Alleged poker cheat takes Crown Casino for $32 million
It started out as your normal run of the mill poker week, with the EPT London taking place, some software announcements from various online poker rooms, and 256 new sponsored pros joining Ivey Poker, like I said a typical week (ok, I made up the last bit, but it could happen). But the typical week soon took a turn towards the strange and needless to say it’s been a very strange week in the poker world.
The first foray into poker bizarre world was when 2007 WSOP Main Event Champion, and all-around nice guy, Jerry Yang’s name started appearing in headlines for owing the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes; next up it was 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion, and another all-around nice guy, Greg Raymer getting busted in a prostitution sting in North Carolina; and now it appears the Crown Casino in Australia, home of the Aussie Millions saw a $33 million cheating scam perpetrated in it’s high-roller poker room.
While reports are varied (and really vague at this point) theregister.co.uk is reporting that a well-known international high-roller joined forces with someone who worked at the casino to use the Crown’s closed-circuit-TV and surveillance equipment to cheat other players, to the tune of $32 or $33 million!
A local news report (which you can find below) claims this is the biggest theft (I would hope so!) since the casino opened. The report also alleges that the casino hosted the alleged cheater and his family in a $30,000/night villa and his casino host has been fired for his role in the affair –whether that means he aided the player in cheating is not clear.
The reports have varied, with some specifically pointing to the theft happening at the poker tables, while others claim the game being cheated was not known. However, considering the use of the Crown’s CCTV it would almost have to be a peer-to-peer game like poker for the cheating to have any effect. There aren’t too many people who would be capable of playing that level of poker –I’ve never even heard of a poker game for those kinds of stakes—and I wouldn’t want to be the person caught cheating the other power-players that would be involved in such a game.
Reports indicate that the alleged cheater was identified and thrown off the property immediately and has since returned home, and now the investigation has been turned over to the police, although theregister.co.uk says there may be little the police can do at this point.
A spokesman for the Crown Casino stated, “Crown’s surveillance department recently reported concerns over a sophisticated betting scam. A Crown investigation is under way and is ongoing,” adding that the Crown Casino is “in a good position to recover a significant portion of the amount involved in the scam.”
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