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WSOP Champ Darren Woods gets 15 Months in Prison, £1m Fine

Once upon a time, Darren Woods was a respected poker player who won a gold bracelet in a 2011 WSOP Limit Hold'em event ($213,431). But now, he's branded a cheater after pleading guilty to defrauding online poker players and his former sponsor site. And Woods received the punishment for his crimes, which includes a 15-month prison sentence and an order to repay £1 million that he illegitimately won.

The court also demands that the £1 million be repaid within six months, or an additional six years will be tacked on to Woods' sentence. But if there's any solace for the poker pro, his lawyer said that the Brit should be able to repay the money because he has a net worth of £1.4m.

The maximum sentence that Woods could have received for his crimes was 10 years in prison. So he took a plea deal, which severely reduced his potential incarceration time. Still, Judge Paul Watson QC felt it was necessary to jail the WSOP champ after making the following statement:

"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 favor by the creation of multiple identities which were undisclosed to other players."

As for how Woods' scheme worked, it began when he purchased multiple computers and online networks to set up different identities. The purpose behind this was so that he could fill out various accounts at 888 and fool the poker site into thinking that these accounts all belonged to different people.

Woods then used the accounts simultaneously to play against opponents (multi-accounting), and he signed each account up under an affiliate program - with all of the commissions going directly to himself. It's believed that Woods netted millions with the scam, however, he only has to pay back the aforementioned million-pound amount.