Posts Tagged ‘collusion’

US Appeals Court Says Online Poker Lawsuits Are Un-American

PartyPoker FTW!

by , Feb 15, 2010 | 6:36 am

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling earlier this month that American plaintiffs are not entitled to get their day in American courts for discrepancies with offshore online poker sites.

This case specifically addressed two players in Ohio who sued PartyPoker claiming collusion. However, the court ruled, and the Appeals court upheld: Sorry, take your beefs against Party to Gibraltar. When they signed on and agreed to play, they did so accepting Terms and Conditions agreeing to handle all disputes in Gib, nowhere else, the court said.

Here’s the tale from poker-law expert I. Nelson Rose:
Trial in Gibraltar or Jail in Ohio

In it …

But the concurring opinion of Judge Merritt, quoted above, should give all Internet poker operators and players some nightmares. He ruled that the case had to be heard in Gibraltar, because to allow Ohio state law to apply would mean Wong, Gibson and everyone working for Party Poker would have to go to jail!

No one had raised the issue of whether Internet poker was illegal. “But sometimes courts have to raise embarrassing questions that both parties to litigation had rather we overlooked.”

Not so sure I agree that this decision “should give all Internet poker operators some nightmares.” I think it’s kinda the opposite. With Full Tilt juggling cases of varying frivolity out the ying-yang, I gotta think they’d be pretty happy with what could be precedent to force plaintiffs to take up matters outside (the US).

Party Gaming’s stock, btw, has been doing quite nicely of late:


Dallas Poker Underground Criminal Update

“Black James” wins more bracelets in the World Series of Prison

by , Oct 28, 2008 | 11:38 am

Those of us who may or may not have taken pleasure in throwing a killer-turned-colluder-turned-killer-again under the bus can breathe a slight sigh of relief, knowing there’s one less person out there who might want to do us harm, with his release from prison now looking virtually impossible.

James McDaniel (aka “Black James”) has had eight new charges pressed against him — including [accessory to the?] murder of Meaghan Bosch. If you recall, he was a suspect in the SMU coed/railbird-hottie’s gruesome death, but it was only parole violations that sent the underground poker room operator back to prison (for eight additional years on his ex-cop-killing sentence).

He goes to trial on the new charges in February.

I hate to mix poker talk with murder, but considering that Meaghan gave her life, I have no problem knowing I’ll never get a chance to get back the $300-$400 he stole from me at Choctaw. Ha ha! Fuck you, you Queens-cracking, colluding cheating bitch! Karma, dude.

Phil Hellmuth Speaks (in 2004) on Online Cheating

by , Oct 17, 2008 | 10:04 am

I was shoring up on some fundamentals just last night, re-watching Phil Hellmuth’s Million Dollar Online Poker Secrets. This whole video series is pretty funny now, because it was recorded in 2004, in the early days of the poker boom (when online sites were making a whopping $100k a day!) … and you see a much younger PokerBrat not being too bratty to the folks who shelled out $25 or so for his winning wisdom.

Anyhow, it was really just background music here at Pokerati headquarters until I came across the chapter about “Online Cheating”. Though this vid was not a UB pimp-fest (Full Tilt had just started to pioneer the concept of logoing up the pros), it’s clear by references to his play at Ultimate Bet (in other chapters) that whatever relationship he has/had with the site was starting to take shape … which makes the comments below all the more funny/ironic:

“As far as the sites being crooked or not, no,” he says. “It just drives me crazy when I see a lot of people complaining about being cheated. I just shake my head and say, ‘I’d like to see their hand histories.'”

Be careful what you wish for, no?

Interestingly, his advice for if you do think you are being cheated … simply leave the table and go somewhere else. “Click out of that game and click into the one right next door.” Fair enough, which is why I hope he understands why some of us still have a hard time recommending the site he represents.

NOTE: I finished up $68 on PokerStars while watching this. Thanks, Phil!

The Poker Ambassador on the Pursuit of Better Poker

by , Sep 18, 2008 | 10:13 am

Mike Sexton apparently has a new gig over at my personal poker news RSS reader PokerNewsDaily, and in his debut column shares his real thoughts on the 2008 WSOP. They are respectful (of course) but, the WPT television co-host doesn’t hold back from addressing his concerns about WSOP floor staff, cheating, and death.

Some highlights:

Another problem I have: “What if someone dies before the final table is assembled?” Putting a little casket on the table and blinding a guy off would not only create a morbid setting, it would also change the strategy players might induce to move up in the money. And although a legend didn’t make that final table (such as Doyle Brunson), what if they did and then they died in October? What might have been perhaps the greatest final table ever would now be a very sad and tragic final table.


Programmer reveals his secrets …

Rise of the (Real) Poker Bots

Artificial opponents emerge from Dallas underground, collude online

by , Jun 10, 2008 | 3:14 pm

A declared working poker bot operation in Dallas, TX, and on PokerStars.

A fascinating (if not challenging) story that you can only presume would be of great interest to anyone in the online poker-room security biz, or anyone who wants to philosophize on the meaning of “good for poker”:

How I Built a Working Online Poker Bot, Part 3: The Million Dollar Pet Project

The programmer in question draws inspiration from Big Blue, the IBM supercomputer that challenged chess champ Gary Kasparov. And thus, at any given time online, here’s what you’re potentially up against:

click to enlarge

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Does Choctaw Suck?

by , Jun 2, 2008 | 7:10 am

Cuong in Texas writes in with some beefs about a casino poker room in Oklahoma:

I was hoping you could shed some light on the Terrible Competence of Choctaw Casino. First, they lie about the numbers at the Choctaw Open, then will not publish results in Card Player, Etc or Send any other results to Poker groups on there Large Tournaments. I have contacted Managers and was told they were busy???WTF..Winstar always takes care of this quickly. I need results listed so my Investor can verify numbers. I will never play other Tournament at Choctaw Casino again. Please write a story on Choctaw so I can get others stories. Thank you,

Thank you … Can you tell us a little more about the numbers they supposedly lied about?

I do indeed have a story about Choctaw that I sadly haven’t finished writing yet. The last time I was there, I ran into Black James and his crew, who were extra-friendly with the poker room management. They took their seats at a 1/2 table (unable to convince us to play 2/5) and proceeded to remove more than half the money from the table in 45 minutes by doing a hyper-bet-collusion hit-and-run. That was obvious to me, and I suspect but can’t prove there might have been a little more than collusion going on when James’ no-look bet got an all-in reraise from my pocket queens and he pretended to be shocked to discover he had pocket kings.

Not at all suggesting Choctaw was in on any unethical behavior, but poker room operators were watching the action, so if they weren’t part of it, then what does that say about their ability to notice/put a stop to cheating. (James McDaniel, of course, is now back in prison for a parole violation connected to the deaths of a police officer and SMU coed.)

Anyone else have any Choctaw stories?

In the meantime, Cuonger, below are the results for the 2008 Choctaw Open, held last month in Durant, sent in by a fellow Pokeratizen:

Re: Abslolute

by , Oct 18, 2007 | 9:38 am

…and the other shoe falls.

Umm, yikes.

+EV: Absolute Poker is Rigged

by , Oct 17, 2007 | 2:27 pm

Cheat at online poker? Absolutely!

by , | 11:11 am

The Absolute Poker cheating scandal has been picked up by the mainstream press. That’s if you consider the New York Times mainstream. This is bad for online poker…very bad.

WPT Legends Day 4 Preview

by , Aug 29, 2007 | 4:23 am

Here are the seating charts for the final two tables in Wednesday afternoon’s Legends main event. Below that are the payouts the players are fighting for. If Tom were a real friend, he would dump chips to his home-game buddy.

Table 13
Seat 1 – Mike Jung – 191,000
Seat 2 – Thu Nguyen – 490,000
Seat 3 – Franco Brunetti – 218,000
Seat 4 – Mike McClain – 684,000
Seat 5 – Lee Markholt – 873,000
Seat 6 – Raymond Davis – 539,000
Seat 7 – Brian Powell – 248,000
Seat 8 – Shi Jia Liu – 476,000
Seat 9 – Joe Sebok – 1,057,000

Table 17
Seat 1 – Peter Feldman – 853,000
Seat 2 – Dan Harrington – 370,000
Seat 3 – Robert Goldfarb – 296,000
Seat 4 – David Pham – 1,007,000
Seat 5 – Don Zewin – 378,000
Seat 6 – Sean McCabe – 183,000
Seat 7 – Wayne Chang – 281,000
Seat 8 – Tom Schneider – 803,000
Seat 9 – Billy Pilossoph –788,000


Not Quite a Quasi-Semi-Pseudo-Pro

by , Jul 27, 2007 | 4:14 pm


LAS VEGAS–So as hinted at before, I can’t seem to leave Las Vegas. Something about this place … would like to think it’s the phalanx of hotties around every corner — none of whom seem to have rings on their fingers — but it might just be the 24-hour nature of this city. At any hour of the day night I can find a cheeseburger, a double cappuccino, a bowling alley, and/or a poker game. Really, what else do you need?

(I just really miss my bitch. And sadly she can’t read Pokerati to know how much I do.)

Anyhow, one of the things that had me thinkin’ was indeed the poker. Perhaps a bit to my surprise, I’ve done really well out here at the tables. Like cards have been a source of revenue, not a drain. Kinda new to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no delusions about becoming a pro. But the notion of generating a quantifiable chunk of extra income by playing Texas Hold’em has had me taking my poker play relatively seriously while out here … and thus, at the encouragement of TBR and Donkey Bomber, I decided to put $4,000 at risk to conduct a controlled not-so-scientific poker experiment in an attempt to shed some light on how I might hack it as a $2/$5 player and begin calculating a conceivable hourly wage. Though TBR tells me not to be too results-oriented, here are the results:



by , Jun 29, 2007 | 1:28 pm

LAS VEGAS–The $50k HORSE event finished up this morning … and FREDDIE DEEB is officially crowned the best all-around poker player in the world for the time being.

You can only presume HARRAH’S OFFICIALS are breathing a sigh of relief — after having pimped the tourney as the biggest deal, it makes a much better story to give the title to an immigrant who came to America to save his family from war and turned to poker as a way to make good while AMERICAN IMMIGRATION BUREAUCRACY futzed around with his ability to earn a living.

Had JOHN HANSEN won, the story would’ve been about a relatively unknown bad-ass from the NEW YORK hardcore poker underground. Less savory.

Speaking of LEGALLY QUESTIONABLE poker players, did you know drug kingpin JIMMY CHAGRA — released from prison earlier this year — played in the SENIORS EVENT?

He was on “Talkin’ Trash” with BRIAN WILSON just a couple days ago. [via Gary Wise on 2+2.]

JEFFREY POLLACK did a little semi-live blogging from the HORSE final table. Maddest props to the Commish — not only for letting us know what he heard from the poker-players town hall, but also for providing his first-ever outbound link. Puts him on a short-list of people who just-might qualify for Pokerati posting privileges some day. We’ll be watching as he continues to cut his Wicked blogging chops.

In the meantime, The Jeffster tells us:

1. There is insufficient play in the middle levels of limit games and too much in the beginning.

2. There are some instances where the color-up process isn’t being handled correctly.

3. The tent is not a comfortable place to play.

4. There needs to be more room between the spectators on the ropes and the players.

5. The next day’s breaking order should be posted when an event ends for the night.

6. We need to improve media access to final tables.

7. The sequestered tables are tough to cover for the media and follow for the fans.

8. Tournament clocks should be more visible.

9. The Amazon Room is too cold.

10. We should continue and better publicize escort service to the parking lot late at night.

Yesterday’s “other” bracelet went to a guy named SAIF AHMAD, who won the $2,000 Limit Hold’em event with relative ease.

View from the rooftop of Pokerati’s VEGAS EDGE bureau:

ERIC ROSENBERG poses an interesting question on his new-ish blog — about why official poker “stats” don’t subtract known tournament buy-ins from “winnings.” The WSOP, of course, has records of every bracelet-bound buy-in … so it could be done. Likewise, they bar-code initial seat cards, so it’s theoretically possible to provide PokerNews or whoever with the basic info on every single player whose chips they try to track.

Maybe next year?

Rosie has also spurred further conversation about BACKING-DEAL DISCLOSURE — specifically as it pertained to BILL CHEN’S WSOP-approved chip-dumping agreement. It’s not about gratuitous rabble-rousing so much as it is about decisions that will affect the future of poker, regardless of what they are.

So the $1,000 7-Stud Hi Lo continues today. Pokerati’s own TOM SCHNEIDER sits down with 4,300 chips. We’ll find out if North Texas pokerer DAMON RAMIREZ is still alive. And DOYLE BRUNSON takes his second stab at bracelet #11 with 10,700 chips. Pokerati fantasy man STEVE WONG also ain’t too far behind.

Follow the 7-Stud Hi Lo action today here.

Today’s other tournament action:

Day 1 of $2,000 No Limit Hold’em
Day 2 of the $5,000 World Championship of Short-handed No-Limit Holde’m.

And the final table for $2,000 Omaha Hi Lo gets underway, with at least one familiar professional face, who will see if he can hold on to the chip lead.

Seat 1- Martin Corpuz, Jr. 292,000
Seat 2- Ming Lee 373,000
Seat 3- Mitch Maples 70,000
Seat 4- Thang Luu 238,000
Seat 5- Jess Robinson 255,000
Seat 6- Frankie O’Dell 318,000
Seat 7- Marcel Luske 427,000
Seat 8- Marvin Ryan 104,000
Seat 9- Stuart Paterson 58,000


by , Jun 20, 2007 | 11:10 am

LAS VEGAS–Good morning. I’m just getting ready to go to bed. The sun’s been up for just a few hours, and it’s already over 100 degrees. But inside the Rio … about negative 64. So friggin’ cold, especially in the cash-games area, from whence I just came. They cool down the Amazon Room and surrounding hallways overnight in preparation for the onslaught of warm poker bodies that arrive each day a little before noon … and/or to sell more WSOP sweatshirts.

Anyhow, late last night, Pauly was up bouncing around the Amazon Room in his off-time and Otis had just re-arrived back in town. I had work to do, of course, but the three of us had yet to find time to geek out all pokerbloggy since arriving at the 2007 WSOP, so it was time to make time … and off to the Hooker bar we went. Inspiring and refreshing, to say the least, as we traded poker-blog war stories, tales of SEO, and reminisces about the “good ole days” of 2006.

We must have been appearing to have too much fun, because a few drinks into it all, we were joined by a traveling WSOP circuit dealer, Brian “the Rookie” Wilson, Otis’ friend Mark, and Jim McManus, who was a little down on his game.

“I make way more from writing these days than I do playing poker, that’s for sure,” he said. Funny how just a year ago this exact same sentence might have a completely different meaning.

As the night whittled on, Pauly left us to go whip up a poignant recap of yesterday’s crazy yet meaningful action, as Otis, Mark and I returned to the Amazon Room to play poker. You can always count on a few drunks to sit down at the dwindling WSOP cash tables at about 4 in the morning to keep the chips flying, and last night that was us. Not surprisingly, the three of us would rebuy several times playing $2/$5 NLH, and within a couple hours, collectively we were stuck nearly $2,500, at which point I switched to coffee.

Linda the Dallas dealer had my table for a while — it was great to see her for the first time of the Series. “Just like back home,” she said, smirking as she shipped a pot I lost to the other end of the table.

Mark would end up busting out for a final time, while Otis and I stuck around to grind our way back towards even. I was getting there, too, until I flopped an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw. The turn gave me the nut straight and a straight-flush draw. I was bummed when my opponent and I couldn’t get it all-in at that point, but I guess I was lucky, because while I caught my flush on the river, the other guy caught quads, and I was not in a position to raise his bet. Don’t even get me started about the possible collusion we witnessed between a plump American black lady and a skinny British white guy who were playing together unbeknown to the rest of us, until they cashed out together and gave each other a hug and a kiss at the cage.

I was heavily involved in their last hand. The British guy and I had built a pot to more than $600 when I missed my 17 gajillion outs on the river. He put me all-in for my last $72, and though mathematically I was supposed to call, I couldn’t bring myself to do it with just third pair, knowing if I lost, I was definitely not going to rebuy again. (Because I had no more 100s on me.) The black lady seated to my right belligerently encouraged me to call, and then called clock on me. I eventually mucked, and was pleased when the skinny white dude mucked his cards, presumably telling me that I made the correct play.

That’s when they both cashed out in celebration. And then as he exited the room, the not-so-chappy Brit came up behind me and whispered, “You couldn’t beat pocket 6s?” What an asshole, because yes, I could. So what, he’s trying to put me on tilt even after he has left the table with my money?

I did my best to remain unfazed, and sure enough I began to climb back out of the hole. As the wee hours became morning and almost tournament time, Otis and I were at adjacent tables motioning to each other where we stood in terms of getting unstuck. I was in for $700, he was in for $1,200. And both of us were playing our asses off more sober than before. With my fancy little bankroll graph in the back of my mind, I finally took control of my short-handed, reduced-rake table — with a solid read on the Euro to my right and ability to bluff the gay cowboy to my left with ease. Perhaps the only mistake I made here was getting up from a table I could beat, but it was so late, so early … I was exhausted, and for the first time in more than five hours, I was up.

Buy-in(s): $700 (3)
Cash out: $979
Net: +$279

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.


Re: The Notre Dame(s) of Poker

by , Feb 15, 2007 | 1:25 pm

Now think about this … What if all those poker teams listed below faced off against each other? Let’s say, for example, 15 teams, 10 players each — $100k collective team buy-in, $1.5 million prize pool, and a really cool trophy. Money awarded to 1st and 2nd place only … because it’s a team payout to 20 players total.

That would be fun and cool, right?

With top-caliber pros seeking a collective monetary goal, collusion, chip-dumping, and protection would be expected — part of the strategy, in fact — with hand signals and code words that probably still abide by the rules of English Only …

But with those same pros returning to battle in open-tourney free-for-alls, would that be good or bad for poker? (And either way, I’m starting to wonder if it’s not just a reality we may have to face without some sort of standards about declarations of backing deals.)

This weekend I’ll be competing in something called the [Dallas-area suburb] Poker Bowl II. It’s a $240 buy-in for six-player teams. I’m on the Suicide Kings. Am definitely looking forward to it … as well as our pre-game meeting at Cracker Barrel to go over “a few things.” The last time I played in a “tag team” event I won it. (Yo, shout out to Fubu, we did it man!) This is a little different, but I expect to do well. Regardless of how we fare, however, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll feel the need to bathe immediately or soon after.

ALT HED: Go Team!?!