Top 10 Shocking Poker Controversies

Ever since its inception, poker has witnessed with several eye-catching incidents, both laudatory and notorious. Here are some scandalous moments enthusiasts of poker in India might not be familiar with,

1. MSN Messenger Poker Scam

The MSN Messenger scam is an infamous scandal that occurred in recent years involving two very popular names in the game; Patrick Antonius and Johnny Lodden.

When the two were contesting against each other, a new poker player appeared and was not afraid to play anybody including the duo. After playing the two pros for some time he asked them to communicate with him via MSN messenger. But as it turned out, the man was a hacker and infected their computers with a bug that allowed him view their cards.

2. Black Friday Scandal

This is perhaps one the biggest poker scandals to ever hit the poker community. Following Black Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice disclosed a 52-page indictment against top executives of Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars as well as a civil complaint against those firms. Those named in the indictment faced many years in prison while the civil complaint sought to claim $3 billion in assets from the websites. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker immediately stopped servicing U.S. players.

3. Sideline Reporters

Ali Tekintamgac is a poker player who became a notable figure in poker circles after winning the WPT Barcelona event back in 2011 for $300,000. But in the months that followed, Ali become a target of various cheating accusations at a poker tour in France.

4. WPT winner Vadim Trincher

Many poker players were astonished when WPT winner Vadim Trincher was awarded 5 years in jail for organizing a large scale money laundering and racketeering scheme with links to the Russian mob. Trincher was incarcerated in 2013 along with other notorious professional poker gamblers, many of whom were in cahoots with high stakes sports betting groups.

5. Paul Phua’s Illegal World Cup Betting

Malaysian businessman and poker player Paul Phua was convicted along with other people and charged with operating an unauthorized World Cup Betting program at Caesars Palace. They were busted when FBI officers showed up as repairmen so as to gain entrance into the suites and collect evidence.

6. Blonde Poker Staking Scam

One famous event took place on a UK forum known as ‘Blonde Poker’ in 2010. One of the forum members, Neil Blatchley developed a staking thread where he amassed a bankroll of over £70,000 for betting from over 40 different people.

7. Borgata Cheating Scandal

2016 was welcomed with the Borgata scandal, where Lusadi Christian introduced his own chips at the Winter Open Big Stack NLH tournament. The event was cancelled as soon as Lusadi’s fake chips were found out and everything eventually came to light when he was caught trying to flush chips worth approximately $2.7 million down the toilet in his hotel bathroom.

8. Scandal Rocks Poker Night in America

Another scandal to shake the foundation of the poker industry involved Poker Night in America. A former poker player levied a number of allegations against several people involved in production of the popular American poker TV show including WSOP Director Nolan Dalla.

The player, Dr. Jaclynn Moskow, stated that everything happened when she was invited to participate in a taping of the show back in 2014 at a casino in Pittsburgh. She that alleges that she was forced to put up with anti-Semitic views, sexual harassment and other unprofessional behavior.

9. The Cutter Gang

In 2011, the Cutter gang cheated their way to millions at a baccarat table. The gang was able to maneuver through the checks and balances by accepting the regular offer to cut the deck when the dealer shuffled cards.

One of the gang members would then move one specific card along the deck while carefully separating the other cards before putting it back on the deck. Another one also had a tiny camera in his cuff-links which allowed him to see card values easily. The player with the camera would then move to give information to another member of the group. This guaranteed the gang big wins every time.

10. The Contact Lens Scheme

In 2011, Les Princes Casino was fleeced for over $64,000 in an elaborative scheme by 4 men. The scammers, 3 Italians and a Frenchman, utilized high-tech contact lenses and invisible ink to pull off the scam.

The Frenchman used the invisible ink to make a marking on the ace and king cards. The Italians on the other hand used the lenses to view the different symbols on the cards. However, their big wins were suspicious and police were called in. The men were subsequently jailed.