Why So Many Shooting Incidents at Texas Poker Games

3 weeks ago
Shooting Outside Texas Poker Room
07 Nov

The last few years have seen multiple shooting incidents around Texas poker rooms and private games. But why? What makes Texas a special case when it comes to armed robbery?

We’ve all heard Doyle Brunson’s road gambler tales from the past when winning money at poker wasn’t the problem; getting out of town with it all still alive was the issue!

The first incident of note occurred in April 2018 in the parking lot of Texas Card House, northwest Austin. A man named Tom Steinbach was shot in the back and taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Apparently, Steinbach and another player were accosted on the way into the poker room by Jermaine Patrick Spirlark and Charles Clines-Martinez, the latter a contracted security officer of Texas Card House.

Bill Perkins even put a $10k reward up for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

2022 saw three incidents at Legends Poker in East Houston. In the first, security guard Trelynn Robinson played hero and tackled a man carrying an AR-15 assault rifle who announced he was robbing the place.

In April a gunman fired a burst of bullets across the card room, sending players diving to the floor.

An anonymous player told PokerNews what he witnessed:

"It ended up being that shots were fired from outside through the walls and got into the room that way. Luckily no one was hit. It is really a miracle as most of the bullet holes I saw were at sitting chest height. Once it was over, we all got up and checked no one was hurt.

In May another shooting took place outside Legends Poker.

The Houston Police Department arrived at the scene at approximately 4am to discover the body of an assailant who attempted to rob a man of his new Chevy Corvette. Unfortunately for the thief, the victim was himself armed.

After six months of relative quiet, there was a shooting at a private home game in San Antonio in January, 2023.

Police arrived to discover that the location was being used for illegal gambling and a dispute led to a physical confrontation before shots were fired.

A male in his 30s died at the scene following emergency treatment.

Finally, the latest incident was another one at Texas Card House. A security guard suffered seven gunshot wounds after defending the patrons from an attempted robbery at 6am.

Officer Jackson became embroiled in a gunfight that saw dozens of rounds fired before the assailants retreated and escaped.

Tommy Wilson, Officer Jackson’s boss, explained what happened:

“Our security officer came stumbling back in the door and told us that they had left and that the threat was over.

“I’ve been with him all morning. He has good spirits. All of the bullets exited his body except one and we’re waiting to see now if he has to have foot surgery.

“There are no words. Thank you. For what you did. You truly, you put your life on the line for us and you didn’t have to. Who does that?”

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Mark from London in the UK is a professional cash game player, and part time journalist. A massive chess fan and perpetual traveller.Read more


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