A Paddington casino was cheated out of thousands of pounds by men who worked together to beat 'Three Card Poker' games.
The group of three men, plus two others, were sentenced for their crimes at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, February 9, after cheating Grosvenor Casino in Edgware Road, Paddington out of £33,000 in Spring 2014.
Ozgur Aytekin, 40, of Southbury Road, Enfield was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years, 250 hours unpaid work and a three-month electronic curfew between 11:30pm and 6am.
Ali Kuyar, 44, of Hampden Road, Tottenham was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years, 250 hours unpaid work and a three-month electronic curfew between 11:30pm and 6am.
Murat Kolcak, 43, of The Terrace, Penryn, Cornwall was sentenced to nine months suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work and a Prohibitive Action Order excluding him from casinos in the UK for 12 months.
Between April 12 and May 2 2014, the trio engaged in a cheat method called ‘card swapping’, where players swap cards with each other covertly to achieve high value hands against the dealer.
Players on the table are dealt three cards and have to beat the dealer’s hand having laid a stake to receive cards. Having seen their cards they can then fold or increase their stake if they believe they have a hand capable of winning.
This cheat method usually involves an organised team each with a role to play in the scam.
In this case, the defendants always worked in fours at any one time in the casino. In total, they were responsible for 32 cheat moves over nine days resulting in a gain of approximately £33,600.
The cheat involved two suspects sitting at one end of the table acting as the swappers.
Casino staff were distracted
One person then acted as distracter to the dealer sitting at the opposite end of the table. The final person acted as lookout and also collected winnings after chips have been handed to them away from the table - in this case inside the toilets.
Ozgur Aytekin, 40, and Ali Yukar, 44, were the card swappers on eight of the nine days in question and responsible for 28 of the 32 cheat moves.
The pair would always occupy the end positions at the table, to the right of the dealer.
They would buy into the game and be dealt their cards which they looked at, before glancing at one another’s hands and then - once staff were distracted by the third suspect at the table - if there was an opportunity and it was beneficial, they would swap their cards.
Bets were then increased once winning hands had been illegitimately made.
Murat Kolcak, 43, Ergun Yasar, 32, and Tarik Nergiz, 32, took it in turns to act as a distracter, lookout or collector.
As distracter they knew when a swap was about to take place and engaged the dealer who would look towards them at the opposite end of the table to the other two.
The group all pleaded guilty, on two separate dates, to conspiracy to cheat and three were sentenced on, Tuesday, 9 February, at the Old Bailey.
Ergun Yasar, of Chettle Court, Crouch End is due to be sentenced on Wednesday, 17 February whilst Tarik Nergiz, of Osbaldeston Road, Stoke Newington failed to appear and a bail warrant was issued by the court.