Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chicago Sports Weekly Covers Chicago Club's Demise

The latest issue of Chicago Sports Weekly covers the recent Chicago club theft as its cover story! Take a peek.

Kudos to author Clay Champlin for his fine research and storytelling. Thanks also, for the Chicago Poker Club shout out.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Armed Robbers Take Down Underground Chicago Card Room

A local Chicago underground poker room was robbed last Saturday, August 6, amidst a 30-player No Limit Hold 'em tournament. The club, located in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood was hosting a $250 rebuy tournament that had been advertised amongst its "members" in the weeks leading up to the event. The tournament had been underway for a couple hours and was down to two tables when the masked gunmen reportedly entered through the back door of the second-story club.

All participants and observers present in the club were told to lay face down on the floor while the gunmen heisted an estimated $20,000 from the club and the players. The players were also made to surrender their wallets, jewelry, and cell phones, and were warned against calling the police. According to one interviewed player, another player refused to give up his wedding ring, and one of the robbers made a remark about respecting the institution of marriage and did not take wedding rings from the players.

The gunmen appeared to have a general awareness for the layout of the club, including a third-story annex and the location of the cash box, leading many to believe that this was some type of inside job. Aside from a couple minor injuries, including one player who was pistol whipped for acknowledging a comment that he mistakenly believed was intended for him, no one was seriously hurt in the theft.

The Bucktown-neighborhood poker club remains closed indefinitely.

This reporter was present hours before the robbery occurred, and was deeply saddened to hear of the stress inflicted on the players and card room operators. I also lament the loss of what was becoming a Chicago institution on the local poker scene - a room full of genial Chicago area residents full of good conversations and many new friendships. While the connections made will endure, the game will be sorely missed.