My Take on the “Girah” poker scam Part 2
Ok, now on to what “I” think is going here. Read Part 1 here
The most logical conclusion I can draw is that at some point after late April 27, 2010 (a Skype log posted by Peligro! On 2+2 has this as the date when Macedo asked him if DogisHead would be a good PLO coach) Macedo began working with Haseeb Quereshi; my assumption being their relationship was coach and student.
Conjecture ALERT! At some point during the coaching, and after hearing the kid’s back-story, Quereshi felt, “this kid is going to blow up and be famous!” Macedo, is young, articulate, smart, has a great story, good-looking, and knows how to play poker: A sponsor’s wet dream! So, the two collaborated on the now-infamous Portuguese Poker Prodigy thread. My suspicion is this was done with nothing but sincere intentions of introducing the “next big thing” to the poker world, and it just spiraled out of control where he was the new Isildur1 before actually proving himself –I don’t think he ever played high-stakes games up to this point, they were merely assuming (based on his poker acumen) that he would continue to rise through the ranks.
The two ran into a bit of problem when Macedo proved unable to be a long-term winner in poker –maybe he has tilt issues or doesn’t study his opponents enough anymore— which is how he ended up stuck in the $5/$10 games. So, now Haseeb and Jose needed to figure out a way to “prove” Jose could beat the high-stakes games since he was signed by PokerStrategy and Lock Poker and could no longer hide his screen-names.
According to the “study group” Macedo was a good, solid, player and had a good poker IQ, which should be true for any break-even $5/$10 player. The fact that he was articulate, formulates his thoughts well (see the PokerStrategy interview) and was vouched for by high-stakes (whether at the behest of Quereshi or not doesn’t really matter because it was obvious to anyone who talked to Macedo that he was a competent poker player, and was able to sell himself well) left very few people questioning his poker chops.
However, unable to beat the games, and I’m sure a lot of rumblings about needing to make some money from the time they invested, Macedo and Quereshi got an idea when the BLUFF Pro Challenge rolled around…
Based on the evidence it seemed Macedo was grinding away at Lock Poker and Quereshi decided to play on the account –in higher stakes games– in an attempt to win the contest and really put Jose on the map; unfortunately he lost $30k+; which is what led to the chip-dumping on the last few days of the competition.
My hunch is the SamChahuan account (which was registered to a player in Portugal) and the other big losers belonged to associates of Macedo/Quereshi and were funded by the pair as well. Basically I think the conversation went like this:
Quereshi: “I ran really bad when I played, so let’s fund a couple of your friends and they can just lose to you, and you’ll win the Challenge. But it can’t all come from the same guy.”
Macedo: “Ok, I know a couple guys in Portugal, and another in Belgium who could help me out.”
Otherwise, the fact that Jose is in makeup to Quereshi and Cates makes no sense, unless of course the money he won on Lock Poker was already Quereshi and Cates to begin with; that money was used solely as an effort to buy the Lock Pro Challenge title. I’m sure Lock Poker noticed this (I mean he won a ton of money from two Portuguese players in games that never have been participants), but instead DQ’ed him for letting Quereshi play on the account –a much less inflammatory offense than saying this whole Lock Poker promotion was rigged!
The real problem though is that at this point nobody is making much money off of this –Quereshi and maybe Cates, have invested a lot of time and money into this kid and he is proving unable to live up to his potential. Any money he earns from Lock Poker or PokerStrategy has to be going to makeup, and if a small amount of money is coming in Haseeb has to be taking something off the top for his time.
And this is where the trouble begins. I can imagine Macedo and his chip-dumping friends sitting around talking about it and formulating their TeamViewer scam –without Haseeb or anyone else’s knowledge. It’s precisely the type of scam teenagers would think would work, and the fact that Macedo’s poker accounts are not involved at all makes it untraceable for the poker sites –so he can’t get in any more trouble—and also for his backers, since all of the profits are being funneled into his friends accounts, who would likely then pay Macedo personally.
Basically I think the whole scenario just spiraled out of control. Haseeb is guilty of putting his faith in an up-and-coming kid who he thought could be his meal ticket, and then telling a lot of little white lies to cover up any ambiguities that came to light. All in all, Haseeb seems guilty of a lot of small infractions –the most serious of which are playing on another player’s account and possibly organizing a chip-dumping scam.
On the other hand, Macedo is a cheater. He cheated players and he stole money.