Saturday, June 04, 2016

Russian Poker Cheat gets Jail Time in London

Poker-Cheat Heavy

Fifty-seven year old Russian national Valeriy Mikhaylets works for a Moscow construction firm. But that's just his day job. At night, or during trips to the UK, he was both a poker hold-out and card-marking artist.

By holding onto key cards he played during previous hands and then reinserting them into play when he needed them on subsequnet hands, Mr. Mikhaylets poker-cheated his way to more than $80,000 profit at a lively poker game at London's Palm Beach Casino in November, 2014.

He was also using sandpaper to mark cards at the same table.

Even though his big win that night generated a lot of suspicion at the Palm Beach poker table, Mikhaylets was not arrested until he returned to the casino in early 2015. He posted bail, then fled the UK only to be arrested when returning to his native Russia from Finland in April, 2015.

For all his efforts, the Russian poker cheat was sentenced to four months in prison and fines, court costs and restitution totalling a quarter of a million dollars.

My take: Well, Mr. Mikhaylets had a good night that November at the Palm Beach, but he's gonna have to figure out another poker strategy to get back all the money he's lost to the UK court system--and hopefully for him it will be an honest one!

Take note that although holding out cards at the poker table is a rare cheat-scam, card-marking seems to be as popular as ever, even more so than the old Wild-West Days when poker cheats cheated cowboys by sun-drying cards before they were put into play. More and more of these modern card-marking poker-cheat scams involve invisible or disappearing ink and infrared lenses to see the marks on the cards.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Casino Game Protection Post: The Importance of Blackjack Shuffle Maintenance

Are your dealers boxing?
The shuffling procedure of brick and mortar casino blackjack is extremely important. When it is done correctly, many forms of cheating and advantage-play are wiped out before a player even has the chance to implement his attack.

What I have noticed lately during my worldwide casino travels is that many casinos are letting their regular brick and mortar blackjack shuffle procedure be affected by the shuffle procedure they use on their online live blackjack games.

Of course there are valid reasons why live blackjack shuffles differ from those used in the brick and mortar casino, but this must not influence how shuffles are done when real human players are at the table.

A good example of this problem is the stacking of packs of cards after the riffles into several small stacks across the entire perimeter of the insurance line. This is real dangerous on brick and mortar games as it opens up cheating opportunities, especially the thievery of cards at the end positions of the table.

One player could distract the dealer from first base during the shuffle and another can then pilfer a card or two from the stack so close to him at third base. Then of course these cards can be switched into play at key moments for the cheats.

So it is imperative that the stacking of cards after the riffles be done into no more than two stacks directly in front of the dealer. And equally important is that all brick and mortar blackjack shuffles contain strips which prevent ace and key-card tracking, and "boxes," which is the 180 degree turn of packs of cards within the stack to offset the possibility of edge-sorting scams.

Here is a good video on proper blackjack shuffling and dealing procedures.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Still Waiting for more on PokerStars Spin & Go Online Poker Scam

So what really happened?
The player account refunds started coming down three weeks ago, and some of them were quite hefty--in the thousands of dollars.

When that occurs, it usually means a very large cheating scam took place, one big enough to bring down the integrity and credibility of a major online poker site.

The PokerStars Game Integrity Team issued a site-wide message that was quite evasive on what cheating tactics were actually used and stuck with the very ordinary apologies to those whose PokerStars accounts were effected along with protestations to the continued integrity of online poker at PokerStars.

They called it "a situation involving a violation of our Terms of Service" and repeated its policy to confiscate funds from the accounts of players perpetrating scams and redistributing them to the accounts of players who are victims.

Okay, that's all well and good, but I, for one--probably among many--would like to know what the heck went on there with the Spin & Go PokerStars online tournaments!

So if someone out there can upsate me, please do!