NOTE: This article was originally published on Tuesday, December 5th, but was accidentally deleted following an IT migration.
The latest scandal to hit the poker world involves Nik Airball, Wesley Fei and Ye “Mars” Shen, all of whom are playing on the Hustler Casino live stream. Over the weekend, Airball and Fei accused Mars of introducing marked decks into a high-stakes cash game it hosted in California. And now Mars has struck back.
The allegations can be summarized briefly: Mars combined his regular private high-stakes game in Yorba Linda, California, with that of another host. Wesley said Mars offered to bring the deck. It was later discovered that it was marked with UV ink that could be read with special glasses or contact lenses.
Wesley and Nik claim that Mars and the group of players he brought to the game won more than $3 million in multiple sessions.
Mars has since written one Email PokerNews defends himself and denies all allegations.
“I have won and lost large amounts many times in my poker career, but I have never cheated in a game and I have always paid up when I lost,” he said.
He also accused Wesley of lying not only about the situation but also about how cash-rich he was in order to “project a certain image.” Mars said Wesley accused him of trying to get out of losses he incurred.
As for the marked deck, Mars says he didn't bring it with him. In the email, he said that a person named Zeo called him to co-host a game at his apartment and they both discussed bringing players to the game. Mars offered to bring the decks and Zeo could supply the dealer. A few hours after the conversation, the venue was changed to Yorba Linda so Mars didn't have to provide tickets since they were already there.
Mars claims that when he arrived there were already half a dozen people at the poker table and it would have been impossible to introduce his own deck if he had wanted to. He added that he believed Zeo might have been the one who delivered the marked deck, but when they arrived around the same time, he changed his mind.
Mars continued, saying that three weeks after the game in which the tagged deck was discovered, a player named Sun, who had returned to China, told him that he had introduced the rigged deck to try to recover some of his losses to balance. Mars then told the homeowner what he had found out in the presence of witnesses.
Mars apologized to the rest of the players in the game for not being able to detect the cheating sooner.