What should have been a profitable session of poker at the Aussie Millions event, turned into a nightmare for American poker player Jason Potter.
Potter, a 22 year-old native of Tulsa Oklahoma, was in Melbourne for the Aussie Millions event, where he placed 31st out of 780 entrants. Before the long trip home, Potter had chips he needed to cash in, about $30,000 worth. Since he was also feeling hungry, he decided to kill two birds with one stone. This found him leaving his hotel room at the Crowne Plaza about 4 a.m., when he headed to the casino and hit the cage.
That is when Potter thinks he was watched and then followed.
With his wad of cash stuffed inside his sweatshirt, Potter decided he would go to the local McDonalds to grab a bite. After his McMeal, he headed back to his hotel room. As he was crossing the Spencer Street footbridge, he heard ominous footsteps behind him. Before he even realized what was happening, he was hit in the head from behind and knocked to the ground by an unknown assailant flashing a kitchen knife. While on the ground, Potter tried to resist as the robber reached inside his sweatshirt and grabbed his money. The thief then threatened Potter with the knife before escaping into the pre-dawn darkness.
Potter was shaken up by the incident, but luckily suffered no serious injuries. Police so far have no leads in the case as Potter could only describe his assailant as “husky and about 30 years old.” Hoping to get a break in the case, authorities are appealing to banks and other currency converting businesses to report anyone wanting to exchange large amounts of American dollars, especially 100 dollar bills.
Anyone with any information about the robbery is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000, or www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Potter is becoming a well known face on the poker tournament trail after dropping out of a political science degree to concentrate on playing poker full-time. He placed in the money in several major tournaments last year in the US, including a third place finish at The Bellagio Five Diamond WPT event which netted him $90,000. He also placed in two WSOP events, coming in 14th in the Pot Limit Omaha and 40th in the $1,500 buy-in No limit Hold’em event.
Potter’s total US tournament winnings are estimated to be $300,000. Hopefully this unfortunate experience won’t deter him from pursuing his poker dreams and entering other tournaments in the USA and beyond.