A poker player who had just finished playing a game at the Rio Hotel & Casino says as he was about to leave the casino hotel's parking lot on Monday morning, July 1, he was shocked to find a man pointing a gun to his face.
Joseph Salvaggi shared his experience via Twitter, saying he saw a middle-aged white man parked in a red 4-door sedan. As Salvaggi was about to reach where his rental car was parked, the suspect wearing camouflage attire instantly jumped on him, shoved a gun in his face and demanded that he give to him his backpack filled with casino chips and cash worth thousands of dollars (some of it he won playing at the WSOP and the rest was his buy-in money for the Main Event).
He said, "I kind of froze for a second and he, again says, give me your bag and I handed it to him."
The only good thing here was that Salvaggi didn't get injured, but then he posted another tweet saying Las Vegas police told him he had actually been targeted and somebody followed him as he went out of the casino premises.
However, it looked like they were unsuccessful in tracking the thief down. Salvaggi said, "They're saying they can see a shadow of the altercation going down but not enough to get a plate or like an actual image."
The owners of the property, Caesars Entertainment, released the following statement:
"Caesars is working with Metro to investigate the theft claim this morning related to the WSOP tournament. Caesars does have extra security patrolling the parking garages during the tournament, and the following are additional steps many WSOP participants take to protect their money:
- Ask for security escorts to parked car which will be provided without question
- Utilize safe deposit boxes provided upon request to all participants
- Utilize wire transfer and check options for payment
- Choose tournament buy-in accounts, where funds can be left for summer
Metro police say they are reviewing the surveillance footage but they will not be releasing it at this time.
The 2019 WSOP kicked off on the final week of May and will end mid-July. The much-awaited $10,000 NLHE Main Event shall start today, July 3, 2019.
Salvaggi did not reveal online the exact amount he lost in the robbery, but he said he lost his "main event money" which we assume could range from $10,000 or more.