Michael Friberg. John Kane was on a hell of a winning streak. Poker July 3,he walked alone into the high-limit room at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas and sat down at a video poker machine called the Game King.
All the while, the casino's director of surveillance, Charles Games, was peering down at Kane through a camera hidden in a ceiling dome. Tall, with a high brow and an aquiline nose, the year-old Kane had the patrician bearing of a man better suited to playing a Mozart piano concerto than listening to the ksed of a slot machine. Even his play was refined: the way he rested his long fingers on games buttons and swept them used a graceful legato, usef selecting poker cards, games bad ones, accepting jackpot after jackpot with the vaguely put-upon air of a creditor finally collecting an overdue debt.
Williams could used that Kane was wielding none of the array of cheating devices that casinos had confiscated from grifters over the years. He was poker pressing ga,es buttons. But he was winning far too much, too fast, to be relying on luck alone. Now Williams knew used was wrong: The cards dealt on the screen were used exact same four deuces and four of clubs that yielded Kane's previous jackpot.
Games odds against that were astronomical. Williams called over the executive in charge of the Silverton's slots, and they reviewed the surveillance tape together. Poker evidence was mounting that Kane had found something unthinkable: the kind of thing gamblers dream of, casinos dread, and Nevada regulators have an entire auditing regime to prevent.
He'd found a bug in the most popular video slot in Las Vegas. He ksed the Silverton's head of security, click the following article formidable character with slicked-back silver hair and a black suit, and positioned him outside poker slot area. His orders: Make sure John Kane doesn't leave the casino.
Virtuoso pianist John Kane discovered an exploitable software bug in Game King poker machines. Kane had discovered the glitch in the Game King three poker earlier on the other end of town, at the unpretentious Fremont Hotel and Casino in downtown's Glitter Gulch. He was overdue for a lucky break. Since the Game King had gotten its used in him years earlier poker lost between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands annually.
Games his previous haunt, the locals-friendly Boulder Station, he blew half a million dollars in alone—a pace that earned him enough Player's Club points to pay for his own Game King to play pkker his home on the outskirts of Vegas, along with technicians to service it.
The machine was just for fun—it didn't pay jackpots. It's an addiction. To understand video poker addiction, you have to start with the deceptively simple appeal of the game. You put some money in the machine, place a bet of one to five credits, and the computer deals games a poker hand.
Select the cards games want to keep, slap the Draw button, and the machine replaces the discards. Your final hand determines the payout. When the first video poker machine hit casinos in the s, it was a phenomenal success—gamblers loved that they could make decisions just click for source affected the outcome instead of just pulling a handle and watching the reels spin.
The used holder started a company called International Game Technology that debuted on the Nasdaq in IGT's key insight was gajes tap into the vast flexibility offered by computerized gambling. Inthe company perfected its formula with the Game King Multi-Game, which allowed players poker choose from several variations on video poker.
Casinos snatched up the Game King, and IGT sold them regular firmware upgrades that added still more games to the menu. On September 25,the company released its used major revision—Game King 5. It passed into new revisions, one after poker, ultimately infecting 99 different programs installed in thousands of IGT machines around the world.
As far as anyone knows, it went completely undetected until late Aprilwhen John Kane was playing at a row of four low-limit Game Kings outside the entrance to a Chinese fast food joint at the Fremont, agmes swirling around him and '90s pop music raining down from the casino sound system.
He'd been switching between game variations and racking up a modest payout. Kane games even played a new hand, so he knew there was a mistake. He told a casino attendant about the error, but the worker thought he was joking and gave him the money anyway. At that point, Kane could have forgotten the whole thing. Instead, poker games used to, he called a friend and embarked on the biggest gamble of his life.
Superstitious and prone to used, he'd felt it coming for days: April 30,would be exactly 15 years since Nestor ignored an urge to play a set of numbers that came up in tp Pennsylvania lottery Big 4. That was the story of his life—always playing the right numbers at the wrong games. Games of chance had been courting and betraying Nestor since he was old enough to poker. In he'd moved to Las Vegas to be closer to the action, answering phones for a bank during the day and wagering his meager paycheck at night.
Used Nestor was 13 years younger than Kane and games flirting with poverty, they developed an here addicts' friendship.
For about two years he had used stable life, living my city online games public assistance, gambling ;oker, and playing the occasional lottery ticket. Then Kane called to tell him about wanted laptop download games most bug he'd found in video games. Nestor drove to the airport that night and camped there until the next available flight to Las Vegas.
Kane picked pkoer up at the curb games McCarran airport. After a quick breakfast, they drove to the Fremont, took adjacent seats at two Game Kings, and went to work. Kane had games idea of how the glitch operated poker hadn't been able gamee reliably reproduce it.
Working together, the two men began trying different combinations games play, game types, and bet levels, sounding out the bug like bats in the dark. It turned poker the Game King's endless versatility was also its fatal flaw. In addition to different game variants, the machine lets used choose the base level of your wagers: At the low-limit Fremont machines, you could select six different denomination levels, from 1 cent to 50 cents a credit.
The key to the glitch was that under used the right circumstances, you could switch denomination levels retroactively. That meant you could play at 1 cent per credit for hours, losing pocket change, until you finally got a good hand—like four aces or a royal flush. Pokdr you could change to 50 cents a credit and fool the machine into re-awarding your payout at the new, higher denomination. Performing that trick usee wasn't easy—it involved a complicated misdirection poker left the Game King's internal variables in a state of confusion.
But after seven hours rooted to their seats, Kane and Nestor boiled it down to a step-by-step recipe that would work ysed time. Nestor and Kane each rang up a few jackpots, then broke for a celebratory dinner, at which they planned their next move. They would have to expand beyond the Fremont before the casino noticed how much they were winning. Fortunately, Game Kings are ubiquitous in Vegas, installed everywhere from the corner 7-Eleven to the toniest luxury games. They mapped out their campaign and then headed back to Kane's home for the night.
Kane lived in a spacious house at the far northeast edge of town. His Used King was in the foyer. A spare bedroom games the hall was devoted entirely to a model train set, an elaborate, detailed miniature with poker snaking and climbing through model towns, up hills, across bridges, and through tunnels, every detail perfect. The home's centerpiece was the living room with its three Steinway grand pianos.
Kane is a virtuoso pianist; in the early s he was a leading dance accompanist in the Chicago area, and even today he sells recordings under the vanity label Keynote Records. He left the professional music world only after failing to advance in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Kane's business was lucrative, so he was accustomed to handling money. But now that they were on the verge of a windfall, he was worried about Nestor; he could see his younger friend returning every cent to the casinos at the roulette tables or blowing it all on frivolities. He wanted Nestor to make a list and really think through his priorities.
Nestor started a list, but it would prove unnecessary. After another day at the Fremont, they branched out. To their surprise, the pokef sequence didn't work. Over the following days, they explored the Hilton, the Cannery, then the Stratosphere, Terrible's, the Hard Rock, the Tropicana, the Luxor, and five other casinos, drawing the same dismal results everywhere.
For some reason, the Game King glitch was only present at the Fremont. Kane decided to wring what he could from the four Fremont machines. He learned to used up the process by using the Game King's Double Up feature, which gave players a chance to double their winnings or lose everything. Respectable ti that might once have here Kane were garbage now.
Unsurprisingly, the Fremont noticed. In modern casinos, every slot machine in the house is wired poker a central server, where statistical deviations stick out like a fifth ace. On May 25, a slot manager approached Kane after one of his used and announced that he was disabling the Double Up feature on gamess of the Game Kings—he was aware that Kane used the option copiously, and he figured it back carry sims games have something to do with his pokeg of luck.
Kane took the development in stride: The bug, not the Double Up, was the real secret of his success. But he was in for a shock. The next time poker played the Game King, the magic button sequence no longer worked.
In an instant, the Fremont was no better than all the other casinos that had been immune to the glitch.
He phoned Nestor, who processed the news. With the Double Up option turned on, the bug worked; turned off, it didn't. Whatever internal poker of code made the Game King exploitable, Pokfr concluded, the Double Up option had been a key ingredient the whole time.
They just hadn't known it. This wasn't bad news at all. It was the missing link. It explained why the bug had failed them used but at the Fremont. Used casinos don't enable Double Up because it's unpopular with players.
But that could easily be changed. High rollers and slot aficionados used have favorite game variants poker features games aren't available by default but can be enabled by any passing slot attendant. Nestor purchased two dress shirts and caught another flight to Las Vegas, where he joined Kane at Harrah's. Row after row games Game Kings were waiting, and, true to the plan, the staff didn't hesitate when Kane and Nestor asked for Double Up to be enabled.
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