Despite falling squarely in a gray area of the law, poker rooms are becoming increasingly popular in Texas, as is evidenced by the inaugural Texas Poker Open that just completed. With that fuzziness, though, can come problems. Recently, poker players have accused Legends Poker Room in Houston of rigging decks in cash games.

The latest comes from poker pro Shaun Deeb, who shared a “pretty disgusting video” of what he says is an example of a “mechanic” dealer who “isn’t actually shuffling the cards,” but rather arranging cards how they want them dealt.

Now, the video certainly isn’t definitive proof of anything. It could just be that the dealer is bad at shuffling. It doesn’t look great, though. In the short video, it appears that the dealer quickly inserted certain cards into the deck and then kept part of the deck from being properly shuffled. After the dealer riffles the two halves of the deck, the halves are never combined.

To play devil’s advocate, it doesn’t look like the dealer can see which cards he is arranging – the camera sees them because the cards are facing the player, not the dealer. But then again, those might be cards that were visible when the dealer scooped them up from players’ hands. It’s a very short video that doesn’t show the entire process. But the fact that the dealer never actually slides the two halves of the deck together is very suspicious.

The video in and of itself probably isn’t enough to draw a definitive conclusion. Again, maybe the dealer is just sloppy. But Deeb did say in the post above (the video was not his, by the way), “I have spoken to a floor person of legends who confirmed multiple dealers were fired for messing with the decks in the past month.”

Commenters in Deeb’s video threads said that they have seen problems at Legends in the past. One person said, “Legends is rife with this, and they don’t just setup the hands to make you lose either. They will also set it to make u win when you first sit down to reel you in…”

Many others pointed out telltale moves of a mechanic (a mechanic is simply the term for a dealer who unfairly manipulates the deck). One wrote, “dealer put an ace on top of the deck when bringing in the cards from last hand. they then shuffled the cards but the top card always remained on top. on the 3rd shuffle mistake, had to reshuffle to get the right card on top.. false cut, ace still on top.. small blind gets an A.”

Another: “That’s clearly a pass through shuffle. He’s quite smooth at it too. One of the times he passes through one of the other times he pulls out.”

If the dealer in the video is, in fact, cheating, the next question is if he was doing it on his own or at the direction of management. Regardless, the sheer fact that the shuffling even looks slightly suspicious is very concerning and will hopefully be investigated further.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *