My apologies for the delay in response. Crazy busy Saturday, but nonetheless made some time so that hopefully some things are cleared up. It would be my pleasure to tell you more about this project and how it came about.
I began writing Cheating At Texas Holdem over 8 years ago. I was heavily involved in the private gaming community, and got the idea to write this as I turned down the invite to join a tightly knit collusion team that was taking down private games in the Midwest. At that time I was very familiar with what had been published regarding cheating, and felt like there was a large void when it came to the real issues that poker players should be aware of when at the modern Texas Holdem table. At this time Holdem was experiencing a major rise in popularity. As I was personally spreading my wings to play at higher levels, I was constantly surprised and shocked about how ignorant even most high end players were about gaming procedures and what illicit ventures were possible to create an edge. Many of the private games were very sloppy in format. Some of the games that featured hired dealers were clearly taking part in collusion arrangements and/or killing the game by taking far more than the required rake. Not a bad angle when a large amount of the players at that time had money to burn, were eager, and were absolutely uneducated. I was not only fascinated with the how to the techniques being used, but also in the psychology (and, as mentioned before, ignorance) taking place.
So I began writing, as I tend to do (even before I started another project some of you may be familiar withMeant To Be). At that time there was not a specific goal of the writing in mind, other than creating a collection of thoughts, methods, and motivations within the cheating genre. Perhaps I would send it into magazines or newspapers. Perhaps it would become a book. This was all a long time ago. As time passed I got heavily involved in casino and online play, and put countless amounts of hours into both environments. Throughout this entire time, one of my main passions/fascinations was the development and study of methods used to create an illicit edge at the card table.
About three years into my writing, Steve Forte published Poker Protection. It did a lot to fill that void that was part of my inspiration for writing in the first place. Clearly it is a first class production, and Forte has my highest respect for his contributions.
However, with that much time invested in this side project, I kept it going. It was, after all, not a product of work. It was a project of passion. On top of that, it was clear that what and how I was writing had a different flavor than Fortes contribution.
Years later, there is no question that I have created and/or tweaked many truly cunning methods, insights, and motivated movements that could be applied to the modern day game. This gave an innovative edge to the project that I thought was interesting, and would perhaps appeal to magicians as well. A few of these techniques have been shared with others, such as Forte, Piacente, and many other very knowledgeable gentlemen in the gaming and sleight-of-hand fields, affirming the originality. Elements of this are scattered throughout the book.
So who is my audience? It is absolutely poker players. Magicians that are interested in this will also walk away with A LOT to think about (while also likely being entertained in the process). Yes - I do go in-depth into what you are likely to find in the modern game. However, I did not limit it. Rather, I covered everything from 15th century publication, to modern day, to many techniques and insights that have never seen print. The focus includes the private, casino and online environments. With a strong foundation in poker and sleight-of-hand, I wrote the book that would have interested and entertained me. Therefore, you will find a truly comprehensive book full of techniques, approaches, and motivations (many of them Holdem specific) that can be used to cheat at the poker table. Many are examples of the real work (I really hate that term). Some are appealing for the thought behind it. Some are even outdated, or based in urban legend, but are still recognized because they are possible and interesting. Others are incredibly devious/diabolical. When it is all said and done, the amount of information that you will encounter will undoubtedly enhance any poker players and/or magicians knowledge and level of awareness.
And now the website. Many share my interest in the study of cheating (the techniques, etc.) so I thought it would be enjoyable to create a free resource for anyone interested in this topic. This includes a free, original series that I am currently working on to 1) compliment the book, 2) demonstrate some of the techniques and motivations to show just how deceptive they can be, 3) share interviews with people that have interesting experiences/stories/knowledge to share, and 4) invite anyone to take part in contests or provide content as a source of feedback and learning. I also plan to continue building the collection of publicly available videos on this topic (while absolutely respecting ownership rights). I have a letter to bbc and to 60 minutes right now regarding the footage in the public videos section. Who knows. I may decide to just away with the public section altogether, being that several people are clearly just beyond themselves over it. Not worth my time to bother, and is just a small extra collection of things I have found on youtube.
A comment was made about consulting credits. I have not consulted for a casino poker room, nor do I have intentions to make a move towards that sort of career. I have plenty of amazing things on my plate. On top of that, if you know much about casino consulting, it is an extremely rare case that a casino would need to bring in an outside source to consult for their poker room, especially in comparison to the lengths they go through to protect their gaming tables where it is actually their money at stake. Most of my interactions with consultants have shown that in the cases they have studied, the techniques used were overall not that sophisticated, nor interesting (to me, at least). I have also talked to many pitt bosses and dealers. They, in most cases, arent that knowledgeable. Often a few minutes into the conversation I am talking about something and they are giving me that lost gaze, much like the one I get when I mention the words memorized deck in a local club lecture. Though there are many guys that do consulting and are great resources for the gambling community, the necessity for this as a qualification to create an incredible resource for poker players is negligible. This can be further recognized as you look through the literary past. Many experts of their time left us with resources that were far less than par.
A mention was made of my age. I turn 30 in April. Absolutely I expected initial skepticism from some as I did little to publicly share the fact that this has been a main focus/passion for nearly my whole life (outside of performing cheating demonstrations in my professional work). The truth is that my whole life has been based around gambling, magic, and mentalism, and the unbelievable amount of work I have put into each continues to create fantastic and incredibly original results. This should be embraced, given that I can prove it (which I can and have). So as quick as a few are ready to discredit my contributions, the fact is that I can sit down with literally anyone in the world, talk with them on the subject, and leave them with intelligent techniques and insights that bring something new to the table.
The bottom line is that I have produced an exceptionally comprehensive, innovative, and enjoyable project brought together in a first class presentation. I think this covers the inquiries I saw. From there, the book speaks for itself as a quality product, as well as a testament to some of the insights I have to offer. Thanks again for your consideration.