Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Poker Cheating At Buckingham Palace!

Well, I have heard of some ROYAL Places where poker cheating has gone on through the centuries, like the stately casinos at Baden-Baden and Monte Carlo, but Buckingham Palace??? That takes the cake! Accoring to testimony in a £3 million betting and property scam trial, an ex-royal protection officer accused of running the scam has claimed colleagues played poker inside Buckingham Palace and cheated by swapping cards and playing in collusion. What this basically means is that British cops protecting Queen Elizabeth and the royal family in Buckingham Palace were moonlighting as poker cheats! Gotta love it!

Paul Page, the 38 year-old guy on trial, allegedly cheated investors out of life savings. He testified that police officers were running the poker cheat scams and that a lot of them were even involved in online poker collusion cheating together during their down time. He also said that the same officers could earn up to £60,000 a year with overtime "for doing very little," which can be translated "for playing crooked poker."

Anyone interested in a crooked royal poker game?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Rehash "60 Minutes" Online Poker Cheating Scandal Story?

I reported yesterday that CBS and the Washington Post both re-released their stories on the huge UltimateBet online poker cheating scandal. But some people want to know, is there any good to this? Or is it just the media grabbing at poker straws to keep a good story going?

Well, my opinion is that it is a good thing to re-release this story of an insidious poker cheating scam. But for only one reason. That being that absolutely nothing has become of it in terms of the online poker sites doing something to prevent a scam of this nature from happening again. Sure, they may have beefed up their security protection for software source codes and things like that. But the only real effective measure in the aim of future deterrence that can be taken is to see some prosecution for the UltimateBet scam. By all accounts, Russ Hamilton, the alleged mastermind behind it, is guilty as sin. But to date there is no sign that he will ever be prosecuted, depsite the tens of millions of dollars players lost to the scam. I know it is difficult to prosecute online poker fraud in the murky jurisdictions of online poker and online gambling, but unless it is figured out how and where to prosecute people like Hamilton and others who have initiated huge online poker and gambling cheat frauds, more poker cheat masterminds will continue to develop online poker scams to cheat the online poker-playing public out of millions.

Perhaps regulation of online poker in the US is the only first step to the solution of curbing cheating in online gambling.

You can see the rerun of CBS' online poker cheating segment on "60 Minutes" this Sunday in the US and of course on YouTube shortly thereafter.

Monday, June 29, 2009

CBS, Washington Post Update on UltimateBet Online Poker Scandal

Back in November, as most of you know, the American network CBS in conjunction with the newspaper The Washington Post featured the huge online poker scam at UltimateBet in both TV segments and newspaper articles. They have now updated the story. To read it click here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Raised-Limits Colorado Casinos Sweating The Cheats

The cheaters have refined and jettisoned their tricks over the years. And casinos, in turn, have honed their methods for detecting them. Colorado regulators don't see it much anymore, but they remember the old "monkey wand" — a long wire with a small light bulb attached to its end. Rogue slot-machine players would slip it into the game to fool the money counter, triggering a gusher of coins.

In recent years, card sharks across the country have inserted tiny cameras into cigarette cases or shirt buttons so they can glimpse the card at the bottom of a deck during blackjack. Both cheats have been exposed, leading to monkey-proof slot machines and more-sophisticated camera systems to sweep casino floors. With betting limits rising from $5 to $100 in Colorado and business going 24 hours starting July 2, casino operators say it's a sure bet that the number of cheaters with newer gambits will rise too, prompting the casinos to take extra precautions.

Owners of The Lodge and Gilpin casinos in Black Hawk have hired new security officers, added cameras and brought in a cheat expert from Harrah's in Las Vegas to help train dealers on how to shrewdly watch behavior during craps and other games.

"What happens is that the trick gets identified and people will stop," said Ed Weisel, the Vegas veteran and new director of table games for the two casinos. "But they will just go on to do something else."

The eyes are seemingly everywhere at The Lodge. Between it and the Gilpin, 1,500 cameras dangle in the shadows, linked to a new digital computer monitoring system.

But the eyes, and experience, of the 52-year-old Weisel may pose the most powerful deterrent. He's helped spot 100 suspected cheaters in his 30-plus years working in the gaming business. He knows how they usually work in groups, using partners to distract dealers while one "slides" dice instead of rolling. And how they "pinch" bets by quickly pulling half their chips back.

Colorado gaming communities don't appear to have a cheating problem — of 13 complaints, only two tricksters have been arrested in the past three years, and those were casino employees, according to the Colorado Division of Gaming. But the introduction of craps and its variety of bets is certain to invite more monkey business, according to Donald Burmania, communications director for the Division of Gaming, which added 13 new investigators to increase scrutiny as the rules change.

"We feel like we're prepared," Burmania said.

Are they really? I doubt it.