Friday, February 20, 2009
Action Follows Suit After His Cake Poker Network Ban.
When the field of players was announced for the upcoming BLUFF Online Poker Challenge, one name jumped as a controversial choice: Josh “JJProdigy” Field. The reaction of the online poker community was swift and many were outraged that a player who had previously been involved in a major online cheating scandal would be allowed to compete in the event.
“We knew that putting Field in would raise some eyebrows. However, we felt we’d done our due diligence and in conversations with him he made it clear that he was ready to make amends for his previous actions,” said Eric Morris, publisher and co-founder of BLUFF Magazine. “Unfortunately it turns out that that wasn’t quite the case.”
Lock Poker, host of the BOPC, issued a statement earlier this week indicating that Field would not be allowed into the event due to recent actions by the 19-year-old poker pro on the Cake Poker Network, which Lock Poker is a part of.
“Due to recent actions by Josh that breached terms and conditions on the Cake Poker Network we are forced to remove Josh from the competition” said Lock Poker VP of Marketing Derrick Maloney. Neither Cake Poker or Lock Poker provided further details about the transgressions but insisted there was little choice.
In February 2006 Field was discovered to have played multiple accounts in the weekly $500,000 Guaranteed tournament on PartyPoker including the “ablackcar” account which won the tournament and over $140,000. PartyPoker disqualified Field and banned him from their site. PokerStars followed suit with a ban of their own after their investigation turned up instances of multi-accounting. Full Tilt Poker also banned Field.
It was also discovered that Field was 16 years old at the time and not of the legal age to gamble. In late 2007 PokerStars announced that the ban on Field would extend to all live events run by the company, including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and European Poker Tour.
Despite the removal of Field the quality of the players in the BOPC remains strong. Eric “Rizen” Lynch, Kevin “BelowAbove” Saul, Jeff “YellowSub” Williams join 2008 BLUFF Magazine Online Poker Player of the Year David “The Maven” Chicotsky in pursuit of the title and the cover of an upcoming issue of BLUFF Magazine.
“We’re quite happy with the field we’ve established and hope the poker community enjoys watching the event,” said Morris, who also indicated that more players may be added to the roster before the event begins. “The players are world class and we expect to see world class results.”
The BLUFF Online Poker Challenges begins March 1st on LockPoker.com.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Users of iPhones beware -- state gaming agents are watching you.
California gaming authorities tipped off their Nevada counterparts to a blackjack card-counting program that can be used on either the Apple iPhone or the Apple iPod.
"The program calculates the true count and does it significantly more accurately," according to a Gaming Control Board memorandum sent to casino operators last week warning of the electronic device.
Card counting is not illegal in Nevada casinos. However, using a device to aid in the counting of cards is considered a felony under Nevada laws governing cheating, control board member Randy Sayre said. He promised that any players caught in the casino using the devices would be prosecuted like any other casino and poker cheats
Gamblers using the iPhone card-counting program can be detained by casino operators and arrested by state gaming agents.
"We wanted to put the industry on notice to be aware this device is out there," Sayre said. He added that there haven't been any reports of the device being used in Nevada. Sayre and the agency consider the iPhone program an electronic method for cheating.
Operators of a Northern California Indian casino discovered customers using the program and alerted the California Bureau of Gambling Control.
The program is installed through the iTunes Web site. It makes counting cards easier, Sayre said.
The program uses four different strategies for card counting. It also operates in the "stealth mode," in which the phone's screen is shut off. The program can be run effortlessly without detection as long as the user knows where the keys are.
Sayre said it is up to individual casino operators to decide policies concerning the use of cellular phones and other electronic devices at gaming tables. Last year, state gaming regulators eliminated the ban on cellular phones inside race and sports books.
After iPhones came on the market in 2007, Harrah's Entertainment halted their use at the World Series of Poker. Cellular phones are banned at the tournament, although iPods and other MP3 players are allowed.
"We're looking at this internally and this is an issue that needed to be in the public domain," Sayre said.