Poker news | Sep 09, 2020
GGPoker vs Tobias Duthweiler: The Story of $180k in Confiscated Poker Funds
By RTR Dennis
Online poker sites and players occasionally have disputes over one issue or another. However, these disputes rarely involve anything close to $180,000.
This is the reality facing poker pro Tobias Duthweiler, though, who claims that GGPoker unfairly confiscated $180k from him. Meanwhile, GGPoker argues that Duthweiler has repeatedly violated their terms and conditions and put himself in this situation.
Who’s right in the dispute over $180,000? You can judge for yourself by reading they key points to this controversy below.
Bad for Poker Ecology
Duthweiler explains that the issue began when he was banned from a GGPoker skin in 2016. He played on GGNetwork’s Natural8 and proceeded to win $5,000 in mid-stakes cash games. It took him just 1-2 weeks to win this amount, which drew the network’s attention.
"They said that if I came back to play there, they would proceed with their ‘security protocol,’ whatever that meant,” Duthweiler recalls. “I asked, but they wouldn't give me a clear statement on either what they meant by that, or what I'd done wrong.”
In a follow-up email, the GG staff noted that Duthweiler didn’t meet the site’s “poker ecology requirements.” They also noted that he exhibited “predatory behavior” in winning the money. The poker site paid out the winnings and issued a warning to stay away.
Move to Another GGPoker Skin
Tobias Duthweiler initially heeded the network’s warning. However, the real controversy ensued when he started playing on more GGNetwork skins.
First, he went to Bestpoker and played NL stakes as high as $20/$40. Bestpoker got rid of their high-limit games, which prompted Duthweiler to join Betkings.
The latter eventually merged with GGPoker, which meant that Duthweiler’s account and balance also moved to GG. He claims that he didn’t know Natural8 and GGPoker were on the same network, hence why he continued playing there after the fact.
Duthweiler deposited $50,000 on GG and verified his account. After some rocky results in the beginning, he ran his bankroll up to $180,000 in just over a week’s time.
GGPoker, which had begun purging “predatory players,” included Duthweiler in these efforts. They banned his account and also confiscated all $180k.
GGPoker Explains Their Decision
GG’s decision to ban Duthweiler and take his funds has inspired backlash from the poker community. Many players feel that the site is abusing their power.
GGPoker was initially silent on the matter but decided to respond. According to a statement, they didn’t ban Duthweiler when he signed up because they didn’t have access to his personal information.
"We acknowledge that this case became complicated as the player signed up on multiple skins, where the GGNetwork security team does not have access to personal information including email addresses.
“Therefore, our security detection was limited to IPs and Mac Addresses when it comes to detecting trespassers. We will enhance our system so that we can request email addresses and personal information from our Licensee Operators.”
The site added that Duthweiler eventually switched from a generic account handle to his real name. This caused the alert that eventually led to the poker pro being banned.
Does GGPoker Ban Players Just for Winning?
Those in support of Tobias Duthweiler have leveled heavy accusations against GGPoker. They’ve claimed that the site is stealing people’s earnings and banning anybody who wins.
GGPoker has since defended themselves by stating that they only target those who violate their terms and conditions. Specifically, they don’t want bum hunters, colluders, and cheaters on their sites.
Their definition of bum hunting is likely what got Duthweiler in trouble. The site believes that he refused to “give action to certain players while only giving action to [suspected fish].”
Who’s in the Right Here?
Both sides have made valid points in this matter. On one hand, Tobias Duthweiler says that he didn’t know Betkings was a GGNetwork skin. He simply continued playing on GGPoker once Betkings was absorbed into it.
The operator already banned Duthweiler and paid his winnings in 2016. They followed protocol in confiscating his funds more recently after he violated the T&Cs again.
GGPoker also redistributed Duthweiler’s winnings to his opponents, rather than keeping the money. Therefore, they weren’t taking the funds for selfish reasons. This operator returned the original money that Tobias deposited too.
In summary, both sides have made good points. GGPoker ultimately has the final say in the matter, given that Duthweiler was playing on their site.