Man Sentenced to 13 Years in State Prison for Armed Robbery at Darren Elias' Home6 months ago
An armed robber is facing a 13 year stretch in a state prison after breaking into the home of poker player Darren Elias. The high stakes star was out at the time of the robbery but a 19-year-old babysitter was looking after his two-year-old child.
Banged to Rights
Shannon M. Soroka, 25, poker player from Philadelphia, was sought by the police after a tip off about the home invasion. He broke in and held a gun to the babysitter's head and demanded to know where Elias kept his money.
Elias has $7.5 million in live tournament winnings and holds the record for four World Poker Tour titles. He was also an MTT crusher back in the day before Black Friday upended his career. Two World Championship of Online Poker titles and an FTOPs title prove the class of the player.
Because of this, the home invader no doubt expected large sums of cash to be stored on the premises. Soroka faced a long list of serious charges and was likely lucky to only receive a 13 year sentence.
Back in March 2019 police reported to the media that:
“Soroka was charged Friday with robbery, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and related offenses.”
It is not certain how many people local to Elias know about his career, but following Soroka’s trial and conviction it turned out he had ran up serious debts totalling tens of thousands of dollars through gambling and drug use.
With Soroka having what was likely a fragile mental state, the babysitter and child had a lucky escape. Despite being marched around the house at gunpoint, the babysitter managed to escape to the basement locking the child in a bathroom. From there she crawled out of a window and ran to a neighbour’s house to seek help.
Because of the accurate tip, police were able to capture Soroka the very next day. Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said:
"We admire the courage displayed by the victim and her determination to protect the child under her care. This is one of the most frightening situations anyone could encounter, and I commend the investigators who identified and quickly apprehended this dangerous defendant.”
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