Are more people cheating?
The stakes in the online world have risen dramatically, bringing with it cheats and scams. With the rise of the Internet, advertisers can find their niches much more effectively which raises sponsorship, advertising, and prize dollars.
The world’s biggest stage, Major League Baseball, was plagued with accusations of performance enhancing drugs when Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa were chasing the magical 61 home runs set by Roger Maris (since also broken by New York Yankee Aaron Judge).
Nearly every four years the Olympics both Winter and Summer have scandals for cheating via performance enhancing drugs. Lance Armstrong was found to be doping his blood. The list goes on and on.
However, with the Internet, the microstages are now becoming somewhat tainted. With influencer opportunities and substantial prize money at stake, competitors are now accused of cheating.
Fishermen Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky were accused of cheating by stuffing their caught fish with weights and filets to win the $30,000 prize in a tournament in Ohio at the end of September. They pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. The duo made over $300,000 in 2021.
Also in September, the top ranked chess player and champion since 2013, Magnus Carlson, resigned after one move to newcomer 19 year old Hans Niemann. Niemann has previously admitted to cheating in online games but he says never in an “over the board” game. Speculation has ranged from vibrations in a sex toy to a shoe to communicate best possible moves as determined by an artificial intelligence.
And yet another scandal in September involves Poker. Robbi Jade Lew, an Instagram model, who just recently started playing high-stakes games, is being accused of cheating by Garrett Adelstein, a more experienced high-stakes player. Without going into the nuances of poker, Garrett’s accusation essentially comes down to him thinking Lew knew what was in his hand given that she had a weak hand but he had a weaker hand.
He believes it could be a number of things including some type of vibration device (similar to the Chess scandal) or a hacking into the RFID reader which is used by television crews to know what cards a player is holding. Lew gave the money back but she claims she was shaken down by Garrett in the back hallway.
Since the pandemic, collectibles of all sorts have skyrocketed in value. The Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner, Michael Jordan, and Mark Zuckerburg cards have set new records as have comic books, art, and vintage toys. A way to sell cards, so that you can sell the less valuable ones as well, is called “breaks.” You can watch these “breaks” on YouTube and you essentially buy a group of unopened cards. Thus, any cards in that break regardless of what they are belong to you.
However, Backyard Breaks in South Florida, which earlier this year refused to give a card in a break away after realizing its value, has hit upon the impossible according to one viewer. With the statistics given by Panini, the card manufacturer, as to the scarcity of the cards, the viewer came to one conclusion given that Backyard Breaks continuously hit rare cards.
With those odds, I would buy a lottery ticket! But maybe something else is happening? I’m not sure how someone gets loaded boxes but it sure makes for a very interesting story!
What do you think of the scandals hitting these niches? Are you involved in any of these sports or hobbies (fishing, chess, poker, card collecting)? We would love to hear your thoughts!