Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is There a Connection Between the Video Game Cheating World and the Online Poker Cheating World?

You may have heard about the major cheating scandal that has engulfed Blizzard Entertainment's hugely popular StarCraft video game. you may have also noticed a plethora of online websites offering cheat programs for this video game as well as many others. And then as well, you may have noticed that many of today's hotshot young poker players, both online and in the real brick and mortar poker world, have come to the "cheating game" (poker's original name in the Wild West) via online computer video games like StarCraft. To name a few: Justin Bonomo (multi-accounting cheat), Eric Froehlich, David Williams, Brock Parker (2 WSOP bracelets), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Daniel “rekrul” Schreiber. And there are of course many, many more.

The cheating scandal that has hit Starcraft seems to involve the Korean video games community more than any other, but this does not mean that the Koreans coming into online poker are more apt to be online poker cheats than the rest of the players coming from the video game world. Justin Bonomo is not Korean, neither are most of the known online multi-accounters and colluders who´ve had vast online video game experience. One thing to take note of is that video game popularity has grown at about the same rate as online poker popularity, so we have a general crossover of the young generation excelling in both worlds.

The StarCraft cheat scam began in 2006. Illegal gambling cheat rings have been using top-notch pro StarCraft players to throw matches. Also, camp directors and coaches have been collecting fees, and league and tournament organizers seem to have known about it all and are even tinkering with the possibility of coexisting with the cheat rings responsible for all the corruption.

As many of StarCrafts' big names are currently under investigation, we may see a mass emigration from that world into the online poker world, which in my opinion will absolutely boost the online cheating incidents we are all sick and tiref of! And take this a warning! And heed it in the brick and mortar cardrooms too. If you learn that one of your opponents online or off is an ex-video games pro, BEWARE!

In fact, get out of the game.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shame on Daniel Negreanu For Calling Baseball "Complete Garbage"!

If you've read Daniel Negreanu's latest article for Card Player, you know that he wrote an unbridled attack against Major League Baseball. He actually had the gall to call it "complete garbage"! I have one comment to make on him (and his article).

Daniel Negreanu is an ASSHOLE!

Why am I so upset with him? Well, let's start with his article because there is more than just that and the fact he takes himself for some kind of sports and sports-betting guru. He states that baseball is garbage because the Yankees and the Red Sox buy up all the talented free agents and therefore take all the competitiveness out of the game. WRONG! Despite the Red Sox and the Yankees winning three of the last six World Series, there is still plenty of competition in baseball, lots of it coming from teams that do not have big bankrolls to buy free agents. All Negreanu has to do to see this reality is take a look at the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Look, I understand that baseball has been affected by free agency more than other professional sports, but baseball--just like poker, Danny Boy, is a business. And, while we're on the subject, I find it terribe that poker is even considered a sport and that a poker pro takes it upon himself to blog about his opinions on sports and betting on sports.

Speaking of which, Negreanu is so quick to criticize baseball and question its credibility, but does he tell you about all the COMPLETE GARBAGE that he's involved in? Take a look at his mug playing High Stakes Poker on the Game Show Network. Talk about complete garbage! Negreanu doesn't tell you or write about how full of shit that is. Instead he lets you and me believe that he, Sam Farha, Brunson, Jennifer Harmon and the rest of them are really playing for all those hundreds of thousands, instead of telling us the truth that its all hyped-up bullshit for ratings and big money for them for their TV appearances. He also doesn't mention that any money won or lost at the High Stakes Poker Table is just for show, whether or not the network execs are in on it. In fact, if you want to read the real facts about High Stakes Poker, click here for my article on it that has appeared in several poker magazines.

So in short, Negreanu, why don't you just stick to your poker and keep your mouth shut about stuff you know nothing about...or about scams like High Stakes Poker that you participate in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Good Blackjack Pastposts Continue to Dupe the World's Casinos

Hardly a week goes by that I don't find an online news article about improvements made to casino video surveillance systems that are sure to reduce casino cheats' success rate to zero. In the last three days alone, I have read five such articles about video surveillance improvements in casinos in Singapore and Australia, not to mention that both are areas getting hammered by professional casino cheat teams.

These articles, obviously written by reporters and journalists who know nothing about cheating casinos and only write verbatim what casino officials tell them during interviews, make me laugh! I know from tons of firsthand experience that all these video-systems improvements only serve AFTER the fact. They don't help casino dealers and supervisors against cheating WHILE the cheating is actually going on. Why is this so true? Because good casino cheats know how to offset surveillance systems. What they do is employ strategy setups with built-in psychology that fool the human beings on the casinos' floors so that video surveillance never comes into play. Don't forget, I am talking about skilled casino-cheat teams. The cameras will of course catch the scores of amateur and desperado cheats, but a talented cheat doing moves such as the fabled blackjack ten-oh-five will overcome whatever improvements are made to security and surveillance.

The point I'm making is that casinos, if they truly want to stop or reduce the success of the real professional cheats, need to have their HUMAN BEINGS trained in the art of casino cheating. This way their staff will know WHEN to call surveillance for video verifications.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poker Cheat Nick Grudzien Now Facing Solid Collusion Evidence Against Him in Full Tilt and PokerStars Online Cheat Scams!


Three weeks ago, founder and high stakes poker pro Nick Grudzien admitted to using multiple accounts on Full Tilt and PokerStars but denied charges that he was colluding. Earlier today, NoahSD posted a detailed investigative report on the 2+2 high stakes forum proving the accusations to be true.

The full report, which you can see here, is a detailed analysis of the preflop play between the suspected players. Noah also produced a summary of his report that you can see here.

Noah showed that Nick Grudzien colluded with his friend and business partner Robert Papps by analyzing the number of times they 3-bet against each other compared to against other players. He showed that the variation in their play could not be justified through strategic reasons or through random chance. His post was met with wide acclaim and applause from the 2+2 community, who confirmed his analysis and thanked him for his work. They also heavily criticized Full Tilt and PokerStars, who were alerted that the players were colluding over a year ago, but failed to properly investigate the situation.

While colluding, Grudzien played under his false accounts “40putts” on Full Tilt and “knockstiff” PokerStars. His friend played as “Kinetica” and “LittleZen.” Both of the players employed a short stack strategy. Under this type of play, a player generally plays with a 20BB stack and either shoves or folds against preflop opening raises. Noah’s analysis showed that they only 3-bet 1-2% of hands when playing against each other. This represents a range of KK+, AK, which is far lower than against any other players, and far too low to make sense with their strategies.

Noah found that these two players put in more hands against each other than against anyone else, sat next to each other whenever possible, and had highly correlated session times. He also proved that these stats could not reasonably have occurred by random chance. He undertook this investigation and report because he was outraged by Grudzien’s actions and by Full Tilt and PokerStars failure to detect the cheating.

Some posters pointed out that Noah’s analysis clearly shows softplaying, but not colluding. In response, Noah said that the only difference is a matter of intention, and that “if you have to prove intention in order to prove collusion, then we’d never be able to prove that people colluded unless they were dumb enough to admit it.” He added, “I proved that they played exactly like cheaters would. I showed that they had no rational reason for doing this except to cheat.”

2+2 Sponsored Coach “boywonder” called the report “Very clearly outlined deductive work… I could see that they were colluding without a doubt, and this proves that without that evidence having to be released.” He too criticized the two poker networks, demanding that the accounts be frozen and all money used to refund the players they colluded against. “If refunds are not made, I would expect Stars to make their investigation public and refute the evidence brought forward here by Noah,” he said.

Noah and the 2+2 community is still awaiting a response from Full Tilt and PokerStars. Grudzien has not responded to the report, and there is no word on whether or not the disputed money is still in his online accounts.

Thanks to Noah and his associates for their excellent work revealing this scandal.

Australia's Star City Casino To Beef Up Surveillance Tech In Wake of Cheating Blitz!

Australia has been a great cheat haven for professional casino and poker teams for a long time now, at least since the days when I was beating their pants off in the '90s. Now officials of the Star City Casino in Sydney have announced that they're going to beef up their surveillance systems in an attempt to catch...or at least thwart some of the cheating.

According to its plan, Star City Casino will increase its total number of video cameras by 50 per cent within the next 18 months. They say they are particularly concerned with cheating going on at table games, especially blackjack and baccarat, where dealer-insider false-shuffle scams have hit hard the past 20 years. As of now, Star City has some 1200 cameras that cover its gaming space, which includes a special high rollers salon. Currently, surveillance inspectors have been catching lots of chip and slot-credit snatchers, and they say they have caught twice as many cheats in the past 12 months than in the previous 12 months, but obviously they know they are getting beat twice as much as well.

According to Star City's numbers, 446 cases of thefts and casino cheating have been reported since Jan. 1, 2009, about 30 per month. Previous figures released by the New South Wales Casino Control Authority reported 177 incidents of theft, fraud and cheating during a twelve-month span from June 2008 to June 2009.

"We don't believe there's been a rise in crime. There has been an increase in the number of criminals apprehended," a Star City Casino spokesman told the press. Those cheats have included using stolen and counterfeit casino chips as well as marked cards.

My take: Well, I think that Star City spokesman left a lot out of his statement. I personally know that the casino, as well as others Down Under, have been hit repeatedly by roulette pastposting teams, blackjack card counters and have also been victimized by Asian baccarat cheats bribing dealers as the Tran Organization did in the US and Canada. Its increased surveillance cameras will only help a little. As I have always said, well-trained personnel in the area of anti-cheating does a lot more for casino security than whatever high-tech equipment they can bring in.