Poker is a highly notorious game, generates big revenues, and millions of people play it both on land-based operations as well as online. If we think of it, considering the money involved, it’s just normal that some scandals do exist involving the game.
If we look back in history we cannot forget where poker comes from, and we all recall the saloon play where guns were easily drawn and people were killed for some dollars.
These days the scenario has changed, saloons have been replaced by casinos and online sites, and many times they even appear on TV, so killing people over poker is pretty much back in the past.
Bigger amounts of money are involved though, and the winners do become celebrities exactly like those on TV, creating, therefore, the perfect conditions for those wanting to get rich and famous fast, and some people do anything to achieve that.
Hacks and Scams
Johnny Lodden and Patrick Antonius case are hard to forget. It goes back to 2009 when a new player started playing with them online, managed to establish a conversation and ask them to add them to MSN Messenger to chat some more.
Finally, this new player was a hacker that infected their computers with a virus, and this specific virus or bug allowed this Swedish hacker to see the cards they were holding, and before they realized what was happening, he won over $3 million.
These two were not the only ones who saw their money disappear, but they are the most notorious ones. As for the hacker, he disappeared and was never prosecuted, so it was a successful theft.
The advances in technology create many times security breaches that, when discovered, can cause thousands or millions in losses, even without the need for the scammers to touch (or click) the cards.
This happened in California and Las Vegas, back in 2012, when Ara Keshishyan and a team of more than 14 people scammed casino kiosks.
The procedure was simple. They opened checking accounts and withdraw 10 times the money they deposited for a period of 60 seconds, the number of time casinos security that didn’t record those withdrawals.
The technological advance, in this case, left the casino security system at a loss of approximately 1 million dollars.
Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker presented itself as one of the biggest poker sites, but it quickly slipped from a respected site to a suspected one. Poor financial management let to one of the biggest scandals that have ever happened in poker.
Full Tilt Poker was, in fact, short on $150 million, trying to survive on a daily basis, and with difficulties to cover player’s withdrawals. The root cause for this problem (eventually among others) was that the owners Ray Bitar, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer took the clients’ money directly to their bank accounts.
This wasn’t all, as in any proper scandal, the owners lied to the players saying the money was safe. Later on, they were charged with bank fraud, and Full Tilt Poker was bought by PokerStars that returned the money to some scammed players, but there are still others that never received any refund.
We have mentioned some scandals, hacks, and scams, but there are many more. So whenever playing online, nothing like looking for trusted sites that can give us a safe, enjoyable gambling experience.