After a little sleuthing (e.g., Google searches, etc) it appears that the earlier story about the F.B.I. takeover of PokerHost.com is a hoax. Well, not really a hoax so much as not being accurate.

At Poker Room Review, the following warning was posted:

PokerHost.com was hacked this morning and if you go to their website, a screen pops up and asks you to confirm your personal account information. This is a bogus screen and your info will be compromised. Other players have reported a different screen pops up stating this information has been requested by the FBI. PokerHost support reported that accounts that have been compromised have been locked and players will not be able to access them until their technicians can remedy the problem. PokerHost support can be contacted at 1-866-765-3711.

Additionally, someone claiming to represent PokerHost.com posted the following on 2+2:

Dear readers, followers and clients,

We would like to give everyone the official version of what happened with our web site, www.pokerhost.com.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 at 4:18 CST a breach of security occurred at a registrar level. The account where this URL is registered, handling all DNS, contact, and such, information was tampered with and changed without the consent of the LEGAL owners of the account, and of course URL. It was at that time re-directed to a free hosting service located in Florida, USA. The page that you currently see is nothing but a regular html file that simulates a pop-up page, by looking closely to the code of the page we could see that it is just a regular page with a picture background of our front page and a form.

What we have been able to determine at this time from the registrar is that they are undergoing a thorough investigation to give back FULL CONTROL of the Poker Host name and URL. We expect a final resolution of this incident within the next hours. We hope to have this issue remedied and FULLY amended. We will pursue the person, people or any associates involved in this matter to the fullest extent of the law.

Infringement on the rights of the legal owners of web sites and/or any users, visitors, clients and organizations affected by these flagrant disregards of private, intellectual and/or physical property should be brought to justice; regardless of the origin of the business that is operated by the owners of any URL(s).

As you have been able to see, on all these forums and posting sites, the current look and information of the site are completely fraudulent in nature. In essence, Poker Host’s web site has been hacked and hijacked. As you can see, there is form placed on the URL, which supposedly “harvests” any one persons information and supposedly sends to the FBI. This is totally false!

WE URGE ANY USERS AND/OR VISITORS TO NOT FILL ANY INFORMATION OUT SINCE WE HAVE NO GUARANTEE OF WHAT THIS INFORMATION MAY BE USED FOR!!

We hope this sheds some light on the problem at hand. We hope to be able to continue with our normal operations once these matters have been resolved. We urge you to instead go to www.pokerhost.ws where you can find the REAL Poker Host web site. Fell free to contact us or send us an e-mail at support@pokerhost.ws.

Our kindest regards,

Poker Host Management Staff

Ship It Holla Ballas!

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Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.   Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.   "I like What Bill Rini said in his blog" - Doyle Brunson   "In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog." Daniel Negreanu   "Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry" - Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

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