Friday, October 03, 2008

Atlantic City Poker Cheats, Arrest Details Released

The New Jersey Attorney General's Office has released new details on the June 7th arrest of four men for their alleged involvement in a poker related cheating scam at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. Steve Forte, known for his expert cheating knowledge, was arrested along with Stephen Phillips, Joseph T. Ingargiola and James C. Harrison. The four men, presently free on bail, are charged with the use of computers and cheating devices to commit theft, attempted theft by deception and conspiracy.

According to the NJ Attorney General's Office, these four men were convoluted in a scheme, coaxing high-stakes poker players to join them in their Borgata hotel room for a game of poker. The room was fitted with hidden cameras that allowed the four men to see their opponent's hole-cards.

The authorities also allege instances of marked decks being used, as well as computer simulation programs to calculate the probable outcome of any given hand.

Steve Forte's web site claims he is the president of International Gaming Protection, his own consulting company, listing a multitude of the largest casinos in the nation as his clients. Forte authored the 2007 book "Poker Protection: Cheating and the World of Poker", which distinctly outlines how to protect one's self from being cheated at a private poker game, covering such issues as cheating crews and marked decks.

While preliminary reports stated their intention was to somehow scam the Borgata's Summer Open Championship Event, the Hotel and Attorney General's Office both agree this was never the target. The entire scheme took place off the casino floor and arrests were made nearly one week prior to the event's qualifying opener.

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