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Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Editor Ousted

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

The managing editor of a popular poker magazine has been fired for his role in the latest cheating scandal to rock the online poker world.

Bluff Magazine, which has both print and online editions, announced Monday that it had canned its 24-year-old managing editor, Chris Vaughn.

Vaughn, according to news reports, had cheated in an online poker tournament and then, when confronted about it, lied.

In a statement posted on its website, www.bluffmagazine.com, the poker mag announced: “Bluff Media, publisher of Bluff Magazine, has made the decision to terminate Chris Vaughn as managing editor.

“In light of Chris’ involvement, recently admitted facts and the feedback obtained from industry professionals, it became apparent that the credibility required to perform the job functions of managing editor of Bluff Magazine at our company’s level of standards have become severely diminished.

“While we regret having to make this decision, we believe that it is the best alternative for all parties involved, including Chris, Bluff Media and the poker playing community at large. We wish Chris the best of luck.”

According to news reports, Vaughn recently won an online poker tournament at online poker room Full Tilt Poker (www.fulltiltpoker.com).

However, it was soon revealed on a poker posting forum that midway through the tourney, which Vaughn had entered legally, he had sold his account–that is, his position in the tournament–to another, better player, who went on to win the tournament, news reports said.

Later, in an interview on Internet radio, Vaughn lied about his role in the scam, the reports said.

As is so often the case, the cover-up became worse than the crime and Bluff had to fire Vaughn.

The website Poker News (www.pokernews.com), which has covered the scandal in depth, described how Vaughn cheated, saying his tournament win was “a case of account-selling, the practice of turning over an account late in a major online tournament to a potent, star online player. The practice has come to light only in recent months, after several account-selling incidents were discussed on major poker forums. It was quickly recognized that a star player taking over one of these accounts was gaining a significant edge over his remaining players, who would have no idea that a new tough player, perhaps with a radically different style, had suddenly assumed a seat at the table.”

Account-selling is considered dishonest and therefore cheating, and is against the rules at online poker rooms.

In an interview broadcast by the website The Poker Road (www.thepokeroad.com), Vaughn was asked about his role in the cheating scandal and denied it.

Of that Internet radio interview, Vaughn told Poker News: “When they asked me the question (about cheating) on the show, I panicked and I lied.”

The cheating incident is the second major cheating scandal to rock online poker in recent months.

Earlier this year, a former employee of online poker room Absolute Poker (www.absolutepoker.com) was accused of rigging the poker room’s software so that when he played there online, he could see his opponents’ hole cards without their knowledge, giving him a tremendous advantage that led to more than a million dollars in ill-gotten winnings.

Absolute Poker is still investigating the incident.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)

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