Richard Marcus

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WhiteSand Gaming to Fight High-Tech Poker Cheats and Casino Cheats

I just received this email from WhiteSand Gaming on how they are promising better casino security at their properties. Have a read and see what you think.

The recent data breach into Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Las Vegas that may have lasted over seven months highlights the significant exposures that exist not only from remote access but from wireless access points within the casino hotel itself.  Casino Hotels remain a prime target for many reasons, including customer data, credit card data, corporate data, and theft by fraud (creating or hacking into accounts to receive credit, comps, and slot cash).

In our continuing efforts to protect casinos and gaming patrons, WhiteSand Gaming has launched two new wireless security offerings.  Wireless security is the process of scanning a facility for computer/cell phone/tablet/hot spot WiFi “hot spots” also known as access points.  Hackers use unprotected or poorly protected WiFi access points as a primary means of getting access to the organization’s internal networks.  Most organizations do not have a real time map of their WiFi access points and the existence/location of any unauthorized “rogue” access points.  A similar exposure was reported by United Airlines, with the suspect claiming he gained access to flight controls after hacking in to the entertainment system.

Wireless Mapping
WhiteSand Gaming will use state-of-the-art equipment and tools to produce a wireless map of the designated facility.  The map will include the exact physical location, signal strength, broadcast channel and encryption technology of all wireless access points both authorized and unauthorized.  The wireless map will also include the identification name (SSID) of the access point and the owner to the extent possible.

Wireless Monitoring
Further, WhiteSand will set up a state-of-the-art wireless surveillance system which will continuously monitor the designated area for WiFi activity and will instantly note and fully document any “rogue” access points which may appear.  The presence of an unauthorized wireless access point on a gaming floor indicates a severe vulnerability which must be shut immediately to prevent any hacker exploits against the organization.

My take: It´s always nice to hear that casinos are taking measures to protect their customers (and themselves) at the gaming tables. But rest assured that the high-tech poker and casino cheats will take countermeasures to get your money....Let the poker and casino wars continue!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Two UK Roulette Dealers Rig Casino Wheel and Share Profits with Friend

Last Laugh?
Don't think so
Not exactly as effective and cool as the infamous French Cigarette Pack Roulette Scam of 1973, but these two roulette dealers gave it their best shot--and got away with about forty grand before they were spun off right to deal, faster than either one of them could "non-spin" the roulette ball.

According to the UK Daily Mail, a pair of crooked casino croupiers and their friend pocketed £23,000 after working out a way to fix a roulette wheel.
Craig Walker and Daniel Johnson - who worked at Coral Island casino in Blackpool, Lancashire - rigged the wheel so that ball would stay in the same slot and win their friend Kevin Traynor thousands of pounds, which they then split between them.
After their scam was uncovered by casino bosses, the three men admitted fraud and the two croupiers have now been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard Walker, 26, and Johnson, 29, were working together on a quiet shift at the casino when they discovered it was possible to perform a 'no spin' on the wheel - fixing it so the ball stayed in the same slot. When he was given the signal of one of the croupiers scratching their heads, their friend Traynor increased his bet from £25 to £100, securing a win on the roulette wheel and later splitting the cash equally with his two accomplices. Traynor aroused suspicion because he seemed to be gambling small amounts but making big wins, winning £2,100 on one visit to the casino.

When CCTV footage was examined, Walker - a senior croupier with responsibility for overseeing games were being played fairly - was seen scratching his head prior to a ball being anticipated.
All three men were later arrested and admitted their part in the plan, before pleading guilty to fraud.
Sentencing the men, Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC said: 'On eight occasions you operated the game in such a way that your stooge, who you brought in from Manchester, could come in and play the game to win.
'You gave a signal, a no spin was arranged which prompted an increased bet and so secured a larger win than you would by playing by chance or without the knowledge of the wheel.'

Walker, of Blackpool, was jailed for 14 months, while Johnson, also of Blackpool, was jailed for 12 months. Traynor, of Greater Manchester, was handed a nine-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. Patrick Williamson, prosecuting, said: 'All three said their motivation was that they had been in debt.' Fraser Livesey, defending Walker, said: 'He will never again work in the trade he has learned since he was 18. No one is ever going to trust him.'
Brian Williams, for Johnson, said: 'What began as an idle discussion developed into a plan. He can hardly believe they did it.'

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Is 3-time WSOP champ Brian Hastings an online poker cheat?

Big-Time Poker Cheat?
We have been hearing mounting evidence to support this since 2007, and it's not going away. Back in 2009, Hastings was accused of online poker-cheating collusion on the Full Tilt website along with Cole South, but Full Tilt decided that none of its regulations were broken, so no one was canned from the site.

However, this finding did not take the heat away from Hastings on poker-chat forums and information sites like Two Plus Two. Then in 2010, Hastings and South teamed up again against several well-known high-stakes online poker players, where accusations continued flying against the two even when they lost. Hastings then became part of Poker After Dark, along with Phil Ivey, who by now must be suspected of cheating or dishonesty in any event concerning gambling that he engages in.

I have always thought these live-action poker TV shows were bullshit and that no money was really changing hands. I still believe they are nothing more than publicity gigs with the players deciding by themselves how all the money gets be cut-up. So given all this, I am convinced that the latest allegations, that Brian Hastings is a multi-accounting cheater in big-stakes online poker games are true, and that this guy is out to cheat the online-poker with reckless abandon. So watch out for him and his multi-accounts...they're all out to get you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Push to Induct Phil Ivey into the casino and poker cheats Hall of Fame

We all know about Ivey's multi-million-dollar casino-cheatng exploits by way of edge-sorting at the baccarat tables, both in London's Crockfords Casino and the Atlantic city Borgata Casino. Edge-sorting is the practice of manipulating the decks of cards by a player so that their non-uniformed backs, by way of faulty manufacturing design, may be used to identify the face-values of the cards. This practice has been declared cheating by courts in both the UK and the United States, however, Ivey, who will not be paid outstanding casino-winnings by Crockfords, as ruled by a London court, is not subject to arrest or criminal charges from the incident. And he will most likely keep all his profits from Atlantic City and whatever other casinos he may have cheated.

It is estimated that Ivey has earned as much as $20 million by swindling baccarat tables worldwide, which surely puts him in an elite group as far as casino and poker cheats are concerned. But many varibles in addition to earnings are required to be considered for induction into the Casino and Poker Cheats Hall of Fame.There is of course longevity, variation of cheat moves and avoidance of being court and prosecuted. Since Ivey, who has never been accused of poker cheating during his illustrious career as a poker pro, only appeared briefly on the casino-cheating scene and is most likely retired from casino-cheating activity, it is not likely he will be inducted in the Hall of Fame anytime soon.

But I do believe he will eventually get there...the huge sum of money he pilfered from casinos is just too much to ignore! 

New Online Poker Bot-Cheating Incidents in the millions of dollars!

I've been talking about it every since the publication of my book "Dirty Poker." The poker-cheating beat goes on and on and on, just like that song by Earth Wind and Fire. I predicted this influx of online poker-cheating, and I took lots of heat from it, mainly from online poker cheats disguised as honest online poker players wanting to prevent the online poker community from getting a bad rep.

Well, ladies, gentlemen, and poker bots alike, that rep is here and it's real. If you don't want to hear it from me, just go to the online poker-bot cheating articles linked to below. If you are not convinced that the black holes of the poker Internet world are voided by online poker cheating, think again. It has always  been there and it is there to stay!

Article one

Article two

Okay, now that you have read them, do you want to know why online poker-bot scandals are so common? Because it remains one of the safest forms of online poker cheats. As far as I know, no one has ever been convicted of a crime in any jurisdiction for using poker bots to cheat at online poker.

And I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Multiple ID-user who is WSOP bracelet winner to serve time in prison for online poker cheating!

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've heard of anyone actually doing time for online poker cheating, but that is the case for this World Series of Poker champion who is going down for having cheated scores of online players through using multiple accounts and player-positions at the online tables.

Darren Woods, a WSOP bracelet winner in 2011, has been sentenced to 15 months in jail over in the United Kingdom and ordered to repay a hefty sum of £1 million after he cheated for years at online poker.

Woods engaged in fraudulent misconduct on and several other sites by setting up an elaborate scheme to play multiple hands at once at the same online poker table, according to the Grimbsby Telegraph.

The report added that he will receive six more years in jail if he doesn’t pay back £1 million.
Some of the money he has already forfeited will go to online poker operators to help compensate victims of his cheating schemes. The 29-year-old originally denied 13 of the fraud charges, but later changed his plea to guilty for nine of the charges.

The cheating occurred between 2007 and 2012.

Woods’ father admitted to helping him launder £230,000 won from the scams. (What a nice father!)

The poker pro set up fake identities and used private online networks to help him hide the scams from the online poker firms, even cheating on 888 which once employed him as a sponsored player and trusted him with representing the brand. Altogether, he admitted to creating 50 different accounts to help gain huge edges over opponents.

The judge said to Woods: “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.”
According to HighstakesDB, Woods’ cheating was uncovered by diligent members of the poker community who determined that his win-rate was too high to be legitimate. Woods came out to defend himself online, but mounting evidence reportedly lead to his conviction in the minds of the poker community well before a court of law sentenced him to prison.

Woods actually claimed he was a victim, reportedly justifying his actions by alleging that other players have cheated in the past too, without getting caught.

My take: You're right Darren, loads of other players have done exactly the same thing, but you're the one who got caught! I don't know if they allow prisoners to play online poker in the UK, but if they do, remember, Big Brother will be watching you!

Is This World Series of Poker Cheating Allegation Real?

Accused poker cheat
The Las Vegas Review Journal published this article about suspicions of cheating at the World Series of Poker. Have a read and then check out my take on it.

 World Series of Poker officials said they are investigating allegations that a player cheated his way to a fifth-place finish in one of its most prestigious tournaments. The alleged incident took place during the $10,000 Heads-Up No-limit Hold ‘em Championship that ended Thursday and were levied against Valeriu Coca of Moldova. “We are aware, monitoring very closely with all the resources at our disposal. Those include surveillance/security, forensic examination of cards, etc,” WSOP tournament director Jack Effel wrote on Twitter.

“We take integrity very seriously, as evidenced by our lifetime bans, and would enjoy nothing more than catching a cheater in our midst.” Coca defeated five opponents in the Heads-Up Championship before losing to eventual winner Keith Lehr in the quarterfinals Wednesday at the Rio Convention Center.

According to, Connor Drinan believed there were several irregularities in Coca’s play during their match in the round of 32 and posted his concerns on the TwoPlusTwo online poker forum early Thursday. Drinan also spoke with other players who faced Coca in the tournament and had similar suspicions. The players then contacted Effel later Thursday and WSOP officials began their probe.

“We take these types of allegations very seriously & an investigation began immediately upon learning them. It is ongoing,” WSOP spokesperson Seth Palansky wrote on Twitter. “Preliminary testing of cards show no markings or use of any foreign solution. Further tests will be done to confirm initial.” Palansky wrote in a text message Friday morning that the cards from the tournament remain out for testing and that officials will be “thorough in conducting” their investigation.

Coca collected $54,545 for his fifth-place finish and denied any wrongdoing in an interview with “This is a fantasy,” Coca told the website through a translator. “The players who lost are very good, so they just don’t believe they could lose to me for an honest reason.”

My take: Well, the only poker-cheat vehicle I see here is card-marking and that would be very unlikely at an event as prestigious as the World Series of Poker. I know that Coca has been accused of marking cards in poker games in the Czech Republic, but to pull it off successfully would be much more difficult at the world's most important tournament. In the '90s the WSOP was rampant with poker-collusion cheating syndicates, but today with such huge numbers of players entering the tournaments, even the ages-old collusion-cheating methods would be difficult to pull of fruitfully. Thus I would have to agree with the accused poker cheat here and say it's just a bunch of losers who don't know how to lose.

However, in the WSOP ring games, where real cash changes hands with rapidity, the poker-collusion cheat teams are much more rampant.

The Big, The Small and the Ugly!

Big-time Casino Cheat
Casino cheat scams range in all types and sizes. Recently there have been two of them as far away from each other on the casino-cheat spectrum imaginable.

So let's start with the Big: A Singaporean man defrauded the Solaire Casino in the Philippines for $8 million using a series of fraudulent bank wire transfers to get the casino to surrender $8 million in gaming chips. The casino eventually recovered $3 million of the chips but it is still stuck the rest. Read the article here and then see my take on it.

My take: Well, just about every casino in the Philippines and Singapore has been the target of all kinds of major scams, both financial and on their very gaming tables. Security and surveillance is terribly weak in these two hot casino spots, so I expect the proliferation of varied casino scams and financial scams related to casinos to continue right on into the next decade, probably even into the decade after that!

Now let's go to Small: A woman got arrested at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course for swiping a $5 losing-bet from a mini-baccarat table. That's right, you heard me! A five-dollar losing-bet! And they actually arrested her! So what is this world coming to...or I should say, What is this casino-cheating world coming to? The woman claimed that she didn't intend to swipe the chip, that the dealer simply didn't take it, so she simply pulled it back from the table.

My take: Well, this might be a tiny, minute variation of my famed Savannah pinch move, but surely is not worthy of an arrest for God's sake!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Big-Time Card-Marker Caught in UK after cross-country casino-cheat romp!

It may be the oldest scam in the poker-cheating annals but this guy really took it to the hilt. Card-marking keeps keeping pace with all the surveillance and security apparatus designed to stop it. It's a never-ending war that has few cease-fires and very few truces, and it will never had an end or a winner or loser.

Take a look at this article and you'll see what I mean.

How accurate is television in its treatment of poker cheat and casino cheat moves?

Casino Cheat Documentary shot 
By now you've all seen at least two TV documentaries about poker cheating and casino cheating. In the past ten years there have been a flood of them on the History Channel, Bio Channel, Travel Channel, Learning Travel, and even the National Geographic Channel. They all deal with casino cheating but more from the point of view of surveillance and security people rather than the poker and casino cheats. I have heard, however, that National Geographic will air in October or November a special about scams in Las Vegas, including one about professional casino cheats, which will show how they plan their moves, operate in casinos and divvy up the profits. I believe this show will be quite interesting. It will be an episode of its very popular"Underworld Inc." series

So, overall, do TV documentaries depict casino and poker cheating well?

In fact, they do. The general verbiage about the cheat moves is pretty accurate, and those that include real film segments of real casino and poker cheats can make even people foreign to this casino-cheating underworld understand what is going on. The problem is with the shows that do not use the real cheats to film the poker cheating and casino cheating sequences.

One early example of really bad video is the "Breaking Vegas" series that debuted in 2005 on the History Channel. The very first of its thirteen episodes was called "The ultimate Cheat," the life-story of yours truly. Although its detailing of my career cheating the world's casinos was accurate, the filming of the actual cheat sequences was a horror show! This because they used actors, not my ex-casino-cheat buddies and myself, to film the cheat-scenes at the roulette, craps and blackjack tables. Of course, I'd objected to their doing so, but they informed me that due to contractual obligations with actors' unions, the actors had to film the moves without any participation from me.

However, in more recent documentaries about casino and poker cheating, the quality of the film sequences is getting better, so the viewing public can follow along and understand the logic and design of casino-cheating moves. So with this in mind, stay tuned for National Geographic's Underworld Inc. episode about casino cheating, which I think will be called "Casino hustling in Las Vegas."  
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My book, AMERICAN ROULETTE (St. Martin's Press), tells the true story of my twenty-five years as a professional casino cheater. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, in my early twenties, I supported myself solely through legitimate gambling. However, I soon found myself broke and homeless, living under a highway overpass. I eventually sought gainful employment in the only industry I had knowledge of, becoming a Blackjack and Baccarat dealer. Armed with experience on both sides of the tables, my mentor to be, Joe Classon taught the ways of a professional casino cheater. Although retired, I keep up on the various cons and scams that law enforcement is largely unable to adequately police.


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