Saturday, August 08, 2009

More From Pitbull Poker's Brenes On Online Cheats Accusations

Pitbull Poker has been getting blasted on the poker forums on cheat issues the last few weeks. Everything from superuser accounts to shaving chip stacks has been alleged to be happening on what some people are now calling the number-one online poker cheat site. Moreover, it seems the site has been refusing to provide hand histories to those players suspecting the cheating.

However, Dave Brenes, the bigwig at Pitbull Poker has issued this statement:

"We were accused by a player with the screen name FluffyChester on the 2+2 forums that he suspected we had a super user account, even though FluffyChester never disputed a hand he felt cheated on. He requested a downloadable format of his hand history, although he could view his previous hand histories by hand number or date range through the website. Our poker system was developed in flash and we did not have a download feature for hand histories. On Monday August 3rd, 2009, we provided FluffyChester with the last 1,000 hands that he played on Pitbull Poker in text format and are awaiting his analysis. We have since developed a feature that will allow for hand histories to be downloaded in text format and it will be available next week to every player. Superuser Accounts have never existed and we are awaiting FluffyChesters’ analysis to clear the rumors."

The player raising the stink, FluffyChester, calls himself "Chesterboy" on the TwoPlusTwo forums and started one of the threads about the current online poker cheat scandal. Here is what Chesterboy had to say in response to his comments on what Pitbull's Brenes said:

"Yes, they sent me 1,000 hands, but they are the last 1,000 I played. I had already realized that I was facing cheaters at this point and was avoiding them while I waited for them to process my cashout. I told Dave those hands were useless, but he told me they already started working on them and it is too late to change. A good chunk of them are in Pot Limit Omaha, which I don’t believe to have ever had any cheaters in. I posted them in the superuser thread and some people are working on a converter so that they can be plugged in to PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager even though I don’t think they will be of any use."

On the forums, Pitbull Poker is getting ripped for not providing the hands that were originally requested during a specific timeframe. The hands in question would have been played during a period that chesterboy and others in the thread felt that they were facing superusers. With the upcoming upgrade of Pitbull Poker's software that will allow hand histories to be downloaded, the industry will be able to analyze hands for any irregularities moving forward. The past, however, might remain a mystery if the present situation leads to no irregularities, or better put, straight evidence of cheating.

There will be more on this.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Bigger Anti-Cheat Online Poker Regulation Push From US Senator

Move over Barney Frank! Here comes New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez! Down with the Poker Cheats and Up with legalizing the anti-cheat poker Geeks!

Senator Menendez, no stranger to poker as a New Jersey Senator should be, is the moving force behind the new online poker anti-cheat legislation bill that dwarfs the efforts of US Representative Barney Frank, who has been an online poker ally of the Poker Players Alliance for some time now.

The key measure of Menendez's new bill, which covers online poker and NOT online casinos, is to set poker apart from other casino games because it is unique in that there is skill involved. Note that I'm not saying it requires skill, only that poker is susceptible to players using skill to win.

Another aspect of Menendez's campaign is that it reviews the background of the operators of the online poker sites. With so many current and past allegations of insider cheating scandals, this is a favorable measure to put new players' minds at ease while playing online poker. Menendez recognizes that legitimate online players are sick and tired and AFRAID of the online poker cheats out there, both inside and out. Players need to be able to have confidence they won't get cheated by online poker operators or cheating online poker players.

There are also tax issues addressed in Menendez's bill, mainly that licensed online poker sites in a regulated or legalized US online poker world would have to pay federal taxes just as any other legitimate entity doing business in or with the United States does.

Go Menendez Go!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

First Foxwoods Casino Dealer Cops Plea in Craps Scam

If Chandler Alfred Jr.'s plea bargain with prosecutors is a precursor of what the other eleven felony-charged Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun dealer-cheats are in for, I'd say they are in pretty good shape. One of the inside participants in the big Connecticut casinos craps cheat scam, Alfred pleaded guilty to fourth-degree larceny, which is the equivalent of lifting a chocolate bar from a candy store. He got a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to stay clean for one year and have no contact with the other charged dealer cheats. And, of course, he cannot step foot inside either Connecticut casino. For THAT I pity him!

What this slap-on-the-wrist sentence shows is how eager Connecticut prosecutors were to put Richard Taylor, the mastermind of the $70,000 craps scam, behind bars. They succeeded. Taylor crapped out with a ten-year prison sentence.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Poker Cheating Allegations Cloud Men Nguyen's Induction Into Poker Hall of Fame

Doyle Brunson is behind Men "The Master" Nguyen’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame, but lots of fellow poker players say Men is a cheat and don't want to see him getting in. Nguyen has six WSOP titles and has been a big success as a cash-games player as well, but over the years several alleged poker cheat incidents have been tied to Men and his Vietnamese playing partners, or syndicates, if you will.

Nguyen has been accused of running collusion rings in cash games and chip dumping and chip stealing in tournaments. Famed tournament pro Daniel Negreanu has been at the forefront of excluding Nguyen because of his suspected cheating activity. Negreanu said, "I have stated publicly that Men Nguyen is a tournament cheat. I'm comfortable saying that because I KNOW that to be fact." Another big-time tournament pro, Justin Bonomo, has also claimed Nguyen is a poker cheat and had been banned from Foxwoods casino for stealing and dumping chips.

The late poker cheat Russ Georgiev, who had written some reliable stuff on the world of professional poker cheating, claimed that Nguyen was at the head of tournament chip-stealing rings populated by Asian players. According to Georgiev, these cheats operated by patrolling the tournament casino areas, picking up chips and passing them off to cohorts who had short stacks of chips in the tournaments.

My take: I have no direct evidence of Men Nguyen being a poker cheat--but I believe he is. There is just too much circumstantial evidence of it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Suspected Camera-In-The-Wall Poker Cheat Steve Forte Walks...But Is He Innocent?

Charges against Steve Forte, the accused mastermind of the high-tech Borgata Camera-In-The-Wall Poker Cheat Scam have been dismissed, so I'm told by an e-mail I received from crime novelist James Swain, a friend of Forte's. Swain has asked me specifically to post Forte's being cleared of the criminal charges contained in a 2008 felony indictment for setting up this scam, so I am obliging even though I have not seen this news published. If anyone has seen it, please link me to it.

Do I believe Forte is actually innocent? Of course not. Forte, an ex-casino game protection consultant who was convicted in an Atlantic City cooler scam in 1987, has maintained that he "was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Come on, gimme a break! I just have a hard time believing that Forte was in a hotel room where a major poker scam was going down with digital cameras hidden in walls sneak-peeking opponents' hole cards and not only was Forte not involved in it but had no clue it was going down. If Forte was in the wrong place at the wrong time, how did he get there? By invitation?

You have to remember that having a case dismissed does not mean the person charged and indicted is innocent. It only means that for lack of evidence or some other reason, the judge dismissed the case. Heck, you know how many times casinos wanted to prosecute me? They never could...does that mean I was innocent? I was fifty times more guilty than Forte or anyone else!

But all my opinions aside, I am willing to give Steve Forte the chance to enlighten us with the truth on this blog. As James Swain no doubt is following this blog, he is also no doubt in communication with Forte regarding this matter. So then James and Steve--if you're reading--I invite you to share with us on this blog HOW you, Steve, managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tell us all what really happened that summer in 2007 at the Borgota. How did the coppers come to believe that YOU were the mastermind behind the cheat scam and HOW DID YOU END UP IN THAT HOTEL ROOM WHILE THAT POKER CHEAT SCAM WAS GOING DOWN?

Please answer these questions so that the poker and poker cheating world can believe you are REALLY innocent. I doubt we'll be hearing from you, but you never know.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Poker Cheat Arrest Bags Bellagio Poker Dealer!

Insider Poker Cheats Have Again Reared Their Ugly Heads!

But this time it is not online poker cheats making the news. An unidentified poker dealer (possibly named Tony) was arrested for poker cheating at the Bellagio last Saturday night. The incident took place in Bobby´s Room, the high stakes poker room away from the main poker playing area of the Bellagio that is named after Bobby Baldwin, the ex-WSOP champion and president of several resort companies involving Steve Wynn.

Why the dealer has not been identified is not surprising in what is going to be a high-profile poker cheating case occurring in Las Vegas's number-one poker casino. Shrouds of secrecy often cover these big cheat cases as was such in the Steve Forte Poker Cheating case at the Borgata in Atlantic City in 2007.

According to my source, the crooked dealer stole two $1,000 chips from a split-pot as he was cutting it up to distribute the winning chips to each player claiming half the pot. It is not clear if the dealer palmed the two chips without equipment or if he used some sort of hold-out device that crooked dealers wear up their sleeves, often used for holding cards to be snuck into a game or removed. This dealer may have used that kind of device to hold the stolen chips while he turned over his palms and "washed" his hands for the surveillance cameras before leaving the table, as dealers are required to do. He then transferred the two chips to his pocket upon leaving the poker room.

How exactly the dealer was caught, I don't know, but my guess is that one or both of the victim players quickly figured out he was shorted and complained to the poker room manager, who then called surveillance. Upon running back the video, the dealer's cheat move was probably spotted.

I will surely have more on this developing poker cheat story.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Casino Cheat Attempt--Extortion!

It's really not new, although casino extortion attempts usually involve bomb threats like "If you don't pay me the money, a bomb is going to go off in your casino and kill your customers."

But this time, Stacey Paul Waddell is accused of trying to extort the Diamond Casino Boat off Savannah, Georgia for $60,000 by sending threatening letters to casino officials saying he would expose their illegal activities, mainly cheating players. Waddell claimed in the letters that he had video of wide-scale cheat plays. He was quickly arrested and booked.

Anything to this? Well, unless Waddell was a surveillance operator in the casino and filmed an inside casino scam in progress, I highly doubt it. More probable is that he's a degenerate gambler who got wiped out in the casino looking to get his money back in one fell swoop.

Not gonna happen.

Delaware Casinos Not Ready to Combat Table Games Cheats!

The three racetrack casinos ("racinos") in Delaware do not seem to know what is going to hit them when they open up their table games in January. Not only have they not received table game protection training from me or anyone else, they don't even have a gaming commission or control board, and they are altogether very unorganized. The pro cheat teams and card counters are going to descend upon these three casinos like hives of bees and are going to sting them for lots of money.

Apparently some stage regulators (currently casinos in Delaware are regulated by the state's lottery commission) want to establish an overseeing casino body as is found in practically ever other state with legal poker rooms and casinos. But others say that a gaming commission or control board isn't necessary (WOW!) I, for one, can't believe that attitude! These casinos need some kind of control body that ONLY deals with casinos. If they don't establish one, they are going to have problems never seen before in a rookie casino state.