Friday, December 07, 2007

Vegas Reporter Gets Behind Me/FHM Magazine Spread/ My New Online Gambling Sites Review Pages!

Well known KLAS TV 8 reporter George Knapp, with whom I interviewed in the "Dirty Poker" series has written an article about the recent online poker scandals in the weekly magazine "Las Vegas City Life." Kanpp, like myself, took lots of heat for my controversial interviews that pissed off the poker world. But now the both of us, though not gloating, feel a sense of satisfaction or at least relief that my nefarious statements about cheating in online poker have now been proved true by someone other than me. Here's his article:

Pro poker world draws two bad hands

THE REPUTATION OF PROFESSIONAL POKER, which has been on quite a roll for the past few years, has taken two heavy punches to the gut in recent days. It will take time to recover from both shots.

The second gut punch to the sport might have even longer-range ramifications for poker. I'm talking about a spate of cheating scandals that have erupted in the online poker world.

Almost two years ago, Knappster wrote a series of news stories based on interviews with Richard Marcus, an author and admitted gambling "mechanic" who alleged that professional poker is rigged. Marcus claims there are still organized cheating rings that have infected some of the biggest tournaments and might even involve some well-known names.

More pointedly, he claimed that online poker was crooked, that certain players had figured out how to see the hole cards of others who were playing online. Marcus also claimed some individuals had programmed poker-playing robots to best the competition. When those stories came out, Marcus and yours truly took a lot of heat from poker players and poker bloggers who felt this was an unfair assault on the entire field.

Anyone check those blogs lately? Rumors of widespread cheating have now been confirmed in at least three separate incidents. The Absolute Poker online website, one of the biggest poker sites on the web, was nailed after players became suspicious. It now appears that a former officer of Absolute Poker had figured out a way to view the hole cards of opponents. As I understand it, the company agreed to repay $1.6 million in wagers to online players, but it appears the scandal isn't over yet.

Another scandal erupted at Full Tilt Poker, although fewer details have surfaced. Two entrants to online tourneys have been banned and a tournament result was changed after organizers uncovered "anomalies" in a million-dollar online tournament. Now, there's word that another site is suspected of being scammed by someone using a robot.

Cheating at cards isn't anything new. If there's a way to do it, someone will try. Even Marcus isn't likely to gloat over being proven right. Online poker is a huge industry, with millions of dollars being wagered every month. And, as we know, those online gamblers who get hooked on poker and convinced of their own skills often decide to try their luck in Las Vegas. The online sites should know that someone will always try to cheat, even insiders, and it's not an insult to raise the possibility. There should be less offense and umbrage taken when someone raises security concerns and more attention focused on keeping the contests honest.


Read this exciting FHM feature story on my Magazine Articles Page about my international cheating career. And what's funny about this, as you will see in the article, is that the writer, the well known Brit laddie Piers Hernu, got so juiced up by his subject (me) that he wanted to really be true to his readership and do a blackjack pastpost move himself!--so he could relay to three million readers how it felt to cheat the casino! I told him during our 2-day shoot in Vegas that I couldn't be involved in an actual cheating move with him, that if they caught me, I'd be sentenced to a 100 years in the scorching desert without water, and they might ship his ass back to London inside a folded-up blackjack table! So I left Piers, who stayed alone in Vegas for an entire weekend trying to muster the balls to do a blackjack move on his own. See the outcome in his article...But what's even funnier than this is that a few months later, Piers called to tell me he had invented a brand-new casino move on his own! He called it the Reverse Savannah, because it was an inverted version of my famous Savannah move (see that on my video page if you don't know the move). When I heard this I nearly dropped dead laughing. Here's how he explained it to me: Instead of hiding a $5,000 chip underneath a $5 chip and raking the even-money bet off the layout when it loses, hide a $5 chip underneath a black $100 chip to make the dealer think there are two black $100 chips there. Then hope that when it wins, the dealer mistakingly pays $200, two black chips, thinking that the red $5 chip hidden underneath is also a black chip. The beauty, he explained to me in an excited puff, is that you never have to rake off a losing bet and therefore are not really cheating when collecting the overpayment!

Well, I told Piers not to quit his day job, and he soon got himself barred from every casino in London!


Starting in a few days, I will begin reviewing popular online poker rooms and casinos. This will not only be about cheating. I will offer my opinion, in conjunction with several very knowledgeable associates who gamble frequently online, about which casinos and poker rooms offer the best odds and gimmicks for your money, as well as other pertinent information that should help with your decisions concerning where and when to play online.

FHM feature story