November 9, 2023 Featured Articles, Poker Gossip, Poker News Lars Liedtke

James Chen Reveals Marked Cards Poker Scandal At The WSOP Europe

Respected poker pro James Chen has reveals a marked cards poker scandal at the WSOP Europe 2023 at King’s Casino on his Twitter. He spotted that the cards being used were not symmetrical, potentially giving players a serious edge.

Chen tweeted: “After being moved to the @WSOP feature table at King’s Rozvadov today, I immediately notice that the RFID deck was flawed and alerted the floor. The card backs were not rotationally symmetrical, meaning you could tell if a card was upside down.”

This immediately drew the concern of Houston Curtis, co-founder of the infamous Molly’s Game and a “mechanic” of note among other skills…

Although many on poker Twitter were unconvinced that a real edge could be had from spotting the flawed design, James Chen remained adamant that it was possible.

“The commentators were wrong in saying it didn’t matter since all of the cards were flawed in the same way. If the ace of spades is facing one direction, while all other cards are facing the opposite, you can always tell which card is the ace of spades, even after a shuffle. Even if multiple cards are upside down, as is usually the case, you can still determine which cards could and which cards couldn’t be the aces of spades (or any other card you know the orientation of).”

James Chen also claimed that King’s Casino, Leon Tsoukernik’s now world-famous “poker island” situated an hour from Prague, has been using the dodgy cards for a long time.

“This is definitely a game integrity concern and why a properly designed playing card back looks exactly the same when you rotate it 180 degrees. The deck was promptly pulled, but apparently King’s has been using this deck design for a long time and no one noticed. Wild.”

That gave rise to some suggestion that King’s regular, Martin Kabrhel, may have already been wise to the flaw…

Kabrhel launched legal action earlier this year against Justin Bonomo, Chance Kornuth, Andrew Robl, Dan Smith, and PokerGO, after being accused of cheating in the $250k buy-in WSOP SHR by marking cards.

Kabrhel, in action again at Kings this week, denies any wrongdoing, his lawyer stating:

“To be absolutely clear, Mr. Kabrhel is not a cheater. He does not mark cards. You have said these false things with malicious intent. We will prove this in court and ask that you be ordered to compensate him for any and all injury caused by your statements.”

The most famous example of flawed card markings being used to a player’s advantage came in the Phil Ivey edge-sorting story.

That saw Ivey win millions of dollars at Baccarat in London and Atlantic City, but losing two lengthy court cases and eventually being pursued for his poker winnings.