Stefano Ampollini, an Italian Poker player thought he had an ingenious plan to cheat and win himself a pile of cash. The 56 year old Italian who goes by the nick name of ‘Parmesan’ invested nearly $2500 to buy himself a pair of infrared contact lenses in China.
He then decided to work the casinos along the French Riveria and see if his infrared contact lens worked the way he wanted them to. Ampollini worked out an innovative scheme of marking playing cards with invisible ink by using the help of casino employees and through this method was able to win as much as $85,000 in just one night.
By marking his cards with invisible ink, he was able to read them with his infrared contact lenses and hence always have an edge over his fellow players. In a statement, Marc Concas, barrister for the owners of the casino, said:
Security found his behaviour rather strange as he won very easily and, above all, because he folded twice when he had an excellent hand, suggesting he knew the croupier’s cards.
Ampollini returned two months later to the same casino to test his infrared lenses once more. Once again he proved to be successful winning close to $25, 000. However, this time police moved in and arrested him. On further investigation, Ampollini admitted his modus-operandi but said he was proud of the innovative techniques he used to win and did not show any remorse.
The judge who tried the case was amazed at the innovative scheme that Ampollini had adopted to trick, cheat and win. The judge ordered Ampollini to pay back nearly $100,000 and spend 2 years in prison. His accomplices were also arrested and also have to serve over 2 years in prison.
Ampollini described himself as a ‘player and cheat with an international reputation’ and confessed to a criminal court that he was proud of his work and achievements. Ampollini was dressed extremely well and came across as a sophisticated and wealthy Italian which gave him a lot of confidence in going ahead and executing this high level scheme
Casinos across the world will now have to tighten up their security measures as criminals are adopting innovative methods of cheating by using advanced technology. Casino’s will have to invest and upgrade their security systems in order to ensure they are not taken for a ride by sophisticated criminals posing as genuine poker players.