Oceans 11 gang foiled in bid to cash in on poker tournament - Thursday 26th of July 2007

It was a plot straight out of the Hollywood. A daring gang of gamblers attempted a sophisticated, high-stakes heist on a casino frequented by the stars.

But this time the plotters were caught: police in New Jersey have just released details of how they smashed a plot to rip off gamblers playing in a £1m poker tournament.

A four-man gang was caught in a nearby resort hotel room crammed with hi-tech surveillance equipment to watch the players cards. Detectives believe they were then passing on the information to an accomplice at the same table.

The extraordinary operation could have come straight from the classic film Oceans 11

Now the FBI has been brought in to investigate whether the gang has used the audacious scheme before. One of the men arrested is said to be an expert on casino crime who has advised many top gambling companies in Las Vegas.

This incident happened at the exclusive Borgata casino and resort in Atlantic City. A spokesman for Boyd Gaming, a partner in the casino said: The scheme did target high-end poker players, but off the floor. The security systems of the Borgata were never compromised, nor was the tournament. Customers were targeted, but not the games.

The tournament was a £2,500 a player entry event; 337 people were trying to win the £1m pot.

Gaming control authorities in Nevada have been made aware of the arrests and are on guard for any similiar scams in Las Vegas, where most of the biggest poker tournaments are held.

Last week, the 38th Annual World Series of Poker final was won by Jerry Yang, 39, a psychologist who beat a field of 6,358 competitors to pocket £4.25m. The WSoP chief, Jeffrey Pollack, said: I cant reveal our security measures, otherwise they wouldnt be very secure.

We have a state-of-the-art surveillance system in place at all times here.

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