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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 

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.

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.

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. 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 top high-stakes poker pro, Bryn Kenney, was accused of running a cult-like poker cheating stable. The accusation was made by Martin Zamani, 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. Although Kenny denied all the allegations made against him, 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.

Robbi Lew – Garrett Adelstein (2022)

Garrett Adelstein DONATES $135K After Apologizing To Robbi Lew?

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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