High-Stakes players Hacked - Doug Polk Explains How

2 years ago
High-Stakes players Hacked - Doug Polk Explains How
12:27
26 May

Vanessa Rousso, it transpires, was not the only well-known poker player to have her account hacked this past week – her ‘swatting ordeal’ being joined by the likes of Vanessa Selbst, Dan Smith and others who all had their security compromised, leading Doug Polk to make a new vlog entitled ‘Poker Pros Are Being HACKED! Here's How They Did It...’

First up was Rousso, whose Twitter got everyone’s attention when she claimed she needed emergency help but the police weren’t responding. After several hours of alarmed friends and fans trying to find out what was wrong, it transpires that she had been swatted – a prank where emergency services (and often SWAT teams) are called out, often to celebrities.



Next up was high-stakes pro Dan Smith, whose sardonic tweet referred to his recent bad showings…

Then the world’s best woman player, Vanessa Selbst, shared a host of tweets, starting with…

… further tweets showing her increasing frustration at trying to resolve the potentially very-damaging situation…

To add to the list, Cate Hall was also a victim of some dastardly hackers, relying on fellow pro Liv Boeree to spread news of her online problems…



"I can also say I know other people who have been getting hacked too, but just have not come forward publicly," Polk said in his latest vlog covering the spate of hacking incidents hitting the poker community.

“This video is going to be about what we know happened, how it happened and then I’m going to give you guys a run-down on how to keep yourself secure.”

The one person Polk spoke to personally about the incidents was Vanessa Selbst, who explained that the hackers go via your mobile phone provider and persuade them you need a PIN change – after which, anything backed up by SMS is vulnerable – the hackers having access to the SMS codes sent out.

It’s apparently incredibly easy to do and much harder to fix as Selbst’s tweets seem to indicate.

“Here’s the thing you all need to come to terms with, especially in the high-stakes community – your phone is not safe!” says Polk, explaining how the carriers will view customer convenience ahead of security issues in many cases.

Polk is very serious about this issue, he himself the victim of scammers of a slightly different sort in his illustrious career.

The fixes for these latest hacks, he explains, are varied – and proceeds to list the ways to ensue your accounts are kept as safe as possible. Take notes – it could save you a lot of hassle and even money by following them!


Polk’s top tips are:

  • Do your best to secure your phone. Add a PIN only changeable in person with photo ID.
  • Make a ‘pretend’ call to see if your details are safe from a real hacker’s attempt.
  • Use accounts with 2FA (two-factor authentication) as a matter of priority and choice.
  • Do not use the application ‘authy’ or similar products which link back to your phone. Use ‘Google Authenticator’ instead, despite its annoying features.
  • Get yourself ‘KeyPass’, a password management program, and make long difficult passwords for very important accounts.

To finish with, crypto-currency, Polk explains, is “a hacker’s dream” – and you need to take special care of these accounts, as anything going missing is unrecoverable. So, there you have it – bad things happen so do your best to make life as difficult as possible for the would-be thieves!


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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