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Unusual Action
 

A reader says: I definitely believe there is some cheating at black-jack by some casinos some of the time. This is what happened to me at a single-deck game in a large northern Nevada casino. I began playing with green chips, varying my bets 1-4. There was no other big action in the casino, so three floor men watched my game. A new dealer came in, a short chubby-fingered man of about 50. The count went up and I threw out a $100 bet. The dealer made a very suspicious motion with the deck. He held it high and with his other hand apparently flipped the top of the deck, making a snapping sound. He might have been checking the number of cards to see if it was enough for another round, but there was no reason for him to do that because the discards were in a rack on the table. Then he dealt himself an ace, and I got garbage.

After the hand was over he shuffled the deck. I watched as he preserved a clump of about fifteen cards - in a single deck that is a lot! I said to the pit boss, "My nine-year-old daughter can shuffle better than that." The boss claimed the dealer shuffled well. I told him, "You should not have a poor shuffler at a quarter table - either he is purposely clumping the cards with a poor shuffle or he is a fat-fingered klutz:" The pit boss be-came angry. Then I said, "And how about that ace he got last hand?"

To make a long story short, I was escorted out the door by five large security guards.

I say again - the shuffle was so obviously bad that a nine-year-old could shuffle better. Either it was purposely done, or the dealer was too tired, or he did not care, or he is all thumbs. As a $100 bettor, I deserve a better shuffle!

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Welcome to Wonderland
 
"A slow sort of country," said the Queen, "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" It was good advice for Alice, and in the current Internet poker boom, good advice for an Internet poker room.

A mere 18 months earlier, a site's owners would have been doing cartwheels to have 1,000 simultaneous players. At that point, ParadisePoker.com was the industry leader and had such a huge market share that overcoming its lead seemed inconceivable. The other contenders looked like they would be happy fighting over Paradise's leftovers. In that 18 months, Paradise has more than doubled its player base and has fallen from the top spot to third or fourth place.
 
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