Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Poker Cheats Using Isotopes To Mark Cards?

This is a scary thought for brick and mortar cardrooms. Not too long ago I wrote an article for Bluff Magazine about the ongoing development of high-tech poker cheating, which I said might be around in a few years, but it might be around NOW!

That's if certain info I have been receiving is accurate. According to three different sources, two of which have previously supplied me with very accurate information concerning high-tech brick and mortar poker and casino scams, a high tech cheat team has been experimenting with Isotopes to mark poker cards in several UK cardrooms. I do not have the names of these cardrooms, but imagine this is taking place in London, as do most of the major poker and casino scams in the UK.

How fearful should we be if this becomes an everyday reality? VERY! I am no expert in Isotope card marking, and when I wrote my article on high tech cheating, I did some research as to what it actually is. The Wikipedia definition of isotopic labelling is:

The use of unusual isotopes as tracers or markers in chemical reactions. Normally, atoms of a given element are indistinguishable from each other. However, by using isotopes of different masses, they can be distinguished by mass spectrometry or infrared spectroscopy (see "Properties"). For example, in 'stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)' stable isotopes are used to quantify proteins. If radioactive isotopes are used, they can be detected by the radiation they emit (this is called radioisotopic labeling).

In other words, marking cards by isotopic labelling is about as foolproof a way to do it as possible, and virtually impossible to detect.

I only have one question on the subject: Will it soon be possible to mark cards in online poker games?

I will keep you posted.