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Thread: A robbery/beating/kidnapping in the Rio parking lot? Or more BS where the "victim" isn't telling the full story?

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    A robbery/beating/kidnapping in the Rio parking lot? Or more BS where the "victim" isn't telling the full story?

    Someone showed up on 2+2 last night and posted the following scary tale of a foreign WSOP player getting robbed, beaten, and kidnapped from the Rio "Pavilion" parking lot (the one closest to the WSOP area:

    Last night, my boyfriend and I came upon a young man who had just been assaulted and robbed in the back forty of the Pavillion parking lot of the Rio. I feel that it is important to share this story for many reasons. It is an instructive lesson in personal safety as well as highlight multiple systematic failures in security on the part of the Rio. More importantly it should demonstrate the need for the poker community to unite demanding that the properties and organizations hosting poker tournaments like the WSOP address the security needs unique to our events.

    First the details as explained to me by the victim. In order to protect his identity (what little I know of it), I will refer to him as John. A white male from an Eastern European country around 25 years old.

    John had apparently been approached in the parking lot by two men that pulled out a gun and demanded his money. He refused and the next thing he knew, he woke up in a vehicle being robbed and beaten with the handle of a gun. John detailed that he fought back and kicked out the window. He then was tossed out of the vehicle and was stumbling back to the Pavillion when we found him.

    At this point, John was clearly traumatized, drunk, confused, angry and bleeding profusely from some serious lacerations on his forehead. I introduced myself and began providing first aid trying to get his bleeding under control. Someone I knew was walking by and ran to get security.

    John was somewhat cooperative in letting me hold some pressure on his head but all he wanted was some water, a cigarette and to go back to his room. Security arrived within a few minutes and I asked for some additional first aid supplies from his vehicle but he didn’t have any so he radioed for some. At this point John got extremely agitated. I quickly realized that where John comes from, cops are the enemy and before I knew it, John took off like a shot towards the Pavillion.

    Now security is starting to stream in from every direction. John makes it to the taxi area and sits down on one of the benches. By the time I reach him, security has him surrounded and he is clearly scared, loud and uncooperative in answering his questions. He just keeps asking for someone to give him a cigarette and let him go back to his room to get cleaned up. He kept saying “My father is there, he is a medical doctor, he will help me.”. Unfortunately instead of at least calling the kid’s dad, security has started to respond to his lack of cooperation rather than address this kids injuries and fears. The next thing I know, security guards are all talking louder and trying to assert their authority with John. I piped up and told the bully guards that they might try to consider the fact that this kid is drunk, he’s from a foreign country and he’s scared shitless. They did adjust their volume and approach slightly. EMT security arrived and took over providing first aid and I went inside to wash my hands and get John some paper towels to clean himself up with. He looked like Carrie at the prom, I’m not kidding..

    When I returned, some kind but foolish soul had given John the cigarette he had been begging for but no one could light it for him. After fetching a lighter for the poor boy, I gave him the paper towels and began to address all of the questions security guards were peppering me with. I became frustrated because I wanted to make sure that I gave all of the pertinent information to the EMT security guard who took over John’s care first. Once I had done that, I told him everything that I knew and took him out to where I found John so they could begin investigating. From there, my boyfriend and I left to join our friends who had been waiting to meet us for a late dinner.

    This is where my direct involvement with John ended but his story hasn’t left my mind for very long since. I keep thinking of this poor kid, coming to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker getting jumped and robbed. That alone is enough but then to have what was clearly a traumatic encounter with overly aggressive security compound the situation is worse. The more I think about it, the more angry I get.

    So let’s break this down and look at the lessons to be learned here:

    Of primary importance is personal safety. Being alone, drunk with any sizable amount of cash on you makes you a an easy mark. Let it be clear, I am not blaming the victim here. I am saying that we can learn from what happened and let it serve as a reminder to be proactive about our own safety. We learned in kindergarten to use the buddy system. It works. Use it. Be completely aware of your surroundings. Don’t wander around alone when you’ve been drinking. Lock your money in your room safe or get a deposit box at the cage.

    The second issue is the lack of security presence in the Pavillion parking lot at the Rio. This parking lot is massive and really MUST have its own dedicated security patrolling its perimeters and within it, whether by bicycle or vehicle. I know it sounds oversimplified and is not an absolute solution but it cannot be ignored that the visible and constant presence of security is in and of itself a deterrent to would be muggers. As a local and long time attendant of the WSOP, I can say from first hand observation that their presence is not constant and rarely visible. Also lacking are visible security cameras to deter crime to property and people on the premises. I realize that cameras in areas such as parking lots present huge liability issues to the property but the safety of their guests should be paramount. I realize that’s not the reality in our world but come on, for the amount of money the WSOP generates, Caesars Entertainment and the Rio have to start providing more patrolling security in the lot at a minimum.

    Additionally, it was clear to me that the security staff was not adequately prepared with simple first aid supplies or the training necessary for staff that are designated as first responders to an emergency. At a minimum, security staff and especially their vehicles should be stocked with gloves and supplies to control bleeding. It took a good 5 minutes for an EMT security officer trained in first aid to arrive with the appropriate supplies. If John had a bullet wound instead of lacerations, we would not have been able to handle the situation. That lapse of time could have been critical in such a situation. As a professional First Aid and CPR Instructor, I cannot understand why security vehicles do not contain first aid kits or why ALL security staff are not trained and prepared to administer first aid.

    It is fairly safe to say that this will not be the first time that you will read or hear a story like this one occurring at the WSOP or other poker festival venues anywhere in the world. A quick search of this forum will reveal multiple threads of players who have had theft of money and/or property taken from their rooms, vehicles broken into in the parking lot or robbery. We all know that we are potential targets but we can only go so far in protecting ourselves in environments like the WSOP. We must become vocal and demand that the hosting properties immediately begin to address the gaps in security. Being able to walk around without fear of armed robbery is NOT too much to ask for and frankly, I find it abhorrent that we should even HAVE to advocate for our own basic safety to be addressed by the WSOP.

    I have read many reports on the poker forums and Twitter about similar crimes here at the WSOP in Las Vegas, as well as poker tournaments around the globe. I have heard the frustration that the victims have expressed at the lack of response by hosting organizations, hotels, casinos and local police. Now I have witnessed it first hand. This morning I spent a lot of time reviewing these threads and blog reports. I don’t see much resolution occurring. I see a lot of trolling, a lot of sympathizing, a lot of criticism of victims, a lot of outrage but no action. So what do we do? What will it take for us to get pissed off enough that we do something? Will someone have to get killed? Will Caesar’s or another property have to get hit with a big judgement in a lawsuit before they do something? Who is responsible here?

    As players, we pay a premium for well run poker tournaments with amenities. Call me an entitled American but shouldn’t security and protecting the players be part of the service we pay for? Especially at the WSOP, between the rake and the $15 dollar sandwiches, not to mention all of the revenue generated through room sales, casino gambling, food and entertainment. The WSOP and other poker tournaments like it are cash cows for the hosting properties.

    People are already rumbling on Twitter. I’ve seen the tweets directed @WSOPTD. I’ve read the threads in the forums but I don’t think its enough. We have to start making more noise and be more persistent about it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. We need MORE tweets, MORE threads and to raise MORE questions of the organizations hosting the tournaments we attend.

    For my part, I am going to talk to Jack Effel and ask him what he is going to do to ensure that these security issues are addressed. I’m writing this post to as a cautionary tale to those reading so that you too can learn from John’s experience. If I have to leave the Rio alone with any money on me, I’m going to ask for security to escort me to my car. I’m going to encourage my friends to do the same. If we start placing a demand on their time, maybe the sheer number of requests will force them to recognize that we are not feeling safe on their property. I’m also going to write a letter to the Rio asking why their first responders are not prepared to respond to first aid needs of injured guests of the property (which is at least an OSHA violation no not provide staff with personal protective equipment) and strongly recommend remedial training of their staff on issues like addressing injured victims and cultural awareness.
    This was posted by a person named "gnormsmama", with 14 total posts (including the ones in this thread), but registered in January, 2011.

    However, this woman's story seems to be true. Another person showed up in the thread to verify that they had seen the kid all bloodied and security surrounding him.

    So was some poor European kid really confronted at gunpoint, knocked out, thrown into a van, and robbed?

    Maybe, maybe not.

    First off, this story is pretty incredible, and somewhat hard to swallow. It sounds like something out of a 1975 episode of "The Rockford Files". Kid is confronted by two gunmen, but won't give up his money. He's then pistol-whipped, and goes out like a light (you know, similar to how everyone on TV gets knocked out cold by one punch).

    If that's not enough, he comes to in the perpetrators' vehicle while STILL BEATING BEATEN (huh?), and robbed. He then heroically kicks out the window, but is thrown out of the vehicle, which is still conveniently very close to the parking lot where this all occurred.

    Lots of problems with this story. Why didn't the criminals just take his money and run after knocking him out? Why carry his limp body into the vehicle and rob him there? Why was he still being beaten while out cold? How was the vehicle still at the Rio after everything that happened? And why did he refuse to give up his money when confronted by two gunmen?

    What is definitely true is the fact that this guy was found very bloody, and was definitely in some sort of altercation. But is his story true? I doubt it.

    I am guessing that this was some sort of drug deal or prostitution situation gone bad, which also explains why he was so "scared" of talking to security about this.

    However, I will say that I have noticed a very weak security presence in that Pavilion lot, and it's also on the dark side. I have long thought that robberies would be easy to perpetrate there.

    A person named Janice7776 (810 posts, registered 2008) posted this:

    Theres a Persian dude named Sammy who plays mostly West Coast, who came into the Rio a couple years ago wt two black eyes and other visible beatings,

    Telling everyone how he got thrown into a van right in the middle of the Rio parkin lot, beat to death, robbed and rolled back out of a moving vehicle, and got him for ~5k claiming he was suein, nothing ever happened obv
    So this does sound very similar to the story we just heard. Perhaps it's true, but the whole thing still sounds fishy to me.

  2. #2


    The story is real and it isn't the first time.
    Rio security sucks, they don't give a shit about you unless your a hot-shot player like Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu.

    Too late to get a safety deposit box, Rio is sold out.
    Good luck getting security to walk you to your car, unless your a hot sexy girl or a famous poker pro.

    I hope the kid who got assaulted files a police report and gets a personal injury lawyer and sues Caesars Entertainment for millions.

    The Rio is responsible and liable for anything that happens on it's property.
    The Rio has bad lighting and no real security in the pavillion parking lot.
    I'm surprised that someone hasn't gotten killed yet.

    Right now, the Rio has temporarily increased patrols in the pavillion parking lot.

    So for now the thugs must get a little more creative and follow you in a car from the Rio to your destination, then beat the shit out of you and rob your ass.

    Also, look out for the hookers there at the Rio, they want to go to your room, put some drug in your drink, then you wake up with your hand on your dick and your wallet empty.




  3. #3
    Gold Jayjami's Avatar
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    Caesars is not "responsible for everything that happens on their property". They are only responsible for any negligence on their part. Nevada's premises liability laws are some off the most pro-business, anti-plaintiff in the country. Nevada casinos vigorously defend these types of cases, they never rollover and just pay up. Nevada juries are notoriously conservative as well. The kid's story is sketchy. This is by no means "slam dunk" case. Even if the kid wins, he won't get "millions". He'll get his medical bills, the money he lost (if he can prove the amount), and pain and suffering as determined by a Nevada jury.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjami View Post
    Caesars is not "responsible for everything that happens on their property". They are only responsible for any negligence on their part. Nevada's premises liability laws are some off the most pro-business, anti-plaintiff in the country. Nevada casinos vigorously defend these types of cases, they never rollover and just pay up. Nevada juries are notoriously conservative as well. The kid's story is sketchy. This is by no means "slam dunk" case. Even if the kid wins, he won't get "millions". He'll get his medical bills, the money he lost (if he can prove the amount), and pain and suffering as determined by a Nevada jury.
    Extreme negligence on Rio's/Caesars part, however lawsuits almost never go to trial.
    They always end in some sort of settlement.

    The kid's story is believable, but it looks like no police report was filed and no real investigation took place.

    The Rio increased patrols in the parking lot but that should've been done since 2005.



  5. #5
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Seth Palansky e-mailed me the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Palansky
    No one got robbed in the parking lot. Someone was assaulted and it was a result of them arranging to meet someone else in the back corner of the lot to purchase drugs and things went south from there. This was someone doing something illegal and putting themselves in harm’s way. We don’t like the fact someone was hurt in the parking lot, but it was not a robbery like has been erroneously reported and the circumstances obviously are quite different.
    Not sure how they got this information, but I believe it. That's what I suspected all along.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Seth Palansky e-mailed me the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Palansky
    No one got robbed in the parking lot. Someone was assaulted and it was a result of them arranging to meet someone else in the back corner of the lot to purchase drugs and things went south from there. This was someone doing something illegal and putting themselves in harm’s way. We don’t like the fact someone was hurt in the parking lot, but it was not a robbery like has been erroneously reported and the circumstances obviously are quite different.
    Not sure how they got this information, but I believe it. That's what I suspected all along.

    Un-huh sure, people's rooms didn't get robbed either and unicorns are real.

    Also, Caesars, Rio and WSOP employees are always right, they never make mistakes and their shit doesn't stink.

    Did the drug dealers forget to rob the guy?

    Last edited by TheXFactor; 06-09-2014 at 07:55 PM.

  7. #7
    I can't think of many scenarios where someone staying at the Rio would be deep in the Pavilion parking lot. First off, most guys aren't renting cars. Second off, my Euro's are especially not renting cars. Third off, the few that are renting cars are parking in the garage.

  8. #8
    Good stuff from Ronnie Bardah there. He's from near Brockton, MA (aka ghetto).... so he knows what's up.

    One of his suggestions, which is a good one, is to use the valet to skirt the parking lot (where thieves roam in casinos across America). But like the boxes suggestion, why should the players have to pony up more dough just to get security from the Rio when it comes to their rolls? It's almost like they planned it this way to extract more cash from consumers.

    The economy is fairly shitty for most people, so desperation is only to rise more in areas like these, IMO.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Seth Palansky e-mailed me the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Palansky
    No one got robbed in the parking lot. Someone was assaulted and it was a result of them arranging to meet someone else in the back corner of the lot to purchase drugs and things went south from there. This was someone doing something illegal and putting themselves in harm’s way. We don’t like the fact someone was hurt in the parking lot, but it was not a robbery like has been erroneously reported and the circumstances obviously are quite different.
    Not sure how they got this information, but I believe it. That's what I suspected all along.
    Thought you were being overly skeptic (like i always do), but have to give this one, you called it.

  10. #10
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    A user signed up here and posted that we shouldn't dismiss this situation just because the victim was involved in a drug deal. However, you don't see that post because the user deleted it. I won't name the user, nor will I restore the post. I will respect his wishes to keep it deleted (though I'm not sure why he removed it), but I want to respond to the message anyway.

    The Rio is not your mother, and you are not a child. It does not have a responsibility to protect you from dangers you bring upon yourself. It does have a responsibility to provide a reasonable amount of security in order to protect you from criminal elements that target you on its property.

    Apparently this "victim" purposely AVOIDED security, and met known criminals in a remote/unpatrolled area of the parking lot in order to pull off a drug deal. Something went wrong, he got beaten up (and maybe robbed), and not surprisingly, he wasn't exactly looking to file a police report about the matter. Is this the Rio's fault? No. If you go somewhere on the property specifically to AVOID security, so you can engage in a criminal transaction, it is not the company's fault when things go wrong and you get hurt.

    On the flip side, if I were buying drugs right in the open hallway of the Rio convention center (where the WSOP takes place), and the drug dealer gave me a lengthy beating and stole my money, the Rio would have some liability. This is because the crime occurred where security should have had a presence, even if I did somewhat bring the problem on myself by engaging in criminal activity prior to it.

    I will concede that the Rio has poor security in the convention area parking lot. It also has poor lighting. I can say this because I've been parking there for many years, and I have had the thought myself that it would be very easy for someone to mug me there and get away with it. So, yes, the Rio needs to beef up security in the parking lot, but in this case, it wouldn't have helped because the "victim" was actually looking to avoid security.

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