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Old Woman Cuts off Internet in Armenia and Disrupts Online Blackjack

Apr 9, 2011

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Chop the Cable

In a story so bizarre that it must be true, a Georgian elderly metal scraps collector chopped through Armenia’s only internet backbone leaving thousands in the lurch.

The international incident, which caused the entire country of Armenia to completely lose internet for a 24 hour period, began innocently enough. A Georgian elderly woman, out on a scavenger hunt for scrap metal, near the village of Ksani on the eastern Georgian border, dug up a steel and cement encased fiber optic internet cable.

Thinking that she hit the mother lode, the grandmother of eight began to happily chop away at the cable, finally severing Armenia’s only internet connection after 10 hours of intensive labor. Before the woman was able to haul a 20 meter section away, she was arrested by local law enforcement.

The three major internet providers in Armenia immediately went offline cutting off tens of thousands of online poker, slots and blackjack players. Blackjack is the second most popular online cash game in Armenia, with tens of thousands of online blackjack players participating in tournaments or table games. The service disruption infuriated players who purchased non-refundable black jack tournament buy-ins but were unable to use them.

“She found the cable while collecting scrap metal and cut it with a view to stealing it,” Georgian interior ministry spokesman Zura Gvenetadze is quoted by the AFP as saying. “Taking into account her advancing years, she has been released pending the end of the investigation and subsequent trial.”

The grandmother, now known as ‘The Spade Hacker’ if facing three years in prison if found guilty of damaging private properly. A group of Armenian blackjack players was considering filing a lawsuit but at the end decided to ‘forgive and forget’ since the incident is likely to make it into the Blackjack history books.

“I can’t understand how this lady managed to find and damage the cable,” the head of the company’s marketing department, Giorgi Ionatamishvili, also told the AFP. “It has robust protection and such incidents are extremely rare.”

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