Posts Tagged ‘cheating’

PROOF: Rock Paper Scissors is Rigged!

by , Jul 2, 2012 | 7:47 pm

Have you seen this yet? A Roshambo-playing robot claims to be capable of beating any human at Rock Paper Scissors — and supposedly can do so because it cheats!

Pretty awesome, technologically … even though Pokerati’s official stance is still that cheating is bad.

It seems like only yesterday and forever ago that some of the biggest RPS action in the world was going down at the WSOP, spearheaded by guys wearing patches for Full Tilt Poker.


Everything You Wanted to Know about Cheating in Online Poker But Were Afraid to Ask …

by , Dec 6, 2011 | 6:28 am

WASHINGTON DC — About 110 people or so are in DC for the Digital Gaming and Lottery Policy summit … essentially a two-day crash course on gaming regulation. The DGLP confab is addressing everything from technology to legal quandaries to very detailed proposals on taxation breakdowns … like by the percent! We all know online gambling can be a complex issue, with lots of minutiae that can impact the success or failure of businesses built around a sub-industry. And the way American lawmakers are picking it all apart is enough to make you think that we musta either totally forgotten about Europe’s relatively successful regulation of a multibillion-dollar industry over the past decade, or we Americans just consider the other side of the pond nothing worth a study — they are responsible for Full Tilt, after all!

No? Regardless, as part of the process of eventually “getting there” legislatively, and staying true to Pokerati’s motto In Negotio Pro Poker Meliori, my contribution to policy noise today will be addressing online cheating. Below are my notes from which I plan to wonk out with my donk out:

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Cheating Is as Cheating Does?

DGLP Summit in DC and Beyond the Table flashback episode

by , Dec 2, 2011 | 7:03 pm

russ hamilton full tilt wsop

Badge of Dishonor? Once upon a time the idea of Russ Hamilton wearing the scarlet triangle of Full Tilt Poker seemed laughable.

There seems to be a big gaming conference somewhere in the world every other week. iGaming, iPoker, internet gambling, eGaming … whatever you call it, lots of people seem to want to know how this real-money internet gaming thing is gonna work, or should work — and they apparently have specific questions about online poker.

Thus, a handful of policy-minded pokeraticos are headed to Washington DC next week for the Digital Gaming and Lottery Policy Summit. I’ll be speaking on a panel with Dan Cypra from Pocket 5s and Stephen Davis, CEO of IT GlobalSecure. Our topic (moderated by eGaming broker Sue Schneider):


Cheating:
Assessing and Addressing the Danger

As interactive gaming and gambling products become more sophisticated, so do fraudsters. Here panelists look at cheating in poker (particularly player collusion and the use of poker “bots”), the danger to players and the potential devastation of operators; how fraud is being effectively dealt with; examples of attempts to cheat (both successful and unsuccessful) and how they were detected/why they were not detected.


The basic premise I’ll be addressing is that not all cheating in online poker is the same. Ghosting, multi-accounting, soft-play, superusering, collusion, etc. are all different offenses, and a one-size-fits-all-but-friends approach to bankroll seizure and account suspension probably ain’t gonna cut it moving forward. (At least that’s what I’ll be pushing for various regulator and lawmaker types in attendance to consider.)

Our ole pal Tom Schneider introduced me to the idea back in 2007, when we left the recorder running for a Beyond the Table aftershow. Sorrel Mizzi was the hot name in cheating at the time … but Tom didn’t think his MAing with Chris Vaughan FTW was too terrible a crime, and certainly not the worst of all shenanigans beginning to emerge in online poker. This was shortly before Russ Hamilton had been discovered and subsequently vilified without getting any days in court, and LOL some of the things I say revealing that I still clearly subscribed to the soon-to-be dated belief that online poker could do no wrong.

beyond the table crew tom schneider karridy askenasy dan michalskiBeyond the Table (Extra)
December 9, 2007
[audio:http://pokerati.com/podcast/beyond-the-table/12-9-07-cheatingdiscussion2.mp3]


Feel the Shame

It's the scummy poker world, not just Full Tilt, on trial

by , Oct 2, 2011 | 5:33 am

jesse may poker shame

Jesse May


OP-ED

It didnt’t really bother me when Poker Spot folded, because that guy had history. And I laughed about the money Aces Poker stole, because anyone who trusted them couldn’t ever spot a cheat. The Ultimate Bet scandal wasn’t really that surprising, as we’d heard stories about him for years. And it never shocked me when they cheated me in Atlantic City, or went partners against me in Vegas, or at Foxwoods tried to do a runner with my funds. The nips, the moves, the cheats, the angle shooters, and those that were just plain thieves. For the past ten years when the stars put on their caps and badges and smiled for the TV, we used to smile to ourselves. And then we’d laugh as we’d tick off the big names in poker and say, “But he’s really just a little scumbag, isn’t he?” Because they pretty much all were. And that’s the way it’s always been.

I didn’t always think like that, of course, and neither did you. I came into poker just like yourself, wide eyed and dough faced and on the back of a little bit of luck. Full of passion for the game and a romantic view of the poker world and a desire to be accepted by the rambling gambling men who ruled. It’s natural when you have a pocketful of money and a bellyful of gamble and all the confidence in the world, it’s natural that when it comes to people you can be a little naïve. I certainly was, and so probably were you.

I’m ashamed that I have sat by in silence while you all cheated, stole, and lied. I know you, you thieving tournament directors, you scumbag poker players, you dirtbag angle shooters with your names stitched on your shirts. I know you. And I’m ashamed that I’ve sat here for twenty years and let you rule the poker world as long as I was still getting paid.

But you get wiser because you have to. My circle got small and my radar got sharp and I could count all the people that I could really trust on maybe one hand. And I told them they could trust me. And pretty much everyone else were scumbags and cheats. In poker, that’s the way it’s always been. That’s the way it’s been for me, and that’s the way it is for you. And we don’t ever talk out of turn. Because in this world if you shit where you eat, then you’ll end up hungry. That’s what you need to know about poker. That’s what you need to know about me.

I’ve been around long enough so that just one more scam, cheat, or mismanagement of funds, one more of those should be just like more water off another duck’s back. But something happened to me when Full Tilt Poker collapsed. This one is different. This has laid me low. It’s not just anger I feel, it’s not just disdain, and I can’t sit here like I always do and smile to myself and point fingers and call them scum. Because what I feel more than anything else right now, is shame.

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WPT Free-money Site Running UB Cheating Software?

Looks like shenanigans or lackluster commitment to security, even if it's not

by , Jun 8, 2011 | 2:04 pm

Though I’m not expert enough to confirm or deny any validity, this video did give me pause. To the untrained eye, it sure does look like possible (if not certain) cheating software in play on ClubWPT, the World Poker Tour’s subscription-based non-gambling site — you know, the one Mike Sexton is heavily pimping on Poker After Dark (in commercial spots previously occupied by Full Tilt) as the safest American online poker alternative out there.

Interesting to see the code explained, visually, for a clearer understanding of how God-mode in the UB Scandal probably worked … then extra-curious to realize Jim Ryan, CEO of WPT-parent Party Gaming, was CEO of Excapsa Software, Ultimate Bet partner, during the heyday of cheating on their site.

And while some may think little of it, because hey, it’s just pretend money … we all know free-play online poker isn’t just about the joys of truly amateur poker … it’s about preparation for real-money online gambling. The WSOP is pushing their free Facebook-app game throughout the Amazon Room, after all, and Zynga takes a rake in their “cash games”. Do a Google search for “Zynga poker rigged” or “Facebook poker scam” … The screams of cheating and scandal are more outrageous than AP/UB/Cereus ever coulda had to cover up.

Whether the apparent security flaws at Club WPT are a matter of coincidence, ignorance, incompetence, or shenanigans, it does make you wonder who will be ready for American players when real-money online poker comes into play.


DonkDown Radio 06/06/2011

Travis Makar and Barry Greenstein

by , Jun 7, 2011 | 5:49 pm

Special Monday afternoon program where we focus on Travis Makar’s latest bombshells about the UB scandal, as well as questions for Travis from Barry Greenstein.  Greenstein also confronts Druff about alleged mistreatment of his stepson Joe Sebok.  Druff talks about his unwillingness to confront Annette Obrestad at the WSOP for wearing a Full Tilt patch.  Micon obsesses over bitcoins.  We talk about Men the Master’s fracas with Hollywood Dave at a WSOP table.

download
[audio:http://www.donkdown.com/components/com_podcast/itunes/DDRadio-2011_06_06_22_00_44.mp3|titles=DonkDown Radio 06/06/2011 – Travis Makar & Barry Greenstein|autostart=no]


Table Screamers Explained

Men the Master vs. Hollywood Dave

by , | 12:07 pm

So many people on tilt these days … and while it’s kinda fun to watch certain players without patches bearing down with renewed intensity … we’re also likely to see petty poker matters bring storied pasts to the fore. Such was the case in last week’s vocal brouhaha between Men Nguyen and Dave Stann in a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event, with (unsubstantiated) accusations of cheating flying, all inspired by a rather simple split pot.

Marco from QuadJacks sat with Men to discuss, and in the process of getting the Master to address those willing to publicly feed old rumors based on hearsay, we get an interesting glimpse at a venerable character in the WSOP who recently cashed for his 71st time.

Check it out … I’ve also learned how to insta-timestamp videos so you can press play right at the interesting spot.


WSOPop Art

ALT: Warhol Series of Poker?

by , | 11:05 am

Maybe Caesars corporate has a greater sense of humor and love for irony than I give them credit for …

Shane McDowall WSOP

Visitors to the WSOP will likely notice this painting in the central dome area of the Rio convention center, near the entrance to the Pavillion room, by Shane McDowall, the artist from “On Tilt” who designs the WSOP bracelets. Supposedly this is just a place-holder for what will be a more dynamic installation, some sorta electrified Roy Lichetenstein meets Lite Brite display.

We love fine art as much as fine scandal here at Pokerati, of course … but I did find it rather curious that WSOP brand protectors would go for an Ace-up-a-sleeve so closely attached to images of their proprietary chips.

While this painting’s narrative presumably tells the story of a cheater foiled, or one who just can’t win (and thus is “on tilt”) … McDowall said he received no blowback from Caesars corporate about the Ace or any insinuations of crooked play or even violent outbursts. However there was a fair amount of concern, he said, about the altered font in the official World Series of Poker logo.

(Eventually proper suits agreed with the artist that cartoonified lettering was essential to the authenticity of this representation of the WSOP.)


Racener Backpedals (a Little) on Accusations of Sorel Mizz-conduct

On Record (Part II)

by , Feb 22, 2011 | 3:12 pm

Pokerati just received the following “official statement” via email from John Racener regarding his accusation that Sorel Mizzi slipped himself a joker in a private headsup Chinese Poker match at the PCA.

“Though I stand by my original claims of cheating on Sorel’s part, I feel that it was extremely irresponsible to make statements regarding Sorel’s mental state at the time and immediately following the incident. After much thought, I realize now that taking such matters to a public forum is dangerous and can be detrimental to the person that is being talked about. I also should not have allowed the matter to be addressed by a third party in a public forum. I look forward to putting this incident far behind me. This matter is being dealt with between Sorel and I, and I consider the topic to be closed.”

It appears that we should not be expecting a debut 2p2 post from Racener in the dramabomb Deeb thread after all.


On Record: John Racener Accuses Sorel Mizzi of Chinese Poker Cheat

Shaun Deeb posts; Sorel responds; Racener speaks to QuadJacks

by , | 9:18 am

Shaun Deeb created a thread this past Saturday that is destined to test the limits of the 2p2 forum server performance; Deeb titled it -> “Sorel allegedly bottom dealing vs john racener.” Deeb posted this bombshell on behalf of John Racener, asserting that Sorel Mizzi bottom-dealt a joker during a headsup Chinese Poker match in Racener’s room at the PCA. This is directly from his post:

“So sorel and John during pca were doing lots of gambling towards the end of the trip sorel says lets play chinese and says we should also play with a joker. They also did some weird scoring when whoever won most pts/hands every 10 hands the winner gets 5k, sorel had tried to bump up the stakes a few times as well to might higher. So they are rotating the deal and the dealer gets the 14th card in 1 of their hands.

Racener has played a ton of live poker so he tends to know procedure and what to look for. He notices sorels shuffling is leaving the 2 bottom cards in place they haven’t moved from the deck. As he starts to deal he notices the first card he deals himself is the bottom card of the deck. He keeps watching sorel and once he’s done dealing john says hes going take the hand with 14 cards in it sorel goes into a tantrum saying it’s his hand his deal.

John says I know what you were doing picks up the 14 card pile and shows the bottom card which is the joker. He tells sorel he’s not paying him whatever amount hes down 5-20k and that he’s a scumbag etc.”

Sorel (“Imper1um”), who just recently got his FTP account “unbanned” after a multi-accounting inquiry, posted a response to the accusation on page 20 of Deeb’s thread, and gives this version of the story:

“We were doing random 50:50 flips and playing Chinese poker freezeouts (whoever was up after 10 hands wins 5k-10k, i think?) with 2 jokers where we would both deal a deck and we take turns having a hand with 14 cards (and get to discard one). I was up 3-1 (effectively 10k) in the Chinese game. Since we didn’t know each other that well we agreed it would be best to settle after every game so we both had chips and cash.

The current game we were playing was for 10k, he had finished setting both of his hands and looked back at the first hand he had set to change it. It’s def against the rules in criss-cross Chinese so I told him it wasn’t allowed. His reaction was super defensive and sensitive, I didn’t think what he did was that big a deal but I just thought I’d point it out to him because most people I play Chinese with know it’s a nono simply because you can set your first hand better with knowledge of what you had in your second hand.

A few hands later he stopped me after the deal and told me that he wanted my 14 card hand. I told him he couldn’t because it was my turn to have the 14 card hand. He grabbed the hand and freaked out when he saw that the joker was around the bottom of the deck (3-6 cards in not first bottom card like Shaun reports). He started going off on how he saw me deal the joker from the bottom of the deck. I yelled back and him and told him he was wrong blah blah blah. Went on for about 5 minutes and then John decided to quit in the middle of our 10k game with me up around 15-20 points after 4-5 hands and demanded I paid him back all the money I won from the trip from all the other stuff we bet on.”

Marco Valerio of QuadJacks.com released an audio interview early this morning where Racener goes fully on-on-on record, verifying all of what Deeb said. This – worth a listen, folks.

In the audio, Racener claims that Sorel attempted to get him drunk at a nightclub before making a move to cheat him. He states Sorel offered him percentage of tourney action to keep quiet, tried to blame a prescription drug problem as an excuse for the alleged incident, “cryingly” (?) begged via multiple phone calls and now-deleted texts to not mention it, and said finally he might kill himself if this incident surfaced. Racener relays that although he would have normally “cold-cocked him (Sorel) right upside the head”, he thought it safer to get away from him in the moment given the scenario.

Racener says he plans on posting a statement himself on the 2p2 within the next 24 hours, after creating an account in order to relate his story personally.


The Difference Between Online Casinos and Fully Legal Land-based Gambling Halls

by , Feb 3, 2011 | 5:43 pm

A sign seen in the new Aviator Casino, in Delano, California, reminding me of a difference between casinos regulated in lands we know well and virtual establishments based out of places that may or may not exist beyond our poker imaginations:

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Saturday Afternoon Singalong

Five Card Stud

by , Jan 22, 2011 | 7:59 pm

Watched Five Card Stud this afternoon (on Showtime Extreme) … a 1968 western starring Dean Martin and Robert Mitchum about a drunken poker game that turns into a lynching when the new guy turns out to be a cheat. But when the lynch mob starts dying off one-by-one, no one knows who’s seeking vengeance, nor which player will be the last man standing.

It takes place in Colorado in 1880 … the gold rush is on and the town of Rincon is fast becoming known for its juicy games and associated vice. And as much as I was intrigued by the role of black people and Christianity post-Civil War (as portrayed in the late ’60s) … what really stood out was how the players shuffled their chips.

Anyhow, the music is kinda country meets the Doors, with gambler’s lyrics sung by an old-school Vegas crooner. And with last month’s news that production of Rounders 2 is underway … well, Five Card Stud, a song about the game that was the great Uncle to contemporary Texas Hold’em, reminded me how much poker stories have changed over the years, and how much they haven’t.


Russ Hamilton Seen at WSOP Seniors Event

by , Jun 20, 2010 | 4:53 pm

Oklahoma Johnny Hale was scootering around the record-setting WSOP-Seniors event last night once they got down to about nine tables … he was splashing pots with $5 commemorative chips from Palace Station honoring members of “The Seniors” Poker Player Hall of Fame.

The chip plausibly stimulating additional action on the table I happened to be watching bore a familiar mug … none other than disgraced poker pioneer Russ Hamilton, which presumably could make for quite the collector’s item.

Jack Ward has only seen his fortunes in the WSOP-Seniors event improve since taking down the pot with a Russ Hamilton Hall of Fame overlay.

The winner of that pot, btw, and the hotly desired piece of poker memorabilia, was Jack Ward, from Gulfport, Miss. Not all the Johnny Hale splash pots happened to feature Russ Hamilton chips … there were also some Vince Burgios, Johnny Moss’s, TJ Cloutiers, and others. But since taking down the Hamilton coin, Ward jumped from about 50k in chips to 519k, which had him on the verge of elimination in Day 2 starting Day 3, today, in 7th position with 23 players remaining.

En route, Ward also happened to take out Berry Johnston, a current member of the Seniors Hall of Fame, who lasted longest amongst that group and finished in 39th place.

UPDATE: At this moment there are currently 13 left, with Team Pokerati’s Tom Schneider out in 14th, and newfound fan favorite Jack Ward in 10th.

You can follow the chip-for-chip action here.

Investigations into Hamilton Role in UB Cheating Scandals Ongoing

Meanwhile, Wicked Chops seem to be getting onto the multi-part longform-narrative bandwagon, perhaps realizing that’s the really the only way to tell the full story of the biggest poker cheating scam in history, and possibly a multibillion-dollar black eye to an online poker industry still struggling for legitimacy.

Be sure to read Part 1 of WCP’s The Ultimate Bet Super-User Scandal, as they piece together initial Nat Arem discoveries, Haley Hintze’s continuing investigative research, and their own original reporting to weave together a tale of how “Russ Hamilton pulled the strings to develop a super-user ‘tool’ that cheated friends, associates, and UltimateBet customers out of millions of dollars.”

While it seems like Wicked Chops may be putting together something more akin to the Warren Report while Haley nails down the dirty details of Umbrella Man, it seems clear that before all is said and done with Cereus, we’ll be looking at a true-crime aga of online poker shenanigans that goes far beyond any one man on a single chip playing dirty.


Chicago Poker Player Accused of Cheating, Shot Dead

by , Jun 7, 2010 | 5:50 am

Dude, how bad does this suck … Patricia Clark, a 51-year-old preacher from Chicago’s South Side, was supposedly a pretty good poker player. She went to a home game on Thursday to collect a $300 debt from “an old friend of 20 years”, according to her husband. The other players convinced her to stick around and play a bit. Four hours later, from the best we can tell from the Sun Times report of her death, she found herself involved in a four-way all-in, and took down an $800 pot.

At that point Rosie Morris, 46, got pretty pissed and accused Clark of cheating. She flat-out denied any impropriety, and demanded to be paid. Morris retreated to a bedroom, not to get her checkbook, but rather a gun. She then allegedly shot Clark in the back, and then unloaded three more rounds into her head and chest.

Clark died this weekend from her injuries, and Morris has been charged with murder.

Morris joins Joran van der Sloot and a few other poker players who have made the game at least part of their homicidal ways in recent years.


RE: Pitbull Poker Shuts Down, Owner(s) Arrested in Costa Rica

by , Sep 30, 2009 | 9:07 am

According to this Bluff Latino America piece, there were some arrests made when the night shift employees grew suspicious and asked the police to stop it.

According to, now former employees of Pitbull Gaming, the owners decided to tell the night shift that they were going to make maintenance to the building. The night shift crew were suspicious about this and decided to stay to see what was really going to happen. The employees saw how a truck started gathering all the office equipment. This is the moment when employees went to the police and explained the situation and went back with the police in order to stop the process. Apparently, there are some arrests and right now the employees are in court explaining the situation to the authorities, to explain them that he is in a “flight risk” situation and should not let the owners out of Costa Rica.