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Theft Scandal Hits Las Vegas: Three Poker Players Report Stolen Goods From Their Rio Hotel Rooms

Almost nine months have passed since the EPT Barcelona Computer Theft made the news and already, another similar incident is on the verge of making headlines.

Three poker players who are currently in Las Vegas for the 45th annual World Series of Poker have reported via Twitter that laptops and money has been stolen from their Rio Hotel rooms recently:

Furthermore, according to Joni Jouhkimainen (@Jouhkb – photo), the thief (or thieves) also stole their sanitary bags and sunglasses but didn’t touch the iPads or their wallets. “What’s wrong with this people?” Jouhkimainen wondered.

For Manh Nguyen though, things are much more serious. He told PokerNews that a total of $35,000 had been taken out of his room. Nguyen explained that there are signs that show the person(s) involved knew exactly where to look: “It didn’t look like they went through any of my other stuff. Nothing else was taken. Room was not messy almost as if they knew to check the backpacks (with the money).”

He filed a report but the investigation could take months as the Rio Hotel doesn’t have any security cameras installed in the hallways.

This is not the first time such incidents have occurred during a poker festival. Last September, at the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona, several poker players reported the theft of their laptops during their stay at the Arts Hotel. Again, two Finnish pros were involved in the incidents – Jens Kyllonen, and Henri Kaakkola – and also Romanian cash expert Liviu “0human0” Ignat. According to their stories, their computers had mysteriously disappeared for a few hours only to reappear later. However, it was discovered that those computers were infected with a dangerous Trojan. With its help, the attacker could have had access to the victims’ online bankrolls and could have seen the victims’ hole cards whenever playing online.

Since very few Las Vegas hotels have security cameras in the hallways (don’t mind the Hollywood movies such as Ocean’s Eleven – most of the cameras are installed exclusively in the casino to keep an eye on the cheaters and card counters, NOT on the guests), all the players who are attending the WSOP are strongly advised to store their valuable belongings, including their laptops, in a hotel safe. If the laptop doesn’t fit, it is recommended to buy a laptop cable lock available at any computer store and lock it to something in the room. If any of these aren’t an option, then take your laptop with you when you leave the room.

Better safe than sorry.

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Florian Gheorghe