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Top 5 Poker Cheating Scandals That Stunned Everyone  Poker
Amarylisa Gonsalves
Posted on 21 May, 2023
By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 21 May, 2023
By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 21 May, 2023

Top 5 Poker Cheating Scandals That Stunned Everyone 

Poker is a game of skill and chance, but there have been a number of cheating scandals in the game’s history. These scandals have ranged from small-scale cheating, such as marking cards, to large-scale cheating, such as using computer software to gain an advantage.

One of the most famous cheating scandals in poker history involved Russ Hamilton, a former World Series of Poker bracelet winner. In 2008, it was revealed that Hamilton had been using a “superuser” account on the online poker site UltimateBet to cheat other players. Hamilton had access to his opponents’ hole cards, which gave him a significant advantage.

Another high-profile cheating scandal involved Mike Postle, a professional poker player who was accused of cheating in live streamed cash games at Stones Gambling Hall in Sacramento, California. Postle was accused of using a device to see his opponents’ hole cards, which gave him a significant advantage.

These are just two examples of the many cheating scandals that have occurred in poker history. These scandals have damaged the integrity of the game and have led to calls for increased regulation of poker.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the problem of cheating in poker. This awareness has led to a number of measures being taken to combat cheating, such as the use of cameras to monitor games and the introduction of software that can detect cheating.

The world of poker is full of controversies and scandals that, over the years, have rocked the industry. Be it small scams, big scandals or mere allegations, the fraternity has ample of stories that made headlines for all the wrong reasons. These stories reveal the hard truth of the poker world and showcase the lengths some individuals have gone to gain an unfair advantage in this pure game.

While these measures have helped to reduce the incidence of cheating in poker, it is important to be aware that cheating is still a problem. Players should always be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the casino or tournament organizer.

Poker Cheating Scandals That Rocked The World

Let’s look at the five most famous and wrecking poker cheating scandals that rocked the poker world.

The Russ Hamilton and UltimateBet Scandal (2008)

Russ Hamilton

1994 World Series of Poker Champion Russ Hamilton, who was also a consultant for UltimateBet, an online poker site, was involved in a massive cheating scandal. UltimateBet was an online poker room running on the same network as Absolute Poker, one of the sites involved in the Black Friday issue. Hamilton used his position as the consultant to get unauthorised access to the site’s system, which allowed him to see his opponents’ hole cards. He was actively found cheating players of over millions of dollars over a long period of time. When the scandal was exposed, it caused massive damage to the reputation of UltimateBet and also raised concerns about the security of online poker sites.

In 2008, it was revealed that Russ Hamilton, a former World Series of Poker bracelet winner, had been using a “superuser” account on the online poker site UltimateBet to cheat other players. Hamilton had access to his opponents’ hole cards, which gave him a significant advantage.

The scandal rocked the online poker world and led to a number of investigations. In 2009, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), which regulated UltimateBet, found that Hamilton had been cheating and fined the company $1.5 million. The KGC also ordered UltimateBet to return $22 million to players who had been affected by the scandal.

Hamilton was never charged with any criminal offenses, but he was banned from playing poker on any site regulated by the KGC. He has since denied any wrongdoing, but the scandal has tarnished his reputation and legacy. The UltimateBet scandal had a significant impact on the online poker industry. It led to a loss of trust among players and a decline in traffic to online poker sites. The scandal also led to a number of changes in the way online poker is regulated.

In the years since the scandal, the online poker industry has rebounded. However, the UltimateBet scandal remains a reminder of the risks associated with online poker. Players should always be aware of the potential for cheating and should only play on sites that are regulated by a reputable gaming commission.

The Ron Fanelli Cards Scandal (2008)

In the same year as Hamilton, a 2008 World Series of Poker participant named Ron Fanelli was caught red-handed marking cards with special ink which would be visible only under ultraviolet light. His intention was to attain an unfair advantage by identifying specific cards in play. He was immediately caught and banned from the tournament. This scandal brought forth the importance of caution and security required to prevent cheating in high-stakes and renowned live poker events like the WSOP.

Mike Postle’s Cheating Scandal (2019) 

Mike Postle sues Poker community for libel and defamation

A regular player who appeared in live-streamed cash games at Stones Gambling Hall in California, Mike Postle, was accused of cheating in 2019. Postle was enjoying an exceptional winning streak over multiple sessions, which seemed too good to be true. This led several people to suspect he had access to information about his opponents’ hole cards.  The accusations against Postle were made by Veronica Brill, a former Stones employee. Brill analyzed hundreds of hands from Postle’s live streams and found that he was making statistically improbable plays that were only possible if he knew his opponents’ hole cards.

The accusations against Postle sparked a major scandal in the poker world. Several high-profile players, including Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu, spoke out against Postle, and the scandal was covered by major media outlets. Stones Gambling Hall initially defended Postle, but they eventually suspended him from the casino. Postle has denied any wrongdoing, but he has not provided any evidence to support his claims.

The Mike Postle cheating scandal is one of the most high-profile cheating scandals in poker history. The scandal has led to calls for increased regulation of live poker and has raised questions about the integrity of the game. A lot of investigation and legal actions were carried out in the matter, due to which the matter garnered significant attention throughout the global poker community. This case also emphasised the need for stringent security measures in all games being live-streamed.

Bryn Kenny And His Stable (2022)

Top three richest poker players in the world!

Bryn Kenney

In 2022, one of the most successful online and live poker players of all time, Bryn Kenney, was accused of running a cult-like poker cheating stable. The allegations were made by Martin Zamani, a former friend and colleague of Kenney’s, who claimed to have joined. Zamani alleged that Kenney was running a stable of players who colluded together during online poker games. They also allegedly used real-time assistance (RTA) tools to gain an unfair advantage. 

Zamani claimed that Kenney used a variety of methods to cheat, including ghosting, colluding, and using real-time assistance (RTA). Ghosting is when a player watches another player’s hand and provides advice. Colluding is when two or more players work together to cheat. RTA is software that helps players make better decisions. He said that Kenney would often pressure these players to cheat, and that he would threaten to cut them off if they refused.

Kenney has denied all of the allegations. He has said that he has never cheated, and that he has never pressured anyone to cheat. He has also said that he is willing to cooperate with any investigation into the allegations. However, later PokerNews revealed some evidence that spoke otherwise. The evidence included text messages between Kenney and one of the horses from his stable, which indicated that collusion took place online.

The allegations against Kenney have been met with mixed reactions. Some people believe that the allegations are credible, while others believe that they are false. The poker community is currently divided on the issue, and it is unclear what will happen next.

It is important to note that the allegations against Kenney are just that: allegations. Kenney has not been charged with any crime, and he has denied all of the allegations. It is up to the poker community to decide whether or not to believe the allegations.

Robbi Lew – Garrett Adelstein (2022)

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While the Bryn Kenny incident shook the poker world, later in the same year, came another controversy that made its way to the tip of everyone’s tongues. Yes, the Robbi Lew-Garrett Adelstein drama. It all started when Robbi Lew, a relatively new face in the high-stakes community, managed to beat Adelstein, a well-known pro, with a hand like J4o. Adelstein took the opportunity to accuse Lew, saying she used some device in her pants that gave her access to her cards. After a lot of investigation from Hustler Casino Live, the place where the incident took place, and legal intervention, it was found that Lew was innocent. 

These cheating scandals may have served as a source of entertainment for many, but they throw muck on the integrity of the beautiful game of poker. They also highlighted the loopholes in the industry, thus allowing the stakeholders to look into these loopholes to prevent and detect cheating acts. These incidents also lay emphasis on the practices like constant vigilance, fair play, and robust security measures.

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