Friday, May 02, 2008

Harrah´s WSOP Announcement Invites Cheats!

When I read that Harrah´s is going to push the play of the 2008 WSOP final table back to November 9, 2008, a full 117 days after the last card prior to the final table is dealt at the Rio, I nearly fell off my poker cheating dinosaur! In cahoots with ESPN, Harrah´s has agreed to this new format to boost the exposure of its hotel even more than the tournament while ESPN gets to crown the new Poker World Champion during a primetime broadcast on November 11.

"It is our hope that this adjustment will add more excitement to what's already the biggest poker event ever...just like when baseball added the wild card or when NASCAR added the "Chase for the Championship" said ESPN senior producer Jamie Horowitz.

"Our goal is to create a greater sense of anticipation for the outcome of the final table," added WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. "We're changing the equation, if you will. We want as many people around the world as possible to be asking 'Who will win?' and the best way to do that is to make the decision we've made. If there's more buzz and water-cooler talk, just as there would be around the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, or the Daytona 500, then we've done a great thing for the game of poker."

This is obviously a deal to increase WSOP promotion and create drama during the three-month wait, much like is done with the NFL Super Bowl during the two weeks between the end of the Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl kickoff. The final-table players, the tournament and ESPN will all capitalize on this anticipated media frenzy, the players using their sudden fame for lucrative promotional deals, ESPN by adding to the drama with its one-hour special "Final Table Preview" that airs on November 4, and Harrah´s by basking in the WSOP sun for three additional months which will increase their revenues in many diverse ways.

But what about the cheating? The poker community is already abuzz with the cheat opportunities such a delay would bring with more than $20 million on the line. The potential for collusion is too good to pass up. The pre-final table deal-making between the finalists will resemble an Arab bazaar, with cheats hawking cheating.

Commenting on these issues, Pollack had this to say: "There are probably a hundred different scenarios that precede any championship event, whether in entertainment or sports and it's very difficult to anticipate every scenario beforehand. People should be confident in our ability to stage an event that is professional, world-class, and customer-friendly as we always do. If there are extraordinary circumstances, we will deal with them with the good process we apply to anything that comes across our desk."

He added that A new player code of conduct will be released later this week that will include new regulations regarding "unsportsmanlike conduct" as well as clarifications on the use of cell phones in the tournament area. Cell phones must remain silent at the table, and players must be at least one table length away from their seat in order to answer it. The player code of conduct will also address cheating and/or collusion.


Okay, I know that this is all about tens of millions of dollars in added revenues that have nothing at all to do with the actual play of the final table, but this is really hard to take! I highly doubt that even the late Benny Binion would have agreed to this.

Shame on Harrah´s for allowing this to happen. It will compromise the integrity of the tournament and open the door for poker cheats who know poker cheats who know other poker cheats with a direct line to any honest players at the final table.

May Scam of the Month is Posted!

May´s scam of the month is actually not a cheating scam against the casinos but rather a scam that clever cheats pull off on other players at the craps table. It´s called "Railing" and to read the details go to the Scam of the Month Page.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Casino Cheats Prevalent in Chile!

Casino Cheats hit Casino Vina Del Mar in front of my eyes!

As my South American casino cheat tour continues, I am now getting ready to leave Valparaiso, Chile, a pretty resort area with a very VULNERABLE casino. Walking through the roulette pit last night (roulette is the most popular game here, which would have been much to my liking had I still been in business popping in monster roulette moves, I stumbled upon what appeared to be a Greek pastposting team doing their thing on a $50-maximum-inside-bet wheel. They were not classic pastposters as my team had been but rather skilled at laying down late losing bets that are supposed to get caught by the dealer while their second late bet gets by unnoticed. Nothing new about the move; it´s been overdone in both Europe and the United States, but as South American casinos are generally a bit behind, the team won about $800 in the hour and a half I watched.

Of course they had no idea who I was, though I did catch a few of their suspicious eyes! Tomorrow I will report from my next South American destination.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Casino Cheating South American Style

I am currently on a tour of Central and South America evaluating poker and casino cheating opportunites and casinos´efforts to combat them. There is no doubt that South America still remains the easiest continent on which to cheat casinos. Cheats abound there, and I came across several professional teams in Costa Rica and Panama (Central America), as well as in Peru and Argentina, which to my knowledge has absolutely no legislation concerning criminal prosecutions of casino and poker cheats. This means that if you get caught cheating casinos or cheating in poker rooms in Argentina, you will only get thrown out with no further risk. I am not 100% sure of this, but it does seem to be the case, and Argentine casinos are ripe for the pickings!

In several Peruvian casinos, notably in Lima, I noticed something for the first time since I learned how to cheat casinos. On blackjack tables, dealers were breaking down the chips of every bet before paying it, even lowly two and three red-chip bets. They refused to just simply cut into $10 and $15 winning bets, instead verifying that no bigger denomination chips were underneath.

This is a very effective measure against many forms of pastposting, including my famed blackjack pastposting moves. When I asked a pit boss about it, wanting to know if any recent cheating teams had been through Lima, he said that breaking down the bets was simply an anti-cheating policy that had been in effect for years! Maybe Las Vegas cam learn a thing or two from Lima, Peru!

In all, South America can still be considered the pampas of casino cheating.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is Bodog Safe From Online Poker Cheats?

According to Online Gaming Paper, which reviewed online poker-cheating risks for all the major online poker rooms, Bodog Poker is the safest site to play on. Although I agree that Bodog is certainly one of the safest poker sites and has occupied the top spot on my poker safety rankings list, consistently battling cheats, I would not call it the safest, as the statistics compiled by my web people do not rank Bodog the Number 1 anti-cheating online poker room. However, I feel that the Online Gaming review of Bodog merits consideration as it presents solid information. Read it below:

"We do rarely write an online poker site review, but with the decreasing options of honest poker rooms we have to. There are quite a few online poker rooms these days and contrary to the popular belief, a lot of them still allow US poker players to join their tables. But what has become a trend in the past few months is the worst part - people are getting stung constantly by those poker sites, scandals and accusations of cheating players out of their money are an everyday occurrence when playing online poker. And the U.S. government´s desire to push the online poker sites towards the shady side of the Internet, instead of regulating and overseeing their activities, hasn't helped much either (I certainly agree with that!).

But in our opinion, there is one player on the scene which has remained a very secure and trusted online poker site - the Bodog Poker Room (official website). While other poker sites battle cheaters, bots and payment processors, Bodog Poker Room is standing strong, without any complaints from players being cheated or money disappearing. Although the casino and sportsbook section of the Bodog's array of gambling services are well known, for some reason the poker room has been in a way overlooked in the past by the people enjoying this centuries-old card game. But now, with all the bad news surrounding almost every other online poker site, Bodog Poker is becoming the natural choice for poker players throughout the world.

So what makes this online poker site the best in the industry? First and foremost - the security. In the past security was hardly a factor when evaluating an online poker site - the online poker rooms have just popped up and people were "greenhorns". Everyone wanted to play poker online and almost no one knew much about bots and fake accounts, they just assumed they were playing a though opponent. But with time passing by, people smartened up and pretty much every cheating scandal involving an online poker room has been discovered by the players at that particular poker site, rather than the management coming out on the open and admitting wrongdoings. But Bodog Poker not only guarantees security, they deliver as well. You won't find any cheating scandals with their name in it, and nowadays this means a lot. Security at a poker site should be one of your major concerns, but with Bodog this is unnecessary - focus on your game and don't worry about cheaters."

There is more to this article promoting other points about Bodog, such as sign-up bonuses, etc. Whether or not there is some motive for the touting of Bodog´s security and record against poker cheats, I can´t say, but I decided the facts back up the their statement that Bodog is a very good site against online poker cheating.