Aspiring Poker Pro Roberson Gets Eight-Year Term for Follow-Home Robberies
An aspiring poker player in California has been sentenced to eight years and eight months in the state’s prison after being convicted in a series of “follow home” robberies targeting other casino patrons. Dominick Blair Roberson, 27, of Paramount, a few miles east of downtown Los Angeles, was convicted in October of 2015 on multiple felony charges stemming from the string of robberies, part of the proceeds from which Roberson allegedly used to fund his gambling.
Roberson was convicted on four counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery for the series of follow-home robberies, most of which occurred just prior to his 2015 arrest. Roberson was convicted of robbing four separate LA women of between $1,000 and $6,000 each in cash after following them to their homes from various LA casinos, several of which he frequented. The attempted-robbery count came from a fifth incident in which Roberson followed a man home from Hawaiian Gardens Casino, but that would-be victim was able to fend off the robbery attempt.
Roberson was arrested shortly after his last robbery attempt, in October of last year, while he was gambling at an unspecified Gardena casino. Authorities also recovered a “replica” weapon (toy gun, perhaps altered), that was believed used in connection with the robberies. Roberson was convicted in a jury trial in Los Angeles County on the charges.
Roberson’s cash-game proficiency has gone unreported, but the poker-pro wannabe has a handful of small tourney results according to the Hendon Mob database. Roberson’s official poker record shows seven Hendon Mob-tracked results, the largest of which was a $10,810 score in a $350 bounty tourney at the Commerce in September of 2015.
Unfortunately, such tales involving would-be poker stars aren’t as rare as one would hope. Roberson’s string of robberies, though newsworthy, doesn’t come close to being the most notorious of such entries. The escapades of what could only be described as career-criminal Christian Lusardi caused an entire preliminary event of the Borgata’s 2015 Winter Poker Open to be cancelled in January of 2015. Lusardi’s antics involving hundreds of high-denomination poker tourney chips ended up fouling over $2 million in prize-pool payouts from the cancelled prelim, one of that series’ major events. Lusardi ended up with a five-year prison sentence for that scheme.
However, neither Lusardi’s five-year term nor Roberson’s eight come anywhere near the top of the heap for length of sentence or severity of crime. That infamous honor — at least in recent years — remains with Ernest “Ernie” Scherer III, the wannabe-pro but perennially losing player, also from California, who beat and stabbed his parents to death in 2008 in an attempt to claim a sizable inheritance and continue to fund a losing poker career. Scherer’s brutal crimes were eventually documented in a CBS “48 Hours” episode, while Scherer himself lost a bid to have his conviction overturned in 2015.
It’s also worth noting that poker players have often the victims of such violence. Two of the most notorious of recent years were the home-invasion robberies of former WSOP main event winner Jonathan Duhamel and London (UK) cash-game player Mehmet Hassan; Hassan died of injuries suffered during the violent robbery.