CITRUS HEIGHTS — A local gambling scandal has lit up the poker world on social media.
Wednesday night, three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doug Polk said he is almost certain something nefarious has been going on inside the poker room at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights.
“It’s been quite a big story in the poker world because we’ve not really seen something quite like this, such brazen cheating,” Polk told FOX40.
The allegations surround a frequent poker player at Stones who, over years, seemingly never lost.
“He won almost every single time he played, and no one’s that good,” Polk said.
FOX40 will not be naming or showing the face of the man accused of cheating. As of Thursday night, FOX40 had not heard back after reaching out to him.
The other key aspect is the radio-frequency identification technology used when Stones broadcasts its poker games online. The technology allows those behind the scenes to know what cards players have when the game is broadcast on a delay.
Polk said told FOX40 his theory about the allegations.
“It’s really hypothetical at this point, it’s just the most logical conclusion. Somebody in the back was working with one of the players to transmit that information in the middle of the hand to a player at the table so that he knew the exact two cards you would have,” he said.
Poker player, podcaster and YouTuber Joey Ingram said he was originally contacted by a now-former employee of Stones with the allegations that he agreed to look into.
“The guy is potentially on a livestream doing this, making hundreds of thousands of dollars, taking money from players,” Ingram told FOX40. “And then it leads to the question: Are there other people that are doing this? Did this happen to me when I played in these games? It just makes you wonder what else is going on out there.”
After the revelations, Stones issued the following statement, which reads in part:
Yesterday, we temporarily halted all broadcasts from Stones. We have also, as a result, halted the use of RFID playing cards. We have taken these steps proactively while we conduct a multifaceted and thorough investigation into every element of these games.
Now, Polk and the poker world are very interested to see how the investigation plays out.
“This adds a little bit of confidence to people that you are going to get a fair game and if you don’t, there will be ramifications for the people that cheat against you,” Polk said.
While Stones conducts its own investigation, FOX40 also reached out to the California Bureau of Gambling Control about an investigation on its end. They said, “To protect its integrity, we are unable to comment on, even to confirm or deny, a potential or ongoing investigation.”