ZeeJustin Responds To Online Poker Cheating Charges

ZeeJustinZeeJustin responded to the thread on 2+2 in which someone posted that ZeeJustin had been caught cheating by PartyPoker. As you can see from his post, he really doesn’t aplogize for his actions but, instead, attempts to justify them. I don’t personally know ZeeJustin but I’ve read many of his 2+2 posts and have always found his writings on poker to be insightful and educational. I think it’s a shame that some of these talented players feel they need to cheat in order to make money.

I’ve added my own commentary regarding his post below.

Here is the email I got from PartyPoker yesterday morning:

Dear Mr Bonomo,

This communication is to inform you of the findings of an investigation launched internally by partypoker.com into six accounts originating from your own location and computer.

These are the accounts in question:


These accounts have been systematically used to enter the same Multi Table Tournaments as a ýteamý, in a deception that is in direct violation of our Terms and Conditions.

Although registered in different names, these accounts have been created with the sole intention of playing as multiple accounts in the same tournaments. All six accounts were consistently logged into at the same time from the same IP/System and show a consistent pattern of being played by the same person.

A decision has been made, in consultation with the Poker Room Manager, Legal and Management, to close these accounts permanently and confiscate all funds. I would ask that you do not attempt to open any further accounts with our company, as these will be closed and any monies therein will be deemed forfeited.

Furthermore, please be informed that we have withdrawn your PPMV Cruise Package and you will no longer appear on the passenger list.

Steve Winter
Manager, Investigations Team

Yes, it’s true. I did use these accounts to enter multiple accounts in the same multi table tournaments. I have never done this in a tournament with less than 1,000 players.

I’m not sure I see the logic in this statement. Cheating isn’t defined by the number of people entered into the tournament. While one could argue that given a large enough player base, playing with multiple accounts might not significantly increase one’s edge, the fact of the matter is that it’s still cheating.

Also, he says he never did this in tournaments with less than 1,000 players but what if it has 1,001? Where is the cutoff? That’s the reason cheating is such a black and white issue here. Either one is cheating by using multiple accounts or one isn’t. Period.

I have been at the same table as myself. For what it’s worth, my standard protocol has been to increase my number of tables when this happens. As most of you know, I will very rarely be playing fewer than six tables at a time. If I had 6 tables open and two of my accounts were brought to the same table, I would simply open up 4-6 more SNGs. I felt that this would negate my unethical advantage. With 10 tables open, I just play tight and solid. I can’t even remember the hole cards one account folded after the flop, and I’m certainly unable to pay special attention to that table. After talking to Curtains, I realize my standard play should have been to sit one account out when this happens, but I want to make it clear that I never used collusion to my advantage, never chip dumped, or did anything of the sort.

I’m somewhat stunned at this line of thought. ZeeJustin says that if more than one of his accounts was seated at a table that he would open up more tables so that it “would negate my unethical advantage.” Uh, the fact that one is playing multiple accounts in the same tournament is the unethical advantage. Having more than one account at a table is simply increasing the unethical advantage. In a way, it’s like a drug dealer who prides himself on never selling dope to children.

Like I said previously, I don’t know ZeeJustin. I’ve never met him. I’ve read many of his writings on poker and have profited from the knowledge he’s shared. He’s become somewhat of a “celebrity” in the online world due to his age and his results at the online poker tables. His response speaks to one of the downsides of being young and successful; namely the lack of real world experience. Most people see the problem with his line of thought here but he obviously doesn’t. In later sections you see this lack of character or maturity in even more glaring detail when he attempts to justify or at least minimize his actions by accusing others of cheating too. I hope that once this dies down and he has time to reflect that he uses this as a learning experience.

However, what Party emailed me is wrong on several subjects.
First of all, the accounts were NOT created solely for MTT use. They were originally created for SNG play. It got to the point where everyone knew that ZeeJustin would steal the blinds often, and everyone called him liberally. I created these accounts to erase this loose image. Everyone would be readless against me, and it was a huge advantage. These accounts all did very well in the big SNGs on PartyPoker.

Again, if he was being apologetic, this would seem more like an explanation rather than an excuse but unfortunately taken within the context of the rest of the post, it sounds like another attempt to minimize the severity of his actions.

N82 referred to a hack that let you open multiple Party clients. I have no clue how no one has mentioned this yet, but no such hack was necessary. This is important, so listen up.

All you had to do was click the PartyPoker icon on your desktop very rapidly. If you did that, multiple clients would open up.

Using this bug, I was able to play multiple accounts on the same computer at the same time. I would be in a step 5 on one name, while playing a mini step 5 on another, and no one would ever suspect that it was me.

All of the money that was seized from me was from sit’n’go play where nothing unethical was done. I never entered multiple accounts into the same sit’n’go, never colluded with anyone, never soft played anyone and never chip dumped with anyone.

The other accounts I used never had any big MTT scores. Combined, I am pretty sure they were all long-term losers in the few MTT’s they played. Despite this, almost $100,000 was seized from my accounts.

Perhaps all of the guys who get caught cheating at blackjack in Vegas should only be jailed or fined if they were winners.

If ZeeJustin had been caught cheating in a live casino, it’s very likely that he would be facing jail time in addition to some stiff fines. The fact that PartyPoker is unable to bring charges against their online players (for obvious reasons) means that ZeeJustin is getting off rather light considering the consequences he would have faced in the real world.

For those of you that feel safe because my money was taken, open up your eyes. This money will not be returned to the players in any way. PartyPoker is keeping it because they can, just like they did with JJProdigy’s $40,000, and just like they will do to you when you get caught.

Uh, oh. Now we’re getting into the deflection portion of the denial. PartyPoker is the cause of all of this. They took my money and they’re coming after you next. Hate Party, not me.

I know what you’re thinking right now, “I won’t get caught, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

First of all, that doesn’t matter. PartyPoker reserves the right to take your money for any reason at any time (although I should point out that this does not make it legal).

Sort of like playing with multiple accounts in a tournament isn’t legal?

Secondly, almost all of you have broken the rules at some point. How many of you have created a second account for rakeback? [what is rakeback?] Neither creating a second account nor receiving rakeback is allowed. Both are expressly forbidden. Maybe you’ll see things my way once all your money is seized for doing that. If I’m a cheater, so are you.

If you are a saint like CSC claims to be, kudos to you. You are in the minority, and are certainly upstanding citizens. I commend you on following Party’s rules and not receiving rakeback. Most of us are too greedy to pass up money that easy.

This is the part I don’t understand. The first few paragraphs go into great detail about how ZeeJustin tried to maintain his ethics while cheating and then he says that he’s too greedy to pass up easy money. So, was it just a matter of difficulty or fear of getting caught that kept him from doing the things that he proudly claims he didn’t do (chip dumping, collusion, etc)?

Secondly, I would like to point out a major, major difference between getting rakeback and entering into tournaments from multiple accounts; One is a bending (or breaking depending on your view) of the rules of that particular poker site and the other is violating the rules of the game. Some sites actually have no rules about rakeback. Rakeback doesn’t give you an unfair advantage over your opponents. You are no more or less likely to win a hand, a tournament, or even a session based on your rakeback.

Lastly, yes, people often do create a second account in order to receive rakeback but most people switch to the new account and abandon the first one. They aren’t creating new accounts as a way to enjoy an advantage over other players. If ZeeJustin’s actions had been limited to creating multiple accounts to avoid PokerTracker monitoring by his opponents, Party would have likely slapped his wrists and told him it was a no-no. And for someone so intimate with gaming the system, he has to know that Party does allow you to change your screen name. If being tracked was his major concern then he could have just as easily asked Party to change his screen name and he could have played anonymously.

In fact, when I opened a second account, Party called me and asked me if my original account was mine. I told them that it was but I hadn’t used it in a million years and asked if they could close it and open a second account which would become my primary. They did just as I asked them to do and I play fulltime on my second account.

Furthermore, I would like to point out, that I did NOT break the rules.

5. True Identity and One Account.

The name on your Account must match your true and legal name and identity and the name on your Account registration must match the name on the credit card(s) or other payment accounts used to deposit or receive monies in your Account. You are prohibited from holding more than one Account. If you have more than one (1) Account or Accounts in different names, then you must contact us immediately to have your Accounts managed so that you only have one (1). If you have lost your Account name or password, please contact us for a replacement.

I have one account. That account is named ZeeJustin. My brother also has an account named Bernard61 (formerly jwilson55), and I have used that account quite often. No where in Party’s rules does it say you cannot use someone else’s account. I’m sure many of you have used friends’ accounts before, and there is nothing wrong with this. People will often take over MTT’s for friends that have unforeseen obligations.

I do think what I’ve done is unethical, and I certainly regret doing it, however, I need to point out that no where in Party’s rules is it stated that you cannot enter multiple accounts into the same tournament. Not only do they not forbid it, but to open multiple clients on the same PC, all you have to do is click the icon a bit more rapidly than normal. Great work PartyPoker.

Yes, we’re almost complete. We’ve got the “Yes, what I did was unethical but I was lured into doing it because it was so easy.” The problem is that it’s also illegal. The first big clue is that one has to sign in from multiple accounts to do it. The point I think ZeeJustin is missing is that what he did gave him an unfair advantage and Party does have verbage in its terms of service that state that you are not permitted to cheat. In fact, it’s section of the PartyPoker Terms and Conditions:

19. Fraudulent Activities and Prohibited Transactions.

The Company has a zero tolerance policy towards inappropriate play and fraudulent activity. If, in the Company’s sole determination, you are found to have cheated or attempted to defraud the Company or any other user of any of the Games in any way including but not limited to game manipulation or payment fraud, or if the Company suspects you of fraudulent payment, including use of stolen credit cards, or any other fraudulent activity (including any chargeback or other reversal of a payment) or prohibited transaction (including money laundering), the Company reserves the right to suspend and/or close your Account and to share this information (together with your identity) with other online gaming sites, banks, credit card companies, and appropriate agencies.

To further show how corrupt PartyPoker is, here is an email I got today from my affiliate manager.


Dear Justin,

We hereby give you notice that we are terminating our Standard Affiliate Agreement (the “Agreement”) with you. Clause 5.3 of the Agreement states that we are entitled to terminate our Agreement without cause immediately upon this written notice to you. We will also be exercising our right under clause 5.3 to terminate all trackers that you have with us.

We ask that you familiarize yourself with clause 5.5 of the Agreement which sets out the effects of termination. We require you to stop promoting our Site and you are no longer entitled to use our Marketing Materials. We also remind you that the obligation of confidentiality and non-disclosure shall, amongst other things, survive the termination of the Agreement.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Hunter
Affiliate Relations
PartyGaming Marketing (UK)
Email: sarahh@partygaming.com
London Office +44 (0) 20 7337 0100
18 King William Street, London, EC4N 7BP

This email is sent by PartyGaming Marketing (UK), a provider of services to PartyGaming Marketing (Gibraltar). The contents of this email may be subject to approval by an authorized representative of PartyGaming Marketing (Gibraltar).

The information contained in this email, and any attachments hereto, is strictly confidential and solely intended for use by the individual(s) and/or entity(s) to which it is addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify the System Manager at admin@partygaming.com as soon as possible

I guess the irony that in his attempt to show how evil Party is, he’s posting to a public forum an email which states that the contents are “strictly confidential” has escaped ZeeJustin 🙂

I have not broken the affiliate agreement in any way shape or form, so PartyPoker is using good old clause 5.3 to stop paying me simply because they can. If this makes you feel safe, you are being completely illogical. It can and will happen to more people, this I guarantee. You’re not safe at all.

In conclusion, I want to make it clear that I regret what I did, and have done somethings that were unethical. Despite this, PartyPoker’s actions are unreasonable, and their power to take the same actions against you should not be taken lightly. This rampage that PartyPoker is on will certainly not end with me. So whatever you do, be careful.

All the way to the end, he’s the victim. Party cut off his affiliate account because they caught him cheating and Party is the evil one.

As I said previously, I really, really hope he takes some time to reflect on this and use it as a learning experience. It’s quite obvious he doesn’t quite grasp the severity of his actions and seems completely oblivious to the fact that had he been caught cheating in the real world he would be facing possible jail time and fines. Having his money confiscated and being booted from Party is light treatment compared to what could have happened had he not had the benefit of online poker being illegal in the US.

[tags]ZeeJustin, Justin Bonomo, online poker, cheating, online poker cheating[/tags]

18 thoughts on “ZeeJustin Responds To Online Poker Cheating Charges”

  1. daballer6969 has played with zeejustin in high stake games and has not recieve any of his money back,daballer6969 was 1 of the best poker player that ever played on partypoker,Titan champ and point leader for years, The amount of money he has generated for partypoker are in the 5 fiqures amount bracket, He maintain a 9 screen game play in 1 account day in and day for 3 and a half years playing the highiest stakes party poker had at that time,

  2. I hate to say it…, but in the old days people would cheat at poker knowing full well that they would get their legs broken, or worse if they got caught. I don’t think theres anything wrong with the ‘younger generation’, its just that people are more likely to break the rules if there aren’t any consequences.

    In a real world game the casino can simply detain you and call the cops. With anti-online poker legislation in the US; aside from confiscating funds (which were illegally obtained anyway) PartyGaming can’t pursue the matter any further without admitting to violating the ‘Safe Ports Act’.

    So the bottom line is that if ‘Party’ catches you cheating, and your from the US theyll probably just take all your money, since you can’t sue them, and they can’t send you to jail.

  3. It’s a shame the U.S. can’t get around to legalizing and regulating online poker. They would make a ton of money from taxes, plus we could play on a site where someone who was caught cheating would be thrown in jail for cheating in addition to having their funds confiscated. That would be a REAL deterrent.

  4. During and interview on the radio program, “The Circuit”. Scott Fischman suggested to Mike Matusow get another anonymous account (on the same site) to prevent opponents to get a read on you.

  5. Excellent summation on ZeeJustin… I’ve read quite a few articles by Zee on his website (which I note hasn’t been updated in a while) and find that his actions, coupled with his attempted denial of doing anything wrong, has totally negated any feelings of respect towards his poker playing ability I once had.

    It’s the nature of the Internet and the nature of the online casinos that anonymity and cheating are a fact of life. With no federal legal recourse available to them, websites will struggle to rein in cheating and attempt to keep stories like this from becoming general knowledge. I’m sure that the vast majority of cheaters have not been caught, and those that do get caught never receive as much publicity as ZeeJustin has.

  6. Well done, Bill.

    I think ZJ is REALLY lucky that Party cannot go “Old Vegas” on him for this cheating. Having the money taken would be the least of worries…

  7. It’s pretty clear he was wrong. It’s even more clear that his excuses/justifications are silly at best.

    Saying he got off easy is probably a stretch. Remember, people ‘cheat’ in the traditional sense online all the time. They have other people play their acct, get help with a big hand, etc. My point is that comparing online and B&M poker doesn’t work anymore. They are two different animals.

    And I’d guess that people break their agreement (that voluminous document no one reads) with Party all the time too.

    Party took all of his money, with no differentiation between the monies he may have one legitimately and those he won illicitly. And he probably has no legal recourse. Seems pretty harsh to me.

    Finally, you distinguish btn. the rules of the game and the rules of the site. I don’t think Party makes this distinction. Thus, theoretically at least, it could confiscate all of your funds based upon its perception that you violated either.

  8. StB,

    Ooops. Forgot to say, reps from each site are not ignorant of what goes on, on 2+2 and such. In other words, people at FTP (and I would imagine every other site) have read about ZeeJustin and JJProdigy.


  9. StB,

    I’m not aware of any such system. It’s a good idea though. Only problem is in such a competitive environment it’s difficult to get people to work together.


  10. Bill,
    Do the online sites share names of those they have banned from their games? Simply put, does FTP have anything in place to prevent this guy from pulling the same shenanigans at FTP?

    BTW, great work.

  11. Lee Jones reported in 2+2 that ZJ’s been banned at PS also. Apparently though, they only confiscated $5K that they deemed he earned due to multiple accounts signed into tourneys and let him cash out the rest.

    I think we are beginning to see something about this younger generation. Many of them have a very different concept of what ethics to apply to poker than the rest of us who cut our teeth at the B&M sites.


  12. Michael,

    I don’t see the world in shades of black and white. Much of what Party has done recently has been pretty evil. This is a case where they acted in, what I see as, a completely appropriate manner. When they do good things they get kudos. When they do bad things they get called on it. Unfortunately, they tend to do more bad things than good things 🙂


  13. You feeling okay today, Bill? Remember Party is bad. Party is evil. Party is ALL wrong in the world today. Are you now actually defending them – or at least condoning this one action? You’re slipping my friend. But don’t worry, I still read ya

  14. Excellent post Bill. You resumed all Justin statement in this simple line.

    His response speaks to one of the downsides of being young and successful; namely the lack of real world experience.

    I can´t agree more with you.

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