Marked Cards & Cheating

by , Feb 5, 2007 | 12:11 pm

When you are playing in a tournament and you find a marked card (smudged or slightly bent) you must call the floor immediately. The standard solution is to replace the one card rather than the whole deck. This happened twice in an hour at my table during the limit event in L.A. Everyone at the table knew who bent the cards and it was played down to the way he bent the cards to see his hand. Coincidentally, both cards were Kings.

Another situation arose when a new player sat down. She was a local and was hitting every flop with crappy cards. One player made a loud statement that she had brought her own dealer to the table. She slowed down after this announcement. Scary!

Anyway, can anyone find any information about the guy busted at the Wynn for marking cards last fall?

17 Comments to “Marked Cards & Cheating”

  1. DanM

    Michele, I think you’re referring to Abraham Gray. We have a brief mention of it here (scroll down toward the middle of the post). He was arrested (at the table!) by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

    More here.

  2. DanM

    By the way, I thought the standard was to just get a new deck — “new setup” as they say — not just a replacement card. Am I wrong about that?

  3. jackietrehorn

    In a home game (tournament), one player was caught cheating. His methodology was slightly curving the low red cards vertically. That way they could easily be seen in the dealers hand, the muck, burn cards, or other player’s hole cards. When he was called on it, he had just mucked the 3h and his reaction was to say “Why would I mark the 3h?” Pretty good deflection of guilt, since most players agreed, why would anyone mark the 3h. But then the guy who caught him noticed that all the hearts and diamonds under 5 had a bend to them. This significantly changed the odds in the cheaters favor. A very easy and simple way to cheat without actually being a mechanic.

  4. The Big Randy

    In the WSOP last year, they just replaced a single card, which I thought was weird. I mean, why not change out the deck? I think Andy Bloch had a similar complaint and assumed that Harrah’s was just being cheap.

  5. Fresh Princess

    A set up is common in cash games. Tournament directors usually replace the card because a set up would slow down how many hands your table would see in that level compared to the other tables. Just think of those short stacks that unethically think about their hands so long they get a clock called. They do this to help increase their chance of making the money. Marking a card could be another way to cash.
    This is my (unsupported at this time) theory and I have zero proof if my analysis is accurate.

  6. Karridy

    Who would want just one new card? So, it isn’t marked but the new, shiny card is the King, right? I can’t imagine this working. But then again, the whole marking cards thing just seems like way too much effort for such little potential ill-gotten gain. Your kharma has to be trading at an all-time low before one could consider this financially viable. Nevermind the morals/ethics. As I said, I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m missing something, but I see the opportunities for this to be a benefit as few and far between. And I’ll go on record as saying that if I find out that I’m sitting across the table from such a person, I’ll administer an old-skool, Rounders police scene style ass kicking. …Unless you are taller than 5’11”, or weigh more than 225, have boobs, sport more than 1 wart, or carry a gun, knife, sai, bo, nunchacku, toothbrush-tyle prison shank. Then I’ll just resolve to go on tilt and give you the rest of my money. (ADHD – moment:; Available? After all, and have been hits.)

  7. Fresh Princess

    Thanks for your input. Since the wsop has so many tables they probably replace a card per hour. It would be nice to get a real number on that. When a table discovers a marked card they have to wait for the floor and you know how long it can take the floor to come to your table in the WSOP sometimes. Then the dealer has to go through the cards to make sure they are all there. In the meantime, you may have a player calling another floor person to ask why are they putting in a whole new deck. I had several marked cards at my table in the WSOP. Sometimes it is just an accident (especially when someone is eating chocolate). I have seen cards pulled out of the deck where I can’t even tell they have been marked. But someone at the table complains and then it’s “FLOOR!”
    Are you good with a bow staff?

  8. Karridy

    Yes… I am quite skilled at managing the big stick. My motivation?…

  9. Karridy

  10. Fresh Princess

    You just scored some serious brownie points! Glad to hear you have “skills”.

  11. DanM

    I am disgusted by both of you right now. “Big stick” Karridy? Like really? That’s the best you could come up with? You know there’s a thick line between bloggers and forum geeks. And then on the other side of that are guys who vocally claim they’re packing hefty meat. Even our sick pathetic greatly appreciated loyal readers out there wouldn’t stoop to anything so pedantic.

    And Michele, Ms. Princess, you are only supposed to flirt with accept sexual harassment from the boss. New rule.

    Now what were we talking about? Oh yes … cheating … Important topic to many.

  12. jeh

    I was playing in a cash limit game at the Venetian last fall when someone noticed a tear in one of the cards. The floor came over and replaced just that card — not the whole deck — and play resumed. So even in cash games, the result of finding a bad card isn’t always an entirely new setup.

  13. Fresh Princess

    Thanks Jeh
    Ultimately it is up to the floor. In cash games a player can request a set up and may be declined; However, in a tournament a player can not make this same request (according to the TDA rules).

  14. Fresh Princess

    By the way Dan…I didn’t even think of it that way. Which is surprising considering how much my husband refers to his __________ through out the day. Gosh, Karridy! You are, like, ohmygosh, soooooooo bad!

  15. Karridy

    Dan, can I add a new rule… Michele (FP) can’t remind us that she’s off the market by making husband references. You’re big time now, FP, you have to start living the “secretly married” life of a true celebrity. That, and I prefer to think that there was a woman behind the camera during your shoot. Followed by a scantily-clad pillow fight, etc… Come on… Work with us!

  16. Fresh Princess

    Ummmm, Karridy, if the topic was cheating and I am married what do you think?
    And Dan, thick line? Nice try to out do him. It’s me who should be disgusted with the two of you!!!!
    No Teddy Bears for you.

  17. Karridy

    Dan has plenty of teddy bears. Actually, I think he was caught humping one of them. I don’t know the details, but Bubba seems to have more info: