Sunday, December 01, 2013

How Exactly Did Poker Pro Phil Ivey Use Edge-Sorting Card Scam to Cheat Crockfords Casino out of $12 Million?

The best article with graphic descriptions I have seen on Phil Ivy's baccarat cheat scam is here. Ivy claims it is not cheating, but indeed it is because by asking the dealers to alter their mechanics while dealing the game is outright influencing the outcome of the game to his favor, which is one of the definitions of casino cheating. Once the dealers complied with Ivy's requests, they were inadvertently helping him to cheat.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mohegan Sun Baccarat Deakers and Players Acquited in Baccarat Marking-Cards Cheat Scam

Well, this is quite surprising since the two dealers busted in this baccarat-dealer/baccarat player collusion scandal had admitted to marking the cards. I don't know the details of the trail, so if anyone has them, please do let me konw. The original news article on the case follows: Two New York City men accused of cheating a Connecticut casino out of more than $150,000 in a scam involving crooked dealers and marked cards pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Leonard Hu and Hung Leung, both of Queens, denied felony casino cheating and larceny charges in New London Superior Court. They remain free after posting bail. State police said two dealers, Jian Ng and Bong Louie, both of Norwich, marked the 7, 8 and 9 cards at mini-baccarat tables at the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut by bending them with their thumbs and helped Hu and Leung win tens of thousands of dollars. Mini-baccarat generally is played with the same rules as regular baccarat but with lower betting limits. It involves betting on whether players' hands of cards will beat the dealer's hand. On Feb. 11 and in the early morning hours of Feb. 12, after Louie had marked the cards and left the table when his shift ended, Hu pocketed $101,600 and Leung walked away with $52,000, a state police arrest warrant affidavit says. The two dealers also were charged with casino cheating and larceny and were released on bail. Their lawyers didn't return phone messages Tuesday. State police said Ng admitted marking the cards eight times since last fall but told troopers he didn't know if any other dealers were doing the same thing. A Mohegan Sun spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday. The affidavit said Hu and Ng met at the nearby Foxwoods Resort Casino last fall and Hu asked Ng to mark the mini-baccarat cards in return for $1,000 a night. A week after winning the $153,600, Hu and Leung returned to the Mohegan Sun and won more than $30,000 at a mini-baccarat table where Ng had marked the cards, state police said. Hu took in more than $25,000, and Leung won $6,100. Casino patron win-loss records obtained from the Mohegan Sun by state police showed that Hu won nearly $235,000 at mini-baccarat from October to December of last year after state police said he met with Ng. He won another $119,000 last January, troopers said. From January to September 2010, Hu had $129,000 in losses and $37,750 in wins at the casino. Leung lost $100 at Mohegan Sun in July 2010 but went on to win $9,870 in November, $51,400 in December and $34,600 in January, state police said. No one answered phone listings for Hu and Leung on Tuesday. Their cases were continued to Aug. 2.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Pai Gow Tile Swapping...That's a First!

Well, I`ve written about card-swapping in poker games, derivative poker carnival games and baccarat. I've written about chip-swappng and swithing at blackjack, but now this new casino-cheating-switching-swapping incident is a new one: How about switching and swapping tiles in a Pai Gow game?

I know it's a tongue-twister just to say it, but these two guys actually did it...and got caught...twice! 39-year-old Tan Guo Yu of Boston, Mass, and 32-year-old Chaoyu Wu of Brooklyn, New York, worked a distract-the-dealer scam with one of them distracting the dealer while the other switched around pai gow tiles to make winning hands. They got caught at Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, and it turns out they'd been previously arrested for the same scam at Foxwoods' neighboring casino, the Mohegan sun. That was back in June.

I don't have info as to how much cash they swindled, but it appears to me that the Yu-Wu casino cheating team wasn't very effective and that soon, the only thing they'll be switching and swapping is a pair of prison cells!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How 'bout a Casino-Cheating Reality TV Show?

WEll, maybe it's not too far off in the future. If you have seen the UK TV reality show "Real Hustle," you may have seen a few of its episodes dedicated to casino scams, although they were not very good since the shows stars really have never been serious casino cheats. I think a reality show based on casino and poker cheating would be lots of fun. Maybe something like a professional casino-cheat team going through all the stages of planning their moves, carrying them out in casinos and getting the cash. And the best and most exciting part would be to see if they get away with it or get caught!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"We're Not in Las Vegas, Lucky For You,"....

...Common Pleas Judge Daniel T. Hogan told Mohamed Waes after Waes copped a guilty plea to one count of pastposting chips on a Hollywood Casino mini-baccarat table. All told, Waes had been charged with several felonies for his pastposts that totalled a mere $400, and the judge sentenced him to nine days in the county jail with a year of probation. Well, what I like about this case is the judge's remark about not being in Vegas. Even though it struck me as funny, the words are pretty damn right-on! Had Waes tried his pastposting/cheating luck in Vegas and got caught, he probably would've been sentecned to a year behind bars for his trouble. So, am I saying it's better to cheat in Ohio than in Las Vegas? Well, yes, if you're main objective is to avoid prison. But if you want to make any money, serious money that is, you're gonna have to go to Vegas or some other higher-stakes area and risk the consequences if you get caught!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Legendary $40 Million-Winner Gambler Busted at San Deigo Barona Casino in Small-Time Card-Marking Cheat Scam.

ARCHIE KARAS BUSTED FOR MARKING CARDS IN CALIFORNIA! His luck may have finally run out. World-renowned professional poker player Archie Karas, has been arrested on charges of cheating and defrauding a casino after authorities say he was caught marking cards at a California blackjack table. Karas, 62, best known for reputedly building a beginning stake of $50 into a $40 million fortune during a record three-year winning streak, was taken into custody on Tuesday at his Las Vegas home, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office said on Friday. He will be extradited to San Diego to face a criminal complaint filed last week charging him with burglary, winning by fraudulent means and cheating, the prosecutor's office said. If convicted, Karas, whose real name is Anargyros Karabourniotis, faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison. ‘This defendant's luck ran out thanks to extraordinary cooperation between several different law enforcement agencies who worked together to investigate and prosecute this case,’ said county District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. According to prosecutors, Karas was spotted by surveillance cameras marking cards - using tiny smudges of dye secretly wiped onto the backs of jacks, queens, kings and aces - while playing blackjack in July at the Indian-owned Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside, California. The marks gave Karas an unfair advantage by helping him identify the value of cards before they were dealt as he chose whether to take another card, or hold, in an effort to reach the winning value of 21 without going over, prosecutors said. The scheme worked so well that he managed to cheat the casino out of more than $8,000 before he was caught, district attorney's office spokesman Steve Walker said. California Justice Department spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said Karas was doing the marking with dye inserted into a hollowed-out gambling chip that he would inconspicuously swipe over the cards while playing through a deck. A search warrant executed on Karas's home turned up hollowed-out chips from other casinos, but so far no other gambling establishments have lodged complaints against him, Gregory said. But authorities said Karas has been accused of cheating before. ‘The Nevada Gaming Control Board has investigated Karas on multiple occasions resulting in four arrests,’ said Karl Bennison, that agency's enforcement chief, said in a statement. ‘Karas has been a threat to the gaming industry in many jurisdictions.’ Karas set the record for the largest and longest documented winning streak in gambling history from 1992 to 1995, arriving in Las Vegas with $50 in his pocket and going on to amass $40 million from high-stakes poker. He subsequently lost most of those winnings at baccarat and dice games in three weeks, according to Tom Sexton, who publishes the online gambling magazine Poker News. Karas returned to the poker table many times, often with backers, and cleaned out many of the best players in the world, according to Sexton. He is considered by many to have been the greatest gambler of all time and often has been compared with Nick ‘the Greek’ Dandolos, another high-stakes gambler and high roller who died in 1966. San Diego County has 19 federally recognized Indian tribes and 10 Indian casinos, more than any other county in the United States. Industry experts estimate that casinos nationwide lose tens of millions of dollars a year in various cheating scams. MY TAKE: Well, it is hard to believe that a guy who supposedly won $40 million gambling was reduced to a small-time $8,000 casino cheat scam...well, maybe it isn't. I guess that's what gambling can do to someone. In any case, what happened to good 'ol Archie would be commiserate to me getting busted for pastposting a $5 chip!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

So Are Casinos Harder to Cheat These Days? Read This and....

...then ask me! Article: Casinos Tap Intelligence Networks to Catch Cheaters The man at the poker table had a ball cap pulled down almost to his nose, but his glance up at a television screen revealed a familiar face to Mohegan Sun's surveillance cameras: A photograph of the known card cheater had been sent by bulletin to casinos around the country. Within hours, the bettor was arrested, accused of marking cards with invisible ink. "The officer who identified him, basically she had a `Holy crap!' moment," said Jay Lindroos, the casino's surveillance director. "She saw the face and said, `I recognize that guy!'" Casinos from the U.S. to Australia use their own intelligence network to warn one another about cheaters. As table games spread across the Northeast, resorts are using it more than ever to stay ahead of suspect players - professional thieves and card counters - who can easily hit multiple casinos in the span of a few days. Mohegan Sun, one of the world's largest casinos, began sharing intelligence a decade ago with its giant, next-door rival in southeastern Connecticut, the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Although it was once less common for casinos to talk with competitors, the online network has evolved through mutual self-interest. "If something happens at Foxwoods at 1 o'clock, we'll be aware of it no later than 2, 2:30," said Joseph Lavin, director of public safety for the Mohegan Tribe, which owns and operates the casino. "It won't take more than a day or so before that information goes to Atlantic City, goes to Pennsylvania, goes out to upstate New York." The element of luck makes it impossible to know exactly how much revenue is lost to cheaters, but 100 percent casino surveillance coverage is a security standard for a U.S. industry that generates tens of billions of dollars annually. Workers at Mohegan Sun monitor feeds from roughly 4,000 cameras, scrutinizing the dealers as closely as they do the players. On a given day, they could be on the lookout for as many as hundreds of faces, some pointed out by other casinos, others by law enforcement agencies seeking criminals who might be trying to launder money. If a camera picks up somebody who's been flagged for possible cheating, security officials said they'll watch the person play before taking any action. The man arrested Sept. 15, Bruce Koloshi, 54, was the subject of a security bulletin issued two weeks earlier by officials in Louisiana. He had cheating convictions in Iowa and Nevada and was facing charges in Louisiana that he marked cards last month at the L'Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge. After the surveillance officer spotted him, Koloshi was seen moving his hands away from the Mississippi Stud poker table, allegedly for the marking substance, and cameras detected the ink that wasn't visible to the naked eye. Koloshi wore special contact lenses to see the ink, authorities said. He was arrested and charged with cheating, conspiracy to commit larceny and being a fugitive from justice. His bond was set at $300,000. When he was questioned in Louisiana, he surrendered $3,300 in winnings though authorities did not have enough evidence to charge him at the time, according to Capt. Doug Cain, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police. Mohegan Sun officials said Koloshi was arrested at their casino before winning a significant amount. A person who answered the phone at Koloshi's home in Summit, N.J., declined to speak with a reporter. His defense attorney was not available for comment. The warning about Koloshi was relayed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in Delaware, where table games were introduced in 2010. The division's director, Daniel Kelly, said information sharing has increased as Northeastern states have legalized more types of gambling. It also has become more important, he said, because cheaters have so many potential targets in a small geographic area. "Within an hour, they can be in three or four different states," Kelly said. High-level casino cheats are considered rare, but Mohegan Sun officials say they frequently see card counters and other "advantage players," people who are not breaking the law but have skills that bend the odds in their favor. Lavin said card-counting techniques were glamorized by the story of a group of MIT students who scored big wins at casinos, including his, in the 1990s. One tell-tale sign for surveillance workers is gamblers placing higher bets than might be expected with the hands they're dealt. When card counters are discovered, Lindroos says, the casino will restrict their play by keeping them to betting the minimum or suggest they try a different game. "The professionals, as soon as they see somebody walking over toward them, they'll say, `OK, I'm out of here,'" Lindroos said. Well, now that you read it, my answer is NO. Don't forget: you only read about the cheats who get caught!

Monday, September 02, 2013

The gaff?
Say it went something like this:

A Crown Casino VIP Host explained to upper management that a high roller client has some superstitions about the shuffle process because the cards were shuffled in a different room ahead of time. The player requested that someone they trust (the VIP Host) be allowed access into the shuffle room to verify that everything is on the up and up. Not wanting to deny this big money player his sense of security, rules were bent to accommodate the request.

This allowed the VIP Host to either record video from inside the shuffle room or somehow obtain recordings from the surveillance system. The specific shuffle machine referred to was the Shufflemaster Deck Checker pictured at left.

If you look at it, you can see the Ace of clubs right on top of the pile. I’m not familiar with the specifics of the machine, but I believe that once a set of cards is verified to all be present (up to 8 decks) a serial number is assigned to that shuffled set of cards. That number and the order of the cards were then passed on to the player and he would play in the high limit room.

All he’d have to do then is wait for that set of cards to show up or, if the casino wanted to be really generous, he could fall back on the superstitious act established earlier and say he’d like to pick the set of cards that felt lucky.

Apparently, the high limit room might have some of these pre-shuffled sets of cards locked in boxes just waiting to be used. A very knowledgeable surveillance expert pointed out to me that these shuffle rooms are ridiculous and should not be used by casinos. All of these pre-shuffles should be done inside the gaming pits where the games are being dealt and played.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Still Another Possible Explanation for Crown Casino Scam!

Now I am not obsessed with it! But this one I just heard might be it! It is certainly plausible. A high casino surveillance source told me he had heard that the Crown Casino video that was viewed by an “unauthorized” person was video from the pre-shuffle room. Supposedly the Crown used a pre-shuffle room and a deck counter that verifies all of the cards are present in a shoe of up to 8 decks. It does its thing and spits the cards out one by one and face up. If you record that video and make a note of the serial number for that shoe, you would then have all the information you need to make over $30 million. Well, this is by far the best explanation I have yet heard!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Listen to My Usenix 2013 Presentation!

As I posted a few weeks ago, I was an invited speaker at the 2013 Usenix Security Symposium in Washington D.C. My talk, which dealt with many facets of high-tech and low-tech casino cheating, seemed to go over quite well with the attendees, mostly very high-level computer and Internet systems security people. Listen to it here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Could Angel-Eye Surveillance Technology Explain What Happened in $33 Million Crown Casino Scam?

In my previous post about this huge casino scam that took place in Australia's Crown Casino, I wrote about my doubts about the whole thing. I presented the question: How can cheats intercepting video transmissions in the present use that info to gain an advantage. I stressed that what you need for a cheating-edge is information about the order of cards yet undealt, with enough time for the cheaters to process that information and turn it into winning bets. Well, one writer to me suggested that with Angel Eye technology in use in casinos, this could actually happen. Angel Eye is a tiny video scanner that casinos actually embed inside card shoes to film the cards as they come out of the shoe. So in theory, if the cheats can get this info before they have to bet, they can win with this future knowledge. But I still have problems with this explanation for the scam. Firstly, all bets have to be made on the baccarat table BEFORE the cards are dealt, which would mean the cheats would need to know the value of three cards underneath the first to be dealt before it is dealt. Knowledge of the top card alone would help but would not be sufficient to beat a casino out of $33 Million. Second, can the Angel Eye scanner film 4 cards one-on-top-of-the-other simultaneously? Truly, I don't know, but I don't think so. Thirdly, if any of this is possible, wouldn't the dealers have to be involved? Any mabye supervisors as well? I think the deal of the game would have to be vastly altered to make any of this even conceivalbe. And lastly, if this supposedly happened in blackjack (it was never release on which game this scam supposedly took place), the cheats would need information deeper down in the card shoe to make it work, with the exception of knowing that one of the first few cards off the shoe is an ace. All in all, I am still quite skeptical about this whole thing.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Really Went on at the Crown Casino in Australia?

Everyone has heard about it by now. A few months back, someone supposedly hacked into the casino's video surveillance cameras and used them to obtain information to cheat the Crown Casino out of $33 million. Well, this all sounds great and might be reminiscent of certain exciting action films like the "Ocean" series, but there is definitely something wrong here. I mean, stop and think about this. Okay, let's say that someone really did hack into the surveillance cameras. Now what? What do you see by hacking surveillance cameras? As far as I know, only things that are happening in the present or in the past. Current hands or hands already dealt. Nothing...ABSOLUTELY nothing concerning future hands and future outcomes. So what's the purpose of hacking into surveillance cameras in a casino? Where's the scam? So, maybe the Crown Casino has laid down a massive bullshit story. Maybe they don't want anyone to know what really happened and how the $33 million disappeared from the casino's coffers. Could this be a big coverup from a massive employee theft? It's surely a possibility. One thing I do know is that hacking surveillance cameras serves absolutely no purpose to cheaters. Why? Because what they would see has nothing to do with FUTURE outcomes. What's the difference between seeing the hands played out live or seeing them played out on video tape? There is none.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Invited Talk at the 2013 Usenix Security Symposium--A Great Experience!

I spoke at the 2013 USENIX security symposiun on August 16 in Washington D.C. What is USENIX? As I found out, it is probably the most important Advanced Computing Systems Association in the world. It sponsors several conferences and workshops each year, most notably the USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), the USENIX Annual Technical Conference, the USENIX Security Symposium, the USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST), and with SAGE, the Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA). So what does USENIX have to do with me? Well, really nothing, but surprisingly I received an invitation to speak at this year's USENIX security symposium. And what an experience it was! Going in, I thought the association was a minor one and that whatever attendees listened to my talk would be thoroughly uninterested. In fact, I didn't think anybody would show up at my presentation while another one more germain to comoputer and systems security was taking place. I was wrong on all fronts. The first thing that threw me for a loop was the sheer upper echelon quality of both the speakers and the attendees. I mean we are not talking about a roomfull of common computer geeks. We are talking about some serious intelligent and insightful people. The first session I stumbled upon was a talk given by a senior program manager for Windows Core Security Microsoft. The next was given by a former chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission. Then there were several high-ups from Google, Google Chrome, Bloomberg, and--now get this--the current senior director for cybersecurity at the White House! So what the hell was Richard Marcus, a little ex-casino cheat doing there? True, I have spoken at several major casino industry conferences in three different languages and in front of a thousand people, but this, for the first time in my post-cheating life, was not in my bailiwick, and after watching these guys speak with their razor-sharp PowerPoint presentations, I realized that I was gonna be in for a rough one trying to interest these same guys in my presentation, which was a combination of video demonstrations and verbal imput covering some high and low-tech clashing between casinos and casino cheats. I really was a bit nervous. To quell my nervousness, I began with a few jokes about how out of place I was, I even said, "you know, I think I got off the bus at the wrong Washington. I was supposed to get off in Washington State, not Washington D.C. Guess what, these guys do have a sense of humor! They went for it! And I followed up with a few more jokes and then eased into the NBC Today Show video of me demonstrating my world class Savannah cheat-move to the show's then-host Meredith Vieira. I explained the move in detail, and they seemed to love the David vs Goliath aspect of it all. I hadn't expected this high brain-powered grouop to be taken in by such a KISS (keep it simple stupid) casino cheat move, but they were. Next I showed a sexy 6-minute video of RFID technology in casino chips to prevent pastposting and other forms of cheating, and then I demonstrated how I bypassed that. They liked that too. I spoke about the huge online poker scams at UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, and I spoke about some of the supposed hacking that went on in the Crown Casino in Australia to the tune of more than $30 million, which, by the way, I don't believe happened the way the Crown is saying it happened. So by now all these cyber and cryptic geniuses listening to me were asleep, right? Wrong! Their eyes were glued to mine from their seats! In short, they seemed to like everything during my hour-long presentation, and I really got into doing it. Maybe they were just ready to see something different. Every other speaker during the 3-day symposium remained glued to the podium focused on the PowerPoint displays on the big screen. I, however, never stood still. I walked around the large room talking, spending much of the time in the back or in the center between aisles, really interacting with the crowd who wanted to be interacted with. Now, I am not knocking the stoic and stationary integralness of this type of presentation; I know it gets the job done on a high-level conference of this nature. I was only different, and I knew I had to be in order to avoid getting yanked right out of the room. I finished up, received my applause, and was ready to leave when a dozen or so attendees approached me with questions or comments. The questions were what you'd expect from this group: intelligent and sharply keened-in to their subjects. The comments, however, surprised me. One guy said," I've never been to a casino in my life, but your talk was the best I heard during this entire symposium." Well, that surely made me feel good. Then another guy, albeit quite young, came up to me and said, "Mr. Marcus, can I have your autograph?" All in all, a great experience!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Will Hacking Casino Security Cameras Become the New Casino-Cheat Fad?

You have all heard by now how the Crown casino in Australia was beat a few months back for some $33 Million by a crafty cheat who partnered up with someone who gained unauthorized access to the casino's surveillance system and used it to pass on information concerning the order of the cards being dealt from the card shoe.

This event has certainly shaken up the casino industry worldwide and injected a fair share of paranoia into casino company`s heads that another remake of the "Oceans" films is going to be shot for real in their casinos. It happened because an unauthorised person was given remote access to the casino's surveillance systems and was able to relay information about the cards in play to the gambler.

But how real is this threat?

Well, despite the fact that it is relatively easy to intercept sensitive CCTV signals from casinos that don't adhere to strict precautions, I do not believe that this will become a trend like other high-tech cheating methods in the past using microcameras and minicomputers. To my knowledge, a scam quite like this one has not occurred before, and the chances of it occurring again are small, unless, of course, another casino somewhere allows security practices to be breached.

In the end, it's all about safeguards to protect your systems. The problem is that human error safeguarding equipment can not be saved by the equipment itself. By having your casino follow simple procedures such as separate videocamera and workstation networks, secured clients, and patchable Internet access, you should be able to avoid becoming the next movie set for all the high-tech casino cheats who want to become the glitter capital's new stars.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Casinos worldwide rushing to ban Google Glass for fear of its use as casino-cheating device.

Casinos in the United States are forbidding gamblers from wearing Google Glass, the tiny spectacles-mounted device capable of shooting photos, filming video and surfing the internet. Regulators say the gadgets could be used to cheat at card games.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued a directive on Monday ordering Atlantic City's 12 casinos to bar casino patrons from using the device. Similar bans are already in place at casinos in Las Vegas and Ohio, among other places.

"If these eyeglasses were worn during a poker game, they could be used to broadcast a patron's hand to a confederate or otherwise be used in a collusive manner," David Rebuck, the division's director wrote in a memo to the casinos. That type of use would constitute a crime in New Jersey. But it would be difficult to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the glasses were actually being used to cheat, Rebuck wrote. For that and other reasons, he decided to ban the glasses on the casino floor and anywhere else gambling is taking place.

"Even if the glasses had not been used for cheating ... their presence at a gaming table would lead to the perception that something untoward could be occurring, thereby undermining public confidence in the integrity of gaming," Rebuck wrote in the directive.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Google said: "We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues."
In Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have directed security workers to ask patrons to remove the devices before beginning to gamble.

My take: Well, casinos could just watch the behavior of people wearing the Google Glass instead of forcing them to remove them, but I guess just banning them makes it a whole lot easier for them.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Russ Hamilton UltimateBet Online Poker Mega Cheat Scam Audio Tape!!!

An audio tape secretly recorded by disgraced UltimateBet cheater Russ Hamilton was released on Friday by Hamilton’s former computer expert, exposing the roles played by Hamilton, Greg Pierson and others in the insider cheating at the site, which was at one time the third-largest US-facing online poker room.

“Hamilton, Pierson and the attorneys also discussed ways to not issue refunds to some of the players, if reasons could be found to not pay them.”

The long-term cheating at UltimateBet, which was done through special software that allowed Hamilton and others to view the hole cards of opponents at the UB tables, occurred from 2003-07. Hamilton was later named by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission as the sole perpetrator of the cheating, for which UltimateBet later refunded more than $20 million to cheated players.

The release of a three-hour recording, secretly made in 2008 by Hamilton himself, features an extended conversation between Hamilton, UB founder and current iovation CEO Greg Pierson, and two UltimateBet attorneys, Daniel Friedberg and Sanford “Sandy” Millar. The men discuss both the specifics of the cheating and proposed ways for covering it up, refunding some affected players, and otherwise minimizing the impact of the cheating. Hamilton, Pierson and the attorneys also discussed ways to not issue refunds to some of the players, if reasons could be found to not pay them.

The recording’s apparent genesis, from the early 2008 timespan when the scope and nature of the cheating became apparent to independent investigators and players, reflects the realization by UB execs that simply ignoring complaints about the cheating was no longer an option.

“Among those specifically mentioned on the tape as being cheated, whether by name or by their UB screen names, were Prahlad “Mahatma” Friedman, Mike Matusow, Mike “trambopoline” Fosco and Robert Williamson III.”

In addition to Hamilton admitting responsibility for the majority of the cheating, the tape also confirms a handful of players previously reported to be among the victims of the long-term theft, which occurred largely at UB’s high-stakes cash-game tables. Among those specifically mentioned on the tape as being cheated, whether by name or by their UB screen names, were Prahlad “Mahatma” Friedman, Mike Matusow, Mike “trambopoline” Fosco and Robert Williamson III.

At one point, Hamilton admitted even paying taxes on money that he stole from other players and later withdrew from the site.

The recording was released as part of a large data dump by Travis Makar, who for years worked for Hamilton as his personal computer expert. Much of the other data published by Makar has previously been released,including screen grabs of account information for various UB insiders and a collection of photos showing some of the cheating accounts used by Hamilton and a computer rig assembled by Makar to allow Hamilton to evade UltimateBet’s and iovation’s own fraud-prevention software.

Makar, in a private e-mail to this reporter, cited the reemergence of iovation in connection with Nevada’s new online-poker industry as one of his motivations for the latest data release. Iovation has contracted, through CAMS/Verifi, to provide player-identification services to Ultimate Poker. Ultimate Poker (unrelated to UltimateBet), is the online site launched by Fertitta Interactive last week, the first fully legal, Nevada-based online poker site.

My take: Russ Hamilton, the accused mastermind of this humongus online poker cheat scam, releasing a self-incriminating audio tape??? I don't get it. What did he, make some kind of deal or something to avoid any possible future prosecutions? I highly doubt his being prosecuted was possible anyway. If anyone can enlighten me on this, please do!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Are Ohio Casinos Overreacting a bit to Casino Cheating?

Read this, and you be the judge:

Five people who have been accused of cheating at the new casino in Cincinnati, Ohio could face up to two years in prison, according to startling reporting from the Associated Press.
In a move to further condemn alleged casino cheats, the AP stated that “state officials say cheaters not only steal from the house, but also Ohio’s counties, cities and schools because the state collects 33 percent in gross revenue taxes from the casinos.” You got that? Ohio thinks you are screwing over kids by breaking the rules at blackjack.
The cheating apparently was such a mammoth crime in Ohio that a news conference was held to go over the case. A prosecutor used the forum to called the defendants “idiotic.”
Ohio’s four new casinos — in addition to a property in Cincinnati there are also carpet joints in Toldeo, Cleveland and Columbus — were designed to help the state’s economy — i.e. make it a better place to live — but the Buckeye State thinks boosting its prison population also makes it a more welcoming place. Ohio is also home to the horrors for-profit cages
According to the AP, prosecutors allege that the individuals either added or removed chips from their bets after the outcome of the game was apparent. Clearly wrong, but worthy of such a reaction? The AP story was picked up by news outlets around the nation.
While two years and a $5,000 fine are the maximum penalties, probation is also possible.
My take: "screwing over kids by cheating at casino blackjack??? Give me a break!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Did Phil Ivey´s Foxy Cheat Partner Engineer their Edge-Sorting Baccarat Scam?

Note the difference
Now that all the juicy details are in, it may be so, but I still don't think so. Chung Yin Sun, the beautiful Asian baccarat cheat partner that Ivey escorted into London's Crockfords casino, has fallen under suspicion as being the actual leader of baccarat-cheat duo. This is primarily because she has a history of being denied payments by UK casinos after gambling wins, and was seen holding a suspicious baccarat chart during the play where they won $12 million.

The scam centered around a new advantage-play  technique called edge-sorting. This can occur in many different forms, but the main gig is that the back-designs of the playing cards are assymmetrical, although in tiny detail but enough for the sharpest baccarat-cheat teams to turn a huge advantage to their side.  Casino cheats spotting the flawed cards and then using them to their advantage are not guilty of cheating, only performing an advantage play. However, when the advantage players arrange for the defective cards to either get into play or stay in play once on the table, then we are talking about pre-meditated casino cheating, which overwhelmingly seems to be the case with Phil Ivey and Chung Yin sun, who appears to be of Korean descent.

I personally think Ivey put it all together, but it is very possible that the foxy Oriental beauty had the flawed-card connection. In either case, you can bet your last baccarat chip, or any chip for that matter, that the dynamic baccarat cheat duo are not gonna profit beyond some negative publicity and maybe even some widespread banning from certain if not all UK casinos.   

Friday, May 17, 2013

Who Really is Phil Ivey? Poker Phenom, Casino Cheat...or Both?

Hatching Poker Cheat Scam? 
I, for one, think it's time to take a good look at Phil Ivey, and try to answer these questions. First of all, I want to remind everyone how I tried to expose the vast cheating that goes on in the professional poker world, especially in tournament play including the World Series of Poker. I wrote about this extensively in my   2006 book "Dirty Poker," and was severely criticized for it. In the book I wrote about huge and powerful poker tournament syndicates that were controlled by Men Nguyen and other highly visible and successful poker pros.

Which leads us to two questions: 1) Was or Is Phil Ivey a leader or member of one of these tournament syndicates that specialize in touornament collusion play, chip-dumping, slow-playing, chip-passing and other dirty tactics to bully their ways to final tables? And 2: Did Phil Ivey actually plan and design the huge baccarat cheat coup that he carried out at Crockfords Casino in London?

Let's start with  the second question. It is highly probable in my mind that Ivey saw a huge chance to capitalize on his celebrity to take this free shot at Crockfords without any risk of actually getting busted or charged with a crime (and to boot the UK goes very light on even convicted casino cheats). He also figured that even if Crockfords was suspicious after the cheating play went down, they would have a tough time trying to renege payment to Phil Ivey. On that point he clearly miscalculated the Brits' hatred of being conned.

So what could've happened? How did the defective cards make their way into Crockfords? Did Ivey approach someone who knew someone working for the card-supplier or manufacturer? Did someone working there know someone who knew Ivey? All this is tough to speculate, but I can tell you this: I get hundreds of emails each year from people who want to get me involved in lots of poker cheat and casino cheat scams, and some of them are so good they're even tempting! So Ivey probably found this irresistible if it was indeed brought to him by someone else.

However, I gotta believe that Ivey knew some key people with connections to the card-supplier (probably someone who used defective cards from the same company before in other casino scams) and laid it all down himself.

Now, back to question 1. Was Phil Ivey involved in active poker cheating? Now, I have absolutely nothing against Phil Ivey the way I do against Daniel Negreanu, but I have to say that it is highly likely that Ivey, if cheating casinos, was also cheating poker tournaments...and then who knows what happened in some of his legendary high-stakes poker games where he took millions off billionaires? And then there is his participation in High Stakes Poker and other TV high stakes poker-game shows. I always believed that these shows were bullshit and nothing more than a con to get the participating stars more money and publicity, that all the huge pots were fake and that all monies won and lost were returned to the players at the end.

And remember that huge huge hundred-million dollar freeze-out that Ivey and seven other players were supposed to play under some dome in Las Vegas back in 2006? I can't remember the name of it, but I do remember clearly that soon after I badmouthed it, it fell apart and nevre came off.

So, final thought...Phil Ivey may be almost as vile as   Russ Hamilton, the ex WSOP champ who designed and carried out the Ultimate Bet online poker cheating scam. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about Phil Ivey cheating at poker and cheating at casinos from people other than me!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Poker Star Phil Ivey Guilty of Massive Casino Cheat Scam if...

...what Crockfords casino in London says is true, and I think it is.

 Phil Ivey is now suing Crockfords to force them to pay him the $12 million he won playing baccarat with a superhot foxy companion. Of course he had to sue. If he didn´t, it would almost be an admission of guilt.  

Crockfords says that the cards used in the baccarat game were defective and that their values could be read from flaws on the backs of the cards when they were face-down...and, more importantly, Ivey and his pretty lady companion knew it.

 According to Crockfords, Ivey entered the casino, quickly got stuck for 800 hundred grand, then went on a multiple-play $13 million winning streak over a period of two days. They became suspicious when Ivey made some peculiar requests during his play. The first thing that bugged them (and it would bug me too) is Ivey's asking that the dealers hold the cards on the felt, in some cases lifting them in the air, before he made his bets. That would correspond with Ivey able to read the card markings on the backs of the cards. If the dealers dealt the game normally, it would not have mattered if the cards were defected or marked as the dealers hands and the card shoe would have protected them until well after Ivey and his gal-pal made their bets.

 The second self-incriminating action by Ivey was his insistence that the casino keep re-using the same baccarat cards after each shuffle. Casinos all across the world now trash the six or eight decks used in a baccarat shoe after every shoe to protect themselves against the now epidemic baccarat false-shuffling cheat scams as well as other baccarat scams. Ivey's insistence that the casino re-use cards is more evidence that these cards were marked by factory defect.

 So, you may wonder, why would Phil Ivey, international poker star with rock star status, and extremely wealthy, want to involve himself in a casino cheat scam such as this? Well, my answer to this would simply be: Why would Donald Trump want to build another building or casino? Get it? There never is enough money in the world for these guys.

 I have been asked how Ivey would have gotten in contact with someone supplying defective cards to the casino. Did someone contact him? Or did Phil Ivey himself design and orchestrate this huge casino cheat scam? Well, that one I cannot answer; I simply don't know, but the possibilities are endless. The only things I am sure about is that Phil Ivey knew those cards were defective, thus effectively marked, and Crockfords casino personnel did not know this. I am convinced that no one working for the casino was involved. 

Anything that convinces me of Ivey's guilt is that Crockfords simply refused to pay Ivey's winnings, only cashing out his original gambling stake. i mean, the last thing any casino in the world wants, let alone a posh British Londonian gaming club, is to be branded a casino that does not pay its big winners. So they really have to have the goods on Ivey, a hugely popular poker star who will surely have tons of sympathy from the majority of people reading about this story.

 So what will become of all this? It will simply go away. Ivey will either drop his lawsuit, or more probably the UK courts will drop it for him. No way is Ivey getting paid, and I'm pretty certain that Phil Ivey is now a major casino cheat... One more thing: I think I know who his lovely casino-cheating sidekick is; I once worked with her mother if I am right! And as I understand it, she has already been involved in two other incidents where high-rolling winning gamblers were refused payment in London casinos.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poker Pro Matt Marafioti linked to Online Poker Cheat by Hacking Scam!

With over $2 million in live poker tournament winnings and an impressive online poker resume, Matt Marafioti is widely considered one of the better pro players out there. However, the Canadian’s name has been dragged through the mud over the past couple of days after an alleged Skype conversation between him and another player was leaked on the TwoPlusTwo forums.

The 2p2 thread begins with a posted Skype conversation (sent to poster via email) between Marafioti and a Swedish online poker player named Samar Rahman. This already leads people to jump to conclusions because Rahman has been accused of cheating players such as Patrik Antonius in the past through elaborately-placed computer viruses. But things get worse when the conversation alludes to hacking into other players’ accounts so Marafioti and Rahman can see opponents’ hole cards.

Seeing as how it’s possible to manipulate a Skype conversation before posting it to the internet, it’s tough to verify 100% accuracy in this matter. However, most people in the TwoPlusTwo thread feel Marafioti and Rahman’s conversation about cheating other players follows a realistic flow for an IM conversation.

Perhaps more damning are the character issues here because both Marafioti and Rahman are pretty questionable people. Marafioti has gained quite a bit of attention for his melodramatic twitter posts and incessant cursing while Rahman is rumored to be a skilled computer hacker – as mentioned before.

Of course, none of this is evidence that these two online poker pros definitely conspired to cheat people. However, it is worth mentioning that the TwoPlusTwo thread has been kept up, which means they either feel there is some validity behind the accusations or – at the very least – they believe the topic is worthy of discussion.
  My take: Every since I wrote the book "Dirty Poker" back in '06, I've been reporting and blogging about all the various online poker cheating scandals that I originally predicted in the book. One of the things I did write about back then was hacking accounts to cheat online poker players. This is nothing new, and despite the article's mention that "of course, none of this is evidence that these two online poker pros definitely conspired to cheat people," it's pretty good evidence for me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pastposting Cheats Attack Pennsylvania Casinos' Bonus Bets

I have been getting reports that pastposters are managing to pastpost bonus bets on Pennsylvania's blackjack tables, which is a pretty profitable move if you can get it off. Some of these bets pay up to 200 to 1, and casino cheats working the tables have been popping in $5 chips after the winning outcome is determined, netting a cool grand for each move.

I have previously noted casinos' vulnerability to pastposting and other forms of cheating on bonus bets due to the sheer volume of them placed on the tables, especially the Panda and Dragon Bets on the EZ baccarat tables. I saw an epidemic of this type of cheating and confusion in Canadian casinos.

Expect to see more of this in the near future, even if the occasional casino cheating arrests are made.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hot-looking "Cooler" Specialist Inducted into Poker and Casino Cheats Hall of Fame!

Her name is Ida Summers, and perhaps you've seen her on one of the History Channel's "Breaking Vegas" episodes. Now she's in the poker and casino cheats Hall of Fame.

Most woman casino cheats are used as diversions to get the attention of male pit bosses away from the table layout where the cheat move goes down, but With Ida Summers, who was one hot babe in her day, the male attention could be right on her when she made those cheat moves. Later known as the Vegas Vixen, she was a master at cunning, quickness (at the casino blackjack table, I don't know about in bed) and getting the money off the table. She was one of the early Nevada female pioneer casino cheats.

Her cheat gig was first "hand-mucking" cards at blackjack tables and then later switching in entire "coolers" (blackjack shoes filled with prearranged cards to cheat the house) at those same blackjack tables. Hand mucking is the art of hiding a card (usually by palming) that has been snuck to the table before the play of a hand or taken off the table after it had been put into play by the dealer. Then with a quick sleight-of-hand movement the mucked card is either returned to play or taken off the table by the card-mucker, all in accordance with whether the cheat needs the card in his or her hand or back in the deck.

Ida Summers used all her beauty and talent to pull of these card swithces.
In addition to her good-looks, she was very flirtatious and very socialable, much like fellow Hall of "Famestress" Ruthie Berin. She was also quite petite, five-feet-two and less than a hundred pounds. This petiteness appealed greatly to the macho pit bosses of her day. She played them on her charm as she expertly and effortlessly switched cards in and out of decks.

But Ida took her cheating to the hilt. Uninspired by the ease of hand-mucking cards, she stepped up her craft to switching entire coolers into play. These are also called "cold decks" that are already prearranged to make the involved players at the table winners on as many hands they want. Some losing hands may be placed between the winners just to make the scam look more believable. After all, a player winning every hand, even if it be a beautiful woman, would surely raise suspicions in even the most distracted pit boss.

What made this move so bold was that the original card show on the table had to be physically lifted off the layout while the cooler was slipped into its spot, all in a split second. AND the shoe taken off the table had to be hidden from everyone's view. Ida managed this by placing that original shoe on her lap and then passing it off to a male cohort standing behind her at the first opportune moment. Then she would leave the table herself while other cohorts would begin playing the hands the dealer dealt from the cooler. The idea was that if they were caught, they would never catch Ida with the removed card shoe at the table.

In spite of this, gaming commission officials in Las Vegas, working in conjunction with the FBI, eventually caught Ida and her casino cheat partners, but they must have been very impressed with her skills and looks as well: she received but probation for her trouble.

At the time of her exploits and arrest, Ida Summers was the only known professional female casino cheat, which made her a true legend in casino cheating and underworld lore.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blackjack Computer King Cheat Inducted into Poker and Casino Cheats Hall of Fame!

"George" Inventor
His name is Keith Taft...Congratulations, Keith!
Keith Taft was a real-life "Inspector Gadget" character, a true genius who spent three decades developing and perfecting electronic devices to cheat US casinos. He began working with casino computers with his son, Marty Taft, back in the late 60s. Today he is believed to be the first casino or poker cheat to develop a computer that captured digital video the way today's microcomputers are processing data filmed in false-shuffle and other baccarat and blackjack cheat scams.

While vacationing in the Bahamas in the 60s, Taft got interested in Edward O. Thorp's famous blackjack card-counting book "Beat the Dealer." In fact, he quickly became obsessed by it. However, he did not make any money counting cards at blackjack using Thorp's plus-minus count system.

Thus he turned his attention to developing computers to beat the blackjack tables. His first and now famous invention was a 5-kilo computer that he called "George." He used it to enter data while counting cards at blackjack, using his toes to enter the data to the prototype computer he had tucked underneath his baggy shirt. He later decided that George was a bit unwieldy and developed a lighter device that he called "David."

Taft had immediate success with David, beating Vegas casinos out of fifty grand in the first two weeks of operation. made $40,000 the first week he used it. After taking some heat in casinos, Taft decided he would do better by selling his minicomputers based on the David prototype for ten or fifteen grand apiece, which included his training of the buyers.

This decision Taft made after being grabbed up in a casino and taken to the back room, where he was interrogated by Nevada Gaming Control Board agents as well as the FBI. But neither law enforcement agency had the slightest idea of what the microcomputer actually was and failed to make any legal connection to casino cheating that they could use in court, therefore Taft was releaed.

Another casino.cheating computer deeloped by Taft´s sons Marty and Keith was called the "belly-telly." This was a small video camera they fitted into their belts and could film the dealer's hole-card at blackjack. The image was then transmitted to their cheating partners sitting in a van at the casino's parking lot. These cohorts would then send a signal back to the cheating blackjack players at the table, identifying the value of the hole card.

Yet another electronic gismo invented by Taft and his sons was the "Thor" computer, which could track the positions of cards in a multiple-deck shuffle. This was the first casino-cheat invention that directly led to today's high-tech video-reader devices that are used in blackjack and baccarat shuffle-tracking scams, which are currently costing casinos worldwide millions, especially in Macau.

In 1986, the Nevada Gaming Commission created a law making it illegal to use any electronic devices whatsoever in gaming casinos, which today is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.

A true casino-cheating pioneer, Keith Taft was also inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2004.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ever Hear of Google Glass? Casinos Surely Have!...

...And they're scared shit of it!

Google Glass Cheat?
With technology rapidly changing on an almost daily basis, casinos have to be aware of new products that might hurt their business. The “eye in the sky” and casino personnel are always on the lookout for certain electronics that could cause a detrimental swing against the house.

Many devices such as digital cameras and mobile camera phones are already banned from certain areas of Vegas casinos in order to avoid card counting or any other type of cheating. Try whipping out your smartphone to snap a pic during a game of craps or roulette and you’ll be instantly warned and/or kicked out of the gaming area very quickly.

The most recent item that may be added to the banned list at casinos in Las Vegas is Google Glass.

Google Glass is the newest invention by Google, and although innovative, it may be banned from the gaming floors of casinos in the state of Nevada according to a recent NBC report. The product itself is a type of eyewear that allows the wearer to do a number of things including take video as well as photos. This could potentially be used to cheat the casino and casino operators are strongly against the new product in their casinos.

NBC spoke with MGM Resorts International and they commented on the new product by stating:

“Picture-taking is frowned upon, and security officers on duty ask individuals not to take pictures for the privacy of others in the casino. This new product is nothing new in terms of a challenge for us, because for so many years, the very tiniest of portable lipstick and pinpoint cameras have been around.”

It is not uncommon for restrictions to be placed on certain forms of technology on the gaming floor, especially when it comes to poker tournament play. Google Glass would most certain fall under these restrictions.

While the new technology has yet to be released to the public as it is still in the testing phase but it is believed the product will be ready later on this year. In the meantime, we will have to wait and see if casinos in Las Vegas (and of course, abroad) decide to put a ban in place for the item.

My take: Well, if it isn't one thing the casinos are paronoid about these days, it's another. I really wouldn't be popping many bricks about Google Glass if I were a casino boss.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Cheating at Poker attack on Mississippi Stud Poker!

Mississippi Stud Poker is being cheated by professional card-marking poker cheat teams in several casinos, mostly on the east cost. The card-markers are marking the cards on the table and using their advantage to decided when to stay in the hands and make the maximum 3-bet wager.

This is nothing surprising to me since all these poker derivative games have always been right for those skilled at cheating at poker games in casinos. The poker cheats take advantage of the lax attitude that casino bosses and supervisors have toward these games. They just never seem to watch the action on the derivative poker tables as intensely as they do the other gaming tables.

My advice for casino staffs is to watch out for players on the Mississippi Stud Poker tables who seeming make foolish decisions to stay or fold hands that end up being right too much of the time. I will have more on this new cheating at poker endemic shortly.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Why Cheating at Poker is Endemic

Cheating at Poker is endemic for a few very simple reasons. First off, it offers the cheats at poker the best opportunity for cheating with the least risk. Since cheating at poker is mostly done through collusion techniques where two or more players secretly trade information at the poker tables and use that information to control pots by forcing opponents to put more money into pots when one of the poker cheats has the best hand. This is done by raising and re-raising pots to draw more money into the pot for the eventual winner.

The second part of the cheating at poker endemic, and by far the most enviable for those who cheat at poker, is cheating at poker online. Since there is virtually no governing body, those who cheat at poker can virtually cheat however they want without any risk at all. This has been well proved by perhaps the most notorious poker cheat ever, Russ Hamilton (the 1994 WSOP main event champion), who engineered the infamous Ultimate Bet online poker scandal through which online poker players around the world lost some $20 million. Hamilton, despite very incriminating evidence against him, has never been charged with any crime and most certainly never will. This is because with the mumble-jumble of insecure online poker governing and regulation, no one knows really who should prosecute what...and where. It's a lot more complicated than when an Italian man kills a Japanese man aboard a Norwegian cruise liner in South African territorial waters.

So for these two principal reasons, cheating at poker will continue to grow much more than cheating at any other gambling entity. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Does Card Counting Really Effect the Casino's Bottom Line?

In the vast majority of casinos across the world, the effect would be minimal, simply because counters operate with less than a 2% advantage with optimum play and conditions. If you take into consideration what percentage of high rollers (let's say $50 or more avg bet) there are in the total clientele base, and then take the percentage of those that are true winning card counters, you come up with a small number, and their total dollar amount put into play would be a small percentage of the casinos' drop. So even if your casino was being hit consistently with pro counting teams, it would barely show up in the bottom line, unless, of course, a professional card counting convention happened to land inside your casino!!!

The example where card counters could effect a bottom line signifcantly would be a small but high stakes casino, much more seen in Europe than in the US. There, card counting teams can cause casinos losing days or even several days running.

Another thing worth mentioning is that other types of advantage play, although much less common than basic card couting, would effect the bottom line much more, given there was an ample volume of these sort of plays.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

High Rolling Cheat Supposedly Cheats Aussie Casino Out of $32 Million!...I Am Not Buying It

A high rolling fraudster in Melbourne went high tech for his latest scam, cheating a casino out of more than $40 million. According to the Herald Sun, the man checked in to the Crown Casino as a foreigner and stayed with his family in a VIP 'villa' at the luxury Crown Towers hotel, attached to the casino. He then infiltrated the venue's security system, allowing the cheat's accomplices to monitor the gaming floor surveillance cameras, and passing on signals as to which way he should bet.

 It is believed more than A$32 million ($40.3 million) were stolen before the man and his family were kicked out in the middle of the night by casino management. A staff member, who was assigned to look after the 'high roller' during his stay, has apparently been sacked in connection with the incident. Crown Casino has said it is in a good position to recover much of the stolen funds, working with Victorian police and gambling authorities. The scam is said to be the biggest in the casino's 19-year history.

How the scam worked:

The fraudster checks in as a 'foreign high-roller' at Crown Towers, a luxury hotel attached to the casino. Access is gained to the casino's security system, possibly through an unauthorised staff member. The fraudster's accomplices watch the high-resolution security feeds from the VIP gaming floor, able to see the tables where the man is playing. The information that the accomplice sees is relayed to the fraudster somehow, giving him indications on which way to bet.

Finally, the fraudster is hit with a 'withdrawal of licence' in the middle of the night - a legal document disallowing him on casino property; essentially a trespass from the venue.

My take: This seems to me awfully dubious. I mean, just because someone infiltrates a casino's security system doesn't mean he can cheat or sway the odds in his favor. If you are watching what the casino is watching, how does their money get into your pockets? You still have to cheat, and watching what the casinos watches has nothing to do with prearranging cards or rigging roulette wheels. So unless something more comes to light here, I will remain skeptical about this "huge" scam.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Denver Broncos Football Player Charged With Casino Cheating!!!

Do you believe this!!!

Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter was charged with three felonies over the weekend after authorities alleged he cheated at craps in a casino near Las Vegas.The 24-year-old safety was arrested at the Texas Station casino on Saturday night. Security officials say they have tape of Carter adding $5 chips to three bet stacks after the dice had been rolled. He denied any wrongdoing to police.

According to the Associated Press, Carter faces three counts of committing a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment, a felony that can bring a prison sentence of one to six years. Is it just me, or does that penalty sound a tad excessive? I don't mean to diminish the seriousness of the charges, defend any potential thief or support someone who'd be dumb enough to allegedly cheat in a place where there's more cameras than a paparazzi convention.

Still, it's three $5 bets. That's $15.Vegas has to defend itself against cheaters, of course, but the movies said they did that by having Don Rickles stand guard while Robert De Niro bashes your hand with a hammer, not by pursuing excessive charges against someone playing cheap craps tables.
Carter said he was confident he'd be cleared. On Twitter, he wrote he was "truly sorry for any negative attention this has brought to the Broncos, our fans and the league,"

My take: The guy just had to be drunk or high or something. I mean, come on, he's gotta be making at least a few million a year. Why would he be cheating casinos outta anything, let alone $5 chips???

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Here's a Good One!

A literary professor in Missouri who was arrested for capping bets at the Isle of Capri casino. In his defense, he told the judge that he wasn´t actually cheating...he was only TRYING to cheat! You gotta love that.

In fact, the judge did love it. He let the professor, identified as Southeast Missouri professor Roger Arpin, plead out to "attempted" cheating, which was not a bad deal for the prof considering he popped in several bet-caps before being nabbed. He was looking at 3 years in prison but skated with a $300 fine and a thirty minute lecture from the judge!

My take: I wonder if a judge would have made me the same deal had I ever been caught cheating a casino...ha...ha!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Barry Greenstein Says Open-Faced Chinese Poker is Cheat-Infested!

Open-Face Chinese Poker has really taken off. For example, during previous years at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure we always had a $200/$400 or $400/$800 mixed game. But this year rather than a big mixed game, there were four tables of Open-Face Chinese Poker going.

I've just started to play the game. I'm not real good as yet, but I ventured in during the last day at PCA because it looked like a pretty good game and that there might be some people I thought I still might be able to beat. As it happened, I ran pretty good -- I had two straight flushes -- and I won a decent amount of money.

I was told then by some people that many were playing Open-Face Chinese on an app that's available for iPhones and the iPad. So when I got home I downloaded the app, and I started playing just for fun against some people. You can even play against the app itself.

I did that for a while until I thought I was ready to play for small stakes against some players. I started out playing small -- just $10 a point -- and I was losing a little bit as I was playing against people who were better than I was. Then once I got a little better I kicked up against some other poker players to $25/point because that seemed to be the normal amount for which people were playing.

Then a guy challenged me to $50/point, and even though I'd heard that he might be a better player than I was, I thought perhaps I could learn playing against a better player. Nowadays poker players seem to learn from videos and by going onto forums, but in my day the way you got better was you watched better players and tried to see what they were doing and then tried to incorporate what you saw into your game. That's what I was trying to do here.

Of course, one of the problems right now with Open-Face Chinese Poker is that you have a lot of disagreement about who the better players are. It's a pretty complicated game, and at this stage in the growth of the game everybody makes some mistakes.

In any case, I played this guy and I actually beat him out of about 100 points. Then he suggested we double the stakes and so we did and played some more, and that's when he started winning.

Now, it's not that he beat me, but it's how he beat me. It seemed like after being in trouble he kept getting saved on the river over and over and over. Even though it was believable that he was a better player than I was, I decided I wanted to start keeping track of when he needed to get outs in these situations. When he had to get an out on the river to beat me, I wanted to see what his percentage was.

I started keeping track, and the next 14 times it came up, he hit seven times. Now that's not every time, but it was enough that after that I quit.

I have a nephew who is a programmer and I called him up. I told him I thought I was being cheated, and asked him if he could figure out if there was any way you could see if a person could download this app and perhaps change the cards or do whatever, because I suspected there might be something going on here.

My nephew downloaded the app and once he had a chance to start looking at it he called me back within 30 minutes. He said anyone who's a programmer who knows how to hook up an iPad to another computer could easily cheat using the app.

He said he could see all the cards and do whatever he wanted. I asked him if he could give me a demo, and we played a game and he sent me three kings on top, a flush in the middle, and a straight flush in the back. He explained that anyone who was a programmer or who had a friend who was a programmer could cheat me at the game, no problem.

Using a proxy server, with the current version of the app, you can see all thirteen cards of yours and your opponents when each deal is begun. Most cheaters wouldn't spend the time to change the cards as my nephew did. They would know whether their flushes and full houses were going to come in, which allows them to play efficiently like normal Chinese poker.

It was just as I'd expected. I began calling around to people who were playing a lot. Pretty much anybody who has won big at this game at this point is under suspicion, because it's so easy to cheat.

My nephew got in touch with the app's programmers to tell them what they have to do to fix their app. The Apple documentation actually explains how to make an app secure, but when these programmers wrote this Open-Face Chinese Poker app, they didn't know people were going to be playing for lots of money using it. And so they didn't write it in a secure way, because they thought it was just going to be a fun game that people were going to play for free. So it's not even really their fault.

Besides offering a specific warning here about the Open-Face Chinese Poker app and its current vulnerabilities to cheating, then, I think there are two broader morals to the story.

One is that when you play on an app such as this one for money, you better know who you're playing with and that you're in possible danger of being cheated. Even as future games come out, you'll want to remain wary.

To draw a comparison with PokerStars, they have an app with a whole security team of people trying to protect you by keeping track of data, looking at hand histories for anything suspicious, and so forth. It's a very different situation to play an app written by just a couple of guys who weren't really thinking that their game might be played for a lot of money.

So you have to be very wary when playing for any significant sum of money on some of these games that may come out in the future.

Secondly, as a general gambling premise, if you go somewhere and you lose and you don't understand why you're losing -- especially if you seem to be losing in ways that don't seem right to you -- you have to quit. If there's one game where you think the players are better than you but you do okay, go and play in that one even if there might be another game where the players seem really bad, but you don't win.

That's just a general rule of gambling that you need to use to protect yourself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ohio Casinos Open Cheat-Detection Classes For Their Gaming Inspectors

In a casino, there are three ways to cheat: change the wager, change the chances or change the prize.
Two dozen new undercover gaming agents at soon-to-open Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati were instructed to spot all three this week. They learned the angles from Jim Edwards, a retired Nevada gaming agent brought in to prepare the staff for the March 4 casino opening.
The most common cheats, he told them, are “capping” or “pinching” bets. “Capping” is when a gambler sees he has a good hand and slips more chips onto his bet pile while the dealer is distracted. “Pinching” is when a gambler removes some chips when he realizes he’s holding a loser.
Cheaters may think they’re smart, but the casino has four ways to catch them nearly every time, Edwards said – “Stop. Rewind. Play. Pause.” Every gaming table and slot machine in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati has its own security camera, he said. All told, more than 1,000 electronic eyes – on top of security and surveillance teams – will be watching the action.

Pro cheats - and not-so-pro cheats

A three-decade veteran of Nevada law enforcement, Edwards also showed the agents how cheaters try to alter the odds by marking cards. A cheater might press a fingernail against the back of a high card making a dimple so he can recognize it later.
Another cheater might bend an ace at the corner without quite creasing it. Both are techniques the casual observer might not notice but agents will.  
“There are pro cheats and not-so-pro cheats,” Edwards said. “Some people after six Budweisers say, ‘Hey, I just invented a new way to cheat the casino.’ Cheaters sometimes attempt to change the prize by bringing in a “cooler” deck of cards. The deck is stacked so the cheat comes in second – losing the hand but winning an even richer “bad beat” jackpot. 
First-time offenders might get a stern warning by a dealer or security personnel and be told to leave. Professional cheaters are harder to deal with. “A pro doesn’t stop cheating because he’s got enough money,” Edwards said. “What makes him stop is getting caught or thinking he’s been detected.” 
Edwards trains agents with an eye toward prosecutions. Agents must know the games, identify cheating techniques and be able to explain to a jury in simple terms what a cheat did. A person convicted of cheating in a casino is guilty of a felony and can be banned for life from the casino by the Ohio Casino Control Commission. They also can be sent to prison for up to 18 months. 
Ohio officials take cheating seriously because anyone using illegal methods is corrupting the integrity of the game for legitimate players. Ultimately, they’re also robbing Ohio taxpayers of their 33 percent of all casino revenues. “When you steal from the casino, you steal from the state,” said Karen Huey, the commission’s director of enforcement. She noted that organized rings of cheaters already have hit Ohio’s other casinos. 
Cincinnati’s casino is the last to open of four authorized by Ohio voters in 2009. Casinos in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus all opened last year; 45 people have been indicted for cheating there so far. Edwards notes that, while cheating is a concern, it is relatively rare: In Nevada, there are typically 450 to 500 casino-related convictions a year. Those offenses include cheating, but also such infractions as underage gambling.
My take: Well, I know Edwards personally and can say he's a pretty nuts and bolts guy when it comes to cheating knowledge and ability to communicate it. I wouldn't say he knows very much about the super casino cheat and poker scams out there.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Woman Poker Card-Swapper Cheat Cleared--Despite Daming Video Surveillance Evidence!

Lady in Pink Switching Cards


A woman accused of cheating at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland went on trial Thursday, providing a rare glimpse of an eagle-eyed surveillance system capable of catching a gambler's every move.

Jessica Encarnacion of Akron was the first casino-cheating suspect to go to trial in Cuyahoga County -- others have pleaded guilty -- and also the first to be cleared. Hearing the case without a jury, Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Friedland ruled that the prosecution failed to prove Encarnacion knowingly or intentionally cheated at a game of four-card poker in August.

But the sparsely attended two-hour trial showed what state agents and casino security officers see while monitoring more than 1,000 cameras spread throughout three gaming floors.

A video screen split into four quadrants spied on the game from key angles: straight down on the dealer, a frontal view of the players, behind and slightly over the gamblers and a close-up of the participants' hands -- the flesh-and-bone kind.

An undercover agent, one of thirteen agents assigned full time to the Horseshoe casino, testified that they keep an eye on the system up to 23 hours a day and that casino security officers monitor continuously. Some cameras are fixed, while others pan, tilt and zoom.

Surveillance clearly shows Encarnacion, 23, swapping cards with Qing Zheng, a 41-year-old Cleveland man who faces a separate trial.

As the casino dealer gazes down, Zheng twice moves to offer a card to Encarnacion before she accepts; she then holds out a card that Zheng snatches. Encarnacion gave up a 10 of spades and got a queen of diamonds, leaving her with a pair of queens. The dealer won with a flush.

According to the agent, Zheng's boisterous behavior had already attracted the casino's attention. Security officers were preparing to escort Zheng from the property when the agents intervened.

Encarnacion was taken to a holding room, where more surveillance video, shot from overhead, shows her answering questions in a slightly annoyed tone. She said it was her first trip to a casino, and Zheng, whom she had just met, was coaching her. She said she didn't know how to play poker and had no idea that what she was doing was wrong.

"I'm not a cheat," Encarnacion says on the video. A few moments later, she adds: "I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know anything."

Testifying Thursday, a poised Encarnacion said she was with a friend named Mike but met Zheng at a poker table, and he accompanied her as they broke for roulette and then sat down for the four-card game. She said she went through $600 at the casino, but Zheng was buying her beer -- eight Budweisers, she estimated -- and supplied her with more than $100 in betting chips.

"That was the only reason I stuck around," said Encarnacion, who plans to seek return of $100 the casino confiscated from her. "He had a bunch of chips, and he knew how to play the game."

Encarnacion's attorney, Leif Christman, said the fact that Encarnacion and Zheng exchanged cards in the open, with plenty of witnesses, is evidence they were not cheating.
Assistant Prosecutor John Toth said that ignorance is no defense and questioned how Encarnacion could not be aware that she was involved in a crime.

"It's common sense," he said in closing. "You do not take cards from another player while you're playing for money at a casino."

The Horseshoe opened May 14, making it the first of four casinos allowed in Ohio under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2009. The fourth is scheduled for launch March 4 in Cincinnati
Cheating a casino -- and possibly reducing the tax revenue collected by the state -- is a fifth degree felony punishable by maximum penalties of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Guidelines generally provide for lighter sentences.

According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, 28 cheating cases have been filed in Cuyahoga County, with 14 convictions obtained so far.

My take: Heck, maybe I should re-take-up casino cheating in Ohio! If they get clear video evidence of switching cards on a poker game and the judge throws out the case, who knows what would be possible for me!!! LOL...And what about Zheng? They gotta let him go too, don't they???