Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheating at Poker: Abraham Gray/ Poker Cheating sparks 3 Killings/ Nuts Poker Top 10 Safe Online Poker Room

POKER PRO ABRAHAM GRAY is the current leader for “Highest Cash Percentage,” finishing in the WPT money 57.14 percent of the time. Nice job, Abe. You may recall, however, that Not-So-Honest Abe was the dude reportedly arrested in October 2006 by the Nevada Gaming Control Board at the Wynn poker tables for allegedly marking cards. Rumors had Gaming Enforcement officers descending over a high-limit game in the Wynn's poker room to arrest and take him off to jail. He was alleged to have been cheating by marking the cards in the game he was playing, a felony offense in Nevada. Does anybody know whatever became of those cheating charges, or were they just rumors?


Florida Man Charged with Killing Three Over Poker Game

A Florida man was charged with three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of three men last weekend. According to the Putnam County Sheriffs Office, after believing that he had been cheated during a high stakes private poker game, Duane Demaris Crittenden, 28, apparently returned to the scene on Saturday morning and shot three of the game's participants to death. Jerome Anthony Henry, 48, and Richard David Smith, 50, were both shot once. Robert Erwin Ford, 50, had been shot twice and stabbed.

"We understand that he felt that they were cheating, and he went back apparently to confront them about that," Sheriff's Office spokesman Major Keith Riddick said. Officers also recovered some money from Crittenden that he had allegedly stolen from the scene. Although the total amount of money removed from the game was not known, deputies estimated that it was somewhere between $2,000 and $9,000.

Crittenden has 18 prior non-violent felony convictions in Florida and Georgia, some related to illegal gambling. All three victims also had prior criminal histories. Sounds to me like these were poker murders waiting to happen. Officers were still working with Crittenden to piece together the details of what happened inside the former bar which was reportedly used to house the "high stakes" poker game. Crittenden's arraignment has been scheduled for March 19th, and he is being held without bond.

This brings the total of poker murders during the last six months to six--that I know of. They all happened at private home games, in one case in an office building in New York City. Is private poker becoming dangerous?

NUTS POKER: Top 10 Safe Online Poker Room

To see current rankings, click here.

NUTS POKER is a new and promising poker room launched in 2007, and is still in the process of fine tuning their promotional offers. But things are looking good, and if the early signs are any indication--an attractive sign-up bonus, great sit-and-go jackpots and a generous offering of guaranteed tournaments--there are lots of good stuff on the horizon for poker players. I have not seen any evidence of serious cheating since I've been monitoring this site. Both collusion and bot play have been well below the industry average, and Nuts Poker has never appeared on my list of unsafe sites. For my complete review of Nuts Poker, click here.