José "Girah" Macedo In Online Poker Cheating Scandal

Online poker has suffered another blow to its reputation after 18 year-old Portuguese poker pro José “Girah” Macedo admitted organising an online poker swindle which netted him $30,000.
Apparently, the ‘sting’ involved some of his online high stakes friends/the marks being duped into playing against a so-called ‘fish’ chosen by Macedo in a series of online heads-up cash games.
However, the fish, whose screen name was “sauron1989” was in fact José “Girah” Macedo himself, who then proceeded to take his buddies from a private strategy group for around $30.000.
In order for the scam to work, José “Girah” Macedo abused his trusted position as part of the heads-up strategy discussion group on Skype to obtain information on his opponent’s hole cards in real time, under the pretence of railing the study group and offering advise later.
During a monitoring session, group member “ImFromSweden” then proceeded to lose around $10,000 over 70 hands of $10/$20 HU NLHE to “sauron1989,” before 10 days later “jajay1963” lost a further $21,900 to the same player at $25/$50 HU NLHE.
Suspecting foul play “jajay1963” then contacted the Skype discussion group creator “TooCuriousso1” and before long the pair also noticed that “sauron1989” and Macedo would always log on and out of Skype at the same times.
Along with other circumstantial evidence, they then took their findings to the 2+2 forum prompting a quick admission of guilt from José “Girah” Macedo, who offered to pay back those he cheated in full plus compensation. His post read:
“A while ago, I did something stupid. A friend of mine, whom I introduced to poker, made a suggestion to me which was, I’m not going to sugar coat it, cheating. I had introduced this friend to poker, and he was losing money — badly. He asked to play some of my poker friends and said ‘why don’t you sweat them and we’ll see their hands.’ I don’t know why I agreed. I don’t know why I did it. I guess it was a mixture of guilt and stupidity and feeling shitty for getting him involved in something which seemed to be bad for him.”
Macedo then went on to say: “I’m holding my hands up and taking whatever consequences come. I realise the severity of this, but I also realise that I have to take responsibility for my actions and so I’m paying back everyone involved and in addition paying them compensation of $30,000. I’ve also told my sponsor etc and whatever happens there I will take the consequences too. They have been really amazing to me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with them. Representing Lock and being part of their amazing team, witnessing the incredible growth, was a pleasure and an honor.”
José “Girah” Macedo has since been dropped from Team LockPRO, as well as losing his position as an instructor at Team PokerStrategy.

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