, however; the only other unregulated sites accepting players from the US are too small to benefit from disrupting Americas Cardroom’s activities.

Quick Hitters

– September tournaments are already in full swing with WCOOP and PartyPoker’s latest Powerfest having kicked off last week. 888poker joined the party today with its XL Eclipse series; though not as extravagant as the other two, it’s still a significant event, consisting of 197 separate tournaments with $9 million in total guaranteed prize money.

– Card Player records that Craig Carton, former host of a sports program on WFAN in New York, has been arrested by the FBI for fraud. Carton had claimed to be running a large-scale ticket-scalping operation and soliciting investments to purchase blocks of tickets; in reality, he was using the money collected to pay off his multi-million dollar gambling debt, as well as previous “investors.”

– Barry Carter for examined the paradox inherent in the idea of growing the game of poker. The game itself emphasizes selfishness and predatory behaviour, yet people often talk as if pros and poker businesses alike have a moral duty to work together to keep players in the game. Carter correctly points out that this is a “tragedy of the commons” situation.