Sunday, April 29, 2007

Online Poker News...Dice Control...My new book is out!

Don't let anyone tell you that online poker in the US is dead yet. Some big-wig politicians, who themselves are online poker players and have written me about my book "Dirty Poker," are supporting the Poker Alliance to preserve online poker and even pushing legislation for credit card use in Internet gambling. An article about one politician on the front lines follows.

And speaking of "Dirty Poker," I am thinking of writing "Dirty Poker 2." This book would name names and give even more concrete evidence of big-time cheating. Please give me your thoughts on this.

April 26, 2007, 5:23 pm
Frank Introduces a Long-Shot Online Gambling Bill
Damian Paletta reports on a gambling bill.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney
Frank introduced a bill today that would allow people
to gamble over the Internet using their credit cards,
a practice Congress banned just last year.

“The issue is whether adults who work for their money
in the comfort of their home should be allowed to
engage in a form of recreation which is enjoyed and
which has no conceivable negative impact on anybody
else,” Frank said at a press conference.

Frank said many of his colleagues didn’t realize what
they were voting for when they passed the Internet
gambling restrictions last year. There were “a number
of members who basically said to me, ‘I voted for
what?’” he said.

Under Frank’s bill, licenses would be distributed by
the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network,
and gamblers would have to be at least 18 years old.
Licensees would be required to pay taxes and have
safeguards to prevent money laundering and compulsive

The issue is a matter of personal freedom, Frank said,
adding: “I don’t play cards because every time I start
playing cards I start talking and people say, ‘Will
you shut up, you are distracting me.”

The poker players were encouraged. The Poker Players
Alliance, which took particularly umbrage with last
years bill since it carved out exceptions for online
gambling on horse races, fantasy sports and state
lotteries, called it a “common sense approach.” Former
New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, now PPA’s chairman,
said the bill “creates good public policy that
establishes real safeguards that protect minors and
problem gamblers while allowing the majority of adults
to enjoy poker and other games online.”

The bill faces long odds. Frank conceded he had some
work to do in order to attract more support, and said
he hadn’t yet discussed the bill with Democratic
leadership but figured they would be “against it.”

Good luck, Barney!


Along with e-mails about roulette computers and online poker bots, I have been getting numerous queries concerning dice control. For those of you who have never heard of this, dice control is a skill (or purported skill) with which a crafty craps shooter can control the dice to a certain degree that would give him an edge over the house. In doing this he would have to roll the dice in a legitimate fashion or at least give the appearance that his roll is legitimate, mainly that each die hit the back wall of the craps table and tumble, and that no obvious "skid" be employed to move either die across the table to the back wall.

Well, people want to know if there is any truth to this method of beating casinos and does it constitute cheating. Dice control has made it to big-time TV, as an episode on both the History Channel's "Breaking Vegas" series and the UK Challenge TV's "World's Greatest Gambling Scams." There have also been books written about this, mainly by Frank Scoblete who actually gives seminars teaching would-be winning gamblers his methods of dice control.

Do I, as the world's greatest casino cheater, buy any of this?

Afraid not. I would sooner subscribe to the theory of a roulette dealer controlling the ball's landing than I would a dice-shooter's controlling that of the dice. It's just too difficult given the distance the dice travel and their crashing against the wall. I'm not saying that craps tables cannot at all be manipulated by skilled dice hustlers, but they cannot do this with regulation rolls of the dice. Lackadaisical casino craps crews can be taken advantage of in some situations. Sometimes they let it go when only one die hits the wall, in accompaniment to a heed of "please hit the wall with both dice, sir." Other times they might let several rolls like that go by. Only in these instances can dice manipulators gain any edge against the casino, and even so it is not a big one.

Is it cheating? Yes and no. Yes meaning that it is technically cheating, no meaning that it would be difficult to prove and easily stopped on the spot by boxmen calling out "no roll" whenever a die fails to hit the back wall.

So in conclusion, if you're reading up on this while thinking it might be your way to casino profits, you'd do better by playing poker, counting cards or hustling pool.

My new book "The World's Greatest Gambling Scams" is now in stores, and as you can imagine none of the scams I've written about is dice control.