Jason Koon Urges Live Poker Operators to Ban Online Cheaters

Jason Koon, GGPoker ambassador, recently requested live poker operators to severely punish online players that they catch red-handed cheating.

The American poker pro fired a contentious tweet that caught the attention of many people from different nations. Pokernews discussed it in The Muck and created an opinion poll inquiring readers' thoughts on Koon's tweet.

Poker Rooms Operators Have Doubts

Doug Polk, Brad Owen, and Andrew Neeme co-own The Lodge Poker Club, which is based in Texas. Polk voiced his thoughts as he has advocated for poker cheaters to bet severe punishment for many years. The semi-retired professional player raised an issue about applying Koon's plan.

Polk asked how poker room owners will determine that they need to ban certain players. For example, if a reputable poker site like PokerStars forwards a list of players it has banned to The Lodge, Polk claims that his poker card room will need to use additional resources to vet each player.

The Upswing Poker founder responded that he doesn't have certain answers for that issue. But, many intelligent poker players want to play in safe places.

One Twitter user, @fredydryger1, stated that talking about high stakes is realistic. Even so, poker rooms with lower stakes have to reduce their player verification terms, while those with higher stakes should take tough security measures.

Professional Poker Players Have Different Opinions

Many players reacted to Koon's tweet and shared Polk's concerns. They included Tony Dunst, a World Poker Tour (WPT) commentator and online poker pro. He tweeted that the plan was excellent in theory but difficult to implement.

Rob Yong owns the Dusk Till Dawn Poker Club based in Nottingham, England. He said that he agrees with Koon, but each party has to devise a plan to practice the ban rule.

Matt Berkey, The Solve for Why's founder, raised an issue that can occur if poker rooms and live operators try to ban online cheaters. He is confident that online card rooms will disclose vital information to brick-and-mortar casinos.

Julien Martini, a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, supported Koon's request. The three-time WSOP champion tweeted that the community is in a better position to punish online poker cheaters. Also, casinos and live orgs ought to ban such players to discourage the vice.

The Main Issues in Koon's Tweet

Different poker pros have argued that Koon's ban suggestion needs to be implemented or factors that might prevent its implementation. Certain issues can arise if land-based poker card rooms and live tournament operators take this stance.

First, cheating on a particular poker site might be a legal activity on another site. Sometimes, an operator can ban a player using Real-Time Assistance (RTA) while other operators don't use it. Besides, it is uncertain how land-based rooms will rule in such a scenario.

Live poker rooms should define cheating as it might have different meanings in various rooms. Even so, some cheating acts are clear such as when Russ Hamilton, the 1994 WSOP Main Event winner, accessed a superuser account on Ultimate Bet in the 2000s. Many players agree that owning many accounts at the same gaming site is cheating.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.