Friday, July 02, 2010

Is RealDealPoker.Com Any More Secure Against Online Cheating Than Fully Automated Sites...Or Just Another Gimmick to Lure Players?

First, if you don't know what Read Deal Poker is, it's a new online poker room that uses real cards with shuffle machines and allows players to virtually cut the cards before each deal, all of which they claim are strong anti-online poker-cheating measures. Their slogan is "play poker online, not online poker." They state that integrity is higher because Real Deal Poker's actual cards shuffled and dealt by machines ensure the true randomness of their games. Moreover, they claim that allowing the players to cut the deck and using burn cards is a deterrent to using online poker bots (I disagree with that). And, of course, they state that all hands can be reviewed by a third-party upon request.

AND, they just signed ex-boxing champ Evander "The REAL DEAL" Holyfield to be their publicity front man.

So, what's the REAL deal here?

Well, it's about as real as it sounds, meaning that the use of real cards and card-shuffling machines, and allowing players to cut with burn cards does absolutely nothing to make ME feel more secure playing online poker...or poker online...or whatever they want to call it. This is because any cheating method in the world can be employed by the site itself to cheat you (the possibilities are too long too list here). Imagine, if sleight of hand in person is so effective, how much more effective and easy to pull off would it be when viewers are seeing it on a compuuter screen? Come on, gimme a break! Now I am not saying or suggesting that the operators of Real Deal Poker are thinking of cheating their customers--it's probably the last thing on their minds--I am only saying that given the low percentage of problems with automated random number generators, plus the fact that the vast majority of online poker cheating comes from players on the outside and not key employees within (despite the huge Absolute Poker and UltimateBet inside scams), Real Deal's real-card presentation is not going to change the online poker cheat-factor. And then you have the problems when these machines--if they are functioning without manipulation, which they should be, break down or don't operate with 100% efficiency.

Bottom line: It's a great gimmick!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If Only Poker Forum Members Didn't Post Such Dumb Comments!...Especially When They Talk About Cheating

Like many other thousands or millions of people, I read the posts on many different poker forums, even though I am not a member of any. Frankly, I just couldn't contribute to these forums that are populated not necessarily by dumb people, but by people who make dumb comments, especially when it comes to cheating at poker online and in brick and mortar poker rooms.

To give you an example of this poker forum dumbness, I am not going to quote something said that is so obviously stupid but rather something that is more subtily stupid. I found this "subtlepidity" on the PocketFives forum on a thread discussing how rigged Full Tilt Poker is or isn't. One poster said, "But online poker, with the exception of known cheating scandals, is not rigged."

Now, let's break down the stupidity of that statement. Of course we know that if cheating scandals are not known, they are not known. Which means we know about the cheating scandals only to the extent that they are known, right? So in other words, if the cheating is not known, then we can't say it isn't happening, right? I can sit here and bend sentences in a million different ways, but in the end, I know--and I hope you do too-that since so many cheating scandals ARE known, we have to assume that there are many other cheating scandals that are not known, right? Which means there is a heck of a lot of online poker cheating going on at Full Tilt Poker...and just about every other online poker site as well...right?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Confusing Story of Korean Hackers Busted in Major Online Poker Bot-Cheating Operation!

I ran across this article from and don't really know what to make of it, but it seems worthy enough to publish on

Korean police nabbed 33 hackers who were using bots to cheat online poker players from November 2009 through May of this year.

I've heard of targeted cyber attacks, but this isn't something I'd previously considered: using botnet bots not to launch denial-of-service attacks, but to spy the hands of opposing card players.

This is from a story that ran in today's JoonAng Daily:

The Cyber Terror Response Center in Gyeonggi said the gang used a DDOS attack to infect 11,000 computers at 700 PC rooms across the country.
Police said Yu bought the “Netbot Attacker” program from a Chinese hacker last November, then sold copies online to Kim and others. The gang broke into the administrative systems of the PC rooms and installed the virus in their computers to allow them to see the hands of poker opponents.

According to the story, the 33 hackers cheated online poker players out of 55 million won, the equivalent on about $45,265. I'm sure the reporter meant that the attacker's used bots designed for DDOS attacks to infect the PCs, not that the PCs were infected through a DDOS attack.

Now, these bots are commonly used to launch attacks that swamp Web sites and servers with so much traffic that they can't keep up with requests and either become painfully slow or crash until the attack can be stopped or mitigated. However, once an end point is infected with a bot, that bot can be often used to download other types of attack software, or do other things on the system: which is apparently what these attackers chose to do with their poker cheats.

Online gaming is a popular target for online attacks, but usually it's the gaming site owner that is targeted, not the players. I wrote about such attacks in a story, Extortion Online, in late 2004.

In those threats, botnet operators were threatening to use their networks to make the gaming sites unavailable - unless they were paid $100,000 annually.

South African Casino Cheat Gets 7 Months in Singapore Slam!

Apparently, Sibongile Arthur Mgxashe, a 33 year-old South African businessman, came to Genting Highlands, Malaysia last May to buy clothes for his clothing business in South Africa. But he stopped off at Resorts World Sentosa Casino to play a little roulette and blackjack and dropped two grand. Evidently he was pissed off about the loss and decided to return to Resorts World and get his money back the easy way--pastposting!

He not only got his two grand back but ended up cheating the Sentosa casino out of $14,000 by twice pastposting two black chips ($200) straight up on inside numbers. But then he got caught and ended up in front of a Singapore judge, who's been quite busy these days sentencing Singapore casino cheats. Facing ten years in prison, the judge decided to go easy and gave Mgxashe seven months in prison, just enough time to get accustomed to the prison variety of Singaporean cuisine.

The judge heard from the prosecutor that Mgxashe's casino cheats were premeditated and therefore warranted a tough sentence. However, the accused's lawyer said that Mgxashe is a legitimate businessman who couldn't cope with having lost his $2,000 and desperately tried to cheat to win it back...ha-ha-ha! Then why did he do the second move after he got paid $7,000 after the first? Seems more like greed or professional cheating than a regretful man trying only to recoup his losses.

Actually, the prosecutor claimed that Mgxashe cheated the casino out of more than $30,000 and that only a fraction of that amount was recovered. In any case, the South African "clothing cheat" copped out to three counts of theft and one count of attempted casino cheating in exchange for his seven months in jail.

My take: Mgxashe got off cheap! And how the hell do you pronounce his name?

Monday, June 28, 2010

AngryShark68 Joran van der Sloot Was Major Online Poker Player...Cheat?

Joran van der Sloot, sitting in his Peruvian prison cell and probably up in arms over a judge's decision to let his original murder confession stand, was quite the online poker player and, according to some sources, had enjoyed some significant successes. His main online poker screen name, AngryShark68, seems to sum up the killer/poker player/cheat character well. He sure as hell must be an angry guy killing these innocent women, and the shark part of it might pertain to his own self-praise as a "card shark", or maybe as an overall shark who endlessly preys the poker and casino worlds for victims (his first alleged victim, Natalee Holloway, was also seen with him in a casino in Aruba).

Van der Sloot reportedly won US $12,000 in a Party Poker tournament. He is also known to have played in several other online tournaments under the same screen name. Did he cheat online poker tournaments? Well, I have no proof that he did, but considering how he cheated in everything else in life, including his extortion of poor Natalee Holloway's parents, I would bet my last chip that he did!

Also, note the irony that when van der Sloot was apprehended in Chile before being extradited back to Peru, he was grabbed up on Route 68. Could the mentally freakish van der Sloot somehow have known that his poker road would come to an end there and for this reason used "68" in his online screen name?

I'll let you think about that!

Gambling 911 Pushing Poker Cheat Video DVDs

There have been too many poker cheating and anti-poker cheating DVDs offered online for years now, but evidently Gambling 911, a highly-viewed and even higher-glamorized gambling information website, doesn't think so. It is now pushing a series of poker-cheat DVDs claiming to thoroughly educate you on everything from false dealing, false shuffles, card-peeking, card-switching, card-marking, card-bending, card-control while shuffling to culling discards (what the heck is that? LOL), card-crimping, card-palming, cold-decking, false cuts, card-daubing (another form of card-marking), how to nullify cuts, holding out cards, etc, etc.

Is there anything new or worthwhile to see on these DVDs (which I have seen)? Well, I guess if you haven't seen any of the others, which is unlikely, then you might want to take a look at these. But remember, practically all the cheat methods you see on these DVDs are only feasible in home poker games, where cheating is of course much easier and much less seriuos for those getting caught at it---unless, of course, the accused ends up getting injured or killed, which was the case recently in Chicago.

Gambling 911 is also pushing the same sort of DVDs on blackjack cheating, also which are not that useful in casinos.