Friday, September 04, 2009

Labor Day Greetings To Poker Cheats, Casino Cheats and Poker and Casino Cheatcatchers!

Labor Day is an American National Holiday for all labor, right? So poker cheating and casino cheating is hard labor like anything else, as is catching poker and casino cheats. Therefore, I salute all of you cheats out there, especially those of American extraction. And for those of you poker and casino cheats and cheatcatchers who are not American, let me know when your national labor holiday is and I will salute you too!

Meanwhile, in the US, Labor Day weekend is a major work weekend for poker and casino cheats working American casinos. That Labor Day always falls on a Monday, gives the cheats an extra day of weekend work to rip off the poker rooms and casinos. If you're curious, the biggest holiday and holiday-weekend poker and casino cheat festivals ranked in order are:

1) New Year's Eve (by far) My teams have made more in that single night than any holiday weekend.
2) July 4th. We light the fireworks INSIDE the casinos.
3) Labor Day Weekend.
4) Memorial Day Weekend. (another extra day as it's always on a Monday)
5) Christmas Day. (Might be surprised at this, eh?)
6) Thanksgiving Day. The cheats say their thanks inside the poker rooms and casinos, then have their turkey afterward!

South African Casino Hit By Dealer-Aided High-Tech Cheat Scam!

South Africa, known casinocheatwise for being the land of the famous Las Vegas chip cup scam, has been hit with another inside dealer cheat scam, albeit one not quite as devastating as the chip cup scam that rocked South Africa's casinos in the 1980s. Five people, including two Carnival City dealers, were busted for the latest high-tech digital camera scam that happened on the casino's punto banco tables, a game similar to US baccarat. Apparently the scam came apart because the scammers appeared nervous at the tables, which given the fact that Chinese were involved is quite surprising, as they're usually cool under the cheat gun. It must have been non-Chinese dealers who gave the scam away. The casino surveillance department picked up on them and began watching the videos of their tables.

The three Chinese hid a tiny digital camera in a cigarette box to take pictures of cards being dealt while playing punto banco. This is not the first scam to use a box of cigarettes. The most famous is the French Cigarette Scam using a Marlboro box. In the South African scam, the dealers purposely dealt the cards slow so that their confederates' cameras could film them clearly. The pictures were then sent to computers in a hotel room, from where one of the cheat-team members would watch and then send his partners at the table the card information via sms. More than three million rand was taken out of the casino.

Overall, this sounds like a pretty good scam that had a weak link: the dealers

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Major Online Poker Cheat Hack Scam Exposed!


The site, with videos, forum and every other facet that makes it look real is a HUGE SCAM looking to hack you and steal your personal info. A fake player saying he´s from Sweden and using the name "Cheesecake" and e-mail address has been contacting people via MSN and asking them to watch videos for which he sends the links. The site looks very real but then when you try to watch videos, a warning follows telling you to update your flash player. This is a backdoor Trojan scam and it's VERY Dangerous! Several people playing the 200-400+ nlh/plo games on Full Tilt Poker have been contacted with links from this person whose MSN has been hacked.

If you´ve been on this site and watched the videos, it's time to reset your entire system...NOW! Clean computer, reset passwords for poker, e-mail, everything. And don't forget that other e-mail addresses with other ideas for getting you on the site can be involved as well. DO NOT GO ON for any reason!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Latest Anti-Online Poker Cheat Claim by Cognisafe...Is It Real?


That's the anti-cheat poker claim and here's what they say:

Program offers real time solution to cheating in online games including use of bots.

Chip Dumping is becoming one of the most common frauds in online Poker and the new PitBoss-AC solution will save operators and networks huge sums in lost revenues. Chip Dumping is the practice whereby one player deliberately loses his chips to another player at the table, with the losing player often having obtained his chips by fraudulent means.

The PitBoss-AC program also has the ability to prevent cheating through the use of online bots, online advisors, software cheats and even collusion. The Bot protection program within PitBoss-AC has already been successfully deployed for online gaming clients. In addition to protecting online games from cheaters, the system, which monitors games without intruding on the player’s experience, can provide customers with player data such as gaming patterns (profiling) which reflect playing habits and skill levels.

My opinion: Well, I have not yet seen any conclusive evidence that Cognisafe's PitBoss-AC solution actually solves the problems they say it does. I'm not saying that it's not effective, but until I see some results and positive analysis published by entities other than Cognisafe itself, I cannot endorse their product.

Pitbull Poker Traffic Tumbling In Wake of Online Cheat Allegations

The Pitbull Poker cheating scam is taking its toll on the Flash Network poker room. It's administrators continue to evade the issue and are not accepting various offers by forums and poker websites to reassure the public via interviews. This prolonged silence can only be interpreted one way: online poker cheating is rocking their boat!

Online poker traffic monitor, shows a drop in their player numbers over the past six months with a steep decrease over the last month. The weekly average for real money ring players now stands at only 33 players.

Many players are reporting cash-out problems from Pitbull Poker. The maximum cash out has been set to $1000 over 7 days by Pitbull management. The fear now is that this scandal will escalate to online players losing their money in Pitbull Poker accounts.

Pitbull Poker is falling in the pits!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tran Organization Baccarat Cheat King Truong Sentencing Delayed Until November

Phuong Quoc Truong, also known as Pai Gow John, who masterminded the huge false shuffle baccarat scam detailed extensively in this blog, was not sentenced yesterday as scheduled. He will be sentenced in November. Meanwhile, another big cog in the international card-cheating ring, Phat Ngoc Tran, was sentenced by Judge John Houston in federal court in San Diego to a term of 45 months in prison. Truong, the boss of the casino-cheating Tran Organization, is expected to draw more time, up to 20 years, but I don't think he'll get more than seven or eight years in light of Tran's 45 month sentence.

In any event, I don't think we've seen the last of these massive dealer-inside casino cheat scams. However, I doubt the next one will be at baccarat.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Banning Online Poker Cheat Software...Really?

If you play on most major rooms, including PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, you either have an unfair advantage or many of your opponents have an unfair advantage over you. The top nine poker networks all have the same problem, with the Cake Poker Network being the largest to mostly avoid this issue. The major rooms and networks have put themselves in a very unpleasant position where they have outlawed things they cannot prevent from happening. Poker-Edge is a prime example. According the Terms and Conditions of PokerStars and Full Tilt, this software is strictly prohibited. You can't play on the site without agreeing to their rules and since Poker-Edge is against the rules, you are breaking them if you use it. By the very definition of the word, the use of Poker-Edge on PokerStars is cheating. If you aren't using it, then you are being cheated because many opponents are using it against you.

Poker-Edge has been around for years and banned for most of that time, but I don't know anyone who has ever been kicked off an online poker site for using it because the programmers go through great trouble to conceal the use of it from the sites. Right at this very moment, Poker-Edge is being used on all of the major sites and no one using it is in any fear of being caught. Those who are willing to break the rules have a significant advantage over those who do not; that is the crux of the problem.

When you outlaw something that you cannot enforce, you simply punish those who choose to follow the rules and reward those who break them. This pushes more and more people to break the rules and the few who choose to abide by them are punished even further.

Let's look at another example, hand history resellers. These sites sell massive quantities of hand histories from the major networks for a very reasonable price. Anyone with $20 can buy hand histories, load them into their favorite tracking software, and have a huge database on players they have never played with. PokerStars has banned this practice, but as far as we know, there is no enforcement in place.

That guy who just sat down at your table has thousands of hands on you and a very good feel for how you play, but you have never seen him before. The site you are playing on cannot do anything about the fact that he has that information, but they have asked you not to get it yourself. If you choose the honest road and don't use that resource, then you are at a disadvantage, but if you do it, you are cheating. What a mess.

Other prime examples are sites like Official Poker Rankings (OPR) and Sharkscope, which list the results of tournaments on a number of popular rooms. This is publicly available information and is no different than reading about who won recent live tournaments in the back of a poker magazine. Full Tilt recently banned the use of OPR, which is what brought on the idea for this article. When I heard about the ban, I was lamenting that I had not taken more notes while using OPR in the past. It occurred to me that people who have taken more notes from OPR now have an advantage over me.

I have a laptop and could certainly have it open to OPR while I am playing on my desktop, but that is against the rules. I know people are doing it. In fact, I’d imagine that thousands of players are and there is no way for Full Tilt to ever know.

I don't want anyone to go nuts here. These things have a minor effect on your win rate when compared to studying, taking lessons, reading books, or joining a training site. The games are certainly beatable without these advantages and I can be absolutely certain of this because I don't use them and make a good living playing online poker. These programs do not create such an imbalance that the games are unbeatable, but the policies are not fair, don't work, and they do what a rule should never do, punish the just.

I never like to present a problem without offering at least some ideas on a solution. The first thing the sites can do is allow everyone to use these programs. As I noted above, these programs are not making people instant winners nor are they going to seriously hurt someone who isn't using them. As you move up in limits, these programs have a larger effect, but by the time you are playing high-limit poker, you should have learned about all of the options available to you. The sites could allow these programs, everyone could use them, and those who are willing to break the rules would longer be rewarded.

The other potential solution is to do what the Cake Poker Network is doing and Bodog used to do: don't give people a way to track the hands. The Cake Network uses incomplete hand histories that don't list opponent's names and allows screen name changes once per week. If you take notes on a player, they remain even though the screen name changes, giving you an advantage.

This brings poker back to the old school, where it's tough to play more than a few tables at once and you have to take notes in order to know your opponents. Because the 12+ table grinders who rely on stats are not interested in playing on the Network, the games are much livelier, more interesting, and fish-filled. Playing three or four tables on Cake Poker, DoylesRoom, or any of the other network sites can yield just as high of an hourly rate as playing 12 tables on PokerStars. Then, we can get back to using software to improve our games instead of relying on it to help us play.

Tran Organization's Pai Gow John To Be Sentenced Today For International Baccarat Cheat Scam

Here's a very good article on the baccarat cheating scam that beat casinos out of millions across the US and Canada. I participated in the article and I think it is worth a read.

Busted Card-Cheating Ring Found Success In Simplicity

Expensive cars, flashy jewelry, three houses — Pai Gow John had it made, all thanks to a magic touch at casinos from California to Connecticut.

Too magic, as it turned out.

Tomorrow, the 44-year-old man whose real name is Phuong Quoc Truong is to be sentenced in San Diego federal court for helping run one of the biggest, most audacious card-cheating rings in modern history. Before authorities finally broke it up in May 2007, the Tran Organization had targeted 25 casinos and taken away up to $7million over five years. “In the 20 years I've been in the business, I haven't seen anything this big, this well-orchestrated, this successful,” said one Las Vegas casino security. “And it was simple. That may have been the beauty of it.”

Simple because it relied not on the high-tech gadgets of Hollywood heists such as “Ocean's Eleven,” but on a sleight of hand almost as old as cards themselves — the false shuffle. The ring, based in San Diego, went so far as to bribe dealers in other states and fly them here for training in the shuffle. They sent scouts to Mississippi to assess a casino's vulnerabilities to the trick. When everything was set, they would move in and occupy several seats at a table run by a bribed dealer. They would bet like they knew what cards were coming — which, thanks to the false shuffle, they did. At one casino in Indiana, at mini-baccarat, they won $868,000 in 90 minutes. More than 30 participants have pleaded guilty in San Diego and Washington state. Those already sentenced have received terms ranging from probation to 3½ years in prison.

Truong, well-known in local gambling circles as Pai Gow John — he once drove a $100,000 Mercedes with the vanity plate “PGJOHN” — is looking at a maximum of 20 years after pleading guilty in April 2008 to charges of conspiracy and racketeering. He has agreed to forfeit almost $2.8 million in property: a house in Otay Mesa, another in Escondido and one in Vietnam; a 2001 Porsche Carrera and two other vehicles; a Rolex Presidential watch; and a white-gold pendant featuring a Mercedes-Benz logo encrusted with 105 diamonds.

Authorities say the cheating ring started when Truong and his wife, Van Thu Tran, were dealers at Sycuan Casino east of El Cajon. In July 2002, according to court papers, they executed six false shuffles between them, enabling others to win about $3,000. Both lost their jobs but apparently not their nerve. Authorities said the couple, along with a third defendant, Tai Khiem Tran, organized the ring and sent it to casinos in California, Canada, Washington, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Connecticut and Louisiana. Among the victims: Sycuan and the Barona casino in Lakeside. They would set up shop for days, weeks, months at a time — at one point even renting a house in Tacoma, Wash., to be near the Emerald Queen casino. Tai Khiem Tran pleaded guilty to conspiracy and racketeering this year and is awaiting sentencing in San Diego. Van Thu Tran has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Her next court date here is in late November. Seven of the people charged in the case share the last name Tran, which is how the organization got its name. Most reportedly belong to the same family, though their relationships aren't spelled out in court papers. Attorneys for the three alleged ringleaders did not return phone calls, and prosecutors declined interview requests.

What is detailed in court files is how the organization operated and how easily it found dealers who were willing to go along — five alone at Cache Creek, a casino west of Sacramento.

Richard Marcus, a former casino cheat now working as a gaming consultant in Las Vegas, said it probably helped that many of the participants are Vietnamese and have language and cultural connections. “It sounds risky, but they were comfortable approaching these dealers, getting to know them, having a drink after work,” Marcus said. “And the main thing you have to remember is that everyone who works at a casino knows it's not their money. So they aren't all that invested in protecting it.” Marcus, who has written extensively about the Tran Organization on his Web site, said working in a casino gets boring, “and this scam probably sounded exciting to the dealers. Throw them some money (up to $5,000 per false shuffle) and away you go.” With the bribed dealer in place, here's how mini-baccarat — the ring's preferred game — was typically rigged, according to authorities:

At least one ring member, the recorder, secretly wrote down the order of the cards as they were dealt from the shoe, a rack that holds multiple decks. When the shoe was played out, the dealer gathered the cards to shuffle. During the shuffle, through sleight of hand, the dealer kept a group of cards — called a slug — intact, in the order that was just played. A typical slug was about 40 cards. After the false shuffle, the dealer put the cards in the shoe and started dealing again. When the slug appeared, the recorder, because he knew what cards were coming, could determine which hand would win. He signaled the other ring members, and they would string together winning bets until the slug ran out.

“If it's done right, the false shuffle is pretty close to the perfect scam,” Marcus said. “But you have so many people involved, it's bound to fall apart. People talk, they get greedy.” Authorities haven't said how they discovered the Tran Organization and its scheme. Marcus, the casino security expert, said he first heard about it in early 2003. He said dealers at casinos in Palm Springs were approached by the ring, and they told their bosses, who spread the word. At some point, the FBI and other law agencies got involved, and they began tracking ring members. They eavesdropped with wiretaps, examined bank records and videotaped the organization inside casinos and out. Some casinos apparently agreed to lose money to the ring so that authorities could conduct their investigation. Some dealers, identified in court papers only by their initials, cooperated.

When you have something of this size, you want to be sure you cut off the head of the snake. You don't want any loopholes. Authorities eventually cheated the cheaters. They put undercover agents in place at the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi, Miss. According to court papers, Truong tried to bribe one who was posing as a floor supervisor and another who was posing as a dealer. It was only a matter of time before the ring was broken up. But even though casinos are doing things differently now — some are using machines to shuffle cards instead of dealers — I wouldn't be surprised to see more scams come along. Card cheating has been around since the beginning of cards. So can it happen again and be successful? Yes. Will they get caught? Only if they get too greedy!