Bruce Koloshi Banned in Connecticut for Invisible Ink Use

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by Daniel Ryder
Bruce Koloshi

Convicted poker cheat Bruce Koloshi used invisible ink to cheat at Mississippi Stud Poker. (Image: NYTimes)

For convicted poker cheat Bruce Koloshi, learning that cheating a casino is not a great idea doesn’t really seem to be sinking in: the player has been sentenced yet again for using invisible ink at a Connecticut casino. Casino cheating can take many forms, and invisible ink is one of the most ambitious.

While marked cards could give you the edge at the Hold’em table, it’s even more useful at many of the casino’s poker-themed table games, where knowing what cards are face down on the table can give you absolute information about whether your hand will be a winner or a loser.

That’s exactly what convicted casino cheater Koloshi tried to do last September at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Unfortunately for him, he was ultimately caught. After pleading guilty to his crime, Koloshi was sentenced to time served (a total of ten months) and a lifetime ban from all casinos in Connecticut. But the guy has a lengthy history of this behavior, dating back many years and several convictions.

Mississippi Stud Poker Targeted by Cheater

Koloshi’s cheating scheme was based on playing Mississippi Stud Poker, a table game that is known to be beatable if players can get access to information they’re not supposed to have. In the game, which plays out much like a hand of Texas Hold’em, players can optionally place bets on their initial two-card hand, as well as after each of the first two community cards are revealed. After the final community card is shown, players win if they make a pair of jacks or better, with higher-ranking hands awarding much bigger payouts.

Koloshi played with an edge by marking cards with invisible ink, presumably allowing him to know what the community cards were (or at least having some information about their ranks) before they were turned over. He used special contact lenses that allowed him to see the ink marks, which were otherwise invisible to his fellow players and casino employees.

Ink Visible on Black-and-White Tape

Or so he thought. It turned out that casino surveillance operators could also see the ink if they watched the video from security cameras in black-and-white. Once they viewed the ink, the casino called state police, who arrested Koloshi for cheating. Police found a small piece of fabric with ink on it in his jacket pocket, and noted that he was wearing both contacts and glasses.

Not only was this not Koloshi’s first accusation of cheating in a casino; he claimed to be using the scheme as an attempt to raise money to pay his bail in Louisiana, where he was facing felony charges for the same crime. He also had cheating convictions in Nevada, Iowa and Illinois.

Officials at Mohegan Sun were on the lookout for Koloshi, thanks to a bulletin released by the Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement. In February 2013, Koloshi had attempted to cheat in the same way at the Delaware Park Casino in Wilmington. Unfortunately for Koloshi, he won a little too big, and would have had to share his identification in order to collect his prize money.

He instead left without sharing any information or collecting his winnings. He wasn’t charged with any crime at the time, but was identified with the help of facial-recognition software, and the incident led to an alert being sent out to other casinos, including Mohegan Sun. That led to more attention for Koloshi when he tried to cheat there, as one security official recognized him from a flier.

According to court documents from the New London Superior Court, Koloshi has also promised to surrender in Louisiana.

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