Re: Marked Cards & Cheating

by , Feb 5, 2007 | 12:27 pm

That reminds me of another related and important situation to address … collusion. The kinda stuff that goes far beyond “table talk” (which, imho, there is too much of in Dallas/Poker these days). I received the following email from a Dallas area poker room operator last month:

Hey there. I have a question for ya.

It has been brought to my attention that 2 players are “playing” together. Had I not wondered the same before, I may not be so concerned. How would you handle? (I hate to accuse someone of such unless I am correct…) Help…?

Indeed, this is a difficult situation to deal with. Would like to know more details about what is being observed by whom.

Michele wrote something about it in her pre-Pokerati life — saying sit-n-gos and short-handed cash tables are where this sorta cheating most frequently takes place online. But as it pertains to identifying collusion in live games — and taking action against it as a poker room — there is much to say and a lot of gray areas to tread in. (Any houseguy’s primary objective, of course, should be to keep his game good, clean, fresh and fair.)

The above situation is complex, however. Considering that you could be playing in a dirty game, perhaps some readers would like to weigh in with thoughts on the matter?

6 Comments to “Re: Marked Cards & Cheating”

  1. Marvin C

    I have played in several games where there was collusion. In both cases the two colluding raised only when both were in the pot and never when only one was in the pot. One case was at a casino in Tunica. The two colluders were so bad that they went broke even while colluding. Others at the table made comments about the collusion but no one cared becasue they knew the colluders were going broke.

    Suble collusion can’t be detecked. Doing it once or twice a night is almost impossible to detect and it goes on in many games.

    You have to watch the patterns to detect collusion and ban the players and let other room owners know about it. I quit playing in the one room with collussion every time these two plaers played, where the operator didn’t do anything after I pointed it out. It was very obvious, they only raised and reraised when the two of them and someone else was in the pot. You have to watch the betting patterns and folding patterns. It’s not the same as one player rasing a loud mouth. There was one player that I didn’t like, so if I was playing the hand, especially his blinds, I raised just to iritate him.

  2. Justin West

    I actually played in a game way back in 2002, which I came to believe was rigged. First off, the runners of the game raked .50 from each pot, even though it was self-dealt. Stupid.

    But, I noticed that the Coovers – yes, I’ll say their friggin’ names – had an interesting way of knowing precisely when I had big cards. This was a limit game, so knowing this based on my betting patters would be a bit tougher – plus, they knew EVERY time. Very strange. Judy, the female of the two, had an interesting habit of looking at the back of the cards very intently as they were dealt.

    I started discussing these issues, along with obvious sandwiching and signalling, with a friend of mine I met at the game. We both came to the conclusion that the game was rigged.

    What did we do? We shut their game down with word of mouth. That’s what. These people were swindling honest players out of their money and I wasn’t going to let it happen any longer.

    They were well aware of my allegations and they never once said anything about them.

    – J

  3. The Big Randy

    One time I played in this really bizarre game were the host was wearing these extremely large, padded, red-tinted sunglasses (and he was only one wearing sunglasses, much less ones that ridiculous) and about half-way through the game it was determined that ALL of the spades were a little bit darker on their flip sides. We didn’t think much of it until the next day we saw a “cheat at poker” add on the host’s website and the link led you to a cheating site where you could buy invisible ink and sunglasses that could read the ink. Anyways, I don’t remember who it was, but Sang swears to this day that Dan wasn’t cheating.

  4. Fresh Princess

    I would tell them other players are uncomfortable with them together at the same table. You can always say “players are here to make money and they feel the two of you won’t play against each other which makes this game practically shorthanded”.

  5. CheatersSometimesWin

    I played at a small, friendly room here in Dallas for quite some time before realizing it was a bit shady. First of all, for a small room that normally only made one table even on busy nights, there was a disproportionate amount of players who were allowed access to the back room. It seemed like a good group of friends, so that never really bothered me, because I never noticed any evidence of cheating or collusion. However, what eventually made me suspicious was that the guy who was manning the phone and running chips all night would sometimes come out and sit down with a couple hundred in chips. He’d get involved in a big multi-way pot pretty quickly with one of the other guys and then he’d act very angry that he was being re-raised (over-acting, in hindsight). After the big pot, he would never show his supposedly cracked big hand and he would rarely buy back in. This is the clue that eventually convinced me that something was amiss. Nobody watches a game all night, sits down with a relatively short stack for 20 minutes, loses it all on a bad beat, and then has no urge at all to buy back in. I can’t recall a specific situation where their tactics cost me a bunch of money, but it infuriates me to think back on how nice they seemed as they were running a shady game.

  6. CardSharp

    I find that if I suspect someone of cheating with marked cards, it is far often easier to wait for them to betray their deed’s rather than detecting any markings on the cards (in most of the case).

    Collusion though…….