Friday, September 23, 2016

Yet Another Casino-Chip-Color-Up Roulette Scam

Same Colors Different Values
It just keeps happening.

The seemingly ridiculous roulette scam where one player buys in for a color of minimum-denomination roulette chips, then holds on to a few while cashing out the rest, then passes those kept to a roulette-cheat partner who buys in for the same color chips at a different table for a higher denominaion, and then upon cashing those out, mixes in the chips received from the original cheat.

And it just keeps working.

The cheat scheme usually sees the first roulette cheat buying fifty-cent or one-dollar roulette chips while the second roulette cheat cashes out a handful of them at another table as twenty-five-dollar roulette chips.

So the profit is $24 per chip.

A skilled roulette cheat team working a busy night in a big casino with lots of roulette tables can make off with several thousand dollars during a single shift.

The latest instance of this roulette color-up scam resulting in a bust occurred at the L'auberge Casino in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The reported take was  nearly $5,000 and the person responsible was twenty-eight-year-old Emiliano Rodriguez of the Bronx, NY, where a large number of these roulette color-up cheats come from.

The roulette cheat scam is generally done at Native American Casinos or in Riverboat Casino districts where roulette scammers believe casino security and surveillance is less efficient than in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Ohio casinos have been especially hard hit by this roulette scam the  past few years.

And, unbelievably, the majority of these scams go unnoticed by casino authorities in all types of casinos.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bitcoin Online Casinos Cheaing Risk?

Should you?
The newest fashion for online poker and casino operators to skirt US justice and entice US online poker and casino players has evolved into Bitcoin casinos.

Many are popping up now all over the Internet. The idea exploited by these online casino operators is that since the Bitcoin is almost a perfectly undectable currency, online poker and casino players can trade with it to avoid problems with US banks and Credit Card companies when conducting financial transactions with these online gaming companies.

Yes, this is quite an effective method to lure US online gamblers, but how safe is the actual gaming and poker-playing on Bitcoin gaming sites?

And how safe is your account?

Well, the first two issues to examine are whether or not the Bitcoin casino is licensed and regulated, and whether or not it has a strong support system to aid players on the site. If the answer to either of these questions is no, the riskier it may be to play on the site.

However, off-setting these concerns is the simple fact that if a Bitcoin casino operates on the same premise of all other online casinos, which is the built-in house advantage that they all enjoy, it really has no motivation to cheat, especially if it has plans to remain in the competitive market for any length of time.

Many of you may remember, however, that in the early days of online poker and casinos, there were many fly-by-night online casino bust-out operations where the casinos cheated their customers and emptied out their accounts, before disappearing from the Web entirely without a trace.

I would think this would be the biggest risk encountered by a player on a new Bitcoin site, even though that risk would be quite small.

My overall view: If Bitcoin casinos are your best option for gambling online, don't worry too much about being a cheating victim.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Casino Player Card Cheat Scams on the Rise at US Casinos

Mother/Daughter Player Card Cheats
As department stores and banks have always been victims of credit card fraud, casinos are more and more becoming victims of their own player card frauds.

And most of these scams are originating from casinos' own employees.

By changing personal data and accumulating bonus points using the cards, the phony cardholders win prizes and sometimes get lucky and win jackpots. Recently at the Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, a mother-daughter casino cheat team, both of whom were casino employees, got arrested for committing a player card casino scam.

The mother, Alicia Harrison, who worked at the Golden Nugget, was altering the player cards and giving them to her daughter Crystal, an employee at the nearby Island View Casino in Gulfport, who won a series of jackpots totalling more than $10,000 using an assortment of falsified player cards.

This player card casino cheat scam has been prevalent in many of the country's gambling jurisdictions, even in Las Vegas, where the sums pilfered from casinos can be much higher than what happens in Mississippi casinos.

My take: This seems to be a casino scam that almost always blows up in the perpetrators' faces.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Media-Peeker Poker Cheat is Convicted and Nets Three and half Years in Prison

This poker cheat will have lots of time to reflect
His name is Ali Tekintamgac. He was born in Turkey but now has German citizenship.

And he's just set a record for the longest prison term ever given to a poker cheat--3.5 years.

Tekintamgac is a champion. In 2010 he won more than $300,000 at the Spanish World Poker Tour Championship. But later that year he was refused entry at the Partouche Poker Tour main event after allegations of cheating began to surface.

The alleged cheating-tactic employed by Tekintamgac was using phony media members (or sometimes real ones) of supplying him with information about opponents hands during big poker tournaments. These media guys used their cameras to zoom-in on poker hands of players across the table from Tekintamgac, then signalled the poker cheat the value of their hole cards.

This was pretty well caught on video.

Apparently, there were a handful of accomplices involved in the poker-cheat plot and one of them flipped on Tekintamgac to testify against him.

My take: I have for more than a decade been talking, writing and blogging about the wide scale cheating in major poker tournaments across the world. As entry fields in these events keep on growing, the old favorable poker-tournament method of cheating, collusion and chip-dumping, is not as profitable as it once was, therefore, poker tournament cheats need to invent new creative methods like Tekintamgac has.

All in all, I am quite surprised by the severity of the sentence, even more so that it came out of Germany.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Please Marina Bay Sands Singapore..Say it ain't so!--AGAIN!

Marina Bay Sands Cheating Labyrinth
It has happened again! Just unbelievable but yet ANOTHER insider dealer casino-cheat scam has rocked the Singapore Marina Bay Sands.

I really cannot believe this. Just after I posted an article about a team stealing a loaded baccarat shoe right out of a card rack on the casino floor right in the baccarat room, another Marina Bay Sands dealer has pleaded guilty to stealing chips right off his table by stuffing them into his Bermuda shorts and then giving them to his accomplice to cash out.

And if that wasn't enough, he was also dumping more chips off to this same accomplice in the form of paying ties and losing bets on the baccarat table.

So, I have finally come up with a formula that could be copyrighted for the annals of baccarat cheating in Singapore.


This time the cheating dealer, Jiang Kaiwen, told the judge he had felt slighted and unappreciated by his fellow casino workers and bosses, and that none of them backed him up when the casino's customers made fun of him. In fact, he claimed his peers took the side of the patrons abusing him.

Mr. Kaiwen and his casino-cheat cohort, Li Zhifan, decided to make the Marina Bay Sands casino pay--and pay they did! As much as $140,000 in a single month.

I have read that Marina Bay Sands surveillance department ran back the baccarat tapes when they were told by accountants doing an audit that the numbers were off.

Well. I'm not sure I believe that--but what I am sure of is that the Marina Bay Sands Casino is the biggest casino-cheats candy store in the entire world!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

All Those TV Casino Surveillance Cheat Shows

Ridiculous Travel Channel sketch
Many of you who read this blog probably have seen at least a few of those casino cheat and casino surveillance TV documentary programs usually aired by the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Learning Channel and History Channel. They now appear almost as often as poker shows do.

Are the stories they depict accurate? Is the information they shell out the truth?

First, let me give you the general format of these shows. They usually pit casino surveillance and security people against current and ex-casino cheats. They give each cheat's personal story and each casino surveillance or security guy's account (usually in braggadocio fashion) of how they nab the cheats.

The last one of these shows I saw was the Travel Channel's "Las Vegas Surveillance: Cheats and Scams." It profiled the stories of famous slot machine cheats Tommy Glenn Carmichael and Dennis Nikrasch, each of whom wreaked havoc on Las Vegas during two decades and cheated the town's slot machines out of tens of millions.

On the casino surveillance side were the usual suspects, mainly Ted Whiting, the director of surveillance of the Aria Center City casino who's become the "casino surveillance star" of these shows, and James Hartley, a former cop K-9 officer who literally barks out like one of his dogs at the camera, "If you cheat in a casino you will go to prison!"

Certainly may be true, but watching Hartley in his gung-ho sytle is a bit hard to take.

I found that Tommy Carmichael's story and the way he recounted it was really refreshing and well done. There is no doubt as to Mr. Carmichael's intelligence and personality, and I, as one ex-casino cheat, certainly have lots of respect for the other. His creativity and diligence in developing method after method to combat slot machine manufactures' advances in security is of the uppermost grade.

Listening to Whiting and Hartley, we get the obvious we-always-win attitude, but more regressing are the terrible re-creations of casino-cheat scams, some of which bring in overstated card trickster Sal "The Hitman" Piacente to display how players and dealers cheat inside casinos.

The main problem with the whole surveillance/security side of these casino shows is that it shows all the high-tech equipment and systems installed to detect and catch casino cheats but then degenerates into really bad sketch-accounts of what goes down with the cheats they're chasing.

The real footage of cheats that they do show does not enhance their argument much.

In summation, I would say that some of these shows are worth watching, mostly to see and hear the histories of some of these notorious casino cheats.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Are there ANY opportunities to successfully employ Blackjack Card Counting against Continuous Shuffle Machines?

Card-counting Killer
Well, for years now, Continuous Shuffle Machines (CSMs) have nearly obliterated blackjack card-counting on the tables on which they are used. But, of course, there are those blackjack card-counting die-hards that still try to beat them.

So, can they?

In theory, yes. But the advantage they may obtain would be both short and shortlived.

Several blackjack card-counting gurus, such as Elliot Jacobson, have spoken about intrinsic "latency" with CSMs. This means there is a drag or delay of the cards used in the last round before they are back into the shuffle-mix. Since the cards for the next round are already prepared, the cards used in the previous round are not inclusive in the total cards remaining in the deck, therefore the counter can tally them up and come-up with a count estimation of a small advantage.

"Small" because there is never more than one round played in any given situation. Unless each player and the dealer at a filled 7-spot table hit several times and use almost a full deck of cards, there would not be a true positive count of any significance.

So in spite of the theory that CSMs are vulnerable to card counters, in practice it is a waste of time.

An important thing to note, however, is that CSMs are not completely taking over land-based casinos' blackjack tables. They are expensive for casinos to buy, lease and maintain, and many valued non-counting customers simply don't like them and refuse to play at tables that use them.

So there are still plenty of tables worldwide for card-counters looking to avoid continuous shuffling machines.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Online Poker Cheat Sorel Mizzi Banned from PokerStars Again!

This Cheat Has Nine Lives!
Online Poker Cheat/Player Sorel Mizzi has been banned from PokerStars again.

This time it was for using a virtual private network to hide the fact he was playing online poker in the United States, which is illegal according to US federal law.

Mizzi did not deny the facts. He said simply, “I decided to take a risk and play online poker from the United States.”

He also openly admitted that he used some other player’s account, which is also a violation of PokerStars rules. He added to that that he used a virtual private network from his residence in Las Vegas to play in last year’s World Championship of Online Poker.

Then he finished off his comments with, “I can’t play on the site for a couple of years.”

Sounds like he’s just shrugging off his entire online poker cheat history.

Mizzi has been banned by many sites over the past few years, and he appears to take it all in stride, as if being banned is just a by-product of doing business.

My take: Well, until some harsh measures, like forfeiture of funds in misrepresented accounts, are taken, Sorel Mizzi is going to continue his online cheating ways—and continue making serious cash.

Friday, August 19, 2016

When the Casino Cries Foul over a Huge Slot Machine Jackpot

Poor Veronica
From time to time, or maybe even a bit more frequent than that, a casino patron wins a huge jackpot only to be told by the casino that there was a malfunction with the particular slot machine and therefore the jackpot is voided.

When this happens, is the casino deliberately trying to avoid paying out a legitimate jackpot,or is the casino telling the truth about a malfuction?

Well, I will answer the quesiton like this: About forty years ago I walked into a bank to withdraw the last five thousand bucks I had in my savings account to finance a gambling binge (a legitimate one before I got into casino cheating). After the transaction, I asked the teller what my balance was.

She answered five hundred fifty-five thousand dollars and change!

I thought my ears were deceiving me, so I asked her to repeat it...and she did!

I knew immediately that this was some kind of computer error but of course I thought about withdrawing all that money on the spot and closing the account.

But my ball were not big enough at the time, so I just ignored it and waited for the next bank statement which reflected the correction and posted my true balance of fifty-five cents.

My point is that these types of errors do happen, and they happen with slot machines as well. So I conclude that the faulty non-cheating jackpots that occur in casinos are real. I mean, after all, casino jackpots pay for themselves by the money that patrons put into the machines, so there is absolutely no reason for casinos to play hanky-panky with slot jackpot payouts.

The latest victim of this was Veronica Castillo, who for a few minutes thought she hit an $8 million jackpot at the Lucky Eagle casino in Washington State. The casino staff advised her of the machine's malfunction and deleted five zeroes off her jackpot total--paying her eighty bucks and apologizing for the error.

That's the way it goes, Veronica

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Is Poker Night in America Real or just another Cheat the Public Poker Show?

Poker Acting at its Best
If you remember, I heavily criticized the old "High Stakes Poker" TV show, claiming it was nothing more than an agreement between the Gaming Show Network, who wanted to increase their ratings, and the participating poker players, who wanted the publicity to further their careers, to stage the show so that both entities would profit. I never said the hands or their outcomes were fixed. I only said that whatever monies were won and lost in the huge cash game were redistributed back to the participants while off the air.

I believe that "Poker Night in America" and whatever other big televised cash-game is nothing more than the same thing.

It's all bullshit.

And if you look at some of the hands where huge money is won and lost, you will see my point.

One that comes to my mind is the hand played between Phil Laak and Shaun Deeb back in September, 2015.

Deeb raises $9,000 all-in with second pair after the flop and Laak calls with Ace-King. Deeb ends up winning $41,000 in the hand.

Come on, gimme a break!

If you believe that, then you believe I never cheat a casino outta one single chip!

And note that Laak's wife/girlfriend (I´m not sure which) Jennifer Tilly was also in that game. Just the presence of Laak and Tilly in ANY game would leave me believing absolutely NOTHING of that game's validity. I mean, do you remember Tilly's famous check-fold of a full house on the "Poker After Dark" show a while back?

I'm still trying to figure out that one!

And as I wrote in my book Dirty Poker back in 2006, I still to this day do not believe that Jennifer Tilly's 2005 WSOP Ladies Only Championship was anything more than a deal arranged by people in the poker world at that time.

I can't mention any specific names.