Friday, February 18, 2011

Cyber Poker Cheats Targeted 100 Online Poker Sites!


This news broke about a month ago, but I missed it so I am reporting on it now.

A South Korean web hosting company that allegedly hosted an illegal gambling site is in trouble with authorities for organising a series of “cyber attacks” on competing illegal online casinos in order to grab gambling business from rival gangsters.

Between November 21st and December 15th, 2010, Lee, 32, head of the computer server company along with Park, 37, a hacker working for an Incheon based crime gang which owned the gambling site, organised distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) against 109 rival casino websites every day.

Incheon gang member Yeom, 34, also purchased a list of 50,000 infected computers from Chinese criminals, which he then gave to Lee and Park in order to further distribute malicious software.

The ultimate aim of the gang was to disrupt the operations of rival casino sites in order to force gamblers to seek other sites to wager on, namely their own.

An additional aim of the cyber-attacks was to coerce websites into using Lee’s company’s server, with those not willing to register for hosting services laying themselves open to attack. This was the case with a job-seeking site that refused to do business with him and chose to use another provider instead.

Several members of the Korean crime gang were arrested on January 9th in connection with the high-tech crime, and commenting on the case the prosecutor in charge said:

“It is the first time that a crime ring has hired a professional hacker, provided necessary equipment and made systematic DDoS attack.”

In the West, DDoS extortion scams have become less popular partly due to a number of high-profile prosecutions. However, they have recently been in the spotlight once more after a network of “hacktivists,” including ‘Anonymous’ organised a mass DDoS attack against Amazon, PayPal and MasterCard who cooperated with the US government in order to suppress WikiLeaks.

Poker Tournament Chip-Cheats Get Jail Time in Florida!


Two men received their just deserts after being discovered cheating during a poker tournament at the Gulfstream Park Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

In April 2009, Lashone Dobard, 33, and Kelvin McClendon, 37, had apparently concocted a plan to steal chips from the casino during one tournament in order to utilise them in another tournament a few days later.

Having those extra stack of chips to boost their tournament chances just at the right time obviously initially worked out for the Broward County men.

McClendon tied in first place at the tournament to collect a $1,300 pay-out, as well as receiving 186 points towards entry to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Dobard, too, managed to finish near the top of the field and walked away with $320 in cash and 116 WSOP points.

However, the Gulfstream Park Casino had already grown suspicious that something was awry after noting that chips were missing during the first tournament. Those extra chips then turned up after an audit of the second tournament was completed thus leading security staff to review security video of the poker events.

It didn’t take long for them to spot the two men slipping chips into their pockets, as well as apparently working in cahoots with one another. As a result the men were arrested and subsequently in a court of law pleaded no contest to the felony of cheating.

As punishment for their immoral behaviour, Lashone Dobard received a 142 day stretch in jail, of which he had already served 112 days, while McClendon received two years probation. The men have also been banned from returning to the Gulfstream Park Casino.

Despite poker acquiring a more respectable reputation over the past few years, there will always be criminal elements trying to gain an unfair advantage over their unfortunate opponents.

Only last year, Ali Tekintamgac reached the final table of the Partouche Poker Tour Cannes, which had a top prize of €1,300,000 ($1.824,190). However, he was found to have cheated and was subsequently removed from the competition. Incredibly, a suspected Turkish collaborator of his by the name of Kadir Karabuluta was also disqualified this month from the €1,500 Holland Casino Dom Classic on similar grounds.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Las Vegas Sportsbooks Soon to Accept Wagering on Events Such as Academy Awards...What About Cheating with Oscar Betting?

Okay, let's say the movie "True Grit," the remake of the John Wayne classic starring Jeff Bridges, is 2 to 1 to win the Oscar for Best Picture. And lets say Colin Firth is 3 to 1 to win Best Actor. Soon you will actually be able to bet on this in all legal sportsbooks in the State of Nevada, but probably not in time for this year's Academy Awards. More likely in a few months' time, which means you will be able to bet on a wide spectrum of events such as elections, outcomes of wars, weather patterns, etc.

How will cheating on this type of betting come to play in Nevada casino sportsbooks? Well, in some areas such as betting on weather patterns it would be pretty difficult to cheat--unless of course some pretty determined betters actually try to influence the weather to conform with their bets. I have heard of people trying to create manmade tidal waves. I think it happened off the coast of Hawaii. And the outcome of wars? That would be a bloody mess, pardon the pun.

But more to the point of cheating, a betting event such as the Academy Awards could become involved in a betting/cheating scandal. We all know that supposedly no one knows the results until the envelope containing them is opened during the ceremony, but this process can easily be corrupted. Los Angeles is full of amoral and dishonest people in the right places. Remember the infamous private investigator "to the stars" Anthony Pellicano? If not, he was the LA PI caught in a huge wiretapping blackmail scheme involving several actors and producers who were invovled in winning Oscars at several Academy Award presentations, most notably Sylvester Stallone.

So it would not be hard to imagine that someone with ties to the right LA people could somehow get his hands on what's in the envelope before that envelope gets in the hands of the presenters on stage.

What about elections? Well, elections that are tampered with, at least in the US, are usually tampered with for the purpose of winning the election, not betting on it, although that might change if the odds are long enough!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pro Poker Player Scherer III's Murder Trial is Long Way From Cheating Allegations

Although at his murder trial, Ernest Scherer III and the jury of his peers who are charged with either convicting him or acquitting him of his parents' double murder heard a tape on which evidence of cheating played in the courtroom. But it was not about cheating in poker; it was about cheating on his ex-wife Robyn, who was on the witness stand testifying against her ex-hubby Scherer III, who is a professional poker player good enough to have won $300,000 in tournaments, including a World Series of Poker Final Table appearance in 2006.

But the 32-year-old Scherer III, who is accused of the brutal baseball-bat-Turkish-sword double murder of his parents, who had loaned him more than $600,000 to buy his dream house with his ex-wife, allegedly killed his parents because his father was pressuring him to pay back the debt at the same time that his son had hit a bad losing streak in live poker ring games in central California, where both the murders and trial are taking place.

The evidence does not look good for Scherer, which means he will probably be spending the the rest of his life in California state prison, where he's been held without bail for the last two years since his arrest for the 2008 killings. Since he has been charged with murder with special circumstances, the death penalty is also a possibility in the case.

My take: Well, about the best we can hope for for Mr. Scherer III is that he gets to play in the prison poker games and win a lot of cigarettes, and that he doesn't get sentenced to death...I am really not trying to be funny here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cheating Casino Dealers in Macau Might Be Risking More Than Their Jobs and Prison

Dealers Buried Under the Bridge?
With all the inside baccarat cheating scams going down in Macau the past five years, more or less since the giant Las Vegas-type casino resorts have sprung up across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, you might wonder if the cheating dealers participating in them are brazen, brave or just plain stupid. Are they working with the Chinese criminal Triads to rip off their casinos? Are they ripping off other Triads who might have financial stakes in Macau Casino VIP rooms?

The answer to these questions are not at all as complex as you might think. To put it short, many Chinese Triads are behind the casino cheat teams that prey on Macau's baccarat tables. This is fine for the dealers who are protected from most harm when they get involved in these scams. BUT, and this is a big "BUT," sometimes these dealers are cheating Triads that are involved in the ownership of the VIP baccarat rooms, where the Triads bring in mega-gamblers to play. Here is where the dirty dealers get into serious trouble.

One casino dealer at the Sands Macau, the hotel owned by Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas casino-fame (who has been in hot water for a number of possible illicit casino operations involving his casino), had his arms and legs broken for participating in a baccarat false-shuffle scam that ripped off the Triad operating the VIP room in the Sands. Supposedly, the Triad wanted this dealer murdered as a message to other dealers who might think of ripping off their baccarat rooms, but they settled for the beating.

My take: When I first performed a baccarat false-shuffle scam at the Las Vegas 4 Queens Casino in 1977, about the only thing I had to worry about was not fucking up the false shuffle! There were no cameras nor knowledgeable floor personnel to thwart me. But today, especially in Macau, cheating your casino can be very dangerous.

A lot more dangerous than the US Justice Department was to the Tran Organization!