Oct 12, 2016
Poker Gang Arrested for Cheating with Special Contact Lenses
By RTR Dennis
Four Chinese poker players have been arrested after being accused of drugging and conning a man out of 70,000 Yuan (£8,148). And what’s crazy is that the con involves infrared contact lenses that sound like something from a Janes Bond movie.
Let’s discuss how the four conmen used their special contact lenses to cheat the man along with similar poker cheating incidents that have occurred.
Marked Cards and Infrared Contacts
The victim, known as Feng, contacted police in Dali, Yunnan (China) to inform them that he’d been drugged and cheated in poker.
Feng, who lost 10,000 Yuan (£1,164) in cash and 60,000 Yuan (£6,984) in IOU slips, felt that he’d been cheated in some way because of how poorly the poker session had gone for him.
Police raided the four accused conmen’s hotel room in Dali, where they found 30 packs of marked cards along with special contact lenses. The infrared lenses allowed them to see markings on the backs of cards that were only visible with the contacts.
When questioned by the police, one suspect admitted that the special contact lenses allowed him to see what cards Feng was holding based on the markings. He then used hand signals to tip off the other three suspects on Feng’s cards.
The poker-playing gang did a bad job of hiding their scam because, according to a police report, Feng didn’t win a single hand while playing.
Feng Has Also Been Charged in the Incident
The good news for Feng is that he won’t have to pay the 60,000 Yuan in IOUs because he was cheated.
The bad news is that he won’t get back his 10,000 Yuan in cash because he’s been charged with illegal gambling.
Chinese mainland laws don’t allow for any kind of gambling – even private poker games.
Feng is a businessman who was tricked into coming to Dali with the four men. One of the suspects said that they tricked Feng into traveling to Dali under the guise that they could help him with his pesticide business.
Similar Poker Cheating Incidents with Contact Lenses
The first poker cheating incident that involved special contact lenses happened at the Les Princes casino in Cannes, France.
An Italian gambler named Stefano Ampollini purchased infrared contact lenses from China for €2,000. Ampollini then traveled to Cannes in 2013, where he befriended and colluded with three casino employees.
Two employees marked the cards with an illegal substance, while the dealer, known as ‘The Italian,’ arranged the cards so that the markings were easier for Ampollini to see.
After winning over €90,000, Ampollini and the three employees were arrested thanks to a joint investigation by Les Princes security and Cannes police.
Despite impressing the judge with his sophisticated cheating methods, Ampollini was sentenced to two years in prison. This could be a similar fate for the four Chinese gamblers, who also used infrared contacts in their scam.
2013 also saw Bruce Koloshi busted at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino for marking stud poker cards with an invisible ink that could only be seen with infrared contacts.
Koloshi was arrested for a similar incident in Louisiana, and what’s ironic is that he cheated the Mohegan Sun to earn bail money for the Louisiana case.