WSOP Flasher Ken Strauss Indicted on Domestic Terror Charge
Pennsylvanian poker player and sports fan Ken Strauss, whose bizarre behavior on Day 1C of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event brought him an immediate disqualification, has been indicted on a single count of making threats or conveying false information concerning an act of terrorism in connection with seeming threats posted against Las Vegas casinos.
On Thursday, a grand jury returned the indictment against Strauss on the charge, which can be categorized as either a felony or a gross misdemeanor. The case is being adjudged in the US District Court for the District of Nevada before presiding Chief US District Judge Linda Bell. Judge Bell ordered Strauss, who is being represented by a public defender, to be held on a $150,000. A risk assessment has also been ordered as part of the case’s proceedings.
Strauss was arrested on July 27 after posting on Twitter what could be interpreted as a threat against at least two Vegas properties, the Venetian and the Rio. Strauss wrote this, among other strange Tweets:
Shootings are taking place all over Las Vegas. Please leave me alone @VenetianVegas I have no place to go currently. And all Casinos that have me banned will be destroyed effective immediately. And @Rio, get my belongings together immediately when @POTUS declares safe I’m going. — @kpittboy
According to Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Pete Thunell, as reported by the LVRJ, Strauss mumbled “Kill them all,” while being arrested on July 27, hours after he made the Twitter post shown here.
It turned out that Strauss had been involved in no less than four separate bizarre episodes at Vegas casino properties during July, the last of which was whatever occurred at the Venetian. Details on that episode appear to have been submitted as one of four court exhibits in the case but have yet to be made public.
The three other episodes involving Strauss are public knowledge. Strauss was one of two players disqualified in the first two levels of Day 1C of the WSOP Main Event on July 5. Amid early play at his table, Strauss suddenly moved his entire $10,000 buy-in stack into the pot blind, then stripped off his clothes, including the act of throwing his shoes onto the table while shouting “I’m all in!” to the room.
Strauss was quickly and repeatedly warned to stop, but having failed to comply, he was DQ’d and evicted from the property. If only the strange activities ended there, but no. Just a few hours later, Strauss, whom the poker community quickly dubbed the #nakedbandit, turned up at the craps table at the Luxor on the southern Las Vegas Strip, where he climbed atop one of the tables and did another singing and flashing routine before being hauled off by security.
The tale grew ever stranger on July 27. With whatever occurred at the Venetian that caused his arrest, Las Vegas Police also received a report from the Red Rock Casino on Vegas’s western edge. According to Las Vegas’s KTVN, Strauss was kicked out of the Red Rock on July 24 after attempting to lure a child to his room. Per that update, “Strauss told police the he was trying to warn his friends about possible danger and insists that he thought he knew the child’s parents and gave the boy his room number to give his parents. However, he reportedly attempted to destroy evidence on his phone before turning it over to the police.”
That report also includes allegations that Strauss was harassing and stalking a former female ESPN sports reporter. According to KTVN, Strauss “believes she is his daughter from a relationship when he was 11 years old.”
Strange stuff indeed.