Big Austin Poker Robbery Friday Night

by , Mar 27, 2010 | 8:12 pm

There were really big guns, shouting, and shots fired. That’s the word circulating in Austin poker circles right now about a scary armed robbery somewhere on the west side of Travis County late last night — just before the bars closed … always an action time in Texas poker rooms.

Here’s an email from one of the players there, with names redacted for now …

HORRIBLE Robbery at *****’s tonight, around 1:40am. I was there 3-4 black guys w/ AK 40’s, shot their way in back door. **** was running game, 24 people there. Amazingly, No one hurt. ***** was downtown, **** and ***** hid in laundry.

They specifically asked for ***** by name. Must have known back yard had no cameras. Climbed fence from mopac.

Made us all go face down, empty pockets, took most wallets, phones keys. My wallet was found by cop, amazingly a mile down feeder laying in road, all intact except $1000 in cash (i had won $600 last night and forgot to remove it before going to *****’s).

Gunshots were fired Inside. they kept yelling at us not to look up or move, so we didn’t know if people were shot.

****** saved our lives. he obeyed them, rationalized w/ them, showed them closet w/ money, but had no key, they harassed him, they shot or kicked doors in,

Over 9 cops were arriving as we drove away. They stopped us and interviewed us individually, were very concerned for our safety and catching criminals, not even a question of poker game. Helecopters, forensics, detectives and K9 were all there lining the street.

unbelievable.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed word is that Austin police caught at least one of the robbers, when he used a stolen credit card at a “club” either later that night or the next day.

The cops seem to have arrived in force pretty quickly albeit after the fact here. Let’s see if Austin authorities do as well as police in Berlin, where they seem to capture their casino bandits right away: Two weeks, arrest five to get four … let the innocent guy go and put pictures out to capture the ones you don’t yet have. That seems to be the way it works in Germany. But In Texas cops have a much spotter record when it comes to solving poker crimes.

In more than a dozen armed robberies over the past three years … from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to places out in the sticks … We’ve had one trio of bandits caught in the act after the host successfully dialed 911 and hid an open phone; and in another case two high school football stars now face major-serious prison time … but only after the senior citizens they were robbing chased them down through a wet, muddy pasture and held them at gunpoint until police arrived.

Nothing else in all the other cases — including one where robbers shot and killed a dealer, and one where a player shot and killed a robber. (His mom stopped by Pokerati a few days ago to say hi, btw.)


  • p donk

    This was a very unfortunate incident and luckily no one was injured. The police caught the suspects almost immediately and they are all in jail. The player who sent this information DID NOT SEND to this website. It was texts sent to friends that night.

    WHO POSTED THIS INFORMATION FROM THAT PLAYER WITHOUT PERMISSION? Why are some of the names changed and not others? Pokerati should be more respectful of all of their privacy and remove all names from this listing. Again, this information was not sent in by the player texting about the robbery that night.

  • DanM

    p donk, all names have since been removed. thanks for your concern.

    So the cops got these guys right away? That’s pretty awesome.

  • Loose Duece

    Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.

  • Loose Duece

    There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth.

  • layabout

    Any idea where off Mopac this happened? N or S Austin? No exact location report in media reports.

    • DanM

      I’m trying to find out … right now APD is telling me they are still withholding information because there is an investigation ongoing.

  • Loose Duece

    8000 block of Northforest Drive, near the intersection of West Anderson Lane and MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1)

  • layabout

    Thanks for update. A little too close to my place. One in custody. Not the brightest of robbers. Sounds like good work by APD so far.

  • Loose Duece

    Have you read the arrest affidavit? A cop made contact with this guy on suspicion an hour BEFORE the incident took place outside the residence while he was sitting in his car. Then, 2-3 hours later, a Travis County sheriff’s deputy heard the call and saw a car that matched the description. That’s how the one guy was caught and he is only being charged with credit card abuse while the investigation is pending.

  • DanM

    I haven’t seen the police docs firsthand yet … but indeed, we have since gotten that updated info here:

    http://pokerati.com/2010/03/29/re-big-austin-poker-robbery-one-suspect-arrested/

  • pokergirl

    First hand information, they are ALL on the loose.

  • pokergirl

    APD Robbery Division Detective Lechter requests anyone with ANY information contact her at 974-5274.

  • Bullets

    Maybe they were all PLANTS…for APD

  • P Donk

    Bullets, are you really that stupid? Not funny. This was a violent home invasion by four men armed with AK47s. Gunshots were fired as they broke into a house in a North Central Austin neighborhood. This was not the eastside. The players are mostly college kids and professionals, not thugs.

    There is obviously a growing gang problem in the ATX. As with most crimes, sometimes the victims are afraid to cooperate with the police. The few of you that can help, please do the right thing!!! Do not let them get away with it. Help the police get these ANIMALS off the street.

    • DanM

      pdonk, just because someone robs a poker game doesn’t make them an ANIMAL. a certain level of intelligence is required to choose to hit one of the easier targets out there.

  • Nnnnnaaaaaatte

    Wow I was at this game two weeks ago. I got a text from the host the other day saying that the game was off for a while. It wasn’t that much of an action game anyway. That’s so Fucked up. It’s weird that the police were already watching him before the robbery. (car parked outside).

  • P Donk

    Ok. They are criminals. They broke into a home. They threatened and robbed many people. Are they not criminals because a poker game was taking place?

    I don’t support people who committ violent robberies. I am sorry I offended you by referring these violent criminals as animals. They certainly didn’t display any intelligence as they police immediately arrested one for using the stolen credit card.

    Dan, do you support violent criminal activity?

    They are animals and should be locked up for their actions.

  • DanM

    I don’t support violent criminals, natch, but I just think it’s too easy sometimes to declare someone evil or bestial and let that be the explanation for why something went wrong. a lot more factors go into it. and if the overall goal is to catch these guys (who would face more than 20 years in prison), and prevent future robberies, we can’t look at it as just a few wild bandits on the loose.

  • P Donk

    I don’t believe this was a random robbery by a few wild bandits. It is much more likely these criminals are tied to a gang which has committed other like robberies and other criminal activities. For the police investigation to be successful, people need to cooperate. Everyone’s goal should be to catch these guys and prevent future robberies as DanM stated above. Austin is suppose to be a fun place to live, not a scary place.

  • DanM

    now we are getting on the same page, p-donk. if you succeed at one poker robbery, why would you not try another one?

  • P Donk

    Well, they didn’t actually succeed. They are in jail or were later shot by APD. However, a gang has more than a few members and it might turn out there is a connection. By gang, I’m not referring to a “poker robbery gang”, I’m referring to a street gang.

  • DanM

    i’m checking on this info pdonk … just haven’t updated because i don’t know the actual facts. word is that they only arrested one guy, and he has since been let go after being bailed out.

    i don’t think any were shot … though there was a poker robbery in austin in december 2008 where cops shot the robber.

  • P Donk

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. My last comment was somewhat cryptic. I am not referring to the incident last week but to a robbery that took place last spring where one of the suspects was shot by APD months later. I am suggesting there might be a connection between that incident and the current suspects ie the gang reference.