Poker Cheats Caught Swapping Cards on CCTV2 weeks ago
Two drunken English poker players who were caught on CCTV swapping cards at a casino were fined this week for what the judge termed a “probably opportunistic” scamming of £2080 at the Grosvenor Casino in the town of Stockton last April.
The story made front page headlines in the local newspaper today as 54-year old Ian Banki, and 51-year old Steven Pooley, were sentenced for their card swap swindle after the prosecuting lawyer, Alan Davison, took the court through the events at the casino.
“They took a seat at a table playing three-card poker and were dealt three cards each,” explained Mr Davidson. “Having received his cards, Mr Banki turned his cards towards Mr Pooley. Mr Pooley selected a card from his hand and handed it over to Mr Banki. The swap was made between them while the croupier was distracted by another member of staff.”
The three sevens which Mr Banki showed at the end of the hand was worth a payout of £2,080, and despite the dealer being suspicious of the pair’s actions they were allowed to leave with their winnings.
However, ‘staff then checked CCTV and saw the cards being swapped’ reported the GazetteLive’s James Cain who was covering the court proceedings, and the men were later arrested and charged.
Choosing to defend themselves in court, both unemployed Banki of Middlesbrough and self-employed Pooley of Stockton were repentant, Banki stating:
“There’s not a lot we can say - we didn’t go in there to cheat. We’d had a good drink and it just happened. We are very, very embarrassed and ashamed of what we did.”
Teesside Magistrates’ Court District Judge Kristina Harrison commented on the men’s actions: “Probably opportunistic after a few drinks,” as she ordered the pair to each pay back half of the sum scammed from the casino, fining Banki £80 and £40 costs with Pooley receiving a £300 fine plus £85 costs.
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