Gunmen Rob Foggy Bottom Poker Game

6 years ago
Gunmen Rob Foggy Bottom Poker Players
06 May

The armed robbery of a clandestine poker game in Washington DC offered up meagre pickings according to a local police report, with the machine-gun toting bandits complaining about their $1000 haul in front of the victims.

Last Friday’s midnight raid at an apartment in the capital’s Foggy Bottom district saw three men, one armed with ‘an Uzi-style’ gun and his accomplices carrying pistols, targeting seven poker players during their underground poker game.

However, after forcing their way into the apartment above a ‘popular tavern’ in the near Pennsylvania Avenue and the campus of George Washington University, the robbers “exchanged words regarding the amount of cash taken, indicating there should be more,” according to a DC police report.

One of the victims opened the door, upon which the armed men “forced their way past him and into the location.” The ‘Uzi-like’ gun-wielder ordered the poker players down on the living room floor and demanded their money.

Accompanied by one of the gunmen, a player in the illicit game retrieved the money from a cash drawer, emptying it into a duffel bag, at which point the robbers argued amongst themselves that there ought to be more than the $1000 handed over.

It appears that none of the poker game regulars were injured in the armed robbery. The police report on the incident only named one of the men - all aged between 31 and 51 and hailing from Northwestern Washington, Alexandria, and Rockville – and the robbers are still at large.

It’s certainly not the first time a poker game has been subject to such an assault, and usually the target is something more than the meagre $1000 the robbers made from the Foggy Bottom raid!

Hitting the big time game

One of the most famous heists occurred during the 2010 European Poker Tour in Berlin when the €1million jackpot was targeted in "an armed robbery executed by six men."

A German newspaper photographer witnessed the attack, stating:

I was at the entrance to the poker hall when they stormed in. I saw three masked men struggling with security personnel in the room where cash is exchanged for chips. I saw one of the men stuffing 500 euro notes into a backpack. A second pinned down a security guard with a machete to his chest.”

The attack, in broad daylight and caught on security cameras, continued according to photographer Wagner:

As they ran, one of the security men pulled a robber to the ground. I couldn't decide if this was all a PR stunt or not, it seemed incredible to believe that it could be a real robbery in the heart of Berlin in daylight. I got my camera ready. As the security guard was on the floor a hotel page boy came along and took the bag he had been carrying. I saw next to the robber was his gun, a revolver. As they struggled, the robber called for help and the others returned. One of them had an empty glass bottle he waved in the face of the security man. They forced him to release their accomplice. Then I saw them, unmasked, running into the tourist filled shopping centre. They left the hotel through the emergency exit."

Duhamel’s horror story

Players are also subject to robbery attempts when away from the tables, the attackers being aware of the huge sums of cash which often accompany winning pros.

2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel was “bound, beaten, and robbed” at his home in Montreal in December 2011. The attackers not only beat Duhamel badly, but made off with $150,000 in cash, his Main Event gold bracelet, and also a Rolex Submarine watch presented to him by PokerStars.

In a bizarre twist, it transpired that his ex-girlfriend Bianca Rojas-Latraverse - and another woman who it was alleged was part of a threesome with Duhamel – had conspired to carry out the attack along with four men.

However, Duhamel was convinced he knew his ex was behind the robbery and assault, and when questioned by police she quickly caved in, and pleaded guilty later during her trial.

How to act when the game gets hit

Robberies during poker games are actually so common that former poker pro and raconteur Johnny Hughes penned a column offering advice on what to do when faced by armed assailants!

The author of ‘Texas Poker Wisdom’, Hughes states:

There have always been a lot of robberies of poker games and casinos. A gambler must learn the correct way to act when being robbed!”

According to Hughes, the ‘House’ should always say: ‘Take all the money and don’t hurt anyone and we won’t call the law.’ Don’t look at them. Lie on the floor. Don’t try to hide any money.

Of his own experiences Hughes recalls:

In the old days, the legendary Texas gamblers taught me to prepare to be robbed, arrested, cheated, and stiffed. It all came to pass. There were 13 guys at a game one night when a shotgun ripped through the window screen. The robber made a player open the back door. It was very quiet and over in no time. Flashing a heavy wad of cash is damn near suicidal in modern America,” he continued, stating that, “There have been several casino robberies lately. Players should hit the floor. One poker player left the Bellagio and was murdered at the Imperial Palace. You are playing in public with thousands in long green in front of some desperadoes."

“One of my best friends was murdered this year while being robbed by another guy we played with. I wrote an article entitled Death of a Gambler about him.” He concludes his piece by saying, “Next time I get robbed I sure hope other people know how to act!”

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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