Sunday, December 30, 2007

Top CheatBusters of 2007 / Breaking Vegas on Tuesday Night!

Just like in the sports world, 2007 has seen its share of cheating scams and scandals. For each major steroid scandal in athletics, either the poker world or casino world was there to match it. So if the top SportCheatBusters of 2007 were those who brought justice to those in the sports world guilty of doping, dogfighting, match fixing, ref-betting (NBA referee caught betting on games) and even superstar murder, who are 2007's top casino and poker cheat busters?

Here are a few that make my list:

1) Serge Ravitch: The New York lawyer and avid poker player who ignited the talk on the 2+2 Poker forums about suspicious online poker players at Absolute Poker's tables. His suspicions led to the exposure of the biggest online gambling scandal in history that was surely the number one story in the entire poker world in 2007, both online and brick and mortar.

2) The Ontario Provincial Police: Canada's second largest police force and largest in the province of Ontario spearheaded the investigation of the Tran Organization that was behind the largest international casino scam in the annals of legalized gambling. Tran and his 40 or so cohorts, including casino dealers, floormen, pit bosses, recruiters and even the mayor of Seattle's son, were responsible for an insider-rigged baccarat scam that crisscrossed three-dozen casinos in both the US and Canada, swindling perhaps as much as $20 million in the four years it ran. The OPP was finally able to infiltrate the scam and turn some of the recruited dealers against the Tran Organization.

3) The FBI: Our well-known and beloved crime-fighting agency was responsible for corralling the American arm of the Tran Organization, and turning the mayor of Seattle's son, Greg Nickels, against it.

4) Danny X: The undercover informant who played in the rigged Atlantic City Borgata private high stakes poker game and set up casino anti-cheating expert Steve Forte and three others for the New Jersey Attorney General's Office. Forte was coaxing high rollers up to a private suite in the hotel that was rigged with hidden cameras in the wall to peek at the players' hole cards.

5) The Surveillance Team at the Mohegan Sun Casino: Some good old fashioned surveillance work at this Connecticut casino busted renowned card-marker Sholem Weisner.

Let's give a little credit to the year's top CheatBusters!


Don't forget to watch my story on the Biography Channel