Thursday, May 28, 2020

Covid 19 Raising the Stakes in Online Poker Cheating!

Ghosting in Online Poker
We may have another epidemic on the loose. This one in the online poker world. Of course we all knew that the epidemic would give rise to online-poker play for the obvious reasons, but at least some people may be surprised that the increase in online poker cheating is no doubt keeping pace. I am not one of those people.
The recent big case of online cheating is the Daniel "Jungleman" Cates case, in which Cates, a highly-regarded pro, cheated multi-millionaire recreational player Bill Perkins out of what is reported to be hundreds of thousands of dollars by "ghosting" the games. Ghosting is when a player in a big-hand situation is replaced by another player of higher-caliber talent to take over the playing of the hand. The term comes from ghostwriting books. There has also been talk of Cates having information on Perkins' hole cards, which can be obtained via hacking and with the help of designers of the application software.
Also murkily involved in this cheating scam is Dan Bilzerian, the hedonist actor/poker player who has been involved in lots of online and off-line murky and sometimes violent scandals. This scam seems to mirror the Mike Postle live poker scam of a few months ago, where Postle allegedly used streaming at Stones Casino in California to get the value of his opponents' hole cards. In any event, there are thousands of online poker scams rearing their ugly heads since brick and mortar poker got sidetracked by the virus.
How do I know this? Well, first off, I know a thing or two about online poker cheating. Back in 2006, I wrote a book about poker cheating, both online and off, called "Dirty Poker." In the book, and on television with famed Las Vegas investigative journalist George Knapp, I boldly stated that online poker would be infested by cheating scandals, mostly by way of hacking, where the cheats would obtain information on their opponents' hole cards among other things.
Both Knapp and I took a tremendous amount of heat from the poker community at the time, many calling me a full-of-shit asshole and much worse. But, lo and behold, the biggest online poker scandal of all-time engineered by Russ Hamilton (who also cheated his way to the 1994 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship) that came to light in 2008 showed that maybe I wasn't so full of shit after all. Tens of millions of dollars were taken from legitimate players in exactly the same way I'd predicted it would. You can see my interviews with Knapp on my website
But my knowledge of the current rise in online poker cheating has nothing to do with what I wrote and said in the past. I have direct information on it. You see, believe it or not, I have been making a bit of money these days despite my casino game protection training career being on indefinite hold. Since early April, I have received eight (count 'em) requests to monitor private online poker games in which a player or players were suspected of cheating. All of these games were by private invite and played on mobile apps which one of the players, or a close contact of one of the players, designed and created the platforms. Even though I am by no means an online poker cheating expert, I know cheating when I see it!
In each of these eight cases, I was linked to these private online games, some of which were formed by executives of the same companies, industries and even strip clubs. So I pulled up a chair in front of my laptop, popped open a beer and a bag of chips, and watched the action. As the suspected cheating players were identified to me beforehand, it was quite easy to offer an opinion as to whether or not they actually were cheating by watching their play. In six of the eight cases, I was sure the suspects were guilty. In the other two cases, I thought the accusers were overzealous in wanting to blame someone or something for their losing streaks and the seemingly unrealistic winning streaks of their targets.
One funny if not unusual incident arose from a private-app game played by a group of well-to-do executives who frequented the same Chicago strip club. I was contacted by one of the players who copied me all the emails between the players in the game discussing their suspicions of the one player they all suspected of cheating because he was on a two-month winning streak and was also the person who'd introduced them to the app and the platform.
Well, I watched ten two-hour stints of their game, focused on the suspect player for the first five sessions. I just couldn't see anything suggesting the accused was cheating. I was sure he had no information on the other players' hole cards. So I watched and watched and watched. Finally my attention, for no specific reason, was drawn to the other players. I focused in on each of them, one by one.
My findings: The guy who'd hired me was the one cheating! I sent him an email, copied to all the other players in the game, that, yes, there was cheating going on in the game, but it was not being done by the suspected cheat. Then I sent a private email to the guy who'd hired me and told him I thought he was the cheat...No, I didn't refund the money he'd paid me.
Neither he nor any of the others from the game ever responded to my emails.
So, what should you take from this? If you play in private online poker games by invite only...BEWARE!

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

My eBook "Casino Game Protection From Both Sides of the Table" has been released!

If you are in Casino Table Games, Surveillance, Operations, or if you just have an interest in casino cheating and casino game protection, this book is for you! It is both a game protection manual and in-depth look at casino cheating, and is packed with some very entertaining stories!

Order it HERE  Immediate delivery! 

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

The Ups and Downs of being a Casino Game Protection Trainer

He always kept his cool!
Don't get me wrong about the downs! There's nothing I love more than getting a call from a casino asking me to come to their property and train their Tables Games or Surveillance Staff. The pay is excellent and if I didn't get those calls, I wouldn't have much to do with my professional life anymore. After all, spending the first 25 years of adulthood as a casino cheat doesn't exactly put together an eye-catching resume for most of the world's job markets.
The job itself is not easy, especially if you're in the latter stages of middle age or beyond! In my case, there's lots of international travel involved, and that alone takes a lot out of you. The actual training sessions pass quite quickly because they are never boring. However, at the end of the day you feel it because you've been on your feet talking for eight hours straight, even during lunch because attendees are always coming up to you asking questions and making comments, which is all good. And in cases where I train at one property for an entire week, the voice can go AWOL by the end of day 3 or beginning of day 4.
But I am not complaining!
Overall, my training sessions, both to individual casinos at their properties and to open multi-group casino seminars in major gaming areas, are quite rewarding experiences for me, and I would think as well to the grand majority of the attendees who participate. However, there are some frustrations, the biggest one being attendees who don't come to a seminar with an open mind. The first thing game protection training attendees need to have to come away with something valuable from a training session is an open mind and a willingness to believe the possibility of something seemingly impossible, even when it happens to them. I like to say to an audience, "If I were some guy you met in a bar and I told you the moves I pulled off in casinos, you would tell me to take a hike with some expletive at the end. That is understandable, but, unfortunately, some attendees take that same attitude at a training session.
Then I say, "But if what I am going to tell and show you over the next several hours is not reality, then I wouldn't be here standing in front of you, would I?" The point simply being that I would not have received a call from their casino department heads to come and train the casino in the first place. This usually gets most of the people who didn't come to the training with an open mind to open up their minds.
But not all.
However, I can deal with that and it's not frustrating. You cannot expect everyone to believe in new elements of training that contradict what they have already learned or experienced.
What does get my goat is when that disbelief is replaced by ignorance, over-aggressiveness and just plain resentment against me. Some people just don't accept learning game protection from an ex-cheat and have to vent that resentment by challenging me at every step and corner. Challenges are fine and I encourage them, but not when they get out of hand.
For example, at a European international event not long ago, I was doing a segment on daub card-marking, using 3-card poker as an example. So without asking the attendees which 3 cards would the card-markers be most interested in marking, I just got right into it telling them they would mark the Qs, Ks and As since they are the most important cards in the game. But as I started showing it, one attendee, actually a well-respected operations manager from a major European casino with 30 or 35 years experience, challenged me and said they might want to mark the 2s, 3s and 4s instead. At first I thought he was joking but he persisted to the point where he was disrupting the seminar. I kept asking him why would they mark the 2s, 3s and 4s instead of the three most important cards to the game. Then I thought maybe he didn't know the dealer qualifying rules. But he did know them and still persisted that the likelihood of marking the 2s, 3s and 4s was no different from that of marking the Qs, Ks and As, given only 3 ranks of cards would be marked.
Well, I lost my cool and let the ignorance of this person get to me. I argued with him until I was blue in the face and finally had to say lightheartedly, "OK, sir, you're right...."
After the seminar, another attendee who had witnessed my frustration approached me and said, "You know what? You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Everyone here paid a significant amount of money to attend your class. If someone wants to behave like that, just move on. Don't let it interfere with what you're trying to accomplish."
I explained to him how it bothered me so much because I really care about people learning and getting something out of my seminars. He just shook his head and said succinctly, "Sometimes you just can't give insight to those who wanna be blind."
And then he recounted a story about Steve Jobs, whom I think is one of the greatest human beings to ever step foot on earth. He told me that Jobs once said in an interview that when hecklers at his presentations would stand up and shout out something nasty about his products, like this or that iPhone sucks, he would just take pause for 10 seconds, look upward and take a deep breath, and then just go on about what he was saying about the product. He said that calmed him down and avoided confrontations.
I have since adopted the Steve Jobs method of dealing with onsite frustration and it has indeed helped me.
Thank you, Steve.
I would like to close with one incident that happened a few years back that is the epitome of not keeping an open mind. In one session, an elder attendee challenged me on a certain type of roulette cheat move. He said it could never be done on him or anyone else in his casino, and he took it to the wall and seemingly would have bet his life on it. Well, as fate would have it, not only could it be done on him and his casino, it WAS done on him IN his casino! Twice!
You see, while I was in the casino-cheating business for 25 years I kept records on every move I ever did, all thousands of them. I charted who the dealer was, who the floor supervisors were, if there was any heat, if surveillance was called or another pit notified, etc., etc. It just so happened I recognized this particular attendee as a dealer I had beaten with the same cheat move some years prior. He had very distinct physical characteristics. Of course his adamant refusal to accept reality pissed me off, but of course as well, I couldn't say that I had done the exact same move on him twice...for two reasons: 1) It would not be acceptable etiquette on my part; 2) He would have never believed me anyway! the frustration of game protection training. 
So if luck has it that I ever visit your casino to do some training, please keep an open mind!

Stop the Talk about Getting Rid of Surveillance People because of Artificial Intelligence in Surveillance Rooms!

SOS...Save our Surveillance!
I’ve read Willy Allison’s articles on the subject, and they’re good. I only want to address his point that the role of human surveillance in depts that may overload on high-tech systems such as AI computer vision and digital tech will diminish. My comment is brief. So LISTEN CAREFULLY and TAKE THIS FROM ME. I may know this better than anyone alive, having been one of the best casino cheats in history and now one of the best game protection trainers out there. NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE AI COMPUTER VISION IS...HOW GOOD THE ABILITY OF TECHNOLOGY ITSELF ALERTING SURVEILLANCE IN REAL TIME OF CHEATING…HOW GOOD THE DIGITAL TECH IS, THROW IT ALL OUT THE WINDOW IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE PEOPLE!!! I REPEAT…PEOPLE! How do you think I became such a skilled casino cheat? Because I took adv of the tech boom coupled with the lapse of floorpeople who depend on it. If you don’t got the people behind the tech, you got nothing! So let’s not hear about getting rid of surv people because the AI is so good…bullshit! If I owned a casino, I’d take good, dedicated surv people over AI any day of the week. I agree with Willy that many of today’s GP seminars look like magic shows and I as well have never seen anyone cheat a casino out of serious money with magic or memory tech.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Which are the Best Poker Cheating Scams of All-Time?

"Blogger Poker Cheat" Ali Tekintamgac
Difficult to say but you can see some great one here.

Monday, December 23, 2019

What are the best Casino Cheat Scams from 2010 to 2019?

Best CasinoCheat Scams 2010 to 2019
It has been quite the casino-cheat decade, I may say, and as we advance in both time and technological growth, it will only get worse.
So, with that in mind, what were the best and most dangerous casino-cheat scams of this decade? Not the top 10, just the ones that were really the VERY best.
Well, I'll tell you one thing: the absolute best scam taking place between 2010 and 2019 is, of course, one we don't know about and maybe can't even conceive. Surely out there right now, someone somewhere is practicing a highly sophisitcated scam (not necessarily high-tech) taking millions worldwide out of casinos and it's just not on the radar yet.
That said, let's take a look at the scams we do know about it. For me, there are two that occurred between 2010 and 2019 that stand out from the others, and some of those others, like Phil Ivey's baccarat edge-sorting scam, were pretty darn good if not great. But when choosing the best of the best and the most dangerous of the dangerous, I am speaking of the bacccarat "Cutters" scam, performed primarily by Asian cheat gangs, and the Russian reverse-engineering-random-number-generator slot machine scam.
The Cutters scam was simply ingenius. The person cutting the eight decks of baccarat cards gripped the cut-card in a way that concealed his finger as it spliced through the deck to reveal the cards' indexes to a hidden digital camera system which then transmitted the images to an associate in another location who deciphered and relayed the information of the order of the cards to a player at the baccarat table who, with other cheats involved, bet perfectly each hand with advance knowledge of the exact order of the cards coming out of the shoe. This scam went on for several years before an astute floor staff and surveillance team at PAGCOR caught on to and busted it in Manila in 2011.
The Russian reverse-engineering slot scam performed in the mid and late 2010s was so good that few people to this day are even sure of what they actually did, although the basic understanding is that Russian hacker/spotters video-recorded the activity of certain slot machines all over the world and sent the images back to Russia, where even more advanced hackers developed algorithims used with applications to predict when these slot machines would cough up jackpots. This scam was busted up at the Lumiere casino in St. Louis, Missouri by surveillance people who noted unusual placement and usage of cell phones among other tells of something fishy going on.
A third great scam that deserves mention, even though it actually came to light in the late 2000s but was immortalized into the Hall of Great Casino Cheat Scams by Phil Ivey in 2012, is the baccarat edge-sorting cheat scam. It is certainly the most publicized brick and mortar casino scam of all-time because of Ivey's celebrity status as a poker player, and certain game protection people will swear (and they're wrong in Ivey's case) that it's not cheating at all. The scam was simply taking advantage of being able to identify flaws in the backs of playing cards that were not cut proplerly and then sort the cards by means of duping casino personnel into turning them a certain way so that good and bad cards for the cheat could be read before the deal and, more importantly, before the betting. Ivey and his partner Kelly Sun made tens of millions pulling this off before some wise Brits working at Crockfords Casino in London caught on.
One thing these three great scams had in common besides being great: they all got busted for the same reason that all even lesser great scams get busted...GREED! People who come up with great innovative cheat ideas just prove to be plain old stupid when it comes to knowing when to stop or give it a rest.
As far as great non-high-tech scams we've seen during the last ten years, the best and most widespread in my opinion, despite its relative simpleness, is the roulette color-up scam where one person would buy in at a roulette table for non-redeemable chips and assign the table-minimum value to them, then when coloring out to casino cash chips, he held out several of the non-redeemables, which he later passed to a confederate out of view who returned to the same table and bought in for the same color chips but assigned a higher value to them, finally adding to his stacks the same-color chips he'd received from his cohort. The cheat occurs when he colors them all out together as the higher denomination chips.
So if the first roulette player bought in for $1 roulette chips, then passed ten of those to the second roulette player, who added them to his recently bought-in chips that he assigned a $25-value to, the illicit profit is $240 for those ten chips, each of which were bought at $1 apiece and colored out at $25 apiece. The scam was done literally thousands of times by hundreds of different cheats for significant sums of money but has since been busted several times across the US, and now most casinos, but not all, have adopted internal control procedures to stop it.
Another low-tech scam worth mentioning is the dice-sliding craps scam, where the slider skillfully slides one of the dice, not letting it tumble, therefore partially controlling the outcome, giving those players betting the slide a huge advantage over the casino. This scam should NOT be worthy of mention because it is so easy to stop, but casinos in the US and Canada, either out of ignorance and ineptitude or poor or no game protection training, just don't seem to catch on to the phrase I and others have uttered a thousand times, "Make sure both dice leave the shooter's hand together, tumble across the layout, hit the back wall and tumble back." Thus the scam continues to go on across North America, albeit a bit less as we move into 2020.
Somewhere out there it is possible that a super-duper low-tech cheat scam like the Savannah roulette pinch move of the 90s is in the works but we will have to wait to see it come to light.
It could be a very long wait.
And finally, what has been the most instrumental facet of casino cheating during the 2010s going forward?
You bet! The cell phone.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

A piece of Brazen Electronic Roulette Cheating!

"Breaking" Electronic Roulette
When we think of cheating electronic roulette wheels, we think of highly technical stuff such as visual ballistics and roulette prediction apps. But last week four Georgian Nationals were arrested for committing an electronic roulette scam cheat in Venlo, Holland, not only a lot less high-tech but certainly a lot more brazen!

They simply forced open the lid over the wheel, removed the glass (or plastic) covering it, then reached inside to stop the ball and place it on the winning numbers they bet on.

Talk about electronic balls! I mean those forming the crotch!!!

They got caught and are believed to have performed the same brash scam in a number of Holland Casinos and in other areas of Europe as well.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Mass Poker Cheat Hysteria Over Mike Postle, Justin Kuraitis, RFID Cards, Streaming, Poker, Stones Gambling Hall and Lots More!

Mike Postle...the new Russ Hamilton?
This alleged poker-cheating case, or I should say "cases", seems to be the second coming of the infamous Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker online poker cheating scandal engineered by former WSOP Main Event Champ Russ Hamilton more than a decade ago. It's all high-tech and involves streaming, RFID cards, cell phones, Stones Gambling Hall near Sacramento, and a lot more.

A huge class-action type lawsuit, that goes as far as to claim violations of the US RICO statutes, accuses poker player Mike Postle of using his cell phone to receive information identifying his opponents' hole cards via the live streaming of those cards given to viewers through RFID implants in them. In short:

Postle’s phone, according to consensus, was used to receive either the RFID (card-identifying) data itself, a hijacked live stream, or text messages from collaborator(s) inside the Stones Live production team. Likewise, the alleged concealed listening device, possibly a bone-conducting headset, could have received direct voice communications from a collaborator monitoring each player’s hole cards in real time. A less likely scenario involves a text-to-voice conversion app running through Postle’s phone.

This case is so intricate and multi-woven (if such a word exists) that the most efficient way to report on it is to link you to the two central articles about it. Then when you're done reading them, perhaps you will have the same reaction I had...mainly THIS STUFF IS SCARY!

Article 1:  

Mike Postle, Stones Gambling Hall, Justin Kuraitis Sued by Players

Article 2:

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lone Wolf Card-Switcher Cheats Washington State casino 38 times in 40 days for 40K on High Card Flush Table

Card Switch in Action
After you read the article, you have to ask yourself what was going on in this casino? How could it take so long to catch on to a card-switching scam done by one person?

The article appears on the website.


MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — To win at High Card Flush is easy. You want more cards in the same suit than the dealer. And to break a tie, you want a hand that would be a winner in a regular game of poker.
So if you’re dealt four suited high cards — say, a King, a Queen, a Jack and a Ten of Diamonds — you’ve got a very lucky hand.
If your luck seems a little too consistent to be true, the state gambling authorities may hear about it. That’s what happened when a Renton man kept returning to the Crazy Moose Casino in Mountlake Terrace to play High Card Flush, and kept winning.
The man, 51, was charged Friday with cheating the casino out of $38,335, through sleight of hand. He’s accused of first-degree theft and second-degree cheating at a gambling activity.
An investigation began in January, when the Crazy Moose and two other casinos in King County reported possible card-switching by the same gambler. He was a common sight in the card room at 22003 66th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace, making 38 trips in 40 days to the tables, court papers say.
A security manager watched footage of each visit. He’d always play three different hands at the same time at a single table. He’d check the strength of the middle hand, and then, in the opinion of gambling authorities, see if his other cards could improve the odds of winning for his main hand. If so, he’d secretly make a swap, according to the charges.
The Washington State Gambling Commission used a computer tracking program to review his wagers, how much he cashed out for, and his win-loss record. A spreadsheet of his moves suggested he’d rarely try to outwit the same dealer more than twice in a night.
He was first caught cheating to win an extra $1,415 in four bets on Dec. 9, 2018, the charges say.
The next night he returned and took home $2,530 on a single bet of $50. Charging papers say he cheated three times Dec. 11, three times Dec. 20, once Dec. 21, once Dec. 27, once Dec. 28, once Dec. 30, once Jan. 4 — and 11 times on Jan. 8.
At 12:30 a.m. that day, he won $3,315 on a straight flush. He ended the day at 10:50 p.m. with another win of $3,500 on another straight flush. He came back the following evening. Another straight flush. Another $3,250.
There’s a gap in the log for about a week, until he was supposedly caught cheating twice more on Jan. 15. According to investigators, he cheated eight times in front of six different dealers starting late Jan. 17, into the early morning hours.
Reports of cheating at other casinos were forwarded to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The amount of money at stake in those incidents isn’t recounted in the Mountlake Terrace charges.
The man has no felony record.
On Monday, a letter was mailed to his home, telling him he’s required to show up to Snohomish County Superior Court for an arraignment hearing Sept. 30.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Casino Game Protection War with Phil Ivey Continues

Borgata Playing for Keeps, Phil
We have been hearing about each step and maneuver in this notorious cheating/advantage play case for seven years now.

And it still is not yet finalized, the last big factor yet to be determined is whether or not Ivey will escape with the $10 million the New Jersey courts say he owes the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, that being the amount he won there through the advantage play technique called edge sorting, which, in my opinion, turned into pure cheating when Ivey convinced Borgata table games officials to alter the deal of the game by using false pretenses.

In this Game Protection war, the latest battle has been won by the Borgata. A New Jersey judge ruled that the Borgata can garnish or seize all Ivey's future winnings in poker tournaments in the United States, and seize them is exactly what the Borgata has done for the year 2019. They just seized more than a hundred grand that Ivey won at the 2019 World Series of Poker.

Ivey, whose appearance at US poker tournaments has dwindled immensely the past few years, has reportedly removed all his liquid assets outside the US. He did have the Borgata send his edge sorting winnings to Mexican banks, so perhaps the trail to where all his cash now is begins there.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if Ivey can wait out all the Borgata's efforts to collect the ten million.

One thing for sure is that it is quite unlikely we'll see Ivey playing any more US tournaments in the near future--perhaps never. |

That's because Ivey would have to surrender his next $10 million in winnings to the Borgata!