Richard Marcus

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Atlantic City Borgata Using New High-Tech Poker-Tournament Chips After Counterfeit-Chip Scam Rocks Prior Tournament

A cheating scandal at a casino poker tournament has led to new security measures, including chips that are more intricate, have more colors and include an authentication element that can be checked under ultraviolet light.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa told The Associated Press it was using new chips for its Spring Open poker tournament that began Tuesday.

"This was very expensive, but very necessary," said Joe Lupo, the casino's senior vice president. "In order to have the biggest tournaments in Atlantic City and as the market leader, we need to ensure the integrity of the games."

In January, the casino was forced to suspend an event at its Winter Open after suspicions that someone introduced counterfeit chips. A North Carolina man who won $6,814 during the tournament, Christian Lusardi, was arrested on charges including theft and rigging a public contest. Lusardi is still in custody awaiting trial. Calls to a number registered to him in Fayetteville were met with a constant busy signal Tuesday, and it could not be determined if he has hired an attorney.

Authorities said Lusardi, after suspecting the fake chips had been noticed, flushed them down the toilet in his hotel room at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, where he had been staying. But the chips clogged the pipes, and guests on the floor below complained that water was dripping into their rooms. Maintenance was called, and they found the chips, with a tournament value of 2.7 million, although they had no actual cash value.

A joint investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the state Division of Gaming Enforcement continues, and $1.5 million in prize money is still on hold pending its outcome. About $800,000 in prize money was already paid out before the fake chips were discovered.

The event under scrutiny was the tournament's Big Stack, No Limit Hold `Em event. There were 27 people remaining in the contest when play was suspended.

The new, more sophisticated chips combine several design and technology elements in use in the industry. They were approved by New Jersey gambling regulators for use in tournaments. Part of the new security measures will include spot checks of chips in play during games.

"We will be checking chips randomly throughout the day using a new process involving the UV lights," Lupo said. He described the checks as "part of the new normal."

The Borgata also will add more staff and will do more chip counts each day during its tournaments.

My take: Surprised to see the ol' Phony Mahonies in play, but I got a good laugh at people's hotel rooms getting flooded out by the poker cheat's failed attempt to get rid of them by flushing the toilet!! LOL

Monday, April 14, 2014

Phil Ivey Cheating Casinos...Where will it end?

Bundles of Cheat Cash?
Well, we've all heard much about Phil Ivey using the edge-sorting scam technique to scam Crockford's casino in London out of some $13 million. Now it has come out that the Borgata casino in Atlantic City is suing the poker star Ivey to recover the $10,000 they say he edge-sorted them out of using the same technique to scam that casino's baccarat tables.

Edge-sorting, which is taking advantage of casino playing cards that have already arrived to the gaming tables in a defective condition, allowing players to determine their values when they are face-down, is not in itself cheating. That's because Ivey did not physically alter the cards himself. But the casino alleges, just like Crockfords in London did, that he altered the dealers techniques in the dealing of the game, making them abandon normal procedure and dealing the way Ivey wanted them to so that he could read the backs of the defective cards. THAT is cheating, but, realizing that it would be very difficult if not impossible to gain a conviction, the Borgata is only going to try to recover the money via a lawsuit, accusing Ivey of cheating to win the ten mil.

Do I think they have a chance of recovering the money from Ivey via this lawsuit? Absolutely, although I doubt they would get a judgement for all the money lost. We might even see a settlement in this case between the Borgata and Ivey, which would be something of a first, at least to my knowledge. I mean a casino accusing someone of cheating their tables and then settling out of court...would be a first, right?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Big-Time Video Keno Machine Scam!

Source: Joliet Patch

A Las Vegas man wanted for allegedly cheating the Joliet Harrah's out of as much as $500,000 was captured during a traffic stop.

Paul Jovenich, 42, was taken into custody by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Friday. He is the third of an alleged five-member team of professional casino cheats.

Jovenich was arrested without incident , said Las Vegas Police Officer Larry Hadfield.

Jovenich and four others allegedly teamed to fleece Harrah's in April 2012. The band of gambling cheats made their score by manipulating video keno machines, according to court filings.

Two of the crew, husband and wife Randle and Virginia Thorpe, were booked into the Will County jail last month. Both were released after posting $50,000 bond.

Rande Thorpe, 57, is the former superintendent La Porte, IN, schools. He and Virginia Thorpe, 58, also were charged with ripping off the Harrah's in Tunica, MS.

The two alleged casino cheats still at large—Randy Binning, 48, and Svetoslav Dorobanov, 38—both live in Las Vegas.

The alleged cheating scheme apparently unraveled when Binning was pulled over in Arizona and turned out to be carrying more than $400,000 he claimed he claimed to have won on keno machines that were malfunctioning at Harrah's casinos in Joliet, Illinois, and Tunica, Mississippi, according to a court filing.

Dorobanov, a Bulgarian chess master who also competed in the World Series of Poker, has accused Harrah's of trumping up the charges in retaliation for his triumphs in the casino. He called the charges against him "phony" and "preposterous." Dorobanov also said Harrah's is simply "very bitter for losing money to" him.

Hadfield said Jovenich will be held until police from Will County come to pick him up. Once he arrives in Illinois he will be held on a $250,000 bond.

My take: Well, we don`t have many details on this scam but it looks pretty high-tech and pretty big, so we`ll see what evidence the casino has on them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Casino Cheating With the Stars! Why Not?

I have just sent a TV treatment to my agent for a new TV reality show based on competitive team casino-cheating. It is called "Casino Cheating With the Stars" and would be similar to "Dancing With the Stars."

Why not? with all the reality TV shows flooding the airwaves, everything from Tattoo freaks to duck hunters to storage herders, is there not room for casino-cheats duking it out?

"Casino-Cheating With the Stars" works like this: Groups of 4-man casino-cheat teams (each with 2 celebs and 2 real casino-cheats) start the qualifying rounds by showing how they can cheat the casino out of $25. Then in the next qualifying round they have to cheat the casino out of $100. The last qualifying hurdle is $500.

Then eliminations begin as the teams must do casino-cheat moves for $1,000 and $5,000. Then more eliminations until four teams make the casino-cheating "Final Four." Then the cheat-stakes remain at $5,000 until the final casino-cheat championship betweent the two remaining teams, when they both enter a HORSE-type finale doing $10,000 cheat moves. The only difference between my casino-cheating HORSE and basketball HORSE is that the team following the first successful $10,000 cheat move does not have to copy that move; they only have to duplicate the amount.

All the rounds must be completed by one singe casino-cheat move to make the amount of money at that level. Naturally real casinos have to be involved but their floor staffs will not be advised to the cheat competition. I know this might be hard to pull off, but it´s certainly worth the shot!

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Cheating Beat goes on in Singapore Casinos

Maze of Marina Bay Cheat Tables
It seems to me like the casinos in Singapore are becoming the ¨Foxwoods¨ of Asia. Every time I turn around I get another report of a casino-cheating incident in one of its casinos. The latest rash of casino cheats have been going down almost daily at the Marina Bay Sands. This time it was a group with a blackjack counting machine and another with a roulette computer. I  had thought the use of roulette computers to cheat casino coulette wheels had fallen by the wayside, but I guess even outdated casino cheating methods are still in fashion in ¨Foxwoods Far East.¨

As far as the US Foxwoods casino in Connecticut goes, it is still the favorite American casino to cheat, especially among the Asians with their baccarat scams.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Casino Table Game Protection...Training, Seminars, Classes

Casino bosses and table games directors are always asking themselves what is the best way to initiate game protection for their floor staffs, surveillance operators and security personnel. Many direct the vast majority of their casino´s game protection budgets to costly game protection seminars that boast well-known but mostly irrelevant speakers as far as real casino game protection is involved. And to boot, some casinos in their naivete send groups of their employees to the same seminars.

I have always said, and have always taught to my casino clients, that the bottom line for casino game protection training is simply about keeping the teaching and learning methods simple. In fact, much of it can be reduced to something very simple that you have all heard of...a checklist. In the same way that pilots of airliners have checklists before taking off, casino employees on the floor should have similar checklists that must be followed and updated during their nonstop operations. By following such checklists, given that they are the right ones, casinos would be able to nip the vast majority of casino and poker cheat scams at the bud, way before they even threaten the casino´s coffers.

Apart from this, casino trainers are busying themselves too much with high-tech cheating scams that in reality happen rarely and in only certain type-select casinos. Remember: more than 99% of all casino cheat scams are done the old-fashioned way: no cameras, computers or cheat gadgets of any kind.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Undetectable Loaded Dice in use on Casino Craps Tables?

There have been reports of professional casino cheat teams working craps tables with a new brand of loaded dice that are supposedly extremely difficult to detect. The reports are coming from US midwestern casinos, mainly those in Detroit. While I have no specific evidence of this, the claims say that the boxmen you see habitually examining the dice in play cannot notice these slightly weighed dice on peripheral inspection, which, of course, would be enough for the dice cheats to successfully work craps tables.

As far as switching in loaded dice and removing the originals is concerned, that in itself is not too difficult for those skilled in slight of hand and deversionary tactics. But the question is really whether these dice can pass eveb the perfunctory examination that boxmen routinely give dice, especially when they jettison from the table. My opinion on this is that it is surely possible that with the improved technology seen in all types of casino and poker cheating these days, some new gaffed dice would be effective and pass inspection at the craps tables, but it would be nearly impossible for loaded dice to pass for legitimate dice when really put to the test once they´re taken off the table.

I will have more on this in the months to come.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Super Bowl Weekend Casino and Poker Cheat Reports In!

Seattle not only SB winner!
As many of you know, Super Bowl Weekend is the second biggest casino cheat event of the year, preceeded only by New Year´s Eve. And the difference is not much.

Each Super Bowl Sunday, or I should say Super Bowl Friday and Saturday Night, the casinos around North America and the Caribbean are packed with gamblers, football fans, and, of course, poker cheats and casino cheats. Las Vegas always sees the biggest of these crowds.

However, and it may be surprising to you, but the annual Super Bowl Casino Cheating report sheets show that the casinos victimized for the biggest amount of money lost to professional casino cheats were those located in Western Canada. Various baccarat and blackjack scams, many involving baccarat´s famous Panda and Dragon side bets, took place during the frantic action seen is Western Canadian casinos. There is so much oil money being thrown around in those casinos that the staffs working for them hardly notice the money being lost to the cheats.

But don´t think Vegas got off lightly. Several million was lost to cheats there as well, including to a highly sophisticated roulette team from Italy pastposting black hundred dollar chips straight up on numbers, and where the limits allowed, even two of them on a single winning number.

I believe firmly that these early 2014 casino cheat reports indicate a steady increase in low-tech casino cheating as I had predicted earlier in the year.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What will be the biggest casino/Poker Cheat Scam of 2014?

Well, we had had some big ones in 2013, such as the Phil Ivey baccarat edge-sorting card scam at Crockfords casino in London, and the inside casino-surveillance-camera hacking scam at the Crown casino in Australia. Both these will be pretty hard to beat, not only in 2014 but in years to come.

But don`t get me wrong! I am not saying that they won´t be beat, only that it will be difficult. As I previously stated that more low-tech scams will proliferate in casinos and poker rooms this year, especially that of card-marking, I still think that we will see one or two big-time high-tech casino cheat scams.

Where and when will they happen?

Heck! If I knew, I´d be out there doing them. But I will say this: It will most likely be away from the baccarat tables, where a huge amount of high-tech scams have taken place in recent years. I would look  to the roulette tables. It has been quite a while since high-tech casino cheats have plied their craft at roulette. In fact, we haven´t seen much high-tech roulette cheats in action since the roulette laser computer cheats five or six years ago.

So I imagine that some high-tech roulette cheats are spinning their wheels right now to come up with a beauty--pardon the pun!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

A Universal Return to Low-Tech Casino Cheating in 2014?

Yes! I think we will be seeing a decrease in all the high-tech laser scanner and digital casino cheating and an increase in good ol' fashioned low-tech casino cheat moves, not only in 2014 but also in the years to come. I believe this trend will be seen as well in poker cheating.

Why? Because casinos have shifted their entire surveillance and security operations to catch high-tech cheats, and they are getting smarter, especially after the high-tech $30 Million cheat scam pulled off at the Crown Casino in Australia, and Phil Ivey's attempt to swindle Crockfords Casino in London out of $12 Million. Ivey's failure at pulling off an-edge sorting scam at the baccarat table really shows casinos' improvement in defending themselves against high-tech scams.

So now we will see a proliferation of low-tech professional casino cheats who will take advantage of the casinos' now "less covered" areas. I am not talking about the average cheats who take shots now and then but rather the real pro teams who can pull off moves such as the roulette Savannah scam and roulette slide.
You can read about that type of cheating on my best casino cheat moves page.
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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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