Jonathan Little made his name as an online pro and gained mainstream recognition after his victory at the 2007 World Poker Tour Mirage Poker Championship. He followed up this victory with three more WPT cashes, including a second place finish at the WPT North American Championship. His success at both online and live poker tables allowed him to become a Full Tilt Poker pro.
Full Tilt Poker players grew suspicious of Little’s account when one user noticed that he had played 1,227 sit and gos over the course of a week. Also, another player noted that Little’s account was in use while he was playing live in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
The decision to drop Jonathan Little was revealed on Tuesday in the Full Tilt Poker Forums by forum administrator TilterRick. His statement began this way:
“Despite having a great year on the WPT, Jonathan Little is no longer affiliated with Full Tilt Poker. He violated the terms and conditions of Full Tilt Poker by allowing other players to play his account. While we encourage our pros to play as much as they can, we do not allow them to share their account with any other players.”
The statement went on to say that Full Tilt Poker players have to be able to trust that Full Tilt Poker pros, whose names are in red, are the ones playing on the account. Jonathan Little has been banned from Full Tilt Poker. Little has been the target of forum posters ever since the news broke, as the posters laugh and berate Little and anyone playing his account for the violations and the ease with which they were caught. The posters are split on whether the punishment as some feel that Little should have received a warning while others say that the punishment was fitting and justice has been served.
Jonathan Little’s case is the first time that a professional player has violated the rules of their sponsor site and been punished for their infractions. Account sharing is known to happen, with another famous case being when online professional Sorem Mizzi bought the account of a player who had survived with a sizable stack to the late stages of a tournament, taking over from the player and going on to win the tournament. Mizzi’s reputation was destroyed, and ever since he was caught he has been concentration solely on live tournaments in order to regain some modicum of respect.