Classic Poker: The Set Up
There are a number of “actors” involved in this scam. The first is called “the roper” as his/her job is to capture the “mark” or victim. Now, these ropers have wonderful personalities and are great mixers with all classes of people. They have the gift of easy conversation and manners which might lead you to imagine that they appreciate the finer things in life. They are comfortable around monied people and maintain a high level of culture. Now their job is to introduce the potential victim to the con artist. Together with the con artist, the two of them come up with a plausible yet slightly naughty story. This is how they reel in the mark. With this necessary set-up, don’t even try to use these tricks at the online poker sites in the US. You wouldn’t succeed…
The Back Story
The story is as follows; a whale of a poker player is in town that night. He’s both ridiculously wealthy and also not a very good poker player. One of the main points is that he loses a lot, and doesn’t appear to mind. The con artist admits to being slightly underhand and together with the roper gets the mark to agree that releasing this rich player of some of his funds is no bad thing. The con artist wants to fill the table with his friends, so they can all guarantee winning a large pot that they can then share between them. The kicker is that the mark doesn’t need to bet with his own money. The con artist will supply the initial investment. All the mark has to do is sit and play.
Classic Poker: The Plot Twist
To ensure that there can be no mistakes, the con artist tells the mark that he will be passing all his chips to a friend. He will then sit behind the whale. This way, he can signal to everyone exactly what cards the whale is holding. At this point, it becomes a game that they cannot lose. Because the mark doesn’t have to put in any money, yet stands to gain, he’s a happy fellow. Remember that both the con artist and the roper are playing the part of his new best friend. Full of encouragement and generating a feeling of camaraderie in their slightly dishonest endeavor.
Well, just as previously described, the big whale is a very sloppy player, whose almost reckless with his bankroll. The con artist gives all his chips to his new friend, the mark. After this, he moves and takes a seat behind the whale. Over the next hour, the whale loses everything to the mark and eventually runs out of cash. Now up to his point, the mark has contributed nothing to the game and yet stands to win a share of the pot. Maybe thousands of dollars.
The big player wants to continue playing and offers to go to the hotel safe to fetch more cash. And here come’s one of the most important moments of the entire evening. The con artist tells the whale, don’t worry, we trust you. But the whale is insistent and goes off for the new funds. What the gang is doing with this is establishing that the monies for gambling need to be physically in the room.
Classic Poker: Round Two
As soon as the whale returns, then the classic poker game kicks off once more. After a couple of rounds, the con artist signals to the mark that the whale has dud hands. It’s just the mark and the whale playing at this point. At the same time, very carefully and quietly, a cold deck of cards in introduced. Now the classic poker game is stacked to produce a certain outcome. Now, once the cards are dealt, the con artist signals to the mark that the whale has a”no pair”. Thanks to the stacked deck, the mark is sitting on a no pair, but an Ace high. That means he already has the whale beat. Both players draw a new card.
In For The Kill
After the draw, the con artist once again signals a no pair. The mark is still in the same position but has an Ace high. So naturally, the mark raises with everything he has. Now, remember that he’s using the con artist’s money. Once he all-in with this, the whale, being the reckless type he is, also wants to go all in. Now the mark must raise. because every signal he’s been receiving has been correct, the mark has zero reasons to doubt that he’s in a supremely strong position. In fact the winning position. As all the con artist’s money is already on the table, now the mark, so certain of his luck, starts to put down everything.
Every single moment up to this point has been leading the mark to where he now needs to contribute to a massive certain win. And all the positivity, the powerful psychological manipulation, and encouragement has addled his gambler’s brain. The whale meanwhile, places everything on the table and even orders more cash. Well, the mark is confident enough to put more and more onto the pile.
With tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of the marks own money on the table, he reveals his hand. The whale spreads his cards out for all to see. Sure enough the same hand, with Aces high. But there’s a tiny twist. The hands read as follows:
Mark: Ace of spades, king of spades, jack of spades, ten of clubs, six of spades.
Whale: Ace of clubs, king of hearts, Jack of diamonds, ten of spades, eight of spades.
So, because the eight makes his hand stronger, the whale takes the pot.
Classic Poker: The Blow Off
The whale say cheers and disappears with all the winnings into the night. Now the mark and his new friends are alone, sitting at the bar. They have all lost big. Of course, the mark lost a lot, a lot more than the others, so they are fittingly sympathetic to his woes. They promise to meet up sometime and do it all again to win back their losses. The con artist and the roper meet up with the whale and split the winnings.
Because the mark was taking part in what was essentially a crooked effort to steal money, he’s not going to tell anyone about it. And because that factor is at the heart of this confidence trick, it means that the classic poker trick can continue without anyone ever outing themselves as having taken part. The exact same scam is even easier today. In poker, an Ace/Queen gets beaten by Ace/5 thanks to a lucky 5 on the river.