As the decks of cards were collected, she said several Aces had bent corners - especially the Ace of spades. The woman was especially irked because it was a charity poker tournament. The prize pool was big, but the focus was supposed to be on giving to a non-profit organization.
Then another player mentioned visiting a poker room where he saw needles on the ground outside. He indicated the needles may have been used to poke tiny holes in the cards, so people could know what was dealt where. (We're keeping the name of the room anonymous, because we have not proven or disproven that claim.)
Like it or not, some people try to win at poker "by hook or by crook." If they can gain a sneaky advantage through cheating, they will. But of course, that doesn't mean they should.
Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. - I Corinthians 6:8These words from the Bible were written to a Christian church -- yes, to a church with cheaters! Members were taking each other to court over disputed matters or wrongs. The apostle Paul was especially annoyed because church members were taking their issues before judges who might not believe in God at all (verse 6).
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither.... thieves nor the greedy... nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - I Corinthians 6:9-10
Paul mentions a lot of other offenses in these verses; we're only highlighting the sins which relate to our topic. His main point is that people who are cheating to "get ahead" need to stop it. Otherwise, God will stop them from entering His Kingdom.
Paul was tough when it came to punishment -- writing wicked people should be expelled from a church group (5:13). But he also had a message for people who think they've been the victim of cheating.
...Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? - I Corinthians 6:7b
In other words, follow the example given by Jesus....
But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. - Matthew 5:39-40
Sometimes you can set a better example in poker by taking a loss gracefully, than by winning a huge pot or tournament. This approach admittedly is not easy; our society promotes "getting even" a lot. But if you do it the right way (perhaps by eliminating the cheating player with a big hand), you'll honor God more.
So feel free to spill to us here - what's the worst case of poker cheating you've ever seen, and how did it happen?