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Noted cheating consultant caught in scam
It wasn't all that long ago that cheating at poker was a shooting offense. Luckily for four men in Atlantic City, it's now just an arresting offense.
Last week, local news was reporting that a poker game scam had been busted during at the Borgata Hotel and Casino during a $5,000 tournament. At the time, police weren't releasing details, but now they've announced they arrested four men in connection with the scam.
One of those men is will-known cheating consultant Steve Forte. He is the president of his own consulting firm, International Gaming Specialists, which provides in-depth instruction, live demonstrations and hands-on game protection training for various clients.
His field includes all facets of cheating, advantage play, detection and prevention, time and motion analysis, controls and procedural analysis for all casino table games and slots.
Forte's client list includes some of the world's top casino and gaming establishments as well as law enforcement organizations and more.
His reputations is that of an expert in the cheating consultation field and he has two books published in the field - Casino Game Protection: A Comprehensive Guide and Poker Protection: Cheating … and the World of Poker - as well as a four-part video series.
Perhaps that's why poker players in town for the Borgata event were so easily led to a private game in one of the hotel's rooms where they were involved in the cheating scheme.
In the hotel room, the game was rigged with hidden miniature cameras to see all the players' cards. An accomplice then whispered what all the players were holding to their players with earpieces at the table.
In the meantime, another person was running the odds on a laptop behind the scenes to advice the players on what was the best way to act in the game.
According to an Associated Press report, authorities also claim the deck used in the game was marked to give the people involved in the scam even more of an edge.
It is unknown at this time how many people had been taken in by the cheating scheme or how much money was taken during the game.
Along with Steve Forte, Joseph Ingargiola, Stephen Phillips, and James Harrison were arrested June 7 after the game was busted. They are all free on bail now but face charges of using a computer and cheating devices to commit theft, attempted theft by deceptions and conspiracy.
Ingargiola is a 50-year-old pro poker player from Playa del Rey, Calif. Phillips, 52, is from Las Vegas, and Harrison, 41, is from Duluth, Minn.
Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the New Jersey attorney general's office, told media the arrests were kept quiet because the probe into the scheme is ongoing and has expanded to other jurisdictions.