Two poker pros arrested in Vegas for cheating at craps

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 04, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

There are plenty of high-profile poker pros who like to “roll the bones” in the craps pits, so when you hear a story that involves poker pros and craps you ready typically yourself for some type of wild degeneracy from the likes of Phil Ivey or TJ Cloutier. However, this time around the story revolves around two poker players winning some $700,000 playing craps over a month-long stay at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, with the Wynn Casino crying foul!

Veronica Dabul and Leo Fernandez are two of the top South American poker players, and it seems the pair also has an affinity for the craps pits as well, having taken the Wynn Casino for the $700k reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal. But the story does not end there, as the Wynn later had the pair arrested by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on a charge of “sliding”, which is an illegal tactic at Casinos around the world.

Sliding involves manipulating one of the dice in your hand so that instead of rolling in a random way it slides across the table. The tactic has been around since the beginning days of dice, and is considered a highly illegal tactic since it alters the randomness of the game –not only for the house but also for the other players in the game who are unaware that “sliding” is taking place.

While the jury is out on precisely how much of an advantage “sliding” gives a player, the theory behind it is solid, and considering casinos have a number of safeguards in place to prevent the practice tends to lend credence to the idea that it’s a viable tactic. Titanic Thompson used to speak of “sliding” as one of his hustles in the early 1900’s.

A proficient “slider” could actually change the odds of rolling the 36-to-1 double sixes to just 6-to-1 –and considering this bet pays 30-to-1 at most casinos you can see why the tactic would be frowned upon.

Both players were held in custody –Dabul for two days and Fernandez for a week—before being released. It’s unclear if Fernandez’s PokerStars sponsorship will be in jeopardy due to the allegations (after all, the last thing an online poker room wants right now is bad publicity). Dabul is a former PokerStars Pro as well. Even more troubling for the pair is that they may receive bans from major casinos around the globe, which would limit their access to poker tournaments held at these venues.

We’ll keep you posted as this story continues to develop.

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