This story is now in its third day, and I’ve refrained from posting prior to this simply because the accusations are far from the normal “so and so isn’t who he says he is” and “so and so is soft-playing/colluding with so and so.” But now there seems to be enough evidence against at least one of the named parties, Matt Marafioti, to bring the matter to trial. This isn’t to say that Matt Marafioti is guilty of everything he is being accused of, but with a ½ admission of guilt on his own part the poker world needs to be made aware of what has taken place.
The entire thread on 2+2 is something out of a cheesy Hollywood screenplay, with Swedish organized crime syndicates, stealthy computer hackers, silencing witnesses, and high-stakes online poker. In typical 2+2 fashion, an anonymous poster created a thread with some C+P chat logs between Matt Marafioti and a Swedish poker player who will remain nameless at this point because unlike Marafioti he has not admitted to anything –You can read through the thread if you are interested in learning more about this person.
The gist of the thread is that Matt “ADZ124” Marafioti was approached by a hacker to plant a Trojan virus on the computers of other high-stakes poker players, and from the original chat logs it appears that ADZ was first victimized by the virus itself before being approached to become an accessory. The chat logs are very damning and ADZ does admit to having the conversation (although ADZ claims they have been doctored). However the real smoking gun didn’t occur until private direct messages between Matt and fellow high-stakes poker pro William Reynolds were posted by Reynolds. In these DM’s Marafioti stops just short of admitting actual guilt:
“I obviously know even thinking/talking about it was wrong. MOLS thought it was so funny winning 70k pots off me/knowing my style of play”
“I just thought he was rude to me at times and obviously it was never something I’d do, but something I’d consider…”
“Especially since I could literally see peoples whole (sic) cards… the fact I could and didn’t cheat says what a great person I really am.”
Marafioti’s reputation for Twitter tilts and previous accusations of multi-accounting, not patying on prop bets, soft-playing, playing on PokerStars while in Las Vegas (using a VPN), and sharing 50% of his action with another player in a three-handed game (and then refusing to pay the amount he owed) have not helped his cause during the trial by fire he is experiencing on 2+2.
As wild as the story seems, once you get past the anonymous posters (which as you read the thread becomes apparent why they are keeping quiet) and the sheer Scorsese-esque plots the thread is a real eye-opener when it comes to the amounts of money that are exchanging hands in high-stakes online poker games.
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