What do you do when you’re ridiculously stuck in a session?

Windwalker

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Playing devil’s advocate here… Is it possible you just had a bad night at the table?

Looking at it this way, you only lost two (400 BB) buyins. Relatively speaking, -2 buyins is completely normal variance. It’s actually to be expected, over the long haul. World-class players lose 2+ buyins all the time.

It’s the stakes which make the losses seem like an exceptionally huge amount. But for someone bankrolled for 50/100 — let alone a room prepared to extend credit to multiple players at that level, along with the vast overhead of the venue described — well, it’s honestly pretty trivial.

Sure, at a normal casino which limits you to more like 150-250 BB buyins at lower stakes, that’s more like 3-5 buyins. It’s a bad night by any measure. But it’s not uncommon in poker.

I can remember losing 1K on bad day playing 1/2 with a $300 max buyin… 3.333 buyins. There was no fraud involved. I was running bad, and playing tilted.

You might say: Well, the Armenians returned the money, so that proves they were cheating.

But if they did, couldn’t that just demonstrate that they decided you are a pain in their ass, siccing private eyes on their illegal game — so they decided it was worth two buy-ins at their nosebleed stakes to be rid of you?

I’ve certainly had situations (only a very few) in professional life where a client was such a PITA that I preferred to “fire” the client and refund their money completely than to continue dealing with them. I’m talking here about someone who you know is never going to stop being impossible, making the income not worth the headaches. But then, I’m kind of like that. (TBH the look on their faces when you walk away is well worth it…)

Ditto in my nonprofit work. As the director of a large membership organization, there was always 1% of members who drove me and the Board crazy. It only happened a few times over almost a decade, but there were instances where things reached a point where we expelled certain members, despite their other value to the org, because they spent so much time sowing division that their contributions were not worth the hassles. (In one instance, I suspected the problem member was a plant of the company we were challenging in a regulatory review. But she might have just been an idiot. Either way, we were better off without her in our group.)

Just sayin’. I think every possibility should be considered.

I’ve been sitting here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to respond to this note. I now understand what the tone was in your previous posts, and I guess that’s ok.

Just as a reminder, I started this thread literally discussing exactly your hypothesis— how do you know when to walk away from a bad night, just wanting to get different people’s perspective on it.

So, let’s start with an answer to your question.

Is it possible you just had a bad night at the table?

The answer, had you asked me this prior to us contracting our investigator, would have been an unequivocal yes.

Now, the answer is more complicated. It’s entirely possible that, regardless of whether the game was fixed, that I was playing badly. In fact, I know I was tilting at specific times. So there’s that.

But the underlying accusation in your note (and it is definitely that, no matter how many soft phrases you surround it with) requires me to then believe the following two possibilities are in fact real:

1. The investigator we hired (whom we have used before, to extremely effective value) made up a bunch of stuff, including some details which would be incredibly hard to do that with… for example, the names of 6 other marks, and the exact amounts they were taken for (lost). One of the marks is an acquaintance of mine, so he and I grabbed a late drink last night and he verified the amount, and recalled similar bad beats.

But, let’s just say our contracted guy did morph information from a real game and real losses into something that seemed seedy, because it endears him to us, he gets a bonus, etc. If that’s true, then the second possibility below is even more frightening.

2. If 1 is true, (and it has to be, for your question to be answered in the affirmative,) then the following must be true: My head of security, who has been with me for close to 4 years, with 15 years in an elite division of the armed forces and then a decade in foreign intelligence, followed by 5 years in private security — he contracted an individual who, rather than be effective, made up some story, and tried to deceive both of us? It would also mean that his own conversation with one of the game runners that he relayed to me would have been made up.

The more I think about it, the more confused I am by the purpose / intent of your note. I didn’t start this thread to talk about an investigation or expose some crooked game. I started sharing what was happening because people seemed interested, and because of all the time I spend on here.

If you had posted this note PRIOR to me hiring someone, and prior to getting information through the process, then that makes total sense. I could have just as easily not posted any of the details on here; I only did so because it felt like a fun / interesting / somewhat fascinating ride I was letting fellow PCFers “sweat” me on.

Either way — yes, it’s possible that I had a bad night, but not probable that the game I was in wasn’t fixed.

Why? Because I’d like to believe the resources I have brought on to protect my interests are solid, and trustworthy, so I believe them when they say something to me.

I have to say; your post actually makes it look like you feel sorry for the game runners; you compared them to people who run non-profits, and me to a meddlesome board member or funder they can’t wait to get rid of. I’m sorry your animosity of me (someone you’ve never met) runs that deep. Not sure what I can do to fix that, but do let me know.
 
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Taghkanic

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I’ve been sitting here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to respond to this note. I now understand what the tone was in your previous posts, and I guess that’s ok.

Just as a reminder, I started this thread literally discussing exactly your hypothesis— how do you know when to walk away from a bad night, just wanting to get different people’s perspective on it.

So, let’s start with an answer to your question.



The answer, had you asked me this prior to us contracting our investigator, would have been an unequivocal yes.

Now, the answer is more complicated. It’s entirely possible that, regardless of whether the game was fixed, that I was playing badly. In fact, I know I was tilting at specific times. So there’s that.

But the underlying accusation in your note (and it is definitely that, no matter how many soft phrases you surround it with) requires me to then believe the following two possibilities are in fact real:

1. The investigator we hired (whom we have used before, to extremely effective value) made up a bunch of stuff, including some details which would be incredibly hard to do that with… for example, the names of 6 other marks, and the exact amounts they were taken for (lost). One of the marks is an acquaintance of mine, so he and I grabbed a late drink last night and he verified the amount, and recalled similar bad beats.

But, let’s just say our contracted guy did morph information from a real game and real losses into something that seemed seedy, because it endears him to us, he gets a bonus, etc. If that’s true, then the second possibility below is even more frightening.

2. If 1 is true, (and it has to be, for your question to be answered in the affirmative,) then the following must be true: My head of security, who has been with me for close to 4 years, with 15 years in an elite division of the armed forces and then a decade in foreign intelligence, followed by 5 years in private security — he contracted an individual who, rather than be effective, made up some story, and tried to deceive both of us? It would also mean that his own conversation with one of the game runners that he relayed to me would have been made up.

The more I think about it, the more confused I am by the purpose / intent of your note. I didn’t start this thread to talk about an investigation or expose some crooked game. I started sharing what was happening because people seemed interested, and because of all the time I spend on here.

If you had posted this note PRIOR to me hiring someone, and prior to getting information through the process, then that makes total sense. I could have just as easily not posted any of the details on here; I only did so because it felt like a fun / interesting / somewhat fascinating ride I was letting fellow PCFers “sweat” me on.

Either way — yes, it’s possible that I had a bad night, but not probable that the game I was in wasn’t fixed.

Why? Because I’d like to believe the resources I have brought on to protect my interests are solid, and trustworthy, so I believe them when they say something to me.

I have to say; your post actually makes it look like you feel sorry for the game runners; you compared them to people who run non-profits, and me to a meddlesome board member or funder they can’t wait to get rid of. I’m sorry your animosity of me (someone you’ve never met) runs that deep. Not sure what I can do to fix that, but do let me know.

The purpose and intent of my note was just as described up front: To play devil’s advocate.

I would think that anyone would want to double- and triple-check not just the facts claimed, but the assumptions driving their investigation, before going to war with what have been described as well-funded, devious, and possibly even dangerous hosts, who presumably would not just roll over.

I am moved to do so by having gone through a very lengthy but much simpler investigation of a potential cheat in my own game. So no, I have no sympathy for actual cheats. That thread can. found here:

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/the-politics-of-dealing-with-a-cheater.48890/

Even in such a relatively uncomplicated situation, it was very difficult to ascertain the truth. Many PCFers were skeptical, and I found their questions and probes of my reported details helpful, overall, with only a couple exceptions. There’s not much point in engaging a community like this if the only acceptable feedback is supportive or fawning.

As to the merits of your investigator’s findings (hired by a plural “we,” though I’m not sure who the others were)… It is impossible to assess the validity of the facts gathered, and the methods used, since they are either apparently too confidential to disclose, or you have “distanced” yourself from them for some reason, perhaps for some safety concern.

All that said, if I were in your position, before acting I would be doubling back and asking myself questions such as: Are the investigators tending to see what they think I expect them to see? There is a human tendency to see patterns where there is only randomness. Google: Apophenia, et al. It is quite possible for a well-intentioned and sharp mind to still make an error or misinterpretation. (As for military intelligence… See WMD, Iraq.)

Or, how well do they know the game of poker? A non-player might be much more likely to impute motive where there is only chance.

Frankly, there are some elements of this account which don’t add up for me. There may be good reasons for some apparent discrepancies, but they are hidden from our view.

Bottom line: I’d just beware going nuclear without an iron-clad case, and also without gaming out the various directions things could then go. Getting your back up when people ask natural questions is your right, but not taking those into consideration. may only hurt your chances of resolving things to your satisfaction.
 
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gopherblue

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Fuggedaboudit!

Windwalker

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Taghkanic

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P.S. to the above: If one imputes bad motives of all who ask skeptical questions or suggest revisiting assumptions, one may wind up feeling attacked a lot, if not in in open flame wars. In my biz, raising such issues is 90% of the job.

Maybe it’s your own fault that people have such reactions, or maybe the rest of us are just a bunch of big meanies, or more likely a little of both. But I neither assume you are always mistaken, nor that every story posted on a community board is 100% accurate. Some parts of this story do honestly seem hard to believe. Then again, real events are sometimes unbelievable. The jury is still out.

Anyway, I don’t have any special animus toward you. By the same token it should not be so flustering to receive a suggestion to take special care and revisit all details before pulling the trigger on an explosive allegation. This is true of any form of research, whether it’s in a scientific lab, or a philanthropic setting, or a newspaper… or deploying corporate security to investigate personal gambling losses.
 
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Windwalker

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But it should not be so flustering to receive a suggestion to take special care and revisit all details before pulling the trigger on an explosive allegation.

Wasn’t flustered. Honestly, just confused. In general, I tend to believe what people I trust tell me, and I trust my team. Either way, if your intent was truly “looking out”, and not a dig, great. I appreciate it.

or deploying corporate security to investigate personal gambling losses.

I take some umbrage to that assumption. I was talking about the head of security not for any corporate entity I’m part of, but instead for my family office. Which, given I’m single and have no offspring, is kinda just me. (And the people that work within.)
 

Taghkanic

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I take some umbrage to that assumption. I was talking about the head of security not for any corporate entity I’m part of, but instead for my family office. Which, given I’m single and have no offspring, is kinda just me. (And the people that work within.)


I guess I should have read your mind… You’ve mentioned your business many times; I’ve not seen prior reference to a “family office,” but can’t pretend to have read all your posts.

Any reason we should know about that you feel the need for a head of security for one person? I’ve known (and even dated) a few very wealthy people who did not feel such a need. No need to reply if it’s sensitive, just curious.
 

Windwalker

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Any reason we should know about that you feel the need for a head of security for one person? I’ve known (and even dated) a few very wealthy people who did not feel such a need. No need to reply if it’s sensitive, just curious.
I think you’re mistaking “security” for “bodyguard”, which it’s not in this case. It’s just someone to oversee risk and fraud mitigation.

My family office manages several investment directives, many with different partners, and as such, we often operate like a small private equity shop. Risk mitigation / due diligence and occasional investigations are all part of the process. A few of our investments are in high-risk markets, and when I, or someone from the office travel to those markets, “security” also then arranges for what you’re thinking of as “security”.
 

Windwalker

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I think you’re mistaking “security” for “bodyguard”, which it’s not in this case. It’s just someone to oversee risk and fraud mitigation.

My family office manages several investment directives, many with different partners, and as such, we often operate like a small private equity shop. Risk mitigation / due diligence and occasional investigations are all part of the process. A few of our investments are in high-risk markets, and when I, or someone from the office travel to those markets, “security” also then arranges for what you’re thinking of as “security”.

But then, as a friend from here just reminded me…

FF77FC07-76AF-4BBD-8753-2B60B32BB62A.jpeg
 

Taghkanic

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But then, as a friend from here just reminded me…

View attachment 713649

I now better understand that you consider straightforward questions are trolling, though that was already becoming abundantly clear.

I can’t help you with this (apparent) need for adulation. I was genuinely trying to suggest that you go back a few steps and review your assumptions (cf. the movie Pi) before going crazy on what you’ve built up here into Armenian gangsters.

And yes, I understand the difference between bodyguards and other forms of security.
 

JStew

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Thank you for sharing. Fascinating but will also stay in the back of my mind in my future situations although they will be at much much lower stakes. Well done trying to stop this group of criminals from cheating other people in the future.
 

Legend5555

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I now better understand that you consider straightforward questions are trolling, though that was already becoming abundantly clear.

I can’t help you with this (apparent) need for adulation. I was genuinely trying to suggest that you go back a few steps and review your assumptions (cf. the movie Pi) before going crazy on what you’ve built up here into Armenian gangsters.

And yes, I understand the difference between bodyguards and other forms of security.
WTF happened here? How did it go from a cool story of crooked games and investigations to this? What do you care what he does and how he goes about it? The whole thing could be a lie for all I care. It was certainly entertaining though.
 

AfterTheFact

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WTF happened here? How did it go from a cool story of crooked games and investigations to this? What do you care what he does and how he goes about it? The whole thing could be a lie for all I care. It was certainly entertaining though.
Trolls out in force, pay them no mind...
 

Taghkanic

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WTF happened here? How did it go from a cool story of crooked games and investigations to this? What do you care what he does and how he goes about it? The whole thing could be a lie for all I care. It was certainly entertaining though.

Cool story… What’s the next word in that meme? ;^)

What happened… Simple questions were asked about a tale growing more extravagant by the day. As has happened with others in similar threads, queries about key details are first treated with consternation, then indignation, then with outright hostility.

Certain elements in this story seem off to me. Sorry, they just do. Or at least they feel speculative. There might be perfectly good explanations. But instead of calm answers, the replies are “That’s confidential” or “I’ve distanced myself from that part” and eventually “How dare you!”

I (quite gently) suggested that WW entertain the possibility that there might be some misunderstanding or other explanation. Not because I “feel sorry” for the hosts, but because that should be part of ordinary due diligence.

I understand that some are easily impressed by displays of wealth, or claims of top secret military-grade cred, or other resorts to credentials in place of facts. The stakes, the toney venue, the brainy waitress… We want to imagine a movie-like scenario. But glamorous elements don’t in themselves make a story more or less credible.

The problem is the same whether you’re playing .50/$1 or 50/100: Is the game rigged, and what is the evidence? There are other threads on similar topics related to home games, and these have included plenty of back-and-forth debate. But on this thread, it’s a sin to ask normal questions or suggest alternative explanations.

Was WW cheated? I don’t know how anyone could say, based solely on what has been posted. He might well have been. I know I couldn’t write a magazine feature about it without a ton of caveats and disclaimers, and without a lot more confirmation than “my guy says so and I trust him.”

Now, if we wake up to an LA Times story about a bust of a crooked ring in a swanky neighborhood that was defrauding high stakes gamblers, I’ll be the first to applaud WW. Dirty games are bad for poker, period.

Until then, the burden is on the storyteller to make his case—not on those who have been following along in all sincerity, but have spotted some red flags that suggest something else might be going on.
 

jpietrella

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Cool story… What’s the next word in that meme? ;^)

What happened… Simple questions were asked about a tale growing more extravagant by the day. As has happened with others in similar threads, queries about key details are first treated with consternation, then indignation, then with outright hostility.

Certain elements in this story seem off to me. Sorry, they just do. Or at least they feel speculative. There might be perfectly good explanations. But instead of calm answers, the replies are “That’s confidential” or “I’ve distanced myself from that part” and eventually “How dare you!”

I (quite gently) suggested that WW entertain the possibility that there might be some misunderstanding or other explanation. Not because I “feel sorry” for the hosts, but because that should be part of ordinary due diligence.

I understand that some are easily impressed by displays of wealth, or claims of top secret military-grade cred, or other resorts to credentials in place of facts. The stakes, the toney venue, the brainy waitress… We want to imagine a movie-like scenario. But glamorous elements don’t in themselves make a story more or less credible.

The problem is the same whether you’re playing .50/$1 or 50/100: Is the game rigged, and what is the evidence? There are other threads on similar topics related to home games, and these have included plenty of back-and-forth debate. But on this thread, it’s a sin to ask normal questions or suggest alternative explanations.

Was WW cheated? I don’t know how anyone could say, based solely on what has been posted. He might well have been. I know I couldn’t write a magazine feature about it without a ton of caveats and disclaimers, and without a lot more confirmation than “my guy says so and I trust him.”

Now, if we wake up to an LA Times story about a bust of a crooked ring in a swanky neighborhood that was defrauding high stakes gamblers, I’ll be the first to applaud WW. Dirty games are bad for poker, period.

Until then, the burden is on the storyteller to make his case—not on those who have been following along in all sincerity, but have spotted some red flags that suggest something else might be going on.
Good lord, you guys.

Welp. I was enjoying following along with this thread but once again the masses have turned it into a shit storm. This is why we can't have nice things.

Thank you @Josh Kifer for this one:

457.gif
 

DZPoker

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The turn this thread has taken truly makes me giggle.

@Taghkanic asked some questions that outside of a WW thread are completely tame. Questioning the details. But that’s not ok if it’s a WW thread? Anything WW posts HAS to be true?? Just because he makes so many jealous with the money he throws around??

I work in Private Equity. I work with several hundred ‘family offices’ and few have a ‘security force’ to call upon for a personal debt issue like discussed here. Does WW’s family have one? I really don’t care. But stats side with no so as @Taghkanic said, certain things in the story don’t add up which makes questions ok.

I welcome myself to the asshat clause!
 

RivieraDanny

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@Windwalker , I may not be understanding because this is a long read. Am i understanding short story that you bought into this game with 40K and then more on credit? The Armenian hosts had credit available to you and others? and the tech to cheat as described? and when called out they returned your stakes and zero'd you "Credit Line"? in a nutshell? or do I read all 10 pages? Because with 30+ years in LE my worry would have been having a slit throat with guys cheating to this level. In the end they said what? Sorry, here's your money back and don't worry about the line.... oh and please dont tell the police or the feds about our 40K pot game???? Just curious if that the jist of this whole story? Not saying its a lie, just saying weren't you afraid they would kill you? Im a simple guy asking a basic question.
 

Windwalker

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Guys, it’s all good. @DZPoker , didn’t say anything about a “security force”, just an individual who runs risk and security.

Anyway, none of this is really a big deal.

I was just recounting something we’re in the middle of, and it was thankfully brought about by some diligent eyes on here, that’s all. Not trying to publish an article, or write a book. Was a bit of a “sweat”, but on PCF, as usual, no good intention ever goes unpunished.

Thanks for following along, folks. Will let you know larger updates (or to others, will add to the fable.)
 
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