Saturday, May 10, 2008

More Cheat Fallout From Harrah´s Announcement to Delay 2008 WSOP Final Table!

The poker world and poker cheating world is still abuzz about Harrah´s decision in cahoots with ESPN to delay the 2008 WSOP final table for nearly 4 months after the Final Table players are determined. Everyone is talking about the numerous cheating opportunities that will breed during that long lapse in time before the final table convenes in November, especially those concerning collusion and deal-making, which will undoubtedly spawn whipsawing, soft-play, and chip dumping among other nefarious tactics to cut-up the tens of millions in prize money before the first final table round is dealt.

Personally, I am 100% sure that all this cheating will occur. Don´t forget, a former WSOP main-event champion was once my casino cheating partner before he lucked out in the professional poker world. Of course I cannot publish his name, but I will tell you that I spoke to him yesterday, and he assures me that even the biggest poker names will be involved in WSOP collusion, about which I have written magazine articles and detailed in my book Dirty Poker.

After all, when you´re talking about so many millions of dollars in prize money at stake, it will be hard for even the most successful professional poker players to look the other way if they find themselves at the final table. So, believe me, the cheat deals will be in the making long before the first card is dealt at the 2008 WSOP final table...In fact, probably just seconds after the last player is eliminated from the tournament in July!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Slot Cheat To Be Nominated For Nevada´s Infamous Black Book!

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, a new candidate is being readied for nomination and induction into the Nevada gaming industry´s Black Book, which excludes entry into any of the state´s casinos under penalty of arrest for trespassing. It's been almost four years since Nevada gaming regulators added a name to the state's List of Excluded Persons, commonly referred to as the Black Book. Today, the Gaming Control Board will consider the newest nominee.

William Cushing, who spent time in federal prison in the 1980s for gambling-related cheating violations, will face control board scrutiny following his indictment last year for attempting to cheat slot machines at two Clark County casinos. A trial in the case has been set for November in District Court.

Gaming Control Board member Randy Sayre said Monday that Cushing's latest indictment showed regulators that steps needed to be taken to keep him out of casinos. Cushing, who lives out of state, has several other cheating-related convictions in Clark County since 1998.

"Clearly, his actions have risen to the level that we need to take steps to ensure he is not a danger to the state," Sayre said. "Even though his indictment still needs to be taken through the system, his past history clearly indicates from my perspective that we need to keep him out of the industry."

The Black Book now lists 35 people. The law was set up to prohibit people with felony convictions against the gaming industry from entering a casino. It's considered a felony if someone from the List of Excluded Persons enters a gaming establishment. Casino executives can also face felony charges if they knowingly allow a member of the Black Book to enter the property.

Sayre, who was appointed to the three-member control board in January 2007, said there are at least two or three other individuals whom he would like to add to the list. However, he doesn't believe the list should be too encumbered with names, so that it's unmanageable for the casino industry to police.

"I think there are a few others, like Mr. Cushing, who belong on this list," Sayre said.

The control board nominates people for inclusion in the Black Book to the Nevada Gaming Commission, which then decides whether the person will be added to the list. The most recent names added were Eugene Bulgarino and Dennis McAndrew in September 2004.

Some of the names in the Black Book harken back to the 1960s and 1970s, when organized crime controlled Nevada's casino industry, such as reputed mob associates Dominic Spinale, Joey Cusumano and Anthony Cino. The most well-known name on the list may be reputed mob associate Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who ran several casinos in Las Vegas during the 1970s. His story was depicted in the 1995 movie, "Casino," which starred Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone.

The only way someone can be removed from the Black Book is by dying.

Cushing was indicted in September for using a cheating device on slot machines in the Boulder Station and Fiesta Rancho casinos. According to the indictment, Cushing inserted a device into a slot machine's bill validator in which it would register a wager of $100 when just $1 had been inserted into the machine. The credits were then cashed out through the slot machine's ticket in-ticket out system.

In June 1985, Cushing was found guilty in the U.S. District Court in Reno of transporting stolen property and defrauding the Internal Revenue Service after cheating several Strip casinos out of thousands of dollars in fraudulent slot machine jackpots. He was sentenced to between five and seven years in prison, but it is unclear how much time he spent incarcerated.

Two of Cushing's former associates, John Vaccaro and Sandra Vaccaro, who were convicted with him in 1985, are also listed in the Black Book.

"His associations with the Vaccaros add to his eligibility," Sayre said.

They may even add to Cushing´s eligibility for my Poker and Casino Cheaters Hall of Fame, which already has two infamous slot cheats inductees!

Nat Arem Promises More Poker Cheating From Absolute Poker!

Pocket Fives administrator Nat Arem, one of the people responsible for uncovering the superuser scandal at Absolute Poker, said in a post at P5s that more details likely will be uncovered regarding cheating at AP and UltimateBet and said he wouldn’t blame people who don’t want to play at either site.

He was fairly vague in his post, but Arem is about as plugged into the situation as one can get.

Here’s some of what he said:

I reallllllly want to tell the whole story as I know it, but I can’t. In fact, telling the whole story as I know it could jeopardize the whole outcome of this situation. Once the facts are revealed, people will understand why I can’t say what’s going on right now. You’ll just have to trust me on that.

Okay, now that I’ve said what I can say, I also want to say this: If I were you, I probably wouldn’t play at UB or AP right now either. I can perfectly understand the frustration on the part of the players in a situation such as this and I think it’s perfectly reasonable to boycott the site until you’re satisfied the site is safe. In fact, if you believe that a company that allows (not necessarily intentionally so much as ignorantly) cheating to go on at some point is unable to ever clean itself up, then you should never play at either site ever again. Make no mistake about it — there was blatant cheating on both AP and UB in 2007 and if the players never spoke up, nothing would have ever gotten refunded or fixed. That’s obviously inexcusable and it’s up to AP/UB to show that it has made things right and that it will be clean going forward.

And later in the post, talking about AP’s and UB’s efforts:

Although it may be too much to ask, give them some more time to get everything in order — imo, there’s a good but unfortunate reason for why they’ve taken so long. However, for the time being, I completely understand anyone who wants to cash out from both sites and take a wait-and-see approach. It’s exactly what I would do.

Here’s his post at P5s.

Arem does say that he believes both AP and UB are trying to make right for the past, and they’re trying to make certain “superuser” cheating doesn’t happen again.

New Ultimate Bet Bad Beat Jackpot Cheat Scam!

More Online Poker Cheating In Question!
Ultimate Bet Again!

A player known as "dhc2lovr" has now hit Ultimate Bet´s Bad Beat Jackpot twice! In six weeks! This is hard to believe, and naturally an inside cheating scandal has to be suspected. Well, it´s not 100% a cheating scandal, is it?...After all, the same woman won two Illinois State Lotteries for more than $3 million each in the 1980s, so I guess anything is possible, right?...WRONG! Give me a break!

There is no way that the same player handle could legitimately win TWO Bad Beat Jackpots!....Ever!...let alone in 6 weeks. Such an occurrence just stretches probability way too far. We will soon be hearing about another GIANT online poker scam, a la the Absolute Poker Scandal of 2007. When will this all stop?

An article in 4Flush broke the story:

"The well known online poker room Ultimate Bet has found its way into the headlines on numerous occasions due to its lucrative Bad Beat Jackpot promotion. Past cases have been happy, congratulatory messages to the winner, but this time, the story comes with an interesting, if not distressing, twist.

Yesterday, May 6th, online poker player ‘dhc2lovr’ was awarded a massive Bad Beat Jackpot at Ultimate Bet, pocketing $448,920.71 for losing with an extraordinary hand at a Bad Beat poker table. Only 1-1/2 months ago, on March 25th, ‘dhc2lovr’ accomplished the same feat, claiming an Ultimate Bet Bad Beat Jackpot of $171,498.31.

Congratulations may be in order, but that is not the general mood circulating the online poker community. Instead, many are questioning the legitimacy of he same individual releasing two Bad Beat Jackpots in such little time. Perhaps the player is extremely lucky, or perhaps there are underlying problems that need to be addressed.

What turned this story into a speculative wonder is Ultimate Bet’s direct association with the online poker room Absolute Poker. If you follow online poker news at all, you probably already know that Absolute Poker underwent a dreadful scandal in the last year, overturning a string of corruption from its higher-ups. What it boiled down to was cheating, not just from members, but managers of the online poker room.

Absolute Poker strictly claims to have resolved the issue and that all operations are back to normal - normal implying integrity and stringent security measures to thwart collusion, cheating and other underhanded activities. Even so, Absolute Poker is still feeling the effects of the ordeal, with members slow to trust, and even slow to return.

Members of the online poker community do not feel that the miraculous double win of an Ultimate Bet Bad Beat Jackpot is very plausible, and once again, the trust factor is coming into play. It will not sit well with many online poker players at Ultimate Bet unless a full investigation is held.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Foxwoods Stung by Major Craps Cheat Scam!

It seems that Connecticut casinos have been getting hit hard by cheats the last few months, both from the outside and from their own dealers. After some major poker card marking scams and blackjack cheat episodes, now we have another cheat caught at the craps tables--and it´s a Foxwoods Craps Dealer! And it´s a WOMAN! I love women casino cheaters; the ones I worked with were the best!

The former craps dealer at Foxwoods is accused of cheating the casino out of more than $50,000 by paying players for pastposted bets (late bets) after the dice were rolled.

Mattie Tarlton, 42, of 57 Berkley Ave., New London, was arrested back in December for first-degree larceny and cheating at gambling. She had worked at the casino since 1998. I don´t know why the news hadn´t been released before, but I imagine it´s because there was a major ongoing investigation. Her case is still pending in New London Superior Court, where she appeared on Monday with defense Attorney Anthony Basilica.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by detective Richard Bedard of the state police Casino Unit, an unnamed craps floor person alerted a shift manager that Tarlton was cheating with players. The information was passed on to the casino's inspector general, who notified state police. The surveillance department reviewed videotape of Tarlton's table and determined she had worked with two players in December. The players placed late wagers on high-paying proposition bets (rather ballsy!) after the outcome of the dice-throw was known by the dealer, according to the affidavit.

The director of surveillance told police, "These are not random mistakes of a new inexperienced dealer, but are deliberate and intentional acts of a person who knows the outcome of the game after the dice are stopped, and then places late bets on the table which negates the random outcome or final results."

She must have been doing it while picking up losing bets, which certainly shows the girl´s got some talent! If I ever get back into cheating casinos, I will be looking to recruit little Miss Mattie!

The arrest warrant did not indicate whether Tarlton profited from the scheme, but I´m sure she wasn´t in it for love...or was she?

She is free on a $5,000 non-surety bond while her case is pending. Her attorney will be reviewing the videotape of the incident and Mattie will appear in court again on June 2.

See! I´m already on a first-name basis with her...