CONTENTS

Only in Hollywood and Vegas:

An introductory recap of a very suspicious occurrence at a championship event of a major tournament where a Hollywood actress won the title. Was this bought and sold for to promote both the tournament and the actress’s career? You bet!

Foreword:

I will state who I am, including my reputation and credibility in the casino underworld. I will explain why I am writing the book (mainly to educate the thousands and thousands of players who worry about the integrity of poker in all its forms, including high stakes tournaments and internet play) and point out how the poker-playing world can benefit from it.

Introduction:

My earliest exposure to poker cheating as it happened when I was a child. I refer to the final scene in the famed poker movie “The Cincinnati Kid” with Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson and how my grandfather’s interpretation of it proved accurate through my adulthood. 

Chapter One: Who Are today’s Poker Cheats?

General overview of poker cheaters from all walks of life, including real-life celebrities like the Olympic-gold-winning Russian gymnast Vera Shimanskaya, who got busted for poker cheating in a Spanish casino in 2003.

Chapter Two: The Underworld of Legal Casino Poker

I will address how professional poker-cheating teams take your money, and how they’re so good that even when the staff of public card rooms is on to them, they can’t do a thing about it. I will show the signs to look for to spot organized cheaters and what to do once you’re confident that you’re in a game with dishonest sharks. I will talk about all their methods, many of which are quite amazing. I will also examine the less common but nonetheless existence of poker dealers (sometimes in collusion with floormen and other card room personnel) who cheat unsuspecting players to help cohorts playing at the game, the money to be divvied up amongst them later. I’ll use graphics to show how colluding players signal the value of their hole cards amongst one another. Finally, I will illustrate how poker cheating varies from country to country.

Chapter Three: The “Underworld” Series of Poker

In the early nineties, a certain pattern of seeing a select group of tournament players winning several tournaments during the World Series developed. Given the structure of tournament play, where so much luck is needed to survive until the final table and the difference in skill among the top few hundred tournament players in the world is minimal, it defies probability to see three or more multiple winners over the course of three-dozen events. The truth is that there was a select syndicate of skilled tournament players during those years who preferred using their tournament skills the least amount of time possible, in favor of honing additional skills that served to rapidly cheat their way to final tables and into the big prize money. I will show how through the use of collusion, chip-dumping, and even counterfeit chips, cheating groups controlled the World Series of Poker like a conductor does his orchestra. In fact it is still going on today, more so than ever. Even on television in front of the cameras! I will also discuss massive cheating going on in the huge ring games at the World Series.

Chapter Four: Why Professionals Cheat

The motives are multi-faceted, but prevalent factors are: trying to win back past gambling losses; satisfying one’s ego; or simply the fear that other players are doing it, therefore, “I have to do it as well in order to not lose the edge.” This chapter deals with the psychology of cheating and makes comparisons to the American baseball world, where players feeling the pressure of their peers decided to take performance enhancing drugs to “cheat” the game. I will also talk about why honest players who are cheated continue playing even when they know cheating is going on around them.

Chapter Five: The Evolution of Poker Cheating

  A general history of cheating at poker, how it evolved with the times, from the old riverboat and Wild West days of shaving and marking cards to today’s computer hacking and other sophisticated techniques used on the Internet. There will be some humorous undertones even though the content is serious.

Chapter Six: Online Oncrime

All about cheating online. There is sophisticated cheating by people using collusion and computers. The best of hackers break into the online poker sites with highly intricate software that allows them to actually see your hole cards and even the next cards to be dealt. I will show how online cheaters set up fraudulent accounts and even use identity theft to trick and outfox the sites’ security systems. I will also address some questionable tactics used by the sites themselves. Lesser methods of cheating or online advantage play will be examined as well.

Chapter Seven: Cheating In Home Games

Overview of home games where people you know as your best friends or co-workers are cheating you. In fact, it is at these games, with no real legal legislation or supervision, where the most varied forms of cheating takes place. The people doing the cheating have only the wrath of the victims to contend with when caught. Heck, as a lifelong casino cheater I could live easily with that. The moral of the story is never play poker in somebody else’s backyard without knowing who’s sitting next to you.

Chapter Eight: Great Poker Scams

I will list them and detail them. They are all as funny as they are unbelievable, but true.

Chapter Nine: Where will it go from here?

I will talk about the future of cheating, both online and off, and offer my personal insight and feelings about it all. I will also tell of how content I am to be able to help the millions of people across the word who play poker protect themselves.

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Richard Marcus
0-9551697-0-4; 256pp; £10.99/$17.95; paperback
234 x 156mm/6x9

© Under Cover Publishing 2006