Poker prodigy Jose “Girah” Macedo admits $30k scam
In a bombshell thread on 2+2, Jose “Girah” Macedo responded to allegations that he setup a private study group with other high-stakes pros, and would “sweat” these players, all the while playing against them from another account –in effect becoming an external super-user.
Girah wholly admitted to the scam, and while offering up a few reasons –not excuses, reasons—it’s likely his reputation will be forever damaged in the poker world, an unfortunate thing considering he is still a teenager!
The reason Macedo’s reputation is unlikely to ever recover is that unlike Justin Bonomo –the only other online cheater who has managed to rehab his reputation—Macedo’s transgressions had ZERO gray area, he was outright cheating other players: Bonomo, you might recall, was involved in multi-accounting in the early days of online poker.
Because of the admission, Macedo has lost his deal with PokerStrategy.com, and is rumored to be out as a Lock Poker pro, and banned from the Merge Network. You may recall that Macedo had originally won the Bluff Pro Challenge on Lock Poker before having the title stripped after an investigation by Lock Poekr revealed a second player had used Macedo’s account during that time period.
Girah was supposed to host Daniel “jungleman12” Cates and Haseem “Dogishead” Quesreshi in Portugal, but after the scam came to light the two have changed their plans according to Dog IS Head on 2+2: “We never imagined that Jose could do something like this. Suffice it to say that Jungle and I will be changing our plans and will no longer be living in Portugal with him.”
Here is Girah’s admission to the scam on 2+2:
I’m going to be taking a break for a while. There is no right or wrong way to say any of this, so I’m just going to say what happened.
A while ago, I did something stupid. A friend of mine, who I introduced to poker, made a suggestion to me which was, I’m not going to sugar coat it, cheating. I had introduced this friend to poker and he was losing money, badly. He asked to play some of my poker friends and said why don’t you sweat them and we’ll see their hands. I don’t know why I agreed. I don’t know why I did it. I guess it was a mixture of guilt and stupidity and feeling ****ty for getting him involved in something which seemed to be bad for him.
This went on for a short while but I felt so bad, I had to say something. I confessed. I told the guys involved what I had done, I told my friends and the people who I respect and who respected me.
I told my Mum, confessed everything to her. I could see the disappointment moving across her face as she told me she was not proud of me despite all my success in poker; she was not proud of her son. She said how she hadn’t raised me this way and what had poker done to me. Thats when it hit me, how badly I had let people down. I felt ashamed, I had no explanation; explanations don’t cut it in situations like this and often come across as excuses.
There is a quote on the wall in my school which I always see as I pass the nurse’s office. It says that the real mistake is not tripping up, but staying down. I thought of that and that’s why I’m writing this.
I’m holding my hands up and taking whatever consequences come. I realise the severity of this, but I also realise that I have to take responsibility for my actions and so I’m paying back everyone involved and in addition paying them compensation of $30,000. I’ve also told my sponsor etc and whatever happens there I will take the consequences too. They have been really amazing to me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with them. Representing Lock and being part of their amazing team, witnessing the incredible growth, was a pleasure and an honor.
I’m young, I made a mistake and I hope that this doesn’t define me; I hope that how I deal with this and move forward is the thing that does. And people will say I have no excuse and I know and understand that. I agree. I just want to let everyone know, I’m sorry. I apologise to the guys who lost their money, the people who I love and care about and I have disappointed and the guys in the poker world who have supported me for letting them down. I wish Ish I had something to say to you all, to say to my parents and my friends and all of those who thought I could do no wrong.
Again I’m really sorry.
Tags: Allegations, Bombshell, Cheater, Gray Area, high Stakes, Jungle, Justin Bonomo, Living In Portugal, Macedo, Online Poker, Poker World, Private Study, Pro Challenge, Prodigy, Study Group, Sugar Coat, Time Period, Transgressions, Unfortunate Thing, Wrong Way
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