Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sebok's Ultimate Promise To Square UltimateBet Online Poker Cheating Scandal Having Trouble To Keep

Respected Poker Pro Joe Sebok has been media and operations consultant for UltimateBet for a month now and his main function is to repair the damage to UB's image from the huge online poker scandal allegedly engineered by former WSOP Main-Event Champ Russ Hamilton. In short, he's there to restore the online poker playing public's trust in cheat-plagued UltimateBet.

The following text was written by Jennifer Newell of Poker Player Newspaper:

In his inaugural blog post on the subject, Sebok wrote, “The first order of business with my position at UB has been to help aid in the release of not only ALL of the hand histories from the super-user scandal, but also the accounts that were used to perpetuate the scandal itself, and the actual physical names of those individuals who we believe to have been directly involved in disparate ways with the actual cheating.” And two days later, he posted instructions for those seeking said hand histories from the time period in question.

The first of the two-part process was to send an e-mail request to with name, address, and user name. Players can expect to receive a summary spreadsheet with the information of every hand played against each of the 117 cheating account names. Detailed hand histories would require a longer time to process, and Sebok asked for tolerance of the time it would take for the security team to compile and send the requested documents.

Two weeks later, Sebok noted that the process was tweaked a bit, and players with requests in to UB would receive a summary sheet as well as a data sheet showing wins and losses versus each cheating account. Those who wanted more detailed hand histories could then submit the second request, which will prompt the customer service team to organize and send them via e-mail.

According to several poker bloggers, requests are far from being as simple as Sebok hoped. Short-Stacked Shamus (HardBoiledPoker. requested some hand histories on September 25, and was initially told that the request was forward to upper management for review. On October 1, he was told that he was not affected by the cheating incident but the staff would work on retrieving the data ASAP. On October 24, after no further e-mails from UB, Shamus sent another e-mail to the poker security manager address, but it was returned as undeliverable as the e-mail address no longer existed.

Dan Michalski of also contacted UB for detailed hand histories, though he had already been reimbursed money that UB determined was lost as a result of the scandal. However, Dan’s latest request was met by a response that he should simply go through his hand history files on the UB website himself. When he responded that he was seeking the histories that Sebok promised, Dan was told that the user name he provided didn’t exist and no money was ever refunded to him, though he has documentation to prove otherwise.

These are not exactly the responses that Sebok was likely hoping to see from his partners at UltimateBet. However, it should be noted that KGC and UB took many months to review hand histories internally and refund $22,054,351.91 to players found to have been cheated from the time period starting June 2003 and ending December 2007. Many players who are currently in the process of receiving hand histories are likely not blogging about the positive results, but that does not negate the fact that two members of the poker media attempted to follow Sebok’s instructions and ended their quest with no results.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Expert Turkish Card-Marking Cheat Caught in UK After Cheating Casinos Out of 100K!


A card sharp was jailed yesterday after a casino crime spree using a hidden pinhead to mark the decks. He won about £3,000 a night by marking the edges of cards with the pinhead which was hidden under a fingernail. Previous exploits at the tables all over Britain earned Abdullah Toksoz a nationwide casino ban. But he bypassed security by using six false IDs. Police say it is impossible to estimate on how much he swindled out of casinos but that the figure must run into tens of thousands of pounds. Toksoz, 40, who sold his Doncaster kebab business to fund his gaming, hit casinos in London, Liverpool, Northampton and Manchester during his three-year nationwide scam. Scotland Yard finally caught up with him at Heathrow Airport in June when he had £7,000 in US dollars in his pocket.

Turkish national Toksoz, 40, of Croydon, south London, was jailed for 16 months at London’s Southwark Crown Court after admitting fraud. He faces deportation after finishing his sentence.

Ingenius Electronic Roulette Cheat Nets Big Score Before Getting Busted!

Source: UK Daily Echo

A gambler cheated a casino out of almost £40,000 during a marathon session at an electronic roulette wheel. Tyrone Pooley, 56, played non-stop for 15 hours after spotting a technical fault which meant he could not lose, a court heard. He opened a panel on the machine and operated switches inside to void games in which he had not placed a winning bet, Southampton Crown Court was told. He was caught after being seen nudging the machine with his knee on CCTV, sparking an investigation by bosses at Maxims Casino in Town Quay, Southampton. Pooley placed spread bets amounting to £1,800 on every number except zero and the three numbers either side. After the ball was dispatched in each game, his wife, who was standing nearby, signalled to him if it had dropped into one of those seven numbers and he activated the door switches to cause a void. His bets would then be forwarded to the next game. The court heard that the machine had since been modified.

Pooley, of Langdale Court, Hove, East Sussex, admitted cheating at gaming and received a 45-week suspended sentence coupled with a 200-hour community work order. In mitigation, David Jenkins said Pooley was now down on his luck.

“He has had some astounding wins but like most gamblers he doesn’t talk much about losing. The fact is he is now living in rented accommodation and relying on state benefits. He has also been banned from every casino in the country, which is a bad blow for him,” he said. “The chances of him reoffending are low to non-existent. It was a chance he took. It was one which he wishes he hadn’t taken.”

The court was told that Pooley was the sole carer for his wife who was ten years older than him and suffering from heart problems. Judge Peter Ralls said that Pooley had been quick to spot the deficiency in the machine and to manipulate it to his advantage. He added that, as “a measure of mercy”, he was not sending him to prison immediately because he was of previous good character and because of his wife’s health difficulties.

Israelis Continue At the Forefront of Online Poker Cheating Scandals

Source: Channel 5 Belize

International scams have reached Belize in a variety of forms from money orders to phantom universities. In the most recent known case, Belize is being tarnished in a scam that is part fact and part fiction. A transnational internet gambling ring that stretched across the globe has included Belize as a part of its web of deceit for almost a decade. The mastermind of the operation are two Israeli brothers, Idan and Shai Raviv. The scam was allegedly housed in a luxury villa in Belize; and Idan is suspected of running it from his home in England. The truth of the matter was that the servers that netted millions of dollars in profit were located in another European country and the other brother, Shai carried out the collection duties in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following an undercover probe, the Israeli Anti-fraud Unit, and the anti gambling force arrested five men suspected of being involved in the gambling network. Idan and Shai were brought before a Rishon Lezion court on Tuesday afternoon where their remand was extended by three days. On Friday they will be released on house arrest.’s the website claimed the operation was housed in Belize. A check of states that the website was created on the eighteenth of June 2000 and its I.P. location, where its computers are stored, is in Estonia, a nation in Europe. If you click on the link for the gambling website, it will say “This Site Currently Unavailable.” But archives stored on the internet showed that users could place bets on various sports around the world including soccer, American football, baseball, boxing, tennis and hockey. Casino games such as poker were also offered with online dealers that could be seen through a live video link. Wagers were collected using credit cards with the funds flowing directly into bank accounts held by Idan and Shai Raviv. The ‘frequently asked questions’ page, highlights whether or not the operation is legal. The answer is “The Belize Gaming Commission has granted us a license to operate as an online bookmaker.” The terms of agreement also states that “Net Games Inc., an International Business Corporation incorporated under the laws of Belize, is fully licensed and regulated by the laws of that country. The warning page maintains that the sites are registered in Belize and are fully licensed to operate under the laws of Belize. But it seems that the connection with Belize and all associations were made up. According to Lincoln Blake of the Ministry of Economic Development, not only have they not issued a license to the gaming operation, they have never heard of the Raviv brothers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are Casinos Unfairly Singling Out Vietnamese For Cheating in Wake of Tran Organization International Cheat Scam?

Well, they just might be, and now Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center in West Virginia finds itself as the defendant in a major lawsuit filed by a Vietnamese woman who was arrested and charged with casino cheating. For those of you who don't recall, the Tran Organization made up of Vietnamese gangsters pulled off the biggest international casino scam on record, bilking casinos in the US and Canada for more than $20 million.

Now the woman accused of cheating at blackjack with the help of a dealer at Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center has filed a lawsuit against the West Virginia Lottery Commission and the State Police.

Source: Andrew Clevenger Charleston Gazette

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Thuhuong Nguyen alleges that she was wrongfully arrested and detained on Aug. 22 while she was lawfully gambling at a table where Derek Maple was the dealer.

Nguyen, 41, of Mount Hope, and Maple, 26, of Poca, both were charged with a racetrack game violation, which is a felony. Court records indicate Kanawha County prosecutors dropped the charges against Nguyen on Aug. 29. After a hearing on Sept. 1, Kanawha County Magistrate Julie Yeager found probable cause in the case against Maple, and his case was bound over to the grand jury. As of Tuesday, he had not been indicted.

"Based upon information and belief, the criminal charges against [Nguyen] were dismissed because a review of video recordings of the events of Aug. 22, 2009, clearly demonstrated that [she] committed no criminal violation," states the lawsuit, filed by Charleston lawyer Mike Callaghan.

The suit also names Lottery Commission Director John C. Musgrave, State Police Superintendent T.S. Pack and Timothy Humphrey, a Lottery employee assigned to Tri-State, as defendants.

State Police Trooper R.L. Walton Jr., who is not named in the suit, went to the Nitro casino, where Humphrey told him that a dealer was cheating, Walton wrote in a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court in August. They looked at videotape and determined that the cheating dealer was Maple and that one of the people he was showing cards to was Nguyen, according to the complaint.

The casino banned Nguyen from entering its premises on Sept. 2, the lawsuit maintains. Nguyen, who contends that she had played legally at several tables with several different dealers on the night she was arrested, alleges her arrest violated her First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights. The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Australian Gang Casino Cheats Using Bustouts to Launder Millions through Casinos!


Australian crime gangs mixed up in casino cheating are using pensioners and the unemployed to launder millions in dirty money through casinos, authorities believe. Centrelink has alerted organised-crime investigators to 15 clients it believes are involved. They are understood to include a Victorian man who bought almost $13 million in chips at Crown, despite being on the dole. The Australian Crime Commission is closely watching casinos after an 18-month probe. ACC chief executive John Lawler said that it had intelligence indicating organised crime groups were engaged in "high-level gambling activity" in legal casinos. Its financial assessment team matched information from casino loyalty programs with other databases, including Centrelink records. Last year, the Herald Sun revealed it had identified about 2600 Centrelink clients who each bought at least $50,000 in chips; 30 had buy-ins of more than $1 million.

Criminal groups infiltrate security:

Many were welfare cheats with gambling addictions and undeclared incomes. But further investigation revealed some had links to organised crime groups. The Herald Sun understands Centrelink referred clients with suspected organised crime links to the ACC for further inquiries. It's believed the ACC identified more suspected money launderers, independently of the welfare agency. The federal crime-fighting agency refused to comment. "The ACC will continue to work with the casino industry to ensure serious and organised criminal entities involved in money laundering are identified and pursued," Mr Lawler said. The investigation also used Immigration, Customs, and tax office data. The ACC estimates the cost of organised crime is $10 billion-15 billion a year, an estimated $6 billion of which goes offshore. Its recent report, Organised Crime in Australia, said most such groups had overseas links, good advice and "professional facilitators". Organised crime groups are typically involved in drugs, weapons trafficking and high-level financial crimes. Human Services Minister Chris Bowen said hi-tech data-matching meant that welfare recipients with illicit incomes would be discovered. "Welfare fraud is a criminal offence liable to long jail sentences," he said. "People who fraudulently claim benefits from Centrelink should consider themselves warned. It's not a question of if you'll be caught, but when." Casinos are required to turn over information to authorities under anti-money laundering laws introduced after the September 11 terrorist attacks.