UK’s alleged poker coaching scammer in Macau

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Issue 937, Page 1 & 3
Word count: 751
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Jason Ho, a self-proclaimed professional poker player and coach from the UK who is now being accused of scamming his students out of over USD100,000, is said to have had given training sessions in the camps he set up in Macau.

An Internet search by the Macau Daily Times found that “Jason Ho from UK” was one of the 10 winners taking home HKD4,830 in the first round of the charity event of the Macau Poker Cup in May 2009.

Two episodes of video blog are also found to have been submitted by Ho on February 5, 2009 at pokertvasia.com. The account information shows that he was born on May 9, 1976 and was in Macau by the time he signed up to the site.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Ho is no longer a video poker coach at StoxPoker.com, a popular online poker training site specializing in low to mid-level stakes games, as he was sacked after the scandal came into light.

A flood of accusations against Ho have been breaking over the Internet especially on major poker forums such as those of StoxPoker and TwoPlusTwo this month, which, if all were true, could make him a highly-skilled scammer.

According to pokernewsdaily.com, besides working for StoxPoker, Ho made himself available for private coaching both online and at “camps” he set up in Macau.

He claimed that he had earned more than USD1 million online in 2008 alone, but has never provided proof to back up his claims. Ironically, it was said that he had filed bankruptcy in the UK in that same year.

Long accounts of players’ negative experiences interacting with Ho in coaching sessions can easily be found within the online poker community.

Among many different alleged examples of Ho’s actions posted by a player with the forum name “NotAJasonHoFan”, one was that “he isn’t a winning player and that he borrows money from students under pretenses and does not pay them back,” pokernewsdaily.com reported.

“[Ho] ‘shouts down and berates his students’ and places blame on the students when they go into a downswing.”

In addition, the poster stated that several students had gone to Macau for one to two-week intensive coaching courses that were supposed to be “one on one”, but they turned out not eventually.

“There was one example of a player paying US$7,000 for what amounted to about seven hours of coaching spread over a week,” pokernewsdaily.com cited.

“During these poker coaching courses, Ho would allegedly take ‘personal breaks’ for a day or two and lock himself in his room,” it added.

Another player named “rollsucker” said he signed up for coaching in March 2008 and Ho sold him a poker guide for USD2,000. But after using the guide, he said that he lost over USD5,000 in 400,000 hands.

His new coach at DeucesCracked.com later called Ho’s guide “dangerous, unplayable and full of wrong information”.

Top poker coach Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt also said in his blog that “I thought his [Ho’s] advice was ridiculous so I didn’t work with him again.

“He was advocating some of the stupidest stuff, and I had a very hard time believing he was a good poker player. He later tried to get me to transfer him my entire database of hands which I declined… I am sure glad I didn’t involve myself with him more than that single playing ‘lesson’ where he just basically taught me what a mediocre poker player he was,” Schmidt wrote according to onlinepoker.net.

At pocketfives.com, Ho is being described as a “losing player”, a “scammer” and a “bad coach”, as well as accused of having scammed his students into making an investment into a PLO (Pot Limit Omaha) Fund and that his “poker camps are a scam”.

The January 26 thread, “Warning: Jason Ho (code7654321) coaching scam”, gives detailed accounts of Ho’s allegations.

According to the post, Ho “collected over $90,000 from his poker crew in order to do a staking deal. He never alerted them that he was bankrupt and basically took all of their money and gambled it away”.

It also said that Ho did not give full attention to students during paid coaching sessions – “for example in camp Macau, he was coaching a student whilst playing on his PSP, but also distracted by Facebook and Skype conversations”.

A majority of Ho’s students have had “worse results” after his coaching than beforehand, and many winning players have become “losing or break-even players” as a result of following his advice, the post continued.

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