Armed Robbery in Michigan Poker Room [Video]

Microstakes charity violence at Red Cross event

by , Nov 19, 2010 | 6:49 am

What looks to have been a rookie armed robbery of a min-stakes poker game in Michigan caught on video … just like EPT Berlin … you know, if PokerStars ran live events in the $30 to $40 buy-in range that start at 7 and have 15-minute levels.

At about 1 am Wednesday night/Thursday morning, two armed men entered “The Tilt Room” at the Bob-Hi Lanes near Muskegon, Michigan (a small port town of about 174,000). Upon being laughed at by players and managers, one of the robbers pistol-whipped a room employee as the duo grabbed cash on the bar, then stuffed their pockets with the rest of the money on hand. No one was seriously injured. Police say they are looking for two black males, one about 6’4″ the other 5’9″.

No word on how much money the “blue-hoodied bandits” got away with. By law, Michigan poker rooms are allowed to sell up to $15,000 in chips each day.

News reports say it was a Red Cross charity event — but just to be clear, unless I am seriously underestimating the size of the Wednesday evening tourney by a few hundred, this was not like the red-carpet charity events many of us no well. Michigan law allows for small-stakes poker rooms akin to many underground games around the country — so long as they pay the state a daily license fee and give a small portion of their rake and entry fees to charity. That charity can change by the week.

Recently publicized events at The Tilt Room benefitted, for example, an athletic booster club to buy new uniforms for a local baseball team, and the West Michigan Spay & Neuter Clinic, as listed in the current issue of West Michigan Cats and Dogs Magazine.

Michigan poker rooms have apparently been hit recently by a rash of robberies and parking lot muggings.


  • Haley

    City of Muskegon population:

    174,344 – Jul 2008
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

    It’s both quite a bit larger and more run down than you think, though touring the submarine down at the naval base at the lake is a worthy stop.

  • Dan Michalski

    ahh, thanks for the correction, haley. i noticed it was across the lake from milwaukee, so that kinda has to be your neck of the woods!