The poker world was shocked today to find out that 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel had been bound, beaten and robbed at his Montreal home. According to Duhamel’s account, the robbers forced their way into his house early in the morning, then started attacking him. Eventually, they tied him up, and began hitting the poker pro repeatedly until he told them where his valuables were.
And the items they took were valuable indeed as the robbers stole Duhamel’s 2010 WSOP Main Event bracelet, along with a Rolex Submarine watch that came courtesy of PokerStars. The 24-year-old spoke about the valuable items by saying, “I won’t hide the fact that these two items have a much larger value for me than their commercial value, and I really hope we will be able to retrieve them in a near future.” Hopefully, Duhamel can eventually recover the stolen bracelet and watch since his name is on them.
Moving past the Jonathan Duhamel robbery, a bigger problem may be at stake here since the Canadian is just the latest poker pro to be the victim of a robbery. Early this year, Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh had her room safe broken into at the 2011 WSOP. Leigh had a few thousand dollars in the safe, and suspected that it may have been an inside job by hotel staff members.
Much like Duhamel, Scott Montgomery had a scary robbery experience, but to a different degree. A knife-wielding man demanded that Montgomery empty his pockets in a Bellagio restroom; the Canadian obliged, giving the man over $2,000.
One more recent incident involved Kayvan Payman, who was robbed of €4,000 at the EPT Barcelona tournament. Apparently, Payman was leaving the bar with friends, and got ahead of them before having several Spanish thugs surround him and demand money. After being robbed, the poker pro ran back to find his friends, and they chased after the criminals. Eventually, they came upon a local restaurant, where two men not related to the robbers attacked the group with a machete and frying pan.
Fortunately, Payman and his friends weren’t seriously hurt, but the rash of poker robberies has to make a person wonder what’s behind all of these incidents. One element at play here is that poker pros often carry a lot of money around with them, which can attract the attention of thieves. Another aspect behind poker robberies is that players like to drink and party, which leads them to meeting some unsavory characters. And most robbers target people or businesses that they know. Finally, grinders do a lot of traveling, which puts them in unfamiliar cities and locations, thus increasing the chance of being robbed.
We could go on with the list of poker robberies and reasons behind them, but the bottom line is that players need to be careful with whom they associate, and also when they flash their money.