Protecting poker’s integrity

Jan 30, 2007 12:47 AM

Few books have been written about how cheaters operate in poker games — less than a handful this century — and there are few authors who are experts in the field.

Steve Forte wrote the classic Casino Games Protection three years ago, covering all casino games with a small section on poker. He was asked by many inside and outside the industry to expand that section to a stand-alone book on protecting America’s hottest game, and so, came Poker Protection — Cheating”¦and the World of Poker, (360 pages, hardbound, $50). Forte draws a small portion, about 30 pages, of this book from Casino Games Protection, which sells for $200, and adds more than 300 more pages to this vital resource.

Casinos have long neglected poker as a game that needed surveillance because it was not the house, but the player money that was at stake. Now, with the growth of multi-million dollar tournaments and the eyes of the world watching on TV, with many corporate sponsors nervously following the action, it behooves all involved to keep the action honest and above-board at all times.

Forte explains how cheaters operate today and the history of the game and how the grifters operated a century ago. He discusses tournament play, the chance of collusion; how final table deals may occur and the often heard term "chip dumping" along with deliberate slow play, inexperienced supervisors or tournament organizers what might devastate their casino or reputation.

Forte is not bashing poker. In fact, in an overall optimistic tone, he lauds those watching and organizing the game live and on the Internet for their diligence in keeping the action clean and honest for the most part.

There are some short, but illuminating sections on the history of poker and the evolution of many of the games, including some of the most popular ones played today for big money.

The book should steer you away from trouble games, make you more alert to potential scamsters and their ploys and should be in the hands of supervisors, dealers, gaming enforcement personnel in every state and in every nation where honesty and integrity go hand in hand.

These books and more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com, or all toll free at 1-800-522-1777.