Dutch Website Says It Sells Marked WSOP Cards
A Dutch website claims it can sell you marked cards identical to the ones used at the World Series of Poker and special contact lenses or micro-cameras allowing you to read them.
Gambleromania.com also says it will put microchips in a Modiano WSOP deck that can be read by smartphones or key fobs, and although the site includes a disclaimer saying the cards and reading devices are for entertainment purposes only and not to be used to cheat at brick and mortar casinos, a representative from the company told PokerNews players might be able to use them at the 2015 WSOP.
"We have Modiano WSOP, World Series of Poker model," a Gambleromania.com representative said. "You can use [them] in any place where you can switch up cards. Cards must switch up, [which] means replacing the clean one with a marked one. If [you have the] possibility to switch up, [it will] work, if not... [it won't]."
In addition to having marked and chipped WSOP Modiano and other casino cards in stock, Gambleromania.com says it can mark or chip any deck a customer sends in. The site lists a number of Modiano models, but they also have several Copag, Fournier EPT and WPT cards, Bicycle, Kem, Bee, Cartamundi, Dal Negro, Rambler, and Skat decks. Plus, the site sells special contact lenses, sunglasses, cameras, and other devices to read the marked cards and invisible ink to do your own card marking.
Of course, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said anyone caught using such products at the WSOP would face some serious consequences.
"If someone tries to introduce chips or cards at the WSOP, obviously they would be banned for life at minimum," he said.
The WSOP is in the midst of an investigation into cheating allegations in the 2015 WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up Championship last week, which has reportedly been turned over to Nevada Gaming officials. The player alleged to have used marked cards has denied the allegations and WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky claimed preliminary testing of the cards showed no markings or use of any foreign solutions.
In the meantime, Stewart said sites like Gambleromania.com represent an issue in the casino industry and poker industry as a whole, and the WSOP is vigilant about making sure its products, and the like, are kept at bay.
"These organizations offering cheat products are the lowest form of rodents, and continuing to police them is a bit of whack-a-mole," he said. "We actively pursue anyone using our trademarks in such unsavory context, but the majority of our focus is to prevent introduction of any foreign device. To the best of our knowledge, no such product has ever been successfully used at the WSOP. Obviously we don't speak about all the tools our security and surveillance have at their disposal, but we work hard to make the world championships of poker a fair and secure environment.
"We feel we have preventative measures equal to, or greater than any poker operator in the world. But players will always be the best police of the game. We continue to suggest a player speak with tournament staff if they identify something suspicious."
Six-time WSOP braclelet winner Daniel Negreanu is among a number of players who have taken issue with the new Modiano decks being used at the 2015 WSOP, claiming they are flimsy, easily marked, and provide some difficulty in distinguishing spades from clubs.
Negreanu said he has little fear of anyone using these kinds of devices to cheat at the WSOP, because anyone trying to introduce marked or chipped cards like those sold at Gambleromania.com would have some immediate problems.
"The issue there is how do you get them in," he said. "If dealers are switching the decks normally, like they should be, it's very difficult for someone to get value out of that. He switches a couple cards in one down and they're gone the next. If they keep changing the cards as much as they should be, it's not an issue."
It is strongly advised by officials that if illegal cards, substances, or other tactics are suspected, that players inform the appropriate authorities.
Since the writing of this story, it appears Gambleromania.com has removed marked casino cards from their website.