WSOP Flasher Ken Strauss Found Incompetent to Stand Trial
Ken Strauss, the Pennsylvania poker player and sports better who dropped his pants and was disqualified during early action in Day 1C of the 2019 WSOP Main Event, was on Friday found incompetent to stand trial on charges connected to posting threats of violence on social media directed at Las Vegas’s Venetian casino.
Strauss, 45, refused to attend a competency hearing held on Friday before US District of Nevada Chief District Judge Linda Bell, according to a local Vegas report. The hearing continued despite Strauss’s absence, allowing Judge Bell to review and accept into the court record a pair of psychologists’ assessments of Strauss’s mental well-being. Upon review, Judge Bell agreed with the psychologists’ recommendations and on Monday signed a commitment order, sending Strauss to the Lake’s Crossing Center.
The Lake’s facility is in Sparks, Nevada, next to Reno. It is described as Nevada’s only “maximum security psychiatric facility providing comprehensive forensic mental health services.” Lake’s Crossing Center accepts individuals from Nevada who are court-ordered to such a facility for continuing “evaluation and/or treatment for restoration to legal competency.”
Strauss’s commitment to the upstate facility continues the strange story that began in early July with his eviction from the WSOP Main Event. Later that same day, he was bounced from the Luxor after doing another strip-tease routine, this time while also singing and dancing atop one of that casino’s craps tables. Luxor security hauled him off and likely banned him from the property, but did not appear to pursue further charges.
Whatever happened involving Strauss and the Venetian is a different tale, one that has yet to emerge into public view. On July 27, roughly three weeks after the Rio and Luxor incidents, Strauss tweeted, “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.”
According to a police report, Strauss also said “Kill them all,” to no one in particular, when being arrested later that same day. Strauss remained in custody until he was indicted in late August on the domestic terrorism charge, which can be either a felony or gross misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.
Likely figuring into Strauss’s incompetency determination was another incident at Las Vegas’s Red Rock casino. This occurred just three days prior to the Venetian incident on July 27. According to Vegas news station KTVN, Strauss was kicked out of the Red Rock on July 24 after attempting to lure a child to his room. The update relayed that “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.”
Also unknown, and certainly figuring into the psychological evaluations, were 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.”