The World Series of Poker bracelet winner Darren Woods has been given a 15 month jail term in the UK and been ordered to pay back way over $1 Million after he was found guilty of cheating at several online poker sites. The fraudulent activity took place between 2007 and 2012 and occurred at 888.com and other sites with the scheme involving Woods playing poker hands at the same table under different usernames.
Should Woods fail to pay back the cash that he owes he could face a further 6 years in jail and after initially denying the 13 charges against him, the 29 year old eventually confessed, while his father also admitted to assisting with laundering the money from the scheme. Woods has already paid some of the money back, cash which will go to compensating the players who were cheated in what was an elaborate scam in which he utilized over 50 different online poker accounts.
Woods was in fact a sponsored player at 888.com and represented the brand at many land based tournaments and he was eventually found out by other players who noted that his win ratio was simply way too high to be legit. As the evidence mounted against him he continued to deny the claims, defending himself online against all charges of misconduct, however the rooms eventually discovered that the cheating claims were in fact true and when being sentenced the judge stated that, “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.”
Woods was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court and although confessing to the crimes he also believes that he has been a victim of theft, and states that he will be leaving the UK once he’s served his time.