Saturday, June 20, 2015

How accurate is television in its treatment of poker cheat and casino cheat moves?

Casino Cheat Documentary shot 
By now you've all seen at least two TV documentaries about poker cheating and casino cheating. In the past ten years there have been a flood of them on the History Channel, Bio Channel, Travel Channel, Learning Travel, and even the National Geographic Channel. They all deal with casino cheating but more from the point of view of surveillance and security people rather than the poker and casino cheats. I have heard, however, that National Geographic will air in October or November a special about scams in Las Vegas, including one about professional casino cheats, which will show how they plan their moves, operate in casinos and divvy up the profits. I believe this show will be quite interesting. It will be an episode of its very popular"Underworld Inc." series

So, overall, do TV documentaries depict casino and poker cheating well?

In fact, they do. The general verbiage about the cheat moves is pretty accurate, and those that include real film segments of real casino and poker cheats can make even people foreign to this casino-cheating underworld understand what is going on. The problem is with the shows that do not use the real cheats to film the poker cheating and casino cheating sequences.

One early example of really bad video is the "Breaking Vegas" series that debuted in 2005 on the History Channel. The very first of its thirteen episodes was called "The ultimate Cheat," the life-story of yours truly. Although its detailing of my career cheating the world's casinos was accurate, the filming of the actual cheat sequences was a horror show! This because they used actors, not my ex-casino-cheat buddies and myself, to film the cheat-scenes at the roulette, craps and blackjack tables. Of course, I'd objected to their doing so, but they informed me that due to contractual obligations with actors' unions, the actors had to film the moves without any participation from me.

However, in more recent documentaries about casino and poker cheating, the quality of the film sequences is getting better, so the viewing public can follow along and understand the logic and design of casino-cheating moves. So with this in mind, stay tuned for National Geographic's Underworld Inc. episode about casino cheating, which I think will be called "Casino hustling in Las Vegas."