Friday, February 19, 2010

DNA Casino Game Protection...Fact or Fiction? Will DNA Be Used as Evidence Against Poker, Casino and Slot Cheats?

You probably know that casinos began their high-tech war on poker and casino cheats by using biometric facial-recognition technology about five years ago, as well as RFID technology in the chips. But what about DNA? Can it somehow be used to thwart and arrest these poker and casino cheats? Let's look at some possibilities.

Scenario 1:

Back in 1996 at the Horseshoe casino in Tunica, Mississippi, I pastposted a $100 chip straight-up on number 32 after the roulette ball fell into the inner pocket for that number. As always, I immediately left the table as the claimer (person who claims the pastposted bet) moved into positon to begin his claim to get paid the $3,500 for the fraudulent bet. But that fateful day, my claimer, Lou Alaimo, who didn't last long on my cheat team, froze up and never opened his mouth. Then he shit in his pants and left the casino in a hurry, leaving the pastposted $100 chip lying there on number 32. My old teammate, the legendary Pat Mallory, was not involved in the laying or claiming of the move, so he was able to stay behind to gage the casino's reaction, which would have been fairly easy to predict after the dealer asked everyone at the table "whose winning bet is this on number 32?" The dealer was not the least bit spooked and only wanted to pay the right person the $3,500. But when no one responded, naturally things in that Horseshoe roulette pit began heating up fast!

When the dealer told his floor supervisor that no one at the table claimed the $3,500 payoff, he immediately got suspicious and called casino surveillance. It just so happened that the overhead camera had filmed me putting in the move. They also had some videotape of my face underneath the baseball cap I had been wearing.

The Horseshoe tried to mobilize as quick as they could to grab me up, but naturally I was long gone, at the casino bar in the nearby Sheraton casino. When Pat arrived to tell me what had happened, we immediately picked up the lame claimer Lou and got out of Dodge! I later learned that I was ID'd by Griffin Investigations and Mississippi Gaming as having been the "mechanic" on that aborted roulette move.

However, they only had overhead video shots, not enough to positively ID me in court.

But what if they had immediately closed down that roulette table without touching anything and called the local CSI (or the closest thing to it at the time), and a team of CSIs arrived at the casino to investigate the "crime scene"? They surely could have taken fingerprints off that pastposted $100 chip. That alone with the videotape would have nailed me, right?

What about DNA? I had been sitting at the bottom of that roulette table for half an hour before I put the move in. In spite of the ballcap, a hair or two or three had to fall from my head onto the layout, my chair or the floor, right? I know there could have been hundreds of human hairs in the vicinity, but they could have scooped them if they'd wanted. Then after gathering hairs, they could have taken the videotape evidence to a judge and probably gotten an order to get a DNA sample from me to compare with the hairs.

I would have been dead to rights again, right?

Back then DNA was already in use, as we all know from the O.J. murder trial a year and half before that. I always wondered why casinos still have not used DNA in poker, slot and casino cheat investigations. Will it happen soon? I would think so, especially if we see the likes of another giant slot machine scam where members of the cheat team leave DNA evidence on or near the victimized slot machines.

Scenario 2:

A juicy high-stakes poker game is going on at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. During the game someone notices what he thinks is a high-tech card marking on one of the aces. The highly skilled card marker gets wind of this and quickly gets up and leaves the table and the casino. Later, infrared surveillance technology confirms that a high-tech card marking operation had been taking place. The suspected card marker is picked up on video but he is not recognized by investigators and not in any of the facial recognition data bases. Fingerprints are taken off the particular marked ace and other cards, but they don't match any prints in the state or federal systems. Hairs are collected from the table, chair and floor where the card marker had been playing. They are put into evidence storage with the marked cards.

All this sounds like the guy would be cooked if he ever came back into the Bellagio and got apprehended, right? Or for that matter, if he ever got caught marking cards anywhere in the world.

So, did this scenario really happen at the Bellagio?

No...but when it does we will surely get a gander at it on a future episode of CSI...with the poker card-marking cheat opening his mouth and Marg Helgenberger sticking in the Q-tip.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Early Reports of Massive Casino Cheating in Singapore's New Casino!

The giant Resorts World Sentosa Casino has barely been open for 72 hours and already I am getting reports of hordes of professional casino cheating teams going thru the casino the way the Allies went through Normandy in 1944. This D-Day-style attack on the Resorts World Casino is seeing top-notch pro cheat-teams from Italy, France, Germany, Russia, and of course the US, which among these casino-cheating allies are the best. Most of this first assault wave of casino cheating is pastposting and bet-switching, the latter occurring on the casino's dice tables. I have not gotten word on any inside false-shuffle baccarat scams, but don't worry, they will be coming, probably at a pace that rivals Macau.

Of course the world's best card-counting and advantage play teams have joined the feast, working over the blackjack and baccarat tables.

Funny, but the casino itself is admitting to nothing of the kind going on. According to press releases from Resorts World Sentosa and independent Singaporean news articles, the main casino cheating problem is just people breaking the law simply to get into the casino. There have been underage people using phony IDs to get in. But a bigger entrance problem is for the native Sinaporeans who, unlike foreigners allowed to enter free, have to pay SD$100 to gain entry for a single day, which is roughly $71 US dollars. This must be the highest casino entry fee in the world! Imagine paying seventy bucks to enter a goddam casino! The yearly fee to Singaporeans is a whopping SD$2,000, that's $1,420 US. There should be a huge outcry over this...better yet, a revolution!!!

I also heard that one angry loser in the casino, apparently a Singaporean who may have also been upset with the entry fee, was later arrested at the airport for stealing communications equipment from a passenger in transit.

My take: This casino is going to get KILLED by the cheats. The professional teams will run over the tables and the rookie surveillance crew, despite its state-of-the-art video technology, have no chance in hell of stopping the invasion, or even slowing it. The same thing will occur when Singapore's second monster casino, the Sands Marina Bay, opens up later this year. When new casino areas open, the casino-cheat shelling usually lasts a year before the casinos start to learn how to defend themselves. No new casino area will ever take the "welcome-to-the-casino-cheat" shellacking that Atlantic City did when it opened up in 1978.That bombardment, of which I was an integral part, lasted a good six years!  

Doyle Brunson Denies Poker Cheat Allegations!

In a recent article written by legendary poker player (and poker cheat for many) Doyle Brunson for Cardplayer magazine, the old poker-face of poker took on the cheating allegations head on. He wrote, "My daughter Pam called my attention to a blog written for Cardplayer by Dusty Schmidt and the comments that were posted. The comments were insane and some of them are downright comical. The one I like best was that I cheated Andy Beal and was threatened by Andy and had to return 16 million dollars. Do people actually hear these kind of stories or do they make them up? Did Andy say he would kill me if I didn’t give him all that money? Do you supposed he would have intimidated me more than Tony Spilotro did when he tried to get me into his cheating schemes? The next time I see Andy, we will have a good laugh about this little gem.

As far as the other negative stuff about the old time cheating, I spent two long years defending myself about that. I don’t intend to go through it again. For the record, I never had any involvement in cheating in poker from any era. This is America, believe me or not, I really don’t care any longer. It does look like there would be some evidence somewhere besides wild stories."

My take: LOL! Come on, Doyle, you are (or better said, "were") at least as big a cheat to poker as I was to casinos! You're right, this is America, the land of the home and the brave...and the cheats!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Isildur1 Back Playing Full Tilt After Online Poker Cheat Scandal!


There have been possible sightings at Absolute Poker, and he’s been seen at some lower stakes here and there. But his brief appearance yesterday, and his much more exciting re-debut today, Isildur1 has been harder to track down than Elvis and 2pac since he got bitch-slapped by the card player fellow’s.

Since he’s been gone, we at 4flush have been forced to do some crazy things, like call an earthquake a hurricane, misquote some very dull drama, and throw crumpled up balls around the news room to amuse ourselves.

Isildur1 was spotted by playing a wicked stretch at Full Tilt Poker where he met up with LuvtheWNBA (who‘s bankroll he lightened by about 120k.), also known as Isaac Haxton, and Justin Bonomo known as Zeejustin when he’s playing poker online. Isildur was down to Haxton early on but he picked it up, before moving on to accept a game with ZeeJustin,

Zeejustin lost $550k to isildur1 in one hand. Amazing.

Good news for Bonomo though, according to High Stakes News, a buddy had a piece of his action, cutting his laws. After dumping 550k + at tables, ZeeJustins backer, backed out. He told Isildur1 he could continue playing, but he’d half to drop down to the $100/$200 tables, Isildur1 passed, claiming he was to tired for that, and the two bid each other good night.

In all seriousness though, the question we’re all dying to see answered is this: Will Isildur1 face Brian Hastings (and team) again? According to High Stakes Poker News, the Swedish poker player’s bankroll should be right around a million bucks right now.

Should Probability Tell You You're Being Cheated in Your Home Poker Game?

Well...the answer to that is a bit sketchy. But what probability analysis can clearly tell you is that there is a POSSIBILITY, or even a good possibility that you're being cheated. However, probability can never dictate unequivocally that you are being cheated.

One good idea for analyzing probability deviations is to consider them strictly as evidence. For instance, if you are playing poker with your buddies whom you know fairly well, especially their abilities at the poker table, and you believe you are a better player than most or all of them, and you are consistently losing to them over a significant period of time, then this deviation might be telling you that one of your buddies is moonlighting as a poker cheat!

The best way to do this sort of analysis is to use a sample grouping, say the number of hands played over a long period of time, say 20 to 40 sessions at the poker table. Remember that the smaller the sample group, the more the influence of luck, usually bad luck. If your sample group is too small, you most likely are looking at a run of bad luck where your amateur poker buddies are just getting lucky...or maybe they're just better players than you had thought. What you should do is use probability to figure what your win rate per hour should be, and then if there is more than a 30% negative deviation from that over a period of 10 sessions, you should begin to look into the possibility of cheating going on. I would say that deviations of 10 to 20% should not set off any alarm bells unless they go on and on and on. The long-term negative deviation difference between 10% and 30% or more might also be reflected by the ability of the poker cheats in question to cheat.

Remember one thing that is very important when you are trying to determine if somebody in your home game might be cheating: the cheating poker player has nothing to fear legally from his attempts to cheat in home games. True, he might risk getting the shit kicked out of him if exposed, but that is a helluva lot better than going thru the legal system and possibly ending up in prison, which are the results of getting caught cheating in public cardrooms. accurate is my assessment of home games poker cheating?...100%