Crooked Dealer Helped Players Cheat Casino for $1Million by Photographing Cards9 months ago
If Phil Ivey’s infamous Baccarat edge-sorting schemes can be considered a bit unethical at best, then the dealer who helped scam a Maryland Casino out of over $1million has taken things a huge step further – pleading guilty to allowing players to photograph some of the cards…
Ming Zhang, a Baccarat dealer from Alexandria, Virginia, now faces up to five years in prison for ‘one count of conspiring to transport stolen funds’, admitting to being paid by his card-cheating ‘conspirators’, according to Associated Press reports.
Whereas Phil Ivey and his accomplice merely agreed rules with the casino which allowed them to ask their specially-chosen dealer to twist and turn the cards in various directions, in order for the patterns on the back to be read, Zhang’s case saw him expose the deck while a player actually photographed the cards.
The casino involved, believed to be the MGM National Harbor although it was not named in the court hearing, lost $1,046,560 as a result of the cheating last year, the players placing large bets at significant times using their dealer-fed knowledge of the decks.
Assistant US Attorney Erin Pulice claimed that Baccarat players can predict the outcome “with near-perfect accuracy” if they know the order of cards in a deck. In Ivey’s case, winnings totalling around $20million were accrued between his infamous Crockford’s and Borgata edge-sorting visits, the courts in both sides of the Atlantic siding with the casinos.
Ivey’s case, of course, in no way involved criminal behaviour – Zhang, on the other hand, was apparently involved in another similar cheating theft at a different Maryland casino last year, Zhang taking a payment of $1,000 and allegedly asking for more, before investigators confronted him about the dastardly scheme.
MGM National Harbor casino spokesman Malik Husser stated: “Ming Zhang is no longer employed by MGM National Harbor. We have provided our full cooperation with authorities throughout this investigation”, while Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Robert Hur’s office, told AP that Zhang is ‘the only person currently charged in the case’. The crooked dealer will be sentenced early next year.
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