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Old 11-26-2018, 04:53 AM   #1
needsadvice123
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I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

My first post. I've spent this whole week searching for answers and haven't found anything specific to what happened to me. Any advice on how to approach this would help tremendously. I know I will get bashed for being a little oblivious to situation, I deserve it. But less bashing, more sound advice/opinions please...

- Game in question - PLO 8 2/5 blinds, 10 bring in, min buy in 200, max 2000
- Me - Experienced Fixed Limit 20/40 Omaha 8 player for more than a decade

I've been playing fixed limit Omaha 8 hi-lo for more than a decade. Casual weekend player, but very solid and not an action chaser. Profitable. I'm all the way up to 20/40 blinds now and it is not out of my comfort zone to lose a rack or two on a bad night. It happens in this game. I can take those hits. The point is not the amount of money lost, but the feeling that I got cheated out of it. Here's the situation....

There is a website that lists everything from meeting people to play poker to finding people to go on hikes with, etc. I searched poker one night and found a bunch of groups. I found one that actually had pot limit Omaha 8, which we do not have where I live. I was very intrigued at this, as I am pretty decent at PLO high as well. I contacted the organizer and got in his game at his house. For the past decade, I've only played at casinos, so this was going to be my first time in a home game. I obviously was alert and cautious when I got there, but I figured I'd just buy-in for the minimum to see if I could be comfortable in this game without having to worry about collusion, cheating, etc. Everybody was friendly and they had a "professional" dealer... no players shuffled or cut the cards.

The game started with 8 players of all different ages, races and backgrounds. That was refreshing because it reduced the fact that I was walking into a group of college buddies trying to scam me. Here is what everyone bought in for.

1 - 600
2 - 600
3 - 400
4 - 200
5 - 400
6 - 600
7 - 200
8 - 2000 (max)

First red flag: The game started WITHOUT a shuffle.

They did have 2 decks, and the dealer shuffled the other deck while action was going around the table. It was my first time with these guys so I didn't want to say something. I just was on the lookout for something fishy within the first two hands. Nothing crazy happened. I lost my minimum buy-in in 2 hours on a counterfeited A2 low while missing my nut flush. Normal loss. I felt comfortable at the game. Nothing else seemed fishy. So what did my dumb brain let me do? I bought in for the max 2000 next time. So after about 20 minutes, the hand in question comes into play....

me - KQQ10 double suited
chip leader (2400) - JJ82 rainbow
3rd player (lost his initial 600, bought in for 1000) - A234 2 clubs

about 100 in the pot before the flop

Flop comes....QJ5 2 clubs

chip leader checks, other player checks to me, I pot it. Everyone calls

Turn comes 7 diamonds.

Set of jacks checks. Nut low draw/flush draw checks. I pot it again. And they both call, with the draw guy all in.

Now, my heart rate was jacked. My first time in PLO8 and I can't get these guys out. I know what I have to avoid. I'm calling for another queen in my head or at least no club or low card.

River comes J! The case jack, I have queens full and for 3 or 4 seconds, I'm in Happyville. First to act chip leader Hollywoods "Ehhh, pot." My heart dropped. All in guy was obviously disgusted. I had about 900 in front of me. The thoughts that were running through my head after I called time....

"Did he really check call all the way with second set?"
"Did he miss everything and trying to push me out?"
"I've played for a decade (thousands among thousands of hands in Omaha 8 and BIG O and can't recall ever getting one-outed for the high with no low out there) and there's no way this is happening the first time I play pot limit with a bunch of strangers"

The one big thing I caught before the river came seemed super odd to me and this has weighed into my speculation of being cheated. The dealer seemed to "peek" under the deck before he dealt the river while tilting his head a little (there was a base card concealer that was white though).

After 2-3 minutes, I called and obviously he had quad J's. I was gutshot. The all-in guy stormed out after revealing his cards. He did say bye though.

So, I took a walk, bought in for 200 again, and left after 3 hours being felted by getting my money all in pre flop with AA24 2 hearts.

So.... here is what I saw from this....

The top 3 stacks were in this pot.

Me and the all in guy were the "new" guys (me 1st time, all in guy's 2nd time) where I had top set with the straight draw and he had the nut flush and low draws, and the winning regular hits the miracle one-outer for a 5000 dollar pot

The dealer "peeked" at the bottom of the deck before the fateful river


I've tried to post all the information I remember so it will help. I've been reading all over the internet how dealers can manipulate cards and so forth, and I just can't get over it. Like tricky mirrors or reflective stuff. Anyways....



Do you think I got cheated?
Can I report this to authorities/law enforcement?
Can I get my money back through civil litigation?
Should I confront the event host about this?


Thoughts???

Last edited by needsadvice123; 11-26-2018 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:28 AM   #2
BulltexasATM
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

No way to know for sure. I play PLO exclusively and see these type of beats every 3 sessions or so. In recent sessions I have seen someone river a gutshot straight flush on the river against the nut flush when the flop and turn were potted and the guy with 86 flush called both times and rivered the 7 which was his only out and have seen quads on river beat top flopped set several times.

What you say about thinking the dealer was looking at the deck is sketchy but no way to prove it so I would probably just move on and not go back to the game again if you don't feel comfortable there.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:44 AM   #3
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Anytime you sit in an illegal underground game there is the risk of getting cheated. Of course that is true at a casino or even at my $20 buy-in {real} home game.

Hard to say how high the risk is, but something to be mindful of. I have to think it is a poor long term business plan for the house to cheat every new player that shows up. Sure, the score is big that night but it seems certain to kill the game sooner than later. But if the game is "new", it could be they do this to an ignorant market of players every month.

Could be the dealer is acting in coordination with a player or two at the table. I can't imagine the house would be ok with that. Any reason to think the dealer was new?

I also have to note the difficulty in stacking the deck for a full table Omaha game. You seem to have been watching with extraordinary care. Perhaps there was a cold deck that got brought into play?

I have to think you have seen one-out winners before. Not very common, but still they happen.

I have seen plenty of Omaha players who get stacked on weaker full houses. It doesn't surprise me at all for a player with middle set to stick around. You do want to play in games like that I assume. . . .

But tonight that guy hit his quads ( ~5% over two streets. ) Not a happy thing, but hardly crazy luck either.

I doubt you were cheated. Possible, not the most likely explanation. I vote bad luck > cheating.

What can you do? Go play somewhere else. The stakes you prefer are always more vulnerable to cheating than cheeseburger stakes I prefer. So I can take the risk someone is going to rip me off for $20 or $50 bucks. Playing with $2,500+ buy-ins, maybe it would be better to stick with regulated card rooms and/or casinos.

Bad beats happen, you know this -=- DrStrange
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:07 PM   #4
needsadvice123
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrStrange View Post
Anytime you sit in an illegal underground game there is the risk of getting cheated. Of course that is true at a casino or even at my $20 buy-in {real} home game.

Hard to say how high the risk is, but something to be mindful of. I have to think it is a poor long term business plan for the house to cheat every new player that shows up. Sure, the score is big that night but it seems certain to kill the game sooner than later. But if the game is "new", it could be they do this to an ignorant market of players every month.

Could be the dealer is acting in coordination with a player or two at the table. I can't imagine the house would be ok with that. Any reason to think the dealer was new?

I also have to note the difficulty in stacking the deck for a full table Omaha game. You seem to have been watching with extraordinary care. Perhaps there was a cold deck that got brought into play?

I have to think you have seen one-out winners before. Not very common, but still they happen.

I have seen plenty of Omaha players who get stacked on weaker full houses. It doesn't surprise me at all for a player with middle set to stick around. You do want to play in games like that I assume. . . .

But tonight that guy hit his quads ( ~5% over two streets. ) Not a happy thing, but hardly crazy luck either.

I doubt you were cheated. Possible, not the most likely explanation. I vote bad luck > cheating.

What can you do? Go play somewhere else. The stakes you prefer are always more vulnerable to cheating than cheeseburger stakes I prefer. So I can take the risk someone is going to rip me off for $20 or $50 bucks. Playing with $2,500+ buy-ins, maybe it would be better to stick with regulated card rooms and/or casinos.

Bad beats happen, you know this -=- DrStrange
I know bad beats happen. I take them and give them. The situation and other variables don't add up to me as just a normal bad beat coincidence though. I definitely understand the high variance in this game, but it does not seem like coincidence to me that first off...

The guy that bought in for the max (winner with the quads) was a super tight player (after watching him all night before and after the fact), and he limped under the gun with JJ82 rainbow, then called another $20 with 2 players in front of him. I also saw him fold a limped family pot from the BB with $2000 in front of him before the hand in question happened, but he calls a raise with JJ82 rainbow in a PLO8 game?

It just happened to be that the 3 biggest stacks at the table all got these hands, and the 2 losers were both new to the game.

The deck was not a cold deck, as the dealer always kept both decks in plain site on the table. The host told me that the dealer dealt the final table of the WSOP Main Event, so I assume he has experience handling cards. I feel like the house, dealer and player are all in on it.

The rake was being pulled in WHILE the hand was going on, so that was another red flag to me. How can you take 10% of a pot that's not final? Seems super shady.

Players were dealt into hands even though they weren't at the table and didn't announce themselves to be dealt in. I'm thinking that this was done as to not disturb the order of the cards.

I'm going to assume that since this is a huge poker forum, that someone from that game is going to see this post, maybe even comment on it bashing my suspicions. I'm prepared for the worst.

And yes.... I am definitely sticking to brick and mortars from now on, haha. That's obvious.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:32 PM   #5
BulltexasATM
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by needsadvice123 View Post
I know bad beats happen. I take them and give them. The situation and other variables don't add up to me as just a normal bad beat coincidence though. I definitely understand the high variance in this game, but it does not seem like coincidence to me that first off...

The guy that bought in for the max (winner with the quads) was a super tight player (after watching him all night before and after the fact), and he limped under the gun with JJ82 rainbow, then called another $20 with 2 players in front of him. I also saw him fold a limped family pot from the BB with $2000 in front of him before the hand in question happened, but he calls a raise with JJ82 rainbow in a PLO8 game?

It just happened to be that the 3 biggest stacks at the table all got these hands, and the 2 losers were both new to the game.

The deck was not a cold deck, as the dealer always kept both decks in plain site on the table. The host told me that the dealer dealt the final table of the WSOP Main Event, so I assume he has experience handling cards. I feel like the house, dealer and player are all in on it.

The rake was being pulled in WHILE the hand was going on, so that was another red flag to me. How can you take 10% of a pot that's not final? Seems super shady.

Players were dealt into hands even though they weren't at the table and didn't announce themselves to be dealt in. I'm thinking that this was done as to not disturb the order of the cards.

I'm going to assume that since this is a huge poker forum, that someone from that game is going to see this post, maybe even comment on it bashing my suspicions. I'm prepared for the worst.

And yes.... I am definitely sticking to brick and mortars from now on, haha. That's obvious.
Since you aren't planning to go back anyway, where is the game(city)?
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:13 AM   #6
needsadvice123
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BulltexasATM View Post
No way to know for sure. I play PLO exclusively and see these type of beats every 3 sessions or so. In recent sessions I have seen someone river a gutshot straight flush on the river against the nut flush when the flop and turn were potted and the guy with 86 flush called both times and rivered the 7 which was his only out and have seen quads on river beat top flopped set several times.

What you say about thinking the dealer was looking at the deck is sketchy but no way to prove it so I would probably just move on and not go back to the game again if you don't feel comfortable there.
I've come to peace with the situation and will stick to fixed limit Omaha 8 games at casinos, where I am decently profitable for a casual weekend player. Pot Limit might be a little bit out my league. Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:15 AM   #7
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

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Originally Posted by BulltexasATM View Post
Since you aren't planning to go back anyway, where is the game(city)?
Daly City, CA.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:29 AM   #8
Garick
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Quote:
The rake was being pulled in WHILE the hand was going on, so that was another red flag to me. How can you take 10% of a pot that's not final? Seems super shady.
This is super standard. Professional dealers usually add chips to the rake as they go, pulling one more whenever a pot hits a certain amount, then drop it all when it hits max or the hand is over.

Mind you, some underground games use this process to over-rake, so I'd watch the totals, but the fact that they are taking out the rake incrementally to make sure they don't miss any whenever it jumps is not in and of itself a red flag.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:08 PM   #9
Bene Gesserit
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

This is just such a high variance type of poker game , that the result in your OP , although far from common , is not ourageous at all! Doubt that you were " skinned" in your first appearance , but is it certainly possible I guess. Anyway, you seem to be somewhat convinced that it was not legit , so right or wrong, you should let this game go, and return to safer venues that you have more confidence in.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #10
sw_emigre
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Certainly as you wrote it, some things look shady. But If it wasn't a cold deck, think of the mechanics involved. On the fly, with the cards always being on the table prior and during the hand, the dealer needs to be able to set three 4-card hands, plus the board. He'd have to line up 17 exact cards (12 in the hands, 5 on the board) around 23 dead ones (5 hands and 3 burns). And this has to be done so that the exact 3 biggest stacks are the ones getting the cards.

There's good mechanics out there for sure, but this is asking a lot.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:22 PM   #11
Jimulacrum
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

Seems unlikely you were cheated here, as sw_emigre explained pretty well. Bad beats happen, even beats this bad.

One thing that stands out as inconsistent with cheating is that the guy with quad jacks played passively the whole way. Why? If he's in on the cheating, it's more beneficial to get all the money in the middle on an earlier round, when your hand is the current nuts, to prevent you from escaping after the money card comes out.

In any case, all you have are suspicions. The beat was unlikely, granted, but these things happen regularly due to chance alone. You think you saw the dealer peep the bottom card, but (a) you only think you saw it, and (b) if he's bottom-dealing, he knows what the bottom card is and doesn't need to peep it. There's really no purpose in looking.

Everything else is just circumstance. You're a new guy, and so was the other guy who got busted, but that happens. No one knew you were going to plop $2,000 on the table. So much of this is only potentially suspicious when you look at it after the fact trying to find odd coincidences. There's really no proof of anything.

As to what to do, the best play is probably just to walk away and never look back. You don't have any real legal recourse unless you're comfortable siccing the cops on a game that, for all you know, is populated by innocent people, and they'll all get in trouble whether or not anyone cheated. A lawsuit would be a fool's errand. And whether there was cheating or not, you'll never feel right playing there again, so don't bother about it. Consider it a fairly expensive lesson.

By the way, PLO8 and limit O8 do play very differently. Just because you're good at O8 doesn't mean you'll do well in your first foray into PLO8, and vice versa. And it's no new thing for someone to lose his shirt at big-bet poker and leave feeling suspicious about the situation, simply because so much money stands to be won or lost all at once.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:17 AM   #12
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Re: I got cheated out of $2000. What can I do?

off topic but people WAY overestimate how often cold decks/mechanics are used when marking cards is so much easier
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