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Thread: Report: 50k jacked from Rio cash game table (UPDATE: It was 22k, and full details are further down in the thread)

  1. #1

    Report: 50k jacked from Rio cash game table (UPDATE: It was 22k, and full details are further down in the thread)

    This is from Ray Henson, who isn't exactly known for sensationalism:

    Wow playing WSOP live action, some guy walks up to a seat that a player is away from and says "my friend wants me to cash him out" & makes off with like 50k! Obv by the time the guy comes back to table the culprit was long gone! They are taking reports from everyone now but says he is responsible for his own money.
    For those of you askin about the "robbery" at Rio last night, no th players in the game didn't stop him! Unbelievable! I wasn't at the table but I was a few tables over. Obv the story has prolly been exaggerated, but that's what I heard right away. I'm sure that the WSOP live action floor staff will be able to find out who it was and I'm sure he will be caught, but he did get away last night!
    If the Rio really let this happen and doesn't make good on it, that is really terrible.

    This is especially true because, unlike games such as blackjack, you aren't allowed to take your money/chips off the table when you temporarily step away from the game, so you need to have faith in the security model of the room to take care of your money.

    We will be discussing this on radio, and maybe will try to call the Rio cash section (if they can be reached by phone) and see if we can talk to them about it.

  2. #2
    Was this the guy?
    Name:  BradBooth_profile.jpg
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    I write things about poker at my Poker Blog and elsewhere on the Internets

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
    Was this the guy?
    Name:  BradBooth_profile.jpg
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    Video apology coming soon obv.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-O View Post
    Was this the guy?
    Name:  BradBooth_profile.jpg
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    He went right to the pit and in a black out lost it all for his "friend"

  5. #5
    Contributor tommyt's Avatar
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    i just hooked up my desktop for the first time in like 2 years and i just had to click this
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  6. #6
    Was NICKLAS HEINECKER (from Hamburg, Germany) the victim here?

  7. #7
    I got the whole story straight from the victim's girlfriend, who happened to be assigned to my WSOP $3000 Limit event table.

    The victim was Niklas Heinecker, as correctly guessed by Sandwich. (How did you know that, BTW?)

    Here is a picture of him.



    His girlfriend is Maxi Mueller, who is a pretty good limit hold 'em player from Germany. Both Maxi and Niklas were Full Tilt red pros, though obviously neither had anything to do with the problems there.

    Here is a picture of Maxi:

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    This was my first time playing with Maxi. She seemed nice, and was pretty in that wholesome, girl-next-door sort of way.

    For several hours, I had no idea that Maxi was the girlfriend of the guy who had money stolen from his Rio cash table. The subject came up because Ray Henson was at the table, as well. Recall that Ray Henson was the guy who initially reported this to the internet (via Twitter), and apparently he is somewhat friendly with Maxi. It was a coincidence that Henson (the guy who sort-of witnessed it and reported it to the net), Maxi (the girlfriend of the victim), and myself were all at the same starting table.

    Ray Henson asked for clarification of a few details he didn't know. I then asked a few questions of Maxi, which I could tell made her a little bit uncomfortable. She didn't know me, and we had barely spoken at the table, so here was this stranger suddenly asking a bunch of questions about a crime that had occurred against her boyfriend. I tried to put her at ease by saying, "I'm totally on your side here... I think it's outrageous that the Rio won't make good on this", and she opened up and gave all the details.

    Here they are:

    - A guy walked up to a Rio cash game table, and approached Heinecker's seat, which was empty while Heinecker was away from the table. He confidently took all of Heinecker's money.

    - The theft was $22k, not $50k as originally reported. Some was cash, and some was chips.

    - The dealer wasn't quite as incompetent as first thought, as he had just rotated into the game, and didn't know who was sitting in that seat. It is not clear whether the thief simply took advantage of this and pretended they were HIS chips, or if he really did mumble something about "cashing out his friend". This occurred shortly after the new dealer took his place, which I'm sure wasn't a coincidence.

    - The thief was pacing back and forth at a distance prior to committing his crime, likely waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

    - The thief did not cash out. He briskly walked out after taking the money.

    - The dealer did call security when the guy appeared to be walking away too quickly. It is not clear if the dealer himself realized something was wrong, or if the players alerted him to it. Security attempted to chase down the thief, but he disappeared into the heavy Rio hallway crowd and could not be located. It is not clear if this was pulled during a break of an event, but the "disappearing into the crowd" would seem to imply that this is what happened, as the hallway is not crowded when nobody is on break.

    - As of now, the Rio refuses to refund the money. They claim that it is the player's responsibility to protect their own funds. This does not make sense, as you are not allowed to take your money off the table unless you are leaving the game for good, so you are FORCED to leave your funds on the table if you go to the bathroom in the middle of a cash session. Niklas has vigorously argued his case, but has been turned down for any sort of refund. He has attemped to reach the Rio casino manager, but can't reach him, and is not getting a call back.

    - Niklas filed a police report. That has gone nowhere, at least as of now. He has asked to see the pertinent security footage, but the Rio will not show him. The Rio (and most other casinos) has a policy not to show their security footage unless law enforcement requests it. It is unclear whether law enforcement has requested it, and it is unclear if they would show it to Niklas if they received the footage from the Rio.

    - I suggested that they file a lawsuit, but at the same time acknowledged that, being German citizens only here for a few weeks, this would be very difficult. Maxi agreed that they would consider a lawsuit if they were here for a longer period of time, but that it's not practical given that they will return to Germany very soon.

    - I did not ask Maxi to come on radio, as she didn't seem like the type who would want to do that. I might pitch it to her boyfriend if I can find him on Twitter or Facebook.

  8. #8
    all i can say is WOW! thats fu@#*& UP!

  9. #9
    Contributor Deal's Avatar
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    It's funny how the players got all viral about American Dave not being allowed to deliver a sandwich yet the twitter world is pretty silent about this.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Deal View Post
    It's funny how the players got all viral about American Dave not being allowed to deliver a sandwich yet the twitter world is pretty silent about this.
    Yeah, this hasn't even been reposted on 2+2 or anything.

    If you look, this thread has like 1700 views already, mostly thanks to a lot of retweets I got regarding this story.

    That helped spread the word, but you'd think the poker community would be up in arms about this situation (since it affects everyone playing live cash), and I agree that the response is rather muted so far.

    Anyway, I told the story. I sent this link to @WSOPLiveAction. It's up to the public what they want to do with it.

  11. #11
    Wow, can't believe Rio/Harrah's is refusing to pay. Will we need to start wearing depends at the poker tables now? I'm already scared to think about how dirty poker chips ALREADY are but if you are going to force people to bring it into the bathroom. I'm thinking about the Seinfeld episode when George brings the book the bathroom now.

  12. #12
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    This is a well thought out crime. Waiting for a new dealer to come on. He is going to be more distracted as well as not familiar with the players. Picking a foreigner who probably has no friends at the table. Disappearing into a crowded hallway; picking a favorable time to make his getaway. Wouldn't be suprised if the table this occurred at was close to the poker room exit. There was quite a bit of thought and patience put into this.

  13. #13
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    Heineker gets my sympathy, the story certainly sounds genuine, but I think he has zero chance of getting compensation here.

    For a start, how do we know that Heineker isn't the scammer? What if the guy who took the chips really is a friend of his and they're on a freeroll trying to get compensation from The Rio?

    If the Rio did pay him off it would set a precedent, multiple copycat incidents would soon follow, 99%+ of them scams.

  14. #14
    We pay rake to make sure our chips are protected.

    Cops aren't going to pursue this far. Only way this get corrected is if a) someone actually ID's the guy (he sounds like a boss thief, tho)..... or B) they sue (which they should).

    This is quite common and has happened in other casinos before, like Foxwoods, where someone got their entire $400 stack gaffed at a $1/@2 game on Friday night (when it is busiest) when said player went to go get a sandwich at the 5th Street Cafe. The casino has cameras....that dont work ($2bln in debt does that) so several players called the CT police (the guy also bolted out of the casino; many "cut" exits at that place). He filed a report, and all the guy got (TMK) was 5 $10 buffet tickets. No cash. At least (TMK), the cameras are on now (prob cause they are in debt).

    Every NV casino should have cameras everywhere. Every NV casino should have an abundance of security. Every NV casino should have active floor staff/pit with eyes on the table/rail at all times. Every NV casino should have security outside every exit. And every player should have insurance against fraud or theft on casino property (because of the high volume of risk associated with those places). Even if it takes tax breaks. We have the technology.

    How a casino fucks this up, basically the easiest part to maintain your business is security, I have no fucking idea.

    It's a serious violation of a player's trust, and a gaming community's trust, when their money isn't safe. Because the public, not just the gamblers, assumes it is. It is -EV for the "flow" of gambling capital and a big threeat to the health of the industry.

    If I wanted to play somewhere I could win money only to have it lost/stolen away from me....I'd play on Full Tilt Poker (#fuckme)

  15. #15
    I agree, while 22k is a hefty chunk of cash its nothing to a big company like Harrahs and the bad PR outweighs the cost. That said, they don't want to set a precedent where people start coming up with ways to abuse it.

  16. #16
    It should be illegal for the Rio to deny payment here (but sadly, it isn't).

    Protecting players' chips in play inside the casino is the CASINO'S responsibility, not the players'.

    They need to hire the proper security to prevent these thefts. If they security fails, they need to suffer the consequences, much as they do when people steal chips from the dealer's blackjack or craps tray.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    It should be illegal for the Rio to deny payment here (but sadly, it isn't)
    I and your (And by I/your, I mean the rake) lobbying dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen!

  18. #18
    Contributor Bootsy Collins's Avatar
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    Do I need to go on another Harrahs rant?

  19. #19
    It is a valid point how one can't take their money off the table as they leave, so it should be the casinos responsibility. The problem is rake is not anywhere near enough to make casinos responsible for stolen stacks once the stakes become substantial. It is awfully simple to expect as much. The cameras likely aren't even hooked up in that room.

    Just think if casinos are responsible. I could buyin for 200k, have it stolen. If the guy gets away I claim I was jacked. If he is caught I say he had my permission and is my friend.

    You have to be a pretty simple person to think casinos should pay in this situation. The truth is there is no clear solution to these types of problems.

  20. #20
    I've never played live cash games just tournaments. Presumably though, he left his chips on the table, because 1, he thought it was safe to do so, and 2, in order to save his seat. To prevent from getting ripped off and at the same time save his seat, can one just pick up most of his chips leaving just a few behind or is that considered bad form, especially if you are ahead?? And if it is bad form, what would be the solution?? Just curious.

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