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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Four arrested in poker tournament cheating scheme

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Although New Jersey authorities are mum on the issue, four people were apparently arrested in June in connection with a scheme to cheat players in the $5,000 main event of the Borgata Summer Open, held June 23-26 in Atlantic City.

A source within the Nevada Gaming Control told Las Vegas television station Channel 8 that four people were arrested in a Borgata hotel room, including famed Las Vegas gaming consultant Steve Forte, who is considered one of the world's best experts on countering casino cheaters. The room was allegedly filled with electronic equipment that was somehow used to tap into the live video feed of the hole card cameras, which could allow someone to relay that information to players in the game working with the alleged cheaters. *Edited* Updated news from a Borgatta spokesperson: "...it's unlikely that they (authorities) had the concern defined above since they knew that there was no television coverage of the tournament mentioned - and there was no hole camera in use at any time during the tournament. That being the case, there is no chance that anyone could have 'tapped' into a camera that did not exist."

Forte has been a consultant to casino companies ranging from MGM to Caesar's, according to information on various websites, and his books and videos on how to catch cheaters are brisk sellers. His expertise includes all facets of cheating, advantage play, detection and prevention, time and motion analysis, controls and procedural analysis for all casino table games, and slots. Forte was the consultant for the cheating sequences in the popular poker movie "Rounders." Forte admitted in an email to Channel 8 that he had been arrested, but he maintains his innocence. He has told friends that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A spokesman for Boyd Gaming, which owns the Borgata, said that the casino's security measures were never compromised, nor was the tournament. "Customers were targeted but not the games," the spokesman said.

The FBI is now investigating the incident, according to sources.

Balint "Andrew" Barta won the Borgata Summer Open main event for a $513,925 payday. He was not alleged to have been involved in the plot.

*Editor's Note:

There has been a lot of speculation and accusations about poker bots and cheaters in internet poker, (including cheating software that leads the user to believe that they can cheat and beat an online poker site). Cheating happens everywhere, not just in online or brick and mortar poker games. PokerWorks believes that the efforts of online poker sites to curb and stop cheating schemes and cheating software is much better than that afforded in a B&M poker game.

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