Saturday, January 14, 2017

World's Number One Casino Cheat Catcher Robert "Bob" Griffin of Griffin Investigations Dies

Legendary Cheat Catcher
Any poker cheat or casino cheat worth his weight in chips knows very well who Robert Griffin was.

For those of you who don't, Griffin was the founder of the original Griffin Detective Agency in the 1960s, which fast became the private investigation service used by the majority of Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe casinos. Today the agency is called Griffin Investigations and still serves as the number-one private casino-detective ageny, not only in the state of Nevada but throughout the entire world.

That is mainly because of the advent of his infamous "Griffin Book," which was (and still is online to those who employ Griffin) nothing less than the Who's Who of poker and casino cheating. Casinos around the world paid Griffin for his book in order to keep track of and identify hordes of international casino cheats and poker cheats.

I myself have an entire page (or more)  in the Griffin Book.

Though I never met Robert Griffin personally, I am sure he was as familiar with me as my own family.

His number-one prized agent, Andy Anderson, who recently passed away himself, was my personal nemesis in Nevada casinos during more than 20 years. He once told me it was his life mission to bust me and put me permanently out of business.

He of course never did.

And after I retired I actually became friendly with Anderson and saw him at various casino game protection conferences and seminars.

As for Griffin, his agency was responsible for putting many casino megacheats out of business and
some into prison, including those involved in the Tran Organization baccarat scam that bilked North American casinos out of some $20 million in the early and mid 2000s.

Griffin was also instrumental in putting the famous MIT blackjack card-counting team out of business.

Well, the Las Vegas casino-cheating world lost a legend, regardless of which side anyone occupied in that world.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Grab Chips and Run Casino-Cheat Scam outdoes the Bet Chips and Run Casino-Cheat Scam...

Big Piles and Big Balls!
and that's not an easy thing to do!

When I was heavily into cheating Las Vegas casinos during the 70s, 80s and 90s, sometimes the heat in casinos that I generated was even too hot for me!

Which meant I had to put casino-cheating to the side--at least for awhile.

And during those lags in the cheating action, I often got bored--until I came up with what I later named the Harley-Davidson Bet and Run Scam. This scam was exactly what I called it: I bet the chips and if I didn't win, I grabbed the chips I'd bet right off the table before the dealer could take them and ran out the door, jumped on the back of a Harley Davidson 1200 and sped outta Dodge.

Read a full description of that move here.

But decades later, a guy by the name of Tony Carleo, who became known as the Bellagio Biker Bandit, outdid even me. He walked up to a craps table at the Bellagio, and without making a single bet grabbed up $1.5 million in chips off the table, ran out the door and jumped on his waiting Harley outside.

His take was mainly in $5,000 and $25,000 chips. I would have thought that it would have been next to impossible to cash out even the $5,000 chips, as the casino would have probably immediately taken them out of circulation and replaced them with a new series of $5,000 chips with a different color, essentially rendering Carleo's stolen chips worthless.

But that didn't happen and Carleo was able to go back into the Bellagio and buy in with them at various tables, then cash out lower denomination chips at the cage. He was able to convert $500,000 of the stolen $5,000 chips into cash.

But the $25,000 chips were a different story.

The Bellagio kept strict tabs on them, so Carleo had to find another way to cash those out.

He actually (if somewhat subtily) advertised them for sale at a discount on poker forums. Of course that was stupid. This eventually led to him getting set up by a Las Vegas Police Department sting operation, and he got busted selling one of the $25,000 chips to an undercover detective.

Well, he should have quit while he was ahead, like any other lucky gambler, and either thrown those $25,000 chips in the garbage or just kept them as a memento of his  brazen act.

But it's just too hard to throw out a million bucks!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Interesting Article on "The Secret World of Casino Security and Surveillance"

How effective is it really?
This is a very interesting article on casinos' high-tech efforts to battle the casino cheats. Although I beg to differ on the effectiveness of all the recognition software, it is still something to see and read about for those interested in the subject.

I will never be convinced that casinos will be able to recognize a large percentage of casino cheats the minute they walk inside, especially those who make an effort to disguise themselves. But on the other hand, getting instant information from license plates on cars entering the parking garages is certainly much more credible.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Kelly Cheung Yin Sun "Queen of Sorts" Goes into Casino Cheats Hall of Fame

Much more than Ivey's cheat partner
Cheung Yin Sun, also known as the "Queen of Sorts," for her prolific baccarat edge-sorting career, and for her casino-cheat partnership with Casino-Cheat Hall of Fame inductee Phil Ivey, has now been inducted herself.

Sun is the thirty-first person to be inducted into the Casino Cheats Hall of Fame and the seventh woman to have the honor.

Read Sun's history here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Please! Let's Cut out the Sympathy Crap for Master Casino Cheat Phil Ivey!

Yes, he IS a cheat!
Last week a US District Court ruled that Phil Ivey must return the $10 million he won at the Atlantic City Borgata casino through his edge-sorting technique...or I should say "he cheated" instead of he won.

Ever since, all the gaming-guru writers who are ex-advantage players are crying over what they write is an unjust decision against Phil Ivey. They claim that Ivey simply took advantage of the casino's ignorance to the fact they had received defective playing cards from the manufacturer and let them into play, and therefore Ivey and his partner, Cheng Yin Sun (who masterminded the scheme with financial backing from Ivey), did not cheat the Borgata casino. They further support this claim with statements alluding to how the casino makes so much money because of its built-in advantage with all the table games, that they shouldn't complain when someone comes along and beats them. They should just "lick their wounds and move on."

Gimme a break!

This is total bullshit!

What these advantage-player writers are not mentioning is that Phil Ivey and Cheng Yin Sun MANIPULATED the deal of the game by having the dealers abandon their proper procedure to deal the cards the way Ivey wanted so that he could see the defects in the cards and use them to his advantage.

That alone is an indisputable definiton of casino cheating, not to mention the forethought and planning of Ivey's casino-cheat crimes.

Look, I for one am not very sympathetic to casinos and enjoyed ripping them off as much as Ivey did, but let's call a spade a spade and stop spouting this crap that Ivey got ripped off by the court system.

Had Ivey been able to edge-sort WITHOUT having the dealers change the way they deal, then and ONLY THEN would his edge-sorting attack on the casino not be cheating.

So--I call on the advantage-player community as a whole to stop supporting a cheat who is not one of them.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Nevada on Campaign to Increase It's Infamous Casino Black Book Population

Nevada's Black book
If you didn't know it, the State of Nevada maintains a "Black Book" whose pages are filled with names of people who are permanently excluded from entering the state's casinos. If they enter and are caught, they are immediately arrested and charged with felony trespassing.

There are currently 32 people on what Nevada officially calls its "List of Excluded Persons." There were 33, but the recent death of notorious slot machine cheat John Vacaro (which, by the way, is the only way to get your name erased), the population is back to 32.

Now, however, the Nevada Gaming Commission wants to up that population. Feeling threatened by the increase in high-tech and casino-employee-insider cheating scams, they want to get the message out that if you screw around in casinos, you're gonna find yourself in their Black Book. Years ago you needed at least two felony gaming-related convictions to make the grade, but now you don't even need one. The Gaming Commission can place anyone on the list whom they feel is a threat to the integrity and safety of the Nevada Gaming Industry.

Just last year, famous gambler Archie Karas, a legend who once turned fifty bucks into $40 million in what is considered Las Vegas's hottest hot streak of all-time, was placed in the Black Book after being caught marking cards in California casino poker games. He'd had a few run-ins over blackjack cheating incidents before that.

My take: I think that putting Archie Karas in the Black Book is a little harsh as he doesn't seem like much of a threat to Nevada's gaming industry, but I agree that people who use high-tech equipment or corrupt dealers in furtherance of cheating scams should indeed be put on the excluded persons list.

I think that Phil Ivey is a good candidate for that list as he did corrupt dealers in the furtherance of his baccarat edge-sorting scams.

Friday, December 09, 2016

New Maryland MGM Casino Worried about Onslaught of Casino Cheats

New Casino Cheat Zone?
A big new MGM casino has just opened in National Harbor Maryland, and it's the closest casino to the nation's capital,Washington D.C. As with all new casino openings where the bulk of the employees, especially dealers, are novices, there is usually concern about professional casino-cheating teams coming in to take advantage of the rookie dealers and floorpeople.

I have seen and read several news accounts how Maryland's authorities are taking special care to avoid or at least minimize the problem. In fact, they have done virtually everything outside of calling me to come help them! They have set up special classes for dealers, studied loads of data on casino cheating, which they must get from other jurisdictions since Maryland does not release this type of data when it pertains to its own casinos.

They seem to be particularly worried about employee-involved cheating in cahoots with professional cheat-gangs such as the infamous Tran Organization, a Vietnamese clan of baccarat cheats who bribed and corrupted dealers throughout the US and Canada in the early and mid 2000s. They bilked casinos in both countries for some $20 million. Their operation was eventually busted in 2007 and lots of ex-casino dealers went to jail and tarnished their reputations forever.

My take: I think the approach that Maryland's gaming authorities are taking is the right one. New casinos are always extremely vulnereable to both pro casino cheats and those not so pro, and if the problem is not tackled early in a casino's existence, the result could be a disastrous casino-cheating paradise like the pair of casinos in Singapore.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Interesting New Home Poker Games Cheating Device

Poker Home Games Cheat Kit
A Google researher claims he has found a sophisticated cheating method by which poker cheats can see your hole cards by using a specially adapted mobile phone and deck of cards. The Google employee reportedly paid $1,300 for the equipment he bought on a Chinese website. It's a mobile phone equipped with a high-density digital camera and LED lights which allow the device to read line-codes inked to the back of specially doctored cards that look like any normal pack of cards to the naked eye.

If the phone is set within scanning range of the deck, the device will tell you what cards your opponents are holding via earphones. The researcher claims it has a better than 95% accuracy rate, and if you are playing where cell phones are not allowed on the table, you can purchase the same equipment in the form of  a set of car keys with the deciphering discs inside them.

However, using this type of equipment would be dangerous in modern casino cardrooms, where the device could be detected, but in simple home games they can be used to really clean house.

My take. This is yet another form of high-tech card-marking that comes with both rewards and risks. The most important thing to remember is that if you are caught with such a device in most casino jurisdictions, you will end up with serious felony charges against you and probably prison time.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

So Who is Casino Cheat-Catcher B.C. and What does he Have to Say about Richard Marcus?

Was this guy the best?
Veteran casino journalist and ace writer for Cigar Aficionado Magazine Michael Kaplan has recently written a feature entitled "Cheater Catcher," in which he profiles some bad-ass casino security/surveillance detective who is putting some serious casino cheats and casino cheating teams out of business and behind bars.

In the article, B.C., which is an acronym for "Beating Cheaters," describes how he gets his thrills catching and helping to prosecute big-time cheats as well as how he picks up on them and their moves. He talks about several notorious cheats, but gives biggest mention to you-know-who...yours truly.

 I have linked to the article above and you can read it and form your own opinion. What he says about me is very complimentary, and he has high praise for my famous Savannah move. The only problem is that either B.C. or the writer Michael Kaplan screwed up because the move described in the article is not my Savannah move but rather my "ten-oh-five" blackjack move, and even it is far from accurately depicted.

 But in spite of the mistakes, I will take prideful pleasure in being considered by B.C. as perhaps the greatest casino cheat in history! But I take offense in his saying he caught me (or maybe that is Kaplan's mistake). No one ever caught me...SO LET THAT RECORD BE CLEAR!

 Now, who is B.C. really? I don't know but if I had to guess, it's a guy named James Hartley, whom I met at the 2007 World Game Protection Conference where I was the keynote speaker. Hartley showed me his files on me and my moves, and he certainly had the "lock 'em up" appearance and attitude.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Australian Woman Sues Crown Casino for Casino Cheating! Well, not Really.

Dolphin Treasure Slot Machine
However, it is a suit that can be interpreted as casino cheating by a casnio.

The woman, Shonica Guy, is suing both Crown Casino and the slot-machine maker Aristocrat Leisure LTD, claiming both the casino and the slot machine in question are misinforming players about their chances of winning. The machine, called Dolphin Treasure, is located at Crown's flagship casino in Melbourne, Australia,

Ms. Guy claims that the advertising around the machine says it has five reels with the same number of characters, but one column had more, which according to the plainfiff lowers the chances of winning, thus giving the player a false expected value of what the rate of return would be on monies bet.

Lawyers for both Crown Casino and Aristocrat Leisure have declined comment.

Whatever the outcome, this is the first known case of a player suing a casino over the design and advertising of any casnio device.

My take: Well,this is another problem among mounting problems concerning the image and integrity of Crown Casino, which is already known for the largest insider cheat scam in history where dishonest employees ripped off baccarat tables for more than $40 million. Recently 18 Crown Casino employees were arrested in China for illegally promoting gambling junkets to their casino.

As far as the suit itself goes, Ms. Guy will not receive any damages, and she is not asking for any. So I imagine that the casino and slot company will correct the advertising and promotion surrounding the Dolphin Treasure slot machine very quickly.