Friday, July 23, 2010

Poker Bot Cheat Scandal at PokerStars Widens!

Lots of wisened online poker players talking about cheating have said that poker pots are not really an effective way to make money playing poker online. I have always disagreed. And now some of these poker cheat wiseguys agree with me, saying that the poker-bot cheat scam at PokerStars has already netted more than $60,000 in cheat profits.

A group of players on PokerStars have observed and reported striking similarities between ten online poker player accounts. Things noted as similar are players concurrently changing stakes back and forth in the online poker sites' micro-stakes tables as well as logging on and off and back on at the same time, all the while making the same bets and plays.

The player ‘Malloc” on the TwoPlusTwo poker forum and the PokerTableRatiings site examined in depth the consistencies of the ten ‘players’ and reported these accounts to PokerStars:

7emenov bakabar, craizer, mvra, nakseon, kozzin, demidou, koldan, Daergy
and feidmanis

PokerStars looked into these accounts and confirmed that their play seemed like bot play. More convincing is that none of these accounts lost over a period of time. PokerStars is investigating to find more accounts related to this poker bot cheating-ring and they may decide to redistribute some of the funds in each of the suspected bot-accounts to real players who played against the bots.

My Take: I think this poker-bot cheating scandal will widen even more! Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pennsylvania Casino Hit With Counterfeit $100 Chips!

Like what happens in all new casino areas, Pennsylvania is getting rocked by casino cheats. However, I am surprised that one of the state's casinos got hit with a counterfeit-chips scam so quickly, although it doesn't seem to be a major one. In any case, an unidentified man in his 50s or 60s managed to pass 19 fake $100 chips that he apparently manufactured himself in the most crude of ways. It happened at te Mount Airy casino in Paradise Township during its first weeked of operation.

The man simply altered lower denomination chips and made them look like $100 chips. I don't know which chips he altered or what color they were, but it seems unbelievable to me that he was able to pass them off on table games. He did not, however, succeed in cashing them out at the cage, so I assume he cashed out several hundred dollars' worth of legitimate chips he obtained at the tables by buying in with the counterfeit chips.

He did try to cash in five of the fake $100 chips and was ripe to be busted, but the inexperience of the surveillance and security staffs let him get away as he was approached by casino personnel.

My take: Well, maybe Pennsylvania ought to consider RFID technology for its chips...or mabye better train its casino personnel.

Annie Duke Testifies on Online Poker Cheating at House Internet Gambling Hearing

And she got into it with one of the nation's biggest anti-online-gaming regulation reps, Spencer Bachus of Alabama. Bachus does not want online gaming legalized or regulated in the US, not even online poker. He doesn't want to hear any of that rap that poker is a game of skill and therefore not a gambling game.

When it came to online poker cheating, Bachus immediately brought up Duke’s affiliation with Ultimate Bet in an almost accusatory way, using the soiled site’s cheating scandal as a reason why online gambling, including online poker, is bad for the public in every way and must never be permitted in the United States. Duke, however, stood up to Bachus's challenge and even reversed the tables by saying that since there was no regulation of online poker to oversee UltimateBet and every other online gambling site, the huge poker cheating scam was able to proliferate to the degree that it did. Had there been regulation, Duke pointed out, the cheat scam would have been harder to pull off...and its aftermath could have been managed and controlled much better.

Hooray for Annie Duke!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Easy is it for Dealers to Pull off False Shuffle Casino Cheat Scams?

Anyone who follows the news of brick and mortar casino cheating surely knows of the proliferation of false shuffle scams that have been victimizing casino baccarat and blackjack tables the past several years. Heck, I knew about false-shuffle scams thirty years ago when I performed one as a mini-baccarat dealer at the Four Queens casino in downtown Las Vegas. But most of these scams have been going down on baccarat tables in Macau, even though the most notorious false shuffle cheating scam happened in the United States and Canada, engulfing dozens of casinos whose dealers were recruited by the Vietnamese card-cheating syndicate known as the Tran Organization. To read about the mechanics of a false shuffle scam click here. easy is it for casino dealers to perform a false-shuffle? It is very easy, which is one of the primary reasons why casino cheat groups look to recruit these dealers for the scams. In fact, an average dealer can learn to false shuffle a deck in a single day. Then with a week or two of practice he can be made ready to perform the task on his table in the casino. Of course it takes more to do it than the physical skills. A dealer has to want to cheat his casino (risking his job and prosecution)and have the balls to do it.

Can Surveillance pick up on a dealer false-shuffling?

Usually they can while reviewing the tapes. But they need corroborating evidence to make a case against a dealer and his or her cheating partners at the table. There has to be a conspiracy charge to prove that the dealer was false-shuffling with the aim that players at the table would win by having advance knowledge of how the false-shuffled cards would come out of the shoe.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Poker Bot Cheating Ring Uncovered at PokerStars!

More online poker cheating at PokerStars!

The world's biggest online poker site that was home to a recent online poker collusion-cheating ring has now opened its doors to a poker bot cheating-ring.

According to this article by Poker News Daily, it started last Tuesday on the popular Two Plus Two poker forum, when a player who goes by the name “malloc” posted his suspicions about three players. In addition to similarities in their play, he also noted that they played at the same stakes, moved down after almost the same number of hands in a short time span, then did it again. Reaction on Two Plus Two was lukewarm at first, with some players looking for other explanations for the similarities in play and some immediately assuming they were bots.

The statistics on the alleged bots were found at the site (PTR), which aggregates results of millions of online players and provides tools that allow customers to see how their opponents’ play. PTR is the same site that revealed the security hole on the Cereus Network back in May. On July 16th, Two Plus Two user “Gugel” posted more information he dug up on PTR that seemed to show an undeniable correlation amongst the three accounts in question.

But later that day, it all became all but official. PTR itself published a report, showing “overwhelming evidence” that ten accounts are PokerStars were, in fact, bots, or accounts run by a computer program. Using malloc’s post as a starting point, PTR analyzed its data and found that 10 different accounts had extremely similar stats, changed stakes at the same time or very close to the same time, and had the same distinctive and obvious betting patterns.

Starting with the gameplay statistics, PTR produced a chart that listed 28 different stats for each player, including VP$IP (voluntarily put money in the pot), pre-flop raise, and 3-bet percentages from the different positions on the table and overall, as well as “saw flop” percentage and flop aggression figures. You can go to PTR’s site to see the chart for yourself, but as PTR put it, “These stats are much too similar to be explained by mere chance.”

PTR went further, calculating the Euclidian distance for every player in the $0.25/$0.50 No-Limit Hold’em games who played at least 100,000 hands this year, using six specific stats as a comparison. The smaller the Euclidian distance, the more similar the play style between two players. Using one of the suspected bots as a baseline, the greatest distance between any of the bots was 2.39, whereas the smallest distance between any other player and the baseline bot was 32.94. According to PTR, this shows that the ten suspects are “virtually identical.”

PTR also confirmed malloc’s observation that the suspects shared the same pattern in changing stakes. They started at $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em, moved down to $0.50/$1 on or around the same time, then moved down to $0.25/$0.50 together. Suspicious in and of itself, it also struck many on Two Plus Two as odd because if the players were winning (which they were), whey would they keep moving down in stakes?

Finally, PTR identified an obvious betting pattern in the ten accounts. In PTR’s words, “When they’re in the big blind in an un-raised pot (limpers only) and it’s checked to them on the flop, they will either shove all-in or bluff by making a non all-in bet. If the bot’s bet is called or raised, the bot will always fold to any further aggression.”

The accounts that PTR concluded were bots on PokerStars are 7emenov, bakabar, crazier, mvra, nakseon, kozzin, demidou, koldan, Daergy, and feidmanis.

Many people on Two Plus Two were upset that it looked like PokerStars did not find these bots before PTR did and that the bots were still playing on Stars after PTR released its report. On July 17th, the day after the PTR report, a PokerStars rep explained on Two Plus Two that it had been running its own investigation on the suspected accounts and that it came to the same conclusion that PTR did. It did not shut down the accounts until the afternoon of the 17th, however, because it was still hunting for more related accounts and did not want to “spook” them by banning the confirmed bots before the investigation was complete. By the 17th, though, PokerStars felt that there were no other bots related to the ten that had already been uncovered, so the cheaters were purged from the site.

Pennsylvania Bags First Casino Table Games Cheat!

If someone had asked me what I thought the first casino-cheating arrest in Pennsylvania would be for, I would have said bet-capping at a blackjack table, as that is the most common casino-cheat attempt made by amateur or weak professional casino cheats.

Sure enough, the state, which opened table games in its casinos or racinos (racetrack casinos) or whatever they're called, caught Claudie Kenion III, 41, of Harrisburg, PA and charged him with manipulating a game after he increased (capped) his blackjack bets to win more money on his hands that stood an excellent chance of winning, such as a hard twenty against a seven or eight dealer up-card. According to investigators, Kenion III (fancy suffix for a lowly casino-cheat, huh?), palmed the extra chips and managed to drop them without being seen on probable winning bets some 13 times, after which he finally got caught. Well, I guess 13 isn´t Mr. Kenion III's lucky number.

By the way, I don't know about you, but I think this is the first time I wrote a possessive apostrophe on "III" in my life!!! LOL

Oh!...and from what I hear, the law against casino cheating isn't very punitive in Pennsylvania. Kenion and other future arrested casino and poker cheats are likely to face only fines and not prison time. This doesn't mean I'm encouraging poker cheats and casino cheats to hit Penn State's casinos...but at least if you do, you probably won't end up in Penn State...pardon the pun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered What the Odds Are of Surveillance Catching Casino and Poker Cheats Without Being First Alerted by Personnel on the Floor?

With all their state of the art surveillance technology and its 24/7 coverage of every square inch of casino space, have you ever wondered what the chances are that a casino surveillance department would catch you cheating redhanded? I mean actually see you cheating? Well, the answer depends on how much exposure your cheating moves take. If you're the type of cheater that I was where your moves are split-second boom-boom, they would NEVER catch you. In 25 years as a professional casino cheat, no surveillance operator anywhere in the world ever caught me in the act. They only saw some of my moves after replaying video footage after I was long gone. But, however, if you run an elongated cheating operation such as hole carding or card marking where you're at the table cheating repetitively over a period of time, their chances of catching you in the act increase dramatically. Hard to pin a percentage on it, but I'd say this: the shorter the duration of your actual cheating moves, the less chance you have of getting caught!