Saturday, April 03, 2010

Cheating Roulette Dealers Working Indian Tribal Reservation Casinos With Their Agents!

I have just returned from a tour of Tribal (or Native American) casinos across the United States and found a little surprise in four different tribal casinos. Besides the usual rinky-dink casino scams that abound not only in these but in all American casinos, I stumbled upon four separate cases of cheating roulette dealers, and each one of them was pretty good. Since they were all working similar inside scams, I got to wondering whether this was a highly organized multi-tribal casino scam in the works, perhaps the first evidence of a Tran Organization-type scam transferring from baccarat tables to roulette wheels.

In each scenario I witnessed, the dealer was laying down the cheat moves for his agent, to whom he paid the winning chips. After the ball dropped into the slot for the winning number, the dealer would sweep the losing chips off the layout as usual. Then he paid the winning bets on the outside, such as the dozen-bets, column-bets, odd-even bets and red-black bets. The cheat moves were then performed as the dealer shifted his (and hers--I spotted one female dealer in the act) attention on the winning chips on the inside of the layout surrounding the winning number. When the dealer picked up the dolly atop the winning number to verify and re-stack the chips underneath, he very deftly dropped two or three chips that he'd already had palmed in his hand onto the stack. This was done only when there were already at least two winning chips on the number, as the dealers wisely knew that the cameras above could see whether or not there were winning chips on the number but could not tell how many there were. Only in cases when the cameras are zoomed in on the winning number from different angles would they be able to see how many chips are lying there. This would occur only when casino surveillance was looking for this type of move, which in reality is never. It didn't matter to the cheating dealers whether the chips legitimately bet on the winning number were their cohorts' or not. As long as chips were already there, the dealers continued putting the "icing on the cake."

I cannot name these casinos at this time for a variety of reasons, but it doesn't really matter because the dealers are cheating only the house and not the players, so if you happen to be on one of these reservation roulette wheels while this goes down, it will not affect your win or loss at all.

My take: Pretty good scam that will go on quite awhile as long as the dealers and their agents don't get to greedy. While I watched them in action, they took about $150 to $250 per hour off the tables.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Woman Looking to Sue Colorado Casino Over $43 Million Slot Jackpot Cheat Case!


If Louise Chavez's experience at a Central City, Colo. casino was memorialized on a tee shirt, it might read something like this: "I won $42.9-million at Fortune Valley Casino and all I got was a lousy breakfast."

While celebrating her birthday at the casino, Chavez hit pay dirt on a penny slot machine. The machine's payout window confirmed that she had won an eight-figure sum and, naturally, she was ecstatic. But then casino officials told her that the winnings were in error. Five hours later, they insisted that the machine would need to be inspected before a correct payout could be determined. In return for her patience and disappointment, the casino offered to comp her a night at a hotel, refund the $23 that she put into the machine and provide a free breakfast. She took the breakfast.

Will Chavez End Up a Multi-Millionaire?

Considering the Colorado Gaming Department's assertion that this particular type of slot machine is designed to pay off no more than $250,000, does Chavez have a shot at collecting anything close to $42.9-million – an amount which, she had been told, is more than the entire casino is worth?

"Her likelihood is slim," says Las Vegas attorney David Chesnoff, a go-to guy for clients who range from the town's biggest poker pros to celebrities like Britney Spears and Sug Knight. "If it's a factual mistake, the gaming authority will back the casino. If Colorado is anything like Nevada, whatever gaming says is what it will be unless she can show any kind of fraud."

Asked if he would handle this case, Chesnoff offers up an unequivocal "No!"

Maybe Chavez would have better luck with lawyer Bob Nersesian. Also based in Vegas, he's known as an aggressive player's advocate and once succeeded in getting a faulty slot machine payout resolved in the gambler's favor. "I got a $100,000 jackpot for a guy who played a machine that was programmed never to pay out more than nine grand," he says. "It was a similar kind of mistake; a mechanism inside the machine had been misprogrammed." But, says Nersesian, that case happened during a different time. "Today, I don't think I would win that case," he says.

In all likelihood, whether it's right or wrong, Chavez will receive whatever the proper payout should be based on what came up on the wheels, not the sum of money that flashed on the screen, says Nersesian. She and her attorney may have a bone to pick with the slot-machine manufacturer, with which the casino probably has an indemnity agreement, he says.

Even Nersesian, who wrested a large settlement from a casino and the Las Vegas police department after a blackjack player was wrongfully imprisoned for cheating, can see the excesses of this situation given that the $42.9 million is more than the casino is worth. "Bottom line, they are not going to shut down the casino for this. And, in all reality, that is what they'll be doing if they give her the $42.9 million," he says.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Should You Believe Everything You Read Online and in Magazines About Daniel Negreanu and Other Brick and Mortar Top Poker Pros Playing For Millions Online?

Well, I certainly don't. If you read Daniel Negreanu's recent blog post about his latest month playing $100-$200 no-limit poker online and his swings of being ahead $200,000 and now even, you might want to ask yourself why Negreanu would bother playing online poker for such stakes in the first place, especially given his huge success offline in brick and mortar poker rooms across the world.

My answer is that he probably isn't really playing for the amounts he says he is and blogs about. Then you have Mike The Mouth Matusow who claims to be another multimillion-dollar online poker player...and supposedly multimillion-dollar victim to the UltimateBet scam. Do I believe all this? Not for a second!

If you remember, I once wrote a magazine article about how I thought the TV show "High Stakes Poker" was nothing more than a staged script, with piles of purple $500 and yellow $1,000 chips stacked neatly next to huge wads of packaged $100 bills. All which looked great for the cameras. My challenge was, Why would Negreanu, Sammy Farha or any of the rest of them on that show risk that kind of money on TV or anywhere else? Why would they not stick to playing against players of lower caliber in big-time Vegas cash games and tournaments, where they strictly have the best of it? My grandfather once told me, "Richard, don't gamble anywhere unless you have the best of it." I would think that Negreanu's and Matusow's grandfathers told them something similar. I still think the "High Stakes Poker" show is jacked-up hype, endorsement money for Negeanu and the rest of them, and in a word--BULLSHIT!

So when I read about these same guys playing for millions online, when they cannot see their opponents' tells or even know who they are, and where they cannot invoke lots of the skills that made them great brick and mortar players to begin with, I get the same feeling--it's all bullshit!

Do you agree? Let me know.