Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Breed of Casino Cheats

What is the major difference between casino cheats of today and casino cheats of yesteryear? Well, lets look at that comparison on several different planes. First, appearance: Whereas casino cheats of the last several decades of the twentieth century took on the look of ragged cowboys, good ol' boys and even bums, today's cheats dress and look as sophisticated as top-of-the-line Wall Street scammers and other financial con and scam artists. The new casino-cheats' look is business and leisure suits, dependng on casino location and time of day.

Intelligence: In this regard, today's casino cheats are definitely more intelligent, and they need to be as modern casino scams usually comprise the words "computer", "digital" and "laser." But don't mistake intelligence for "smart", especially "street smart" or "casino smart". Yesteryear's casino cheats certainly were smarter than today's gizmo cheats when it comes to recognizing heat inside casinos and protecting their asses. They were able to smell undercover gaming agents at a hundred feet!

Balls: Well, here I'd have to call it a draw between past and modern casino cheats. Not being able to hide from detection the way online casino and poker cheats do (I think the online cheats are scumbags), both the modern casino cheats and the old-timer cheats put their asses on the line underneath the surveillance eyes of the casinos they're cheating. The old-timers had to deal with surveillance guys looking down on them from one-way mirror catwalks, while today's guys have to ply their trade under the omnipresent phalanx of high-performance video cameras.

Where did my casino-cheat team fit in? Appearance and dresswise we were closer to the old-time casino cheats when we worked during the '70s and '80s, and in the '90s we donned the classier tone of today's casino cheats, especially when travelling to the ritzy casinos of Europe. As far as smarts and intelligence go, I have to say...well, you know...I'll just say that my record speaks for itself!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Will the Online Poker Cheat Scams Ever End?...Or At Least Will They Slow Down?

The answers to those two questions are "No and No"...or maybe "No and Perhaps a Little".

In asking whether online poker cheating scandals will ever end, the answer will always be the same basic truism that applies to where the money and availability to steal it is. I'm sure you've heard the famous question asked to the Newton Boys back in the 1920s about why they chose to rob banks for a living. Their response made as much sense as any: "Because that's where the money is."

Same thing applies to online poker cheats. They will always be out there because online poker is not only where the money is but affords one of the great cheating and stealing opportunities that abound on the Internet.

Many people supposedly in the online-poker-cheat-know have blogged that after the huge UltimateBet cheating scandal we would see a marked decrease in poker cheating scandals online. I laughed reading their positive cheat prognoses. Of course that never had a chance of being reality. The proof has been in the pudding ever since, emphasized dramatically by the two recent online cheat scandals surrounding Stox Poker. The first was when so-called online poker coach Jason Ho got exposed as being a complete fraud without the slightest poker-coaching credentials, ripping off online-poker-wannabees for thousands of dollars a pop. Then just a week later, Nick Grudzien, a highly respected online poker player was revealed as an online poker cheater specializing in multi-accounting, to which he has admitted, and probably collusion play as well. We should be seeing more evidence of the collusion cheating very shortly.

These two are only the recent tips of the online poker cheating iceberg who have been caught. Remember, just like in all criminal and cheating activity, there are dozens if not hundreds more online poker cheats operating successfully for each one who gets caught.

So why do I say online poker cheating might slow down after all? Well, it will. The law of averages says so...but the slowdown will only be temporary.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cardrunners Main Man Taylor "GreenPlastic" Caby Knew of Nick Grudzien's Massive Multi-Accounting Cheat Scam Since January! Why Didn't He Do Anything About It?

Taylor “GreenPlastic” Caby posted the following on the 2+2 online poker forum:

Hey everyone, I have addressed the major issues from Viffer's post/this thread below.

David “Viffers” Peat Post:

"Taylor/CR knew Brian was multi-accounting, tried to cover it up, and Taylor actually encouraged Brian to get an office so he could play on a secret account"

Taylor "GreenPlastic" Caby Post:

To think that I would encourage Brian to do this, or to tell him to set up an office to do this, is completely ridiculous. Beyond the T&C issues, it's good for the company for our pros to be playing on their poker names, and more importantly, it's the right thing to do. There's just no logical reason why I would want Brian, or any CR pro, to be anonymous or to be breaking site rules. I found out about Brian's MA'ing sometime during the WSOP of 2008, which I believe was a few months after the multi-accounting started. I was very adamant that Brian should play on his normal account. I believe it was in late June or early July that allegations started to be posted at 2p2, and eventually, everything came out in August when Brian admitted to the MA'ing.

"Taylor played on other CR people's accounts. One time, I watched Taylor play on Ezra's account."

In June of 2008, I was living in a house with ~6 CR employees (we put them up in a house for the WSOP). Ezra was playing on Cake Poker and a bunch of us were sitting around playing poker, drinking beers, hanging out, etc. For a period of a couple of minutes (I'm guessing 5-10 hands), I played on his account. Ezra was tilty and we were all sort of laughing at how bad he was running, so I offered to step in and play a few hands while he was freaking out. After a couple of minutes, he got back on and played.

"At a party, I complained to Taylor about multi-accounting and how all the regulars were using different accounts. He told me I should just multi-account as well."

This conversation took place at a CR party in July of 2007. I remember this because I had a falling out with this person and this is around the last time we've ever had a friendly conversation. At that time, online poker multi-accounting was very common and many of the high stakes players did it. The sites didn't enforce these rules as well. I don't remember the details or context of the conversation, and I regret ever suggesting someone should multi-account.

TFPT accusations

There was also a post and some questions to follow from people about our TFPT promotion at FTP. I want to make it clear that the ex-employee that posted does not have detailed knowledge of our relationship with FTP and the inner-workings of the TFPT promotion. It would simply be insane for us to defraud FTP, as was suggested in his post. We have a great relationship with them, and they have been very supportive of our business as we have of theirs. When I returned home last night, I had received an email from the poster explaining his frustrations to me and apologizing for his contribution to the drama that has evolved. I spoke to him at length on the phone yesterday about the issues and motivations behind the post. He admitted to me that he didn't have first hand knowledge of our agreement with FTP, and part of the motivation for his post was his frustrations with the end of his relationship with CardRunners. The details of our specific arrangement with FTP will remain private.

Stoxtrader situation:

Finally, regarding the Stoxtrader situation, I'd like to clear up a few things. First, there have been some posts stating that we have long been aware of this multi-accounting and collusion claims and are trying to cover them up. This is just not true. In his blog and on the forums, Nick always said that his accounts were private. In retrospect, I should have pressed the issue. It's one thing to have private accounts on sites you don't make videos on, but it's not acceptable to have multiple accounts when it is against the T&C's.

I had no knowledge that Nick was using the 40putts account until sometime in mid January. Nick felt it was important to tell me about a personal situation that required him to share that he had been playing on that account. Nick agreed that when he resolved his personal situation and took some time away from playing, he would make a post explaining that he was now playing publicly on the stoxtrader account. During our conversation, I asked Nick about the fact that 40putts had been accused of collusion in the past. Nick assured me, and continues to assure me, that these accusations are false and that there was no collusion with this or any of his accounts. Based on all my interactions with Nick in the past I have no reason to believe this is not true. He also reminded me that Stars had investigated his account and found no wrongdoing.

Recently, an anonymous poster made a post to 2p2 outing Nick for his stoxtrader, 40putts, and some new screen names that he recently created, as well as collusion suspicions (and maybe other things, I don't have access to that post). I was unaware that Nick had created these new accounts or was even still playing poker at this time. At the end of last week, amidst collusion accusations, Nick admitted to playing on secret accounts. Since then, I have been in touch with FTP to give them the information of the accounts in question and to provide the background on the situation that I have detailed here.

Regardless of what happens with the collusion accusations, my company needs to set a precedent that it is not okay to violate the T&C's as representative of Stoxpoker or CardRunners. In the past, we have been more lenient on people for MA'ing situations, but we will adhere to a strict policy going forward. It was mutually agreed upon that Nick would be disassociated from CardRunners/Stoxpoker, both from a pro, financial, and management standpoint. I expect this transition to take at least a few weeks to be complete, and the decision is final.

RNGs and Casinos Setting Slot Machines to Cheat You? Anything to it?

There has been talk about casinos altering slot machines outcome through what is called secondary decisions. In other words, some people seem worried that a slot machine program can be set to accept or reject any combination of results from the random number generator (RNG), which would dictate to the slot machine to stop and pay or reject and continue to the next number in the RNG sequential alignment. Does this control the payout rates?

I would have to emphatically say "no" here. First of all, these so-called secondary decisions were banned in Nevada just after computerized slot machines appeared in casinos. New Jersey, Connecticut and Mississippi have also followed suit. So slot machines cannot refuse an outcome and go on to another RNG number. At least not legally.

Casino regulators take secondary decision bans very seriously. Back in 90s, a greedy slot machine route operator decided to test the waters with his slot machine cheat scams by avoiding paying out on the royal flushes hit on his machines. He installed a sub-program into his video poker machines. The result was that each time a royal was hit, a secondary decision was triggered to switch a card. He ended up getting convicted of felony cheating at gambling and served time in prison.

The reason Nevada gaming officials first banned secondary decisions was because the early Universal computerized slot machines selected an outcome from a pool of all possible winning outcomes, along with a weighted number of losers. When a winner came out, that result was displayed on the reels. When a loser came out, a secondary decision was made to show a losing combination on the reels.

However, at the time, this was not considered slot cheating because nothing in the program was actually cheating slot players or changing odds. Winning combinations were not replaced by losers. But the practice led people to question the true randomness of slot machines, which ultimately led to the secondary decision ban.

Remember that brick and mortar casinos know that the simple odds of legitimate slot machines will always keep them operating in the black. That said, there is absolutely no reason for them to revert to secondary decisions that are now strictly illegal and could result in large fines and loss of gambling licenses. So...don't worry about casinos rigging their slot machines against you.

What about online slots? There, I can't really help you. Although we haven't heard of any major online slot machine scams, they could indeed be going on. But I doubt the level of online slot machine cheating will ever come close to the cheating level we see in online poker.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

High Stakes Poker Pro and Founder Nick Grudzien Cops to Online Cheating!

Nick Grudzien admitted he cheated online poker by playing multiple accounts but still denies colluding with other online poker cheats (Sure).

Grudzien played online using at least four different screen names: “gr3atvlewbr0”, “Knockstiff”, “bulltf0rdtuff”, and “40putts”. He admitted specifically to violating the terms of service of Full Tilt and PokerStars by playing on multiple accounts. He then resigned from Stoxpoker and announced he'll be taking “an indefinite break from playing any poker at all.” Sounds like Tiger Woods! But I hope he comes back before the Masters!...I mean Grudzien, not Woods...LOL!

On his training site, Grudzien calls himself “one of the world’s best online professionals and accomplished author,” and says he´s won over $1 million in $500-$1000 limit games and $25-$50 no limit games. But he has often been accused of being a rat-holer at no limit, which is a player constantly playing with a short stack player who leaves the table each time he doubles up. Some think that Grudzien played on multiple accounts to conceal this method of playing.

But the collusion accusations against Grudzien are far more serious. Evidence that the account “40putts” and another player account “Kinetica” have been colluding is very strong according to online poker forums. So in effect, Grudzien could be guilty of multi-accounting and collusion play at the same time. The strongest evidence is that these two accounts have played more hands against each other than anyone else and that "40putts'" going to showdown percentage against Kinetica is far lower than against all other players, and that his cold-call to 3-bet ratio is at least thirty times higher against Kinetica than against all the others.

This is very strong evidence for me.

Grudzien claims he played on these accounts for only one month, saying that, “Since I have admitted to breaking the TOS of Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, I don’t plan on playing any poker until I receive communication from the poker sites that it is ok to do so.” Addressing the collusion accusations, he said, “At no point have I ever colluded. This is a categorical denial without exceptions.” Although he offered both sites to do a thorough investigation, he refused to post his hand histories and to allow his hands to be independently analyzed.

A short time later, Grudzien wrote that, “It is with a heavy heart that I must announce my resignation as a Stoxpoker coach today. I apologize for breaking site rules by having multiple accounts. I cannot say why I made that decision, but it is something that is ongoing and I cannot make public.” He explained that his unusually high number of hands with Kinetica was not collusion but rather the fact that they had discussed poker strategy and “practice similar table selection strategies.”

Accoring to his agreement with, Grudzien was required to sell all his shares in the company upon his resignation. In his response, he said he resigned to protect the site from negative publicity and hopes to continue to contribute to it as a member, but not a representative.

My take: This guy is a MAJOR online poker cheat.

Latest Claim to Casino Riches Using Roulette Computers...Perfected Pen Transmitters...Any Good?

It seems that the least effective method for cheating casinos still generates the most interest from those wanna-be casino cheats. Of course I am talking about roulette computers. Ever since the UK Ritz roulette computer scam went down in 2004, people have been e-mailing me steadily with queries about how they can get into operation with a roulette computer and get rich quick.

The truth is that the Ritz roulette scammers made a nice score, more than US $3 million, and that several other teams made scores, mostly in the UK as well. But casinos have picked up on this the last five or six years, rendering roulette computers virtually useless in brick and mortar casinos.

Now Mark Anthony Howe, who is either the number-one or number-two scammer in the industry, depending whether you believe him or the other number-one or number-two scammer in the industry, Stefano Hourmouzis, is claiming that he has perfected a roulette computer pen transmitter that will put millions in your pocket cheating casinos.

Claiming that you can covertly click the pen transmitter by moving a switch 0.3mm without the risk of being picked up by casino scanners, and that your computer doesn't even have to be in the building while you are, Howe claimes that his is the only way of taking safe reliable readings of spinning roulette balls. Plus he says that the camouflage is so great that you can hide the pen in your cigarette pack or even bare it in front of the surveillance cameras as casinos do not panic seeing pens on the table. In fact, Howe points out, casinos gladly supply you pens so that you can keep track of results and chart your foolish betting systems.

What do I think? Well Mark is certainly right about the casinos giving you pens and not panicking at the sight of them on the roulette layout...But I think that Mark Howe and Stefano Hourmouzis could do everyone a big favor...that is play a game of RUSSIAN roulette with each other and have NO empty chambers in their revolvers.

That's one roulette spin I'm really looking forward to!!!