Friday, February 11, 2011

PokerStars Eliminates Double-Or-Nothing Sit & Go Tournaments Because of Online Poker Cheating!

The PokerStars VIP Manager posted this stunning news on the 2+2 Poker Forum on Wednesday, saying that as of 15 February, 2011, the hugely popular Double-or-Nothing Sit & Go tournaments will no longer be available on the site. This is directly due to international online poker cheating collusion rings that have been infesting these Double or Nothing Sit and Go tournaments that offer buy-ins ranging from $1 to $1,000.

Why Have These Tournaments Been So Succeptible to Cheating?

Well, first, let's take a look at what a Double or Nothing Tournament is. In short, it is a tournament that awards winning players double their buy-in after half of the players at the table have been knocked out. So a full table of 10 players who each paid a $10 buy-in would award the last five players remaining by allowing them to split the $100 of total buy-ins at that table, their respective chip stacks at the time having no bearing.

During much of last year these Double-or-Nothing Sit & Go tournaments came under intense scrutiny because of highly sophisticated collusion rings operating out of Korea and China that took aim at them. It became evident to online poker security investigators that DoN SNGs were very vulnerable to collusion rings. They could not help but notice the tremendous change in strategies of players such as those not playing many hands during most of a tournament and then in key spots playing almost every hand where lots of raising and re-raising took place.

PokerStars is now offering a form of the Sit & Go Tournament that is similar to Double-or-Nothing called Fifty50. For more on that go to their site.

My take: Well, in spite of the huge popularity of this kind of bankroll-building tournament, PokerStars did what it had to do: combat online poker cheating on every front whenever possible. The only problem is that whenever a new form of online poker tournament is created to ensure less cheating, some sophisticated online cheat team somewhere finds new ways to cheat it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Should Journalists, Reporters and Bloggers Be Barred From Sitting Close to Poker Tournament Tables in Action Because of Cheating Scandals?

If you have been following this blog, you know that there have been a handful of major poker tournament cheating scandals involving players teaming up with journalists and bloggers, who used cameras and signals to peek at other players' hole cards and relay the information to their cohorts playing at the tournament tables. In Holland and elsewhere in Europe some well-known poker pros have been disqualified from tournaments for this type of poker cheating.

So, should journalists, bloggers and other types of reporters not be allowed too close to the poker tournament action? I think barring them would be going too far. As in all groups linked to poker tournament cheating, the percentage of those journalists and bloggers involved in cheating at the tables is very low. Now that this type of cheating has been uncovered several times, it is likely to decrease and even go away on its own.

So let's keep allowing journalists and reporters their intimate contact with poker--as it is very good for the game and does more good than harm.

Well-Known Poker Tournament Pro David Saab Facing Huge Drug-Dealing Charges!

David Saab, a successful poker pro of nearly 40 years who had lots of tournament success in the 2000s was busted at the end of January with two other men and charged with cocaine trafficking of more than 20 kilos of the drug ($5 million street value). He know faces 25 years in prison and this might put an end to his poker career, at least his brick and mortar poker career.

As far as hit future bars and cement poker career...we'll have to wait and see.

My take: Obviously Saab was not making enough playing poker to suit his tastes and needs. Or maybe he was blowing off to much money in live poker games.

Tran Casino Cheat Organization Lady Co-Founder Used Seductress Powers to Get Baccarat and Blackjack Dealers to Cheat

Van Thu Tran, the 44-year-old Vietnamese woman who co-founded the international casino-cheating organization bearing her last name, allegedly seduced the vast majority of participant blackjack and baccarat dealers to take part in the scam.

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING! First of all, Tran is 44 years old! I am not saying women in their 40s can't possess the powers and looks of seduction (there are lots of 'em who do), but take a look at this picture of Tran. Hardly a knockout! To me, she looks like a cherubic borderline fatso who probably has rolls of fleshy hills around her stomach. Definitely not the type of woman horny young male casino dealers would be looking to pop, let alone risk their jobs and freedom to do so. I am not buying this seduction theory. I say the dealers simply liked the scam and thought they could get away with it.

Search this blog for all you need to know on the Tran Baccarat and Blackjack Scam.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Are Some Online Casinos Cheating Players On Payouts?

I received a handful of interesting emails from different people last week, and frankly it's hard to believe the contents of any of them. However, they were all complaints about the same thing: online casinos cheating each of them on payouts.

The first e-mailer wrote that on several online casino sites on which he played roulette the casino cheated him on the payout when he hit a winning number. He said that this was happening to him on at least four online casinos whenever he bet on the inside numbers (straight-ups, splits, corners, etc.) He said that when he bet straight up on a number, he received the correct payoff of thirty-five to one but the casinos locked up his original winning bet as if it were a loser.

What is supposed to happen when a player hits a winning bet in roulette is that the bet is paid and the winning wager is left on the number on the layout (up to the player whether to rake it off or let it ride). When I heard this I figured that somehow the writer was mistaken or simply just playing around with me, but then I received three more emails to the same effect. I am currently investigating this and will write more about it when I have evidence either confirming or disproving this alleged cheating by online sites.

I also received two emails from online baccarat players who said they were several times shortchanged while being paid for winning tie-hand wagers. The tie bet in baccarat generally pays 8 to 1 (in some casinos both online and off 9 to 1). These players complained that they were receiving only 7 to 1 on winning baccarat tie-bets.


Baccarat tables sometimes use tricks to deceive players. Back in the 70s and 80s on some Las Vegas brick and mortar casino baccarat tables the text for the tie bet said "9 for 1," which is the same as 8 to 1. By using the word "for" instead of "to," casinos can make the same payoff seem more attractive by the way they word it. My first thought about these online baccarat complaints was maybe the tables the writers were playing on said "8 FOR 1" instead of "8 TO 1," which would be correct as a 7 to 1 payoff but still a ripoff because the tie bet should always pay at least 8 to 1. Of course there is the possibility that the online casinos in question are in fact cheating players on payouts, but I don't have any solid info on this yet and will also investigate it.

If anyone out there has similar online casino or online poker cheating complaints, please let me know at once!