In 2011 British poker professional Darren Woods achieved the pinnacle for any poker player, he won a WSOP (World Series Of Poker) bracelet. Not long after his triumph, Woods was accused of cheating at online poker by playing multiple accounts at the same time under different usernames and this week he was jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of online poker fraud. Woods also faces the prospect of an additional six years in the slammer if he fails to repay a £1 million confiscation order within the next six months.
Woods, 29, initially denied 13 charges of fraud committed between January 2007 and January 2012, but later changed his plea to guilty on nine of those charges. The Grimsby-based cheat went as far as buying a number of private networks in an attempt to cover his tracks and navigate his way around the site’s rules of one account per player.
The Grimsby Telegraph newspaper reported that Judge Paul Watson QC said to Woods: “You are an intelligent, able and even gifted young man but you turned your talents towards defrauding online gambling companies and cheating other players of online poker. In individual games, other people playing against you stood to lose money because the odds had been rigged in your favour by the creation of multiple identities which were undisclosed to other players.” Judge Watson added: “Cheating undermines confidence in the recreational gambling industry.”
The initial accusations that Woods was a cheat were made back in September 2011 via a thread the Two Plus Two forums entitled “Allegations that Darren Woods also known as Dooshcom on 888poker is a cheater and a scammer.” In this thread, high-stakes fixed limit Hold’em specialist “feruell” accused Woods of multi-accounting and running a scam.The evidence Ferueli provided was overwhelming and clearly showed that Woods was indeed playing with a number of accounts at the same tables as his known account. It is not known if this evidence was used by the prosecution team.