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Four Detained for Alleged Poker Scam in China

Marking Cards
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  • Police confiscated over 30 marked decks after a man claimed he was cheated in a poker game in China.

Chinese authorities have detained four alleged scammers who are accused of using marked cards and special contact lenses to lift more than $10,000 from an unsuspecting poker player in a hotel poker game, the South China Morning Post reported.

The game took place at a hotel in Dali, a city in Southwest China. The suspects lured the victim - identified only as "Feng" in the report - there on the pretense of helping him find clients for his business. The five played a poker game, wherein the four suspects allegedly conspired to cheat Feng.

The suspects apparently used a deck of marked cards, with one player wearing special contact lenses that allowed him to identify the cards. He then signaled the victim's holdings to his fellow cheaters. They quickly took 10,000 yuan, about $1,500, off of Feng. None the wiser, Feng reloaded via a written promise of another 60,000 yuan, about $9,000. He subsequently lost that and must have suspected he'd been cheated, as he filed a complaint to police claiming he'd been drugged and taken advantage of in a poker game.

Evidently, the cheaters didn't have the good sense to abandon the scene of the Sept. 23 crime, as authorities found them in the very same room. They also found more than 30 decks of marked cards, along with the special contact lenses.

Marked cards have historically been a common method of cheating in poker, making headlines as recently as the 2015 World Series of Poker. Valeriu Coca, who got fifth in the 2015 WSOP $10,000 Heads-Up Championship, was accused by competitors of cheating. In the following days, PokerNews reported that at least one website existed that claimed to sell marked WSOP cards. Coca was eventually cleared by the WSOP and received his fifth-place payout.

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