LA Poker Game Host Mars Is Center of a Multimillion-Dollar Cheating Scandal

  • Nik Airball said LA poker game host Mars cheated him out of $1m
  • Wesley Fei alleged Mars used a special deck with hidden numbers
  • The host used them to win $3.1m for himself and his friends this year
  • Another player called Rina said she tried to warn the poker community
Man with Ace up sleeve
Poker game host Mars is facing allegations he cheated in games with a special deck of cards. [Image:]

Allegations arise

Pro poker player Nik Airball has taken aim at a well-known California poker game host who goes by the name ‘Mars,’ claiming he cheated him out of $1m. Airball took to X on Sunday night to detail his claims against Ye Shen, also sometimes known as Tony:

Mars has hosted many private games between recreationals and pros in Los Angeles, mostly with $25/$50 and $50/$100 blinds. Airball, a player known for being particularly outspoken, claims Mars utilized “a mechanic dealer and special cards that are “see through” with special contacts” to cheat players.  

Mars and his friends won more than $3m in a game in Los Angeles by cheating

Airball isn’t alone in making these claims either. Wesley Fei, another regular Hustler Casino Live player, shared details and text screenshots with PokerNews. According to him, Mars and his friends won more than $3m in a game in Los Angeles by cheating with his “special” deck of cards over several months.

Fei shares the details

While Airball confirmed he plans to share more details when he can, Fei has already put together a damning case against Mars. He has shared text screenshots in which Mars seems to confirm he planned to bring his own decks of cards to a game in Yorba Linda.

Mars went on to win around $1.6m in that game overall, playing two to three times per week for the seven months leading to October this year. Mars’ friends also profited substantially, altogether walking away with $3.1m. Fei, meanwhile, lost $1m.

After one of the sessions, Fei discovered that one of the deck of cards had hidden numbers on the back. A blue light revealed those numbers, indicating that someone in the game had used them to cheat.

Mars denied all of his claims when confronted in a Las Vegas casino last month

Since he had confirmed that he would provide decks for the game, suspicion immediately rested heavily on Mars. Fei said Mars denied all of his claims when confronted in a Las Vegas casino last month. He did, however, admit that the deck “has a problem,” but said that he didn’t know who had brought it to the game.

Regardless, Fei concluded: “It’s confirmed he cheated.”

Rina weighs in

Meanwhile, over on Airball’s X post, another payer called Rina claims she tried to warn people about Mars months ago. She shared screenshots of posts on YouTube and WeChat in which she accused Mars of cheating and not paying out $25,000 that he owed her:

According to Rina’s post, Mars blocked her on WeChat so that she couldn’t get in touch with him about her winnings. “I don’t think ppl like this should be featured on stream and gaining popularity and famous for poker,” she wrote.

Mars has yet to comment publicly on the situation. His last post on X was a promotion of a November Hustler Casino Live game in which he played against Nik Airball and other top players.

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