Monday, June 22, 2009

World Series of Poker Cheating Tips

Everyone in his right mind ought to be concerned about poker cheats reigning at the 2009 WSOP, especially those playing in the poker tournaments. So how can you spot poker cheats at work at the WSOP? I ran across these cheat tips from Poker Player magazine, and their right on, so have a look.

What do you need to look for in poker tournaments when you suspect someone of cheating? Familiarity with other players is a good first hint. If two players are often making conversation, eye contact, studying chip placements on cards, marking cards, or having overly interest in a rail observer, you should take note.

Let’s look at these signs of deception a little closer.

Chip placements on hole cards are a common signaling tool. An example might be four chips side by side with one chip on top, forming a pyramid, which would represent J-10, five chips with one chip on top would be 9-10 and so on. Easier chip formations to figure out are two chips side by side on top of the hole cards signaling A-A, two chips on top of each other and stacked side by side signals K-K and so on.

Certainly memorization becomes the key to signaling, but if that doesn’t get the attention of your coconspirator, then ordering food or drink can become a useful tool to the cheater. Word association is probably the most deceptive tool cheaters can use simply because general conversation won’t be suspect. Calling the cocktail waitress over seems innocent enough, but if the player is ordering a different beer or drink every time he orders, maybe he’s getting more than a drink. How about suggesting what one might order to eat? A hamburger sounds good, signaling A-Q, but maybe a hotdog might be better, signaling A-K.

Moving chips from table to table is a very risky move, yet the more practiced professional cheaters have become chip magicians and can often palm chips and hand them off on breaks. Chip dumping also occurs to move the highest stack in the team closer to the money. This is essential when teams of cheaters are playing in the same tournament. The player with the largest chip stack is most likely to make the money and the final table becomes the team’s target. They will do everything in their power to get chips to that player so that they all will share in the profit in the end.