Friday, May 16, 2008

Should Cheats Really Worry About Casino Facial Recognition Software?

Everywhere I go to speak or give seminars, people either ask me or tell me about casino facial recognition software that either will or will not put a major dent in poker and casino cheats´ armor. The claim is that this facial recognition software, which is also being used at airports and other points of entry to the US to recognize and spot terrorists threating global distruction, can focus on facial features of known card counters and casino cheats and identify them against a database before they even have the chance to take their positions at whatever casino tables they will attack.

What do I think of all this? Can this software actually stop someone like me from cheating casinos? If I wore a baseball cap and shades, would the digital cameras zoom in on my nose and calculate the distance between my eyes to identify me? Well, even if it could, there are so many factor that negate the technology, not the lease of which is the human factor, the surveillance personnel who have to be able to use the high-tech equipment to the point where they can actually identify a known cheater. But pushing that factor aside, I don´t believe for a second that the technology is good enough to weed me out from a casino crowd of hundreds if not thousands if I made even the slightest effort to conceal my identity, such as pasting a little makeup or putty on my face. And I have not heard of a single case of a known cheater apprehended while entering a casino or sitting at a table by way of facial recognition technology.

In a word, it´s more hype than not. Purveyors of this technology can make millions of dollars selling this equipment to casinos and casinos have millions of dollars to spend on it. The reality is that if you´re a known poker or casino cheat, the chances of you getting spotted and ID`d by casino facial recognition are no greater than running into your highschool sweeheart in a casino New Year`s Eve in Siberia!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Casino Magnate´s Murder by Cheat Stripper Girlfriend Now A Movie!

I blogged the other day about a new strip poker site coming online, and speaking of strippers, Sandy Murphy, the ex-Las Vegas stripper accused of plotting and carrying out the murder of Horseshoe Casino Magnate Ted Binion is coming to life...I mean "Lifetime"! The TV cable network is set to air the movie.

In September, 1998, wealthy Las Vegas casino heir Ted Binion was found dead in his Las Vegas home by his beautiful ex-stripper girlfriend, Sandy Murphy. On the surface, it appeared that Binion, a habitual drug user, had died of a self-induced overdose. But questions arose when Binion's younger estranged sister Becky went to police with claims her brother had been murdered.

That set the stage for one of Vegas’ most shocking murders. Now, Mena Suvari ("American Beauty") and Matthew Modine ("Weeds") are set to star in the Lifetime Original Movie, "Sex & Lies in Sin City.” It’s based on the true story of Binion’s death and the ensuing trial of his lover and her con artist boyfriend. The movie is based on the book “Murder in Sin City” by Jeff German. "Sex & Lies in Sin City," produced by The Konigsberg Company and Sony Pictures Television will premiere on Lifetime in September.

"Much like a trip to Vegas, this movie is a guilty pleasure," said Tanya Lopez, senior vice president, Original Movies, Lifetime Networks. "Ripped from the headlines, 'Sex & Lies in Sin City' captures all of the true crime story elements and the madness that surrounded Ted Binion's life."

Binion was heir to the Horseshoe Casino fortune. Police discover that Murphy, who met Binion after going to Las Vegas in search of a better life, was cheating on him. Some 24 hours before his death, Binion erased Murphy from his will. Also, within hours of the suspicious death, Murphy's lover, Rick Tabish, was caught trying to steal Binion's cache of silver bullion hidden in the Nevada desert. Ultimately, a scandalous trial revealed astonishing greed that culminated in the death of one of the Desert Oasis' most notorious figures.

Suvari is best known for her role in the Academy Award-winning film "American Beauty." Other acting credits include "Factory Girl," "Brooklyn Rules," "Rumor Has It," "Domino," "Beauty Shop," "Sonny," "Spun," "American Pie" and "American Pie 2." Suvari was also a recurring character in the critically acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under." Other television appearances include a recurring part on the Steven Spielberg-produced series "High Incident" and "Chicago Hope." Suvari recently completed production on "The Garden of Eden" directed by John Irvin and can currently be seen in "Stuck" opposite Stephen Rea followed by "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" with Sienna Miller and Nick Nolte.

Modine is an acting veteran with more than 50 films to his credit including "Birdy," "Married to the Mob," "Vision Quest," "Full Metal Jacket," "Orphans," "Pacific Heights" and "On Any Given Sunday.” He won a special Golden Globe Award for his work in the ensemble cast of "Short Cuts." In television, he earned Golden Globeand Emmy Award nominations for his performance in the critically acclaimed "And the Band Played On" and a Golden Globenomination for "What the Deaf Man Heard." Other television credits include the miniseries "Hitler: The Rise and Fall of Evil," Steven Spielberg's "Into the West," "The Winning Season" and "The Bedford Diaries." He was most recently seen on the Showtime series "Weeds."

Executive producer is Frank Konigsberg (Lifetime's "Caught in the Act," "The Last Don"). Peter Medak ("Romeo is Bleeding," "Carnivale") directs from a script written by Teena Booth (Lifetime's "A Little Thing Called Murder").

"We are thrilled to be working with director Peter Medak on this fascinating true story of sex, drugs and an untimely death all with exciting Las Vegas as our backdrop," said Helen Verno, executive vice president, movies and miniseries, Sony Pictures Television.


If you read this article that appeared in the UK Guardian, you´d have to say YES! Aside from all the cheating and collusion articles that I and many others have been talking about, now there´s mention of blackmail...and even worse...death! With each passing day more probabilities and possibilities, all of them sordid, are popping up and being bandied about. I mean, it´s getting a little bit out of hand. I highly doubt any serious blackmail threats are going to breed from Harrah´s decision to delay the play of the final table 117 days after the qualifying players are determined. And as far as what would happen if one of those players died during the interim?...Well, what would happen if there were no delay of the final table play and one of the players died the night before? I don´t know, but I guess whatever decision was made to fill that void (pardon the pun if it is one) would be the same if a player or players died during the 4 month interim.

In any case, let the cheating and scamming begin once the players for the 2008 WSOP are determined!

Here´s the UK Guardian article:

When Harrah's, the giant hotel-casino chain, took over the rights to the World Series of Poker a few years ago, they moved the tournament from May to July. This was a bad result for the players: July is too hot in Las Vegas, there are no good shows, and it's a nasty clash with the school holidays for anyone who prefers not to expose his children to quite such a rich seam of sunstroke and prostitution. But it was a good result for Harrah's, who can now fill their hotel rooms with World Series contestants at a time when nobody else is dumb enough to go there.

Having established July, Harrah's have just announced that they are going to delay the final of the main event - which would normally be on Day 13 - until November! This will "maximise coverage", which I assume is code for "increase the revenue Harrah's get from TV".

Never mind the players, eh? Never mind that a four-month gap after naming nine people, one of whom will win at least $12m, throws open the door to possible blackmail or cheating scams. Never mind that a player might be unable to return in November due to an illness or family problem - or even die - during that time. Never mind the thousands of punters who used to enjoy, having been knocked out, sticking around to watch the final.

Harrah's are messing with the very definition of a poker tournament. It is as though the Chinese Olympic committee had decided to stage the first three legs of the 4x100m relay, then do the last leg four months later. But they wouldn't; compared with Harrah's, China looks like a soft touch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Live Strip Poker Coming Online!

Live Strip Poker Cheats Coming Online Soon!

Why Cheats? Because anyone willing to strip while playing poker has got to have cheating up his or her sleeve...or up somewhere given the fact that at various times in the poker games the participants will only be wearing their birthday suits! Get it?...I mean totally nude. The opportunities for cheating will be endless...or should I say topless...and bottomless! Whatever the case, you want to know what I´m talking about, right?

Well, there is serious talk about a new online poker room that will offer strip poker in real virtual reality online...whatever that means! I don´t know whether this is going to involve webcams, animation, virtuality, imagery or whatever else, but what I do know is that there will be plenty of "strip cheats" out there online ready to strip away your clothes, virtual clothes, money or virtual money, or whatever the heck this is going to be about. In any case, it sounds like fun and maybe some of you diehard online poker players will be sucked and tantalized away from PokerStars, Bodog and Ladbrokes to try your luck stripping away at your opponents´ clothes instead of chips...Oh yeah, I don´t know if this new strip poker site will be straight, gay, bi, all three or whatever...I don´t even know the name of it for sure, but I have heard that it will be called

Stay tuned...or should I say "stay dressed!"