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Blackjack Cheaters Caught Greasing Cards in California

Oct 11, 2010

Blackjack cheater
Blackjack cheater

$24,000 has been confiscated from three California blackjack cheaters who may soon end up behind bars.

Three blackjack cheaters have been busted in a California casino for marking cards in order to win money at the tables. The gang netted $24,000 in wins after just 30 minutes of playing, which drew more attention than they wanted.

The incident happened on July 12 at the Turlock Poker Room near San Francisco, California. Gabriel Urbieta Rodriguez, 71, started the day by losing several thousand dollars playing blackjack card games. Soon, his luck changed dramatically. Rodriguez began playing three hands at a time, winning almost every one. After about half an hour, the dealer became suspicions and changed decks. Rodriguez left the table to collect his winnings.

After reviewing security tapes, it became clear that Rodriguez was not working alone. It is now known that female accomplice Cha Say and card room supervisor Robert Younan worked together to mark several decks of cards based on blackjack card values. Using grease spots, they marked cards worth 10 points along the outer edge, and marked lower value cards in the middle. Once the decks were marked, Younan made sure they were used at the table where Rodriguez was playing.

The casino has since recovered the ill-gotten funds, and the trio of cheaters face felony charges and up to three months in prison.

Joe Fernandez, co-owner of the casino, sends out a warning to players: “If you’re going to come to the Turlock Poker Room and try a stunt like that, we’ll nail you to the wall.” Clearly, marking cards is a blackjack system to avoid.


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