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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.
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CASINO AFFILIATE PROGRAMS & CARDSPIKE SCANDAL

The Cardspike scandal from late 2008 is a classic example of a business partnership turning sour. It started with all smiles and pockets full of money, but ended in a bitter feud with accusations and legal action. As most conflicts in history this one also had two sides: Lou Fabiano's and Warren Jolly's.

The best way to explain the Cardspike scandal is probably to first introduce the two main persons and to show where their interest in the conflict lied.

Lou Fabiano, also known as “The Professor” on various forums, passed away on 24th August 2010 due to a congestive heart disorder at the age of 47. He was described as jovial and cheerful, and a pioneer of the online gaming affiliate business. Fabiano was the founder of Casino Affiliate Programs (CAP), which according to CAP's website is the largest online gaming affiliate marketing community in the world with 11K+ members. CAP is owned by Affiliate Media, INC. (AMI) which is based in California.

Warren Jolly, born 1983, co-founded AMI and worked there as a very successful CEO, resulting in several marketing awards for AMI in 2008 and 2009 as well as being deemed as the 11th fastest growing company in Orange County, California. Jolly is now president at AMI.

So where did the conflict come from? It came from a cardroom named Cardspike on the Cake Poker network which turned out to be partially owned by AMI. Cardspike was not successful and came to experience financial problems. Subsequently they were accused of not paying their affiliates what they were owed.   

Fabiano and Jolly first denied any ownership and interest in Cardspike, but an investigation was started when reports of slow payments and lack of payment reached the online gaming forums, and court documents that listed key persons within CAP as owners of Cardspike were discovered. This gave Fabiano, Jolly and the rest of CAP a serious explanatory problem. Not only were they supposed to be hosting an objective media affiliate program, they were also supposed to use their network of affiliates to negotiate better deals for affiliates and to ensure that online casinos and poker rooms would treat their affiliates in a fair way.

Fabiano and Jolly took very different approaches to the discussion when it started to gain heat in various poker forum posts, and the scandal reached its' peak during the CAP London conference in 2009 when Fabiano invited the persons, that had revealed his and Jolly's ownership interest in Cardspike, to a fist fight outside one of the conference hotels.1

Fabiano and Jolly both posted statements where they explained the Cardspike scandal by putting the blame on each other. Read the full statements. Cardspike was closed 31st May 2009.


1 onlinepokersites.co.uk 28 February, 2009