Portuguese online poker superstar, the 18 year old José “Girah” Macedo, has confessed on the popular 2+2 poker forum to hustling online poker players out of at least $30,000.
The former ‘boy wonder’ became an instant superstar after deftly turning $30 into $2 million playing at an online casino in Portugal.
José would offer high stakes online players which he befriended the equivalent of free lessons. While the player was playing at an online poker room, José would be able to see his ‘hole cards’ and at the conclusion of the game would go over tactics regarding how certain hands were played and fine tune the overall strategy.
This at least, how it was supposed to work.
In reality, José created a secret online poker account, “jajay1963″, and was privately pushing his ‘students’ to play this individual who José called a weak player.
When a few of his students played, they lost, since José not only controlled “jajay1963″, but was also able to see the ‘hole cards’ of his students. In essence, he knew what everybody’s cards were, which made him unbeatable.
As in any scam invented by an 18 year old boy, things began to unravel quickly as his students compared notes and confronted José, who quickly confessed. He immediately offered to pay back all the money he cheated from his former buddies, and even double it.
Not a bad gesture in itself, but a bit too late since his confession and restitution offers came only after being confronted with irrefutable evidence. His sponsor immediately terminated all associations with the former prodigy. There is also the matter of the Portuguese gambling laws.
According to online gambling news in Portugal, his confession reads as following on the 2+2 poker forum:
“A while ago, I did something stupid. A friend of mine, whom I introduced to poker, made a suggestion to me which was, I’m not going to sugar coat it, cheating. I had introduced this friend to poker, and he was losing money — badly. “
“He asked to play some of my poker friends and said ‘why don’t you sweat them and we’ll see their hands.’ I don’t know why I agreed. I don’t know why I did it. I guess it was a mixture of guilt and stupidity and feeling shitty for getting him involved in something which seemed to be bad for him.”
“I’m holding my hands up and taking whatever consequences come. I realize the severity of this, but I also realize that I have to take responsibility for my actions and so I’m paying back everyone involved and in addition paying them compensation of $30,000.”
It is unfortunate that he will have to learn for himself a very important lesson – a reputation is like an intricate vase, and once its broken, no matter how much one tries to glue it back together, it will never look even remotely as good as the original. Just shards of glass and globs of glue.