Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I had just gotten back above my original buy-in at the weekly game when I heard yelling at the other table. I thought a fight had broken out. This was much worse.

I peaked into the entry room, where I saw everyone on the ground, hiding wherever they could. Then I ran into the bathroom so I could hide in the bathtub with one other guy.

One of the robbers charged into the bathroom with a gun pointed at my head.

"Get the fuck out of the bathroom! Get on the ground with your hands in the air!"

I moved onto the floor and put my hands over my head. I laid that way for what seemed like a long time, but it was probably more like six or seven minutes. I stayed still and listened to the robbers yelling and banging on furniture as they looked for the money. It was locked in a closet.

There were four robbers. One by one, they moved all of us into a corner near the kitchen. There were about 18 of us total -- about 12 players, two dealers, two game organizers and a few of their friends. I crouched down at the back of the huddle and put my hands on top of my head. The robbers were cursing and looking for the person who had the key to the money closet.

"I just play poker here," one guy said. "This isn't my place."

Then they emptied everyone's pockets. They only took my wallet. Most people also lost their keys and cell phones.

They tied up our hands with rubber cord. Then they started jamming all of us into the bathroom. On the way there, one of the thieves hit me in the back with the butt of his gun. "Don't fucking move," he said.

They were terribly disorganized. The whole robbery must have taken at least 20 minutes, and I was surprised they wasted so much time tying people up when they could have left as soon as they got the house's money.

The bathroom was full. It was a pile of sweaty, tied-up guys. One of them whispered that he couldn't breathe.

The bastards closed the door and jammed one of the poker tables up against it. A minute later, they were gone.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. And I think most people lost more than I did. I'm out about $400.

It was a scary experience. I had been robbed twice before tonight, but never at gunpoint. The silver lining is that I'm unhurt, and the lost money is like taking a bad beat. Lord knows I'm used to those.

I won't be playing live poker again outside a casino for the foreseeable future. For those of you who do play in home games, please insist that the hosts provide adequate and competent security. Anything less is unacceptable. You don't want to have a gun to your head before you realize you should have taken precautions.

Daniel was also at the game. I'm sure he'll also write about the hold-up. Be safe.


PokerSweetHome said...

Good God. Glad to hear that you are all right .. it could have been much worse as you know. I think it's wise to stay away from organized home games like that. (with dealers / rake / etc.) If that game had security (some mutt with a gun) things might have been much, much worse.

Take care,


ScurvyDog said...

Jebus, man, that's hardcore. Glad to hear you're okay and only out a relatively small amount of cash, in the grander scheme of things.

Michael said...

Man, that's effing brutal. Glad to hear you or no one was hurt or worse.

Home games with serious cash are really a dangerous proposition. If you never played a live game outside of casino again you'd be making a wise choice.

kurokitty said...

yeah, re: pokersweet's comments. One guy said they usually bring a gun and I think that would have been a bad idea. I'm still completely surprised no one was hurt.

Victor_Enriq said...

What a disturbing experience! I'm really glad that both Daniel and yourself are unharmed.

I know how things get when you are at gun point. You were very lucky that these apparently novice criminals didnt make any gun related mistakes. You were also very lucky that the others victims didnt pull out anything fancy.

Be very wary of meeting the same players once more, as someone is probably involved. Probably someone that missed the game that night.