College students Brett Maistri and Sean Remz took their poker winnings from the casino in cash, a decision likely made from their lack of experience, and drove to a residence in Wellington, Florida. Unbeknownst to them, they were being watched at the casino and followed home.
According to reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the two poker players were escorted to their cars by casino security personnel. As they drove to Wellington, a car followed and the robbers cut the car off at an intersection near their home. Two men in ski masks jumped out of their own car with handguns and fired a shot that missed the victims. Maistri and Remz ran, but the robbers caught up with the latter and took more than $3,000 from him and obtained the rest from the victims’ car.
Police were able to use surveillance cameras and eyewitness reports to identify three suspects – Emmanuel Alexis, Jahson Linton, and Clinton Ellington Jr. All were 18-years old and were arrested in June of 2008. They were charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm, and they face a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted.
While victims of a violent crime are not at fault, it is an important lesson to learn to always protect oneself, especially in the poker world. Whether it is a few hundred dollars or quite a bit more, precautions should be taken at all times to watch for people looking to take advantage of a player’s good fortune.
*editor's note - Online Poker Rooms are the easiest way to learn to play poker and the SAFEST. Your funds are safe and you are not in physical jeopardy when you win a tournament.*