A personal recount from a victim of a Poker Home Game Robbery
KAP Thanks Bryan for his personal recount of a recent home poker game robbery!
Ok, so Saturday night was my first time ever being robbed at a poker game. Here’s how it went down…
I will however try to set up the story as best I can.
A couple weeks ago I went back to Alabama to visit my parents and some friends I haven’t seen in a couple years. Now when I last was here, most of my friends were poker degenerates. Playing 4-5 days/week, so when I came back I figured maybe they had slowed down a bit, but to no avail. The night I got back we played and had fun as we used to.
To give you an idea of our games… they usually include about 5-10 guys that all know each other and maybe a couple outside people that are friends of some of us and typically the game starts on any given night around 3am since most of these guys are bartenders at local bars.
The games usually are no more than $50 tournament buy ins, but recently after being gone for a year, there seems to have been a large growth of high stakes home cash games in the area. We played for cash occasionally in home games, but it usually was between friends and was not for this type of money. We also usually drove around 3 hours to Tunica, MS if we really wanted to play 1-2 no limit or 2-5 no limit, but with the recent growth of higher stakes cash home games my friends really didn’t see the need to drive all that way. I however did as I’ll explain in a minute…
So about the second or third night I was here my friends the bartenders who I’ve known for years told me there was this cash game that they’ve been playing in recently and that we should all go after they got done with work. So we did and man was this the loosest game I’ve ever been at. Also a very nice setup. TV’s on the walls, free food and drink, full casino poker table (rake included ) . So anyways, to give you an idea of the group there was me (pussy ass pretty boy), my 3 friends (typical big bartender types), a few gang bangers, the white boy who thinks he’s black and a few other low lifes or “mopes” as they were called in Rounders. All in all a pretty nice group as long as you don’t piss off the wrong person. A few of the players are also known to carry guns.
Back to the loose action though. So we’re playing 2-5 no limit and I started with like $200 which isn’t much and one of my other friends started with $500. Within the first 15 minutes we were there we were both up almost $500 and by the next half hour my buddy was up almost $1200. I remember looking over at him and saying, “are we really playing for real money here”? Now these guys weren’t taking bad beats off us, but the gang bangers just kept raising and wouldn’t lay shit down for anything. They’d raise $50 in fairly early position with rags and then me and my buddy happened to catch Kings and Aces and no matter how much we raised they would always re-raise, so needless to say we kept putting the pressure on them and ended up doubling up a few times. By the end of the night we probably won a couple thousand between the four of us who went. So it was a good night.
Within the next week I was playing at at least 3 other games around town with the same setup. Usually a full table of players and roughly $5,000-$10,000 in play at any given time not including pocket money. Now even though I’ve only been back in town for a couple weeks I was getting pretty known around town at the cash games as a pretty strong player that plays pretty conservatively. No huge wins under the belt, but just strong consistent play.
On Monday of this last week we played at a new house I hadn’t been to yet and was apparently run by some old timers. Guys around 50 or 60 that have probably been playing poker for quite a few years. Everyone was sitting down with around $1000 at least at the table and the talk between most of them was that fact that quite a few home cash games had been getting robbed lately. They actually seemed quite concerned which I thought was odd. These guys were old enough to have been playing back when Doyle was first playing, so them showing nerves like that kind of concerned me. They were very worried whenever someone rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Luckily nothing happened, but all this week the talk around the poker games was the fact that a big number of games were being hit recently and to just be careful. This obviously made me worry and so I decided that it just wasn’t worth the risk anymore and that I wasn’t gonna play in the cash games anymore unless I went to a casino.
So, now it’s Saturday night and I’m at the bar having fun, my friends are working (bartending) and I’m trying to work the ladies which for some reason isn’t working. Oh well. So, my buddy Glenn asks me if I’m going to play tonight at this one house where the game is usually at when they’re done and I say probably not since I only brought around $100 out and spent that at the bar. He then says… “don’t worry about it, I’ll cover ya till tomorrow.” I think about it and can faintly remember saying I wasn’t gonna play in cash games anymore cause I was too afraid of getting robbed. Well that thought must have been lost in the 6 Red Bull and vodkas I had and so I agreed to play, but I didn’t want to wait until 3am when they were done cleaning the bar to play so I said I’d go over there now and just start playing. Glenn gave me $250 to get started till he got there and so I left.
Now let me explain that not only did I not want to play anymore cause I was worried about getting robbed, but I had numerous opportunities to not go even after I started driving there. On the way to get my car I remember saying I should just go home and then I can wake up early tomorrow and go golfing. I also remember driving to the game and thinking I was hungry and maybe I should just stop at Taco Bell and go home. And last but not least as I parked at the game I remember actually saying a prayer before I went in to not help me win or lose, but to just keep me safe.
I then got out of my car and walked past these businesses as the game is on the second floor of a duplex behind a strip mall. As I walked towards the stairs you have to pass a little alley way to go to the back to where the stairs are. As I walked past that alley way this guy Mike who tends to lose alot was leaving and I said “what’s up” and he didn’t even respond. I guess he was pissed like normal that he lost. I then started up the stairs and as I got about half way up I could hear something behind me. I looked and saw some shadows in that alley way. I then got ready to knock on the door when all of a sudden two guys in all black and ski masks come around the corner and say “freeze mother fucker”. They start up the stairs and as they get to the top put a gun right to my head and say “knock on the door as you normally would”. See the guys know about these robberies and would never open the door unless they recognized the person on the other side. I then heard the guy inside say “don’t worry it’s just Bryan”. Little did they know our fate stood right next to me holding guns. They opened the door and then the robbers pushed me in and screamed at everyone to get up against the wall.
They took everything! Wallets, cellphones, money, watches. Everything! One robber told one of the guys there to take the money out of his pocket and then as he started to reach into his pocket the other robber freaked and cocked the gun back and hell I thought it was over for all of us. We’re all up against the wall with these fucks emptying our pockets, the dealer who is a girl crying her eyes out next to me and nothing anyone there can do.
It was all over within about 2 minutes, but all in all they got around $15,000 in cash and other items.
After freaking out for about 30 minutes and everyone trying to figure out who it could have been we all decided even though it was an illegal cash game that we should still call the police. We did and investigators came out and took statements from everyone. They even dusted for finger prints. The lead investigator even thinks he might know who it was since there has been a string of them as of late.
Now I was actually one of the lucky ones as far as money since I only had around $250 on me and others had as much as $3000 on them, but I did lose my wallet, credit/debit cards, neteller and more which will be a pain in the ass to take care of, but as I look back at everything that happened that night and all the outs I had to not play and even the little prayer I said just prior to going in to just please protect me… I have to say that at least no one did get killed or hurt and who knows who these fucks were, but I guess in a weird way my prayer was answered. Cause what would have happened to me if they wouldn’t have opened the door even though in a way I was hoping they wouldn’t open it or what if someone was in the bathroom as the robbery was happening and then came out and spooked them or what if one the gang bangers there who actually did have a gun on him at the time would have pulled it? It all could have turned out a lot worse.
Sorry to make this so long, but I felt I needed to get this off my chest and to at least worn others about the negatives that go along with playing in this type of a unlicensed, unsecured game. As much as I’m against the fact that state, local and federal governments try to ban certain types of gambling. I also realize that in some cases there are reasons behind it. Although I believe the reason most governments do ban poker or cash games is because they’re not getting a piece of it, I do believe there is a security issue and I can definitely tell you that the only place you’ll be seeing me play poker is in a casino or online for now on.
I just don’t think I could go through that again and I hope none of you ever have to either.
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– KAP Thanks Bryan for this story – hey, just another reason to play texas holdem online!