Your Cheatin’ Hearts

by , Mar 8, 2007 | 9:22 am

While playing in a tournament at the LAPC, a woman sat down on my right in seat two along with a new dealer in the box. Within minutes she began hitting every flop with any two cards, even as low at 2-4o. I finally said to her, “Wow, you are running hot.”

The man in seat one said, “I think she brought her own dealer” along with seat four nodding in agreement. I immediately looked at the dealer who was making steady eye contact with her. Looking down she embarked on a frantic text message craze then began folding every hand. I was unwilling to believe cheaters would exist in a casino such as The Commerce but there was a vibe going on at that moment that was very uncomfortable. Not to mention the dealer making determined eye contact with her and no one else at the table. Eventually, I brushed it off. But you can’t help but wonder what some people are capable of.

A few weeks later I was having breakfast with a pro (we’ll call Harry) at the Bellagio. Harry told me he was warned before going to The Commerce to watch for cheating and collusion (btw – I hadn’t mentioned my experience at this point). Harry said, “I didn’t think much of it because after all…The Commerce is a real, legal, regulated casino.” Yet, Harry found himself watching an uproar between players because one was breaking the rules. It went down like this:

  • The floor came over
  • The dealer lied to the floor protecting the rule breaker
  • The table freaked out
  • The floor asked Harry since he is a well-known player.
  • Harry told the floor the truth
  • The floor ruled in favor of Harry’s description.

Unfortunately, not only did Harry see other strange rulings by the floor but also I had someone else say they saw some strange things.

This is not only shocking but also very disappointing. Perhaps some of you can shed some light or darkness on this issue? I’m glad the WSOP outsource their dealers, despite underpaying them.

18 Comments to “Your Cheatin’ Hearts”

  1. Venita

    That is very disturbing . . . thanks for posting. Truthfully, I’ve always been so busy looking for collusion between players that I don’t think about collusion between player and dealer.

    I’ll be more alert to the possibility from now on.

  2. Fresh Princess

    I found it so disturbing I was typeless.

  3. DanM

    While the above vid may be an eye-opener, I do believe the use of a cut card makes flat-out bottom-dealing a little less likely in a casino/card-room environment.

  4. DanM

    p.s. michele, why can’t you tell us “Harry’s” real name?

  5. Woody

    Agree with Dan. And even on that grainy video, there were some things that you could easily see (even moreso if you were sitting at the table).

  6. Fresh Princess

    I was trying to find the following video. This one is much better.

    While the previous video is obvious, how many shuffles do you analyze?

  7. DanM

    if other players at the table tell me they think someone might be cheating, um, i would analyze a lot.

    i mean really, not to make it always about legislative efforts, but your vids strike me as reasons to regulate. but if these sorts of shenanigans are just as likely in a legal casino as they are in an underground game, well then what’s the point of going legit?

  8. DanM

    the video in comment #6 is less impressive, because it’s just showing someone with some crazy card handling skills, but they are not doing this same thing in the context of how someone really deals a game. it’s more parlor trick than collusion.

    you should see thum’s latest “magic” with the cards — it’s very cool!

  9. Fresh Princess

    #7 Exactly
    #8 I would make a better video if I knew a mechanic. It was slim pickin’s on youtube.

  10. Fresh Princess

    Here is another one…gosh, y’all are high maintenance

  11. DanM

    OK, not to be too demanding, Michele, but:

    **p.s. michele, why can’t you tell us “Harry’s” real name?**

  12. Fresh Princess

    Duh…I felt it best and he thanked me.

  13. Venita

    I’m starting to open my eyes about this cheating thing . . . I was playing in a tournament this weekend at a poker room here in Dallas. The blinds were pretty high and I made a play and was successful in stealing. I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t paying attention — just before the dealer started to push the chips to me, she noticed that the big blind had pulled one of his $500 chips back — and she called him on it.

    He said he was just kidding and would have given it to me . . . yeah. Uh-huh.


  14. Fresh Princess

    At least the dealer had your back. Seriously, it’s not a matter of people cheating, it’s a matter of awareness.

  15. Venita

    True! Between your post and my incident, I’ve had my eyes opened.

  16. Fresh Princess

    Glad to helped!

  17. Venita

    Michele — I read your chapter in Women’s Poker Night this weekend and really enjoyed it. Maybe we’ll run into each other at the Bellagio sometime — my favorite poker spot in Vegas.

  18. Fresh Princess

    Thanks for the compliment…It’s nice to get positive feedback on the book because I was given about 24 hours to write my chapter!!!
    I will play the bellagio/Wynn cash games during the WSOP and perhaps the WPT in April.