Reports of in-room thefts at the Rio during WSOP

wsop 2014The World Series of Poker is barely underway and already has its first scandal. Two separate players attending the WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas have taken to Twitter today to report valuables stolen from their rooms.

Manh Nguyen (@MunMunny) claims that he discovered late last night that unspecified “large sums” of money had been taken from his room. Immediately thereafter, Lauri Pesonen (@oopinlare) chimed in to say that two laptops (his and a friend’s) had been taken from his room at around the same time. There’s no reason to doubt the claims, and it seems likely that the thefts are related.

Poker players are, unfortunately, very often the target of crimes, whether at home or at hotels while attending live events. It’s no surprise, given that it’s a profession that often involves keeping large sums of cash on hand, as well as expensive gadgets and accessories.

Jonathan Duhamel was famously the victim of a home invasion back in 2011, organized by his ex-girlfriend and two male associates. And last year, at the 2013 EPT Barcelona, several players had their laptops stolen from their rooms, only to find them returned but with trojans installed, presumably with the intent of allowing the perpetrators to see the victims’ hole cards in subsequent online play and cheat them that way.

Given the theft of Nguyen’s money and the fact that Lauri’s laptops have not reappeared, simple theft rather than online cheating seems to be the motivation in this case, but we will have to wait for more details to come in.

Alex Weldon is a game designer by day and poker tournament wizard by night. You can read more from Alex at www.benefactum.ca and follow him on Twitter at @benefactumgames

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