A grand jury of Cuyahoga County has charged a poker dealer from Cleveland for allegedly cheating at the Horseshoe Casino one night in September.

Robert D. Brown, the poker dealer, has been found guilty of hiding one of the cards in the deck up his sleeve on purpose. But Brown says that he is not guilty of any wrongdoing and that the entire incident was just a “fluke.”

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The Ohio Casino Control Commission received a report on September 6 that there was a card missing from one of the decks. The investigators searched for the card in the automatic shuffle as well as all around the table before finally discovering it up Brown’s sleeve. They then watched the videotapes and found out that Brown had intentionally pushed the card up his shirtsleeve. If the commission’s investigative report is true, Brown will not be able to argue that the incident was just a “fluke.”

Brown’s story and that of the commission do not match. According to Brown, the automatic shuffler showed that one of the cards from a deck was missing. When he got to know of it, he did the right thing. He told Lorrie Taylor, reporter with Fox News 8 of Cleveland, that he immediately informed the floor manager and that the premises were immediately searched.

He said that he never pushed the card up his sleeve intentionally, adding that he had no idea how it went up his sleeve. He said: “Somehow it was on me. They’re saying it was on my sleeve; I don’t even know where it was but they’re saying it was up my sleeve and it fell out.”

The Horseshoe Casino has suspended Brown, who is now 57 years old, pending investigation. Nobody can say what motive Brown might have had in intentionally hiding a card up his sleeve. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov 13.

Cheating scandals are not very good for the game of poker, irrespective of whether Brown is innocent or guilty. Recently, a number of scandals have shaken up the game. In February, a North Carolina poker player was found guilty of using fake chips at an Atlantic City poker tournament. The Borgata was forced to suspend its $2 million guaranteed poker tournament when it came to know that Christian Lusardi, a 43-year-old participant, had injected counterfeit chips worth $800,000 into play. Lusardi is now serving a five-year prison term.

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