Friday, October 03, 2008

Casino Cheat Richard Marcus Slated To Appear On NBC Today Show!

For those of you who never got to see demonstrations of some of my famous or infamous casino cheating moves, including the one and only "Savannah" roulette move, tune in to the NBC Today Show on Monday morning, October 6, or check out their website afterwards to see the video of the segment. Should be lots of fun!

Steve Forte Indicted For Borgata High-Tech Poker Cheat Scam!

Cheat Turned Gaming Protection Consultant Turned Cheat Again Steve Forte Is Indicted...But Only For Second Degree Crime!

Four men indicted Thursday in a high-tech gambling scheme rented a room at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to host private, high-stakes games of Chinese poker, backgammon and chess, authorities say. They rigged a nearby room with surveillance equipment and computers to cheat a high-roller out of tens of thousands of dollars, according to the indictment. But shortly before the victim was to arrive, State Police searched the two hotel rooms, arrested the four men and seized the equipment.

The four defendants - Joseph Ingargiola, 51, of Las Vegas; James Harrison, 42, of Duluth, Minn.; Stephen Phillips, 53, of Las Vegas; and Steven Forte, 52, of Las Vegas - were indicted by an Atlantic County grand jury Thursday on charges of second-degree attempted theft by deception, Attorney General Anne Milgram said.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine. Each of the defendants was released on bail after the June 7, 2007, arrests. The indictment alleges the four men plotted to cheat a man, identified only as "J.H." (I'd love to know who this guy is. I think I have an idea but can't publish it), who was invited to participate in a tournament involving the high-stakes games in a Borgata hotel room. The four men allegedly had rigged a second room with hidden surveillance cameras, audio equipment, computers and other high-tech devices that would be used to cheat the victim out of more than $75,000, according to the indictment. The defendants allegedly intended to use the equipment to secretly monitor the games from the second room. The victim was to play an opponent who was part of the alleged scheme. The defendants allegedly planned to use marked playing cards for the Chinese poker so they could identify the victim's cards and transmit instructions to the opposing player, who would be wearing a concealed earpiece. They also intended to use the equipment to monitor the games of backgammon and chess so computer programs could be used to calculate the countermoves that offered the best odds of winning, authorities said.

These are not the first casino cheating charges for Ingargiola and Forte. In 1990, both men were ordered to pay $108,870 in fines and restitution for cheating the Trump Castle Hotel & Casino (now Trump Marina) out of $225,000 while playing blackjack in 1987, according to an article in The Press of Atlantic City at the time.
The article described Ingargiola as the organizer and "floor director" for the ring. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

"I don't think I'm a threat to society," Ingargiola said at the time. "I'm a totally nonviolent person."

Forte, a former casino manager in Nevada, had previously written books on gambling and lectured several times about gambling to law-enforcement authorities in the United States and Canada.

The charges are the result of an investigation by detectives from the New Jersey State Police Organized Crime Control Bureau Casino Unit assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Deputy Attorney General Kerry DiJoseph of the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau - Casino Prosecution Unit presented the case to the grand jury. Detective Sgt. David A. Smith and Detective Gregg M. Ogden of the State Police Organized Crime Control Bureau Casino Unit, assisted by Sgt. Ronald Rozwadowski of the Division of Criminal Justice Casino Prosecution Unit, investigated the case. Thursday's indictment was handed up in Superior Court in Mays Landing, where the defendants will be ordered to appear at a later date for arraignment on the charges.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Kahnawake Hits UltimateBet With Pretty Fine!

Hopefully, as a beginning of the fight against online poker cheating, Canada`s Kahnawake Gaming Commission has announced the results of its investigation into a cheating scandal that rocked online poker room and subsequently its sister site, AND taken some action.

Following numerous complaints from members of the popular online poker room, the regulator launched its examination in August under the stewardship of Frank Catania Sr, President for Catania Gaming Consultants and the former Director for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The audit has now finished and revealed that dozens of different screen names were used in connection with the cheating scandal, which could have begun as early as May of 2004.

The Commission’s results specifically named Russell Hamilton, a former World Series of Poker (WSOP) winner that had been associated with UltimateBet's affiliate programme, and cited ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that he could have been involved in siphoning millions of dollars away from players accounts. The regulator further revealed that it had been in contact with the ‘appropriate law enforcement agencies’ regarding prosecuting those involved.

The Commission has also fined the online operator $1.5 million for its failure to implement and enforce measures to prohibit and detect fraudulent activities and ruled that it should start refunding all accounts adversely affected by the cheating before November 3, 2008, under its supervision. The regulator revealed that UltimateBet has, to date, reimbursed around $6.1 million to accounts impacted by the scandal.

UltimateBet has also been directed to remove all persons deemed ‘unsuitable’ by the Commission from any involvement with the company including all levels of operation, ownership and management. Not doing so would see the online operator risk loosing it gaming permit.

Until November 3, UltimateBet must also provide complete details of all day-to-day operations including financial as well as daily gaming records in order to guarantee full disclosure and prevent further improprieties while monies are being refunded.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UltimateBet and Absolute Poker to Merge! Don't Make Me Laugh! This will Be The Biggest Online Poker Cheat Consortium Ever!

UltimateBet, home of the biggest poker cheating scandal ever, either online or off, has plans to go ahead with its merger with its sister site Absolute Poker on the Cereus poker platform. Talk about a cheating consortium! Need I say more! LOL

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Cheat Scam of The Month is Posted!

With all the massive online poker scams and scandals dominating the casino, poker and gambling worlds these days, for the first time my Scam of the Month is dedicated to an online scam, of course online poker, mainly the UltimateBet and Absolute Poker scams. To read about them, go to my Scam of the Month page

CBS "60 Minutes" Segment On Online Poker Cheating Scandals To Air Soon!

In addition to the buzz around the seizure of 141 internet gambling domains by the Governor of Kentucky, an upcoming story by CBS’ “60 Minutes” has also been the center of discussion at the CAP Euro Barcelona event. Poker News Daily has learned that the story by “60 Minutes” should air on Sunday, October 26th, just days before the general elections in the United States. The program will likely cover the user scandals at Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, which have made headlines across the poker world in recent months.

The story by the longstanding news magazine will focus on the scandals that have rocked Ultimate Bet and may include the POTRIPPER issues at its sister site, Absolute Poker. In addition, the rumor around the industry is that “60 Minutes” is teaming up with a major newspaper for the story, which may be just weeks from airing. In its last update on the NioNio scandal that rocked the online poker site, Ultimate Bet listed additional user names that were involved: Crackcorn55, WhakMe, GrabBag123, gravitation, Bgroup, H_Curtis, Twenty 1, WacoManiac, Broke_In_L_A, ShaqTack, BlueBerry101, HolyMucker, 55WasHere, Xnomas, dannyboy55, Indy05, and SlimPikins2.

The cheating on Ultimate Bet began back in 2005, one year before its current ownership group, Tokwiro, purchased the site. Also in June, Ultimate Bet was scheduled to begin the refund process for players who were affected by the abuse. The transgressions surrounded the exploitation of an auditing tool which enabled its users to view the hole cards of every player at an online poker table.

In May, Ultimate Bet’s parent company released a statement that included the following: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience, loyalty, and support, as well as for their understanding that we are doing everything we can to correct this situation. The staff and management of Ultimate Bet are fully committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our players and we want to assure customers of our unwavering resolve to monitor site security with every resource at our disposal.”

Since then, one of the accounts in question was linked to a Las Vegas owned home of Russ Hamilton, one of the former owners of the site. However, no admission has been given publicly by Hamilton. Over the summer, Team PokerStars Pro member Barry Greenstein and Joe Sebok traveled to Hamilton’s residence. Greenstein came away from the interview feeling as if, by the time the truth was known, Hamilton would not be one of those indicted.

A $75 million claim filed against a software manufacturer was the subject of an article by MSNBC with the title “Poker site cheating plot a high-stakes whodunit.” The article, which was published last week, seemed to trump any momentum “60 Minutes” would have had, although the television station’s program is likely to be more visible.

The latest move in the Ultimate Bet investigation was the Kahnawake Gaming Commission naming Frank Catania, a former gaming regulator in the state of New Jersey, to lead a formal inquiry into the matter. His website,, states that he “serves as one of three independent directors of eCOGRA. He served as the first president of the International Masters of Gaming Law, a non-profit association dedicated to the education and advancement of gaming law, vice chair and chair, respectively, of the International Association of Gaming Regulators and past chairman of the Forum of American Casino Regulators.”

Aussie Poker Whiz Helped Detect Huge Online Poker Scams!

Detective work by an Australian online poker player has uncovered a $US10 million cheating scandal at two major poker websites and triggered a $US75 million ($A93 million) legal claim.

Australian Michael Josem analysed detailed hand history data from Absolute Poker and UltimateBet and uncovered that certain player accounts won money at a rate too fast to be legitimate.

His findings led to an internal investigation by the parent company that owns both sites. It found rogue employees had defrauded players over three years using a security hole that allowed the cheats to see other players' secret (or hole) cards.

Now the owners of the sites have filed a $US75 million claim against the makers of the software that powers them, claiming they were unaware of the security holes when they bought the sites in 2006.

Official investigators have named one of the world's most successful poker players, Russ Hamilton, as the main perpetrator of the fraud.

Suspicions of unfair play at Absolute Poker were first raised late last year. Mr Josem plotted the win rate of several thousand players against the suspicious accounts and found the cheats won money at a rate that was 100 times faster than a good player could reasonably win. The cheating accounts played every hand as if they knew every card that the other players had.

The findings led to an investigation by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses several hundred online casinos and poker rooms. It found Absolute Poker tried to cover up the cheating by deleting gaming logs and records and fined it $US500,000.

Absolute Poker repaid those who had lost money but refused to release the cheater's identity.

A few months later, Mr. Josem and players from the Two Plus Two online poker forum used the same methods to uncover almost identical cheating occurring at Absolute Poker's sister site, UltimateBet. One player account, NioNio, netted a profit of $300,000 in just 3000 hands and won 13 of 14 recorded sessions.

"The chances of a player winning at those rates is approximately equal to winning a one-in-a-million lottery on six consecutive occasions," Mr Josem said. "In poker, a contest of limited information, if you know what cards your opponent has, you'll never lose - and this is precisely what happened."

The cheats passed their fraudulent winnings between multiple user accounts in an attempt to avoid detection.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission named World Series of Poker winner Russ Hamilton as the main perpetrator.

The commission ordered UltimateBet to begin refunding all players adversely affected by the cheating scheme. The site has also been fined $US1.5 million.

An Australian company, Gaming Associates, conducted the investigations on UltimateBet and Absolute Poker.

Mr Josem has been employed by the leading online poker site, PokerStars, to work on its security team.

He said other sites were not vulnerable to the same cheats because they used different software and had more credible operators.

WSOP Champion Russ Hamilton Identified As Biggest Online Poker Cheat Ever!

Russ Hamilton Reportedly Behind UltimateBet Cheating Scam!

Company Hired by Kahnawake Gaming Commission Fingers Him!

A gaming consulting firm run by the former New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement head has uncovered the man mainly responsible for the cheating scandal that bilked players out of as much as $60 million on, and he’s a former World Series of Poker champion!

Russ Hamilton (who seems to be enjoying himself with the babe in the photo) is named as the main perpetrator behind the scam, according to a report published today by IGamingNews, which references the commission’s interim report. The full report is due November.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), which licenses many of the online poker and gambling sites, hired former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General Frank Catania Sr.’s Catania Gaming Consultants to find out just who it was that perpetrated the cheating scam that used “superuser” accounts for 3.5 years to view opponents’ holecards. The firm named Hamilton, who won the WSOP main event in 1994. According to IGamingNews, he gained behind-the-scenes access as part of UltimateBet’s affiliate program team.

The scheme was uncovered by online players who noticed questionable play and began charting the suspicious players. Under pressure from these players, the KGC was forced to do a complete investigation, which is coming to a close. Other names of cheaters are expected to be released soon.

The KGC will try to work with law enforcement authorities to prosecute the cheaters.

So far, about $6 million has been returned to players.

The company will also have to remove all employees who CGC names as a threat to the security of the site, even if people with ownership stakes in the company are named. UltimateBet will also be fined $1.5 million.