Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

Thefts Reported at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

Poker players planning to stay at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino during the 2014 World Series of Poker are being asked to be extra vigilant after a spate of thefts at the resort during the past 24 hours.

At least three poker players are known to have had personal belongings stolen from their hotel rooms including laptops and large sums of money.

Finnish pro Lauri Pesonen was the first player to raise the alarm, updating his Twitter status at 8:52 p.m Las Vegas time on Tuesday night. The tweet read:

“Both my and @Jouhkb’s laptops stolen from our room at the Rio. Everything else, wallets, ipads etc still here. EPT Barcelona again?”

The Twitter handle that Pesonen mention belongs to his fellow country man Joni Joukimainen and he tweeted an update of the situation some 15 hours later. In his tweet, Joukimainen revealed the thieves stole Pesonen and his “sanitary bags and sunglasses,” but left the more valuable items such as iPads and their wallets untouched.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the unfortunate Mahn Nguyen who claims to have had a substantial sum of cash stolen from his room at the Rio. Like Pesonen and Joukimainen before him, Nguyen took to the social media site Twitter to vent his frustration and inform his peers of the theft.

“Attention poker players: large sums of money has been stolen out of my room at rio last night.”

Nguyen spoke to PokerNews and revealed he and his friend Jimmy Chen, a pot-limit Omaha cash game player, checked into the Rio around 6:30 p.m on May 27, dropped their bags off at their room and headed out for dinner.

Upon their return around midnight, they discovered $35,000 was missing from their bags. According to Nguyen, the room looked untouched “almost as if they knew to check the backpacks.” Nguyen added that he has filed a police report and has been in contact with security at the Rio, but was told there are only security cameras in the Rio elevators and not the hallways so he does not hold much hope for the thieves being caught.

World Series of Poker Tournament Director Jack Effel issed a brief statement on Twitter on Thursday morning that reads:

“We take these allegations very seriously and are meeting with security/hotel management this morning to have a comprehensive discussion. We will report back to everyone soon. Thank you.”

The poker community is already comparing this incident with the laptop thefts that occurred at the Barcelona leg of the European Poker Tour (EPT) in September – indeed Pesonen mentioned it in his initial tweet.

Jack Effel

Jack Effel

During EPT Barcelona in September 2013, Finnish high-stakes cash game professional Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen was targeted by an organized crime ring during his stay at the Arts Hotel. Kyllönen returned to his room to discover his laptop stolen only for it to mysteriously appear in his room again later in the day, albeit with evidence of it being tampered with.

Kyllönen took his laptop to Finnish security firm F-Secure who confirmed his laptop’s security had been compromised and that software designed to capture screen grabs from his machine had been installed.

Flushdraw’s Haley Hintze looked into the initial Kyllönen incident and followed it up when the situation was apparently resolved, or not as the case may be.

This is a developing story and will keep our readers as up-to-date as possible as soon as new information and evidence comes to light. In the meantime, players are urged to be extra vigilant, to lock their valuables in a safe or one of the Rio deposit boxes and to report anything suspicious to Rio security.


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