Truth and reliability are hot topics in the game of poker, so GGPoker’s announcement that they are unveiling a Poker Integrity Council (PIC) is an exciting one. With cheaters under threat and the industry on the warpath to stopping players colluding, ghosting and all manner of other nefarious activities, the PIC could be a game changer.

Introducing the Poker Integrity Council

The hope from GGPoker is that the PIC will be a vital part of poker policing moving forward. The industry effort will look to identify cheaters and blacklist them and will focus on any tournaments it can in order to do so. A good example in the future might be the GGPoker microMILLION$, which recently took place on the GGPoker site.

GGPoker have been prominent in poker news recently. Not only have they signed Jeff Gross and Ali Nejad, players and broadcasters of both huge reputation and just as importantly, integrity, they have seen off Dan ‘Blitz’ Bilzerian, who left the poker brand just a few weeks ago, taking some parting shots at the game as the door closed on his involvement in it.

The official press conference announcing the measures GGPoker will be putting into practice took place at the World Series of Poker on July 5th. In a period where poker is crying out for help in regulating the game to keep it fair for everyone, the move is seen as a vastly positive one.

You can watch what happened right here.

Which Players are on the Council?

“[This] is the biggest thing to ever happen in the industry in regard to protecting the honest poker player.”

The PIC contains some very well-known professionals, who have earned the respect from their poker peers in the industry. They aren’t solely GGPoker pros, either, with names from across the poker game involved. Three of them are German all-time money list top 20 player Fedor Holz, who phenomenal run of form a few years ago had the world pronouncing it the ‘Year of Fedor’. GGPoker ambassador Holz is joined by his fellow in-house name Jason Koon, who is another crusher in the poker game. Andrew ‘Lucky Chewy’ Lichtenberger is a player everyone respects and will add a lot to the forum with his years of experience. Others on board are Seth Davies and Nick Petrangelo.

Having players with the reputations of Jason Koon, Andrew Lichtenberger and Fedor Holz to name just three on the PIC books is a strong move that paints GGPoker is an immensely powerful light.

Koon said in introducing the PIC: “I believe [this] is the biggest thing to ever happen in the industry in regard to protecting the honest poker player.”

Stopping cheaters both online and offline has become a major issue in poker and independent investigations of dishonesty at the felt can only be a good thing.

With fair reviews, sanctions for the worst cheaters and a flagging up system that improves the ability of players of all levels in reporting suspected suspicious activity, poker looks to be in its strongest place since the Moneymaker Effect grew the game back in 2003.

“I joined GGPoker with an important objective in mind; to help the GGPoker team make their poker games more secure and fair than ever,” said Koon, the newly-christened GGPoker Integrity Ambassador. “It’s an honor to launch the Poker Integrity Council and take another massive step in ensuring online poker is safe for all players. Our long list of allies also means that the wider community will be better protected via the industry-wide blacklist; we’re sending a united message that there’s no place in this game for cheaters.”

What Measures Will be Used?

How will the PIC investigate claims of impropriety? Well, they’ll employ methods of detection on collusion, ghosting, botting and any use of RTA (real-time assistance) computer programs. These hand histories will be looked at by the PIC and reviewed by Koon himself as the Council decide who stays and who goes.

Council members will then vote on whether or not disciplinary action is needed before that is carried out, from warnings to suspensions or even a permanent ban from an online site or a live tour. Restrictions can even stretch to confiscation of winnings on the player in question’s account.

With the PIC able to hand out bans, as well as mete some order in terms of a global blacklist, GGPoker is working in tandem with some of the game’s largest live poker operators, such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), Triton Poker, World Poker Tour (WPT), Poker After Dark, King’s Casino, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) among others.

With a number of measures in place designed to protect players of all levels, the Players Integrity Council is sure to be a hit with players and fans alike.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

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