An admission to cheating on an online poker forum has cost Jose "Girah" Macedo his sponsorship deals with Lock Poker and PokerStrategy.com.
Macedo had admitted the cheating on poker forum 2+2 and said that he plans to return the $30,000 he took in the scam along with additional compensation. The scam preyed on other high stakes players on poker networks Merge and iPoker.
Macedo said on the forum: "A while ago, I did something stupid. A friend of mine, who 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 for getting him involved in something which seemed to be bad for him."
The scam involved Macedo interacting with the victims, earning their trust until they let him "sweat" their poker hands via the communication software Skype. Macedo then had access to the player's two dealt cards, which he then shared with a conspirator in the scam.
Macedo is known as the "Portuguese Poker Prodigy", and had recently become a poker coach on PokerStrategy.com. After finding out about Macedo's fraud, the company released a statement saying they were dropping him. The statement said, "Given the current situation, we will end our cooperation with him with immediate effect".
Furthermore, Macedo has lost his sponsorship with Lock Poker. A statement from Lock Poker Owner and CEO Jennifer Larson said, "All of us at Lock are horrified and incredibly disappointed by Jose's actions. Within 10 minutes of finding out about the fraudulent behavior his LockPRO contract was terminated and his account was banned permanently".
"At Lock our philosophy is based on building a deep relationship with our players and at the core of this is trust, legitimacy and loyalty. Jose has defrauded the players, the art of poker and the basic human relationship. LockPRO is a strong team of great people and will continue to find like minded, trust worthy, passionate players who will make us proud to be in this industry."