An armed robber was gunned down while ambushing a poker game held at a office park unit in Houston. The gunman and his two accomplices waited until 2 a.m. on Thursday for one of the players to leave the card game before moving in on their intended victims at the 5600 block of Hillcroft, south of Westpark in southwest Houston.
Wearing masks they entered through the open front door and proceeded to rob the players of their money at gun point when a patron managed to draw his personal hand gun and shoot one of the assailants. A gun battle ensued during which one of the robbers was shot and a player was injured at which point the masked men decided the game was up and fled the scene.
The wounded player was taken to the Southwest Memorial Hospital and his condition was found to be non life threatening but things were not so fortunate for the masked assailant who was later found in the parking lot dead from his wound. Evidence removed from the scene by the police included several 9 mm shell casings, as well as card tables, cards and cash.
Sgt. Juan M. De La Cruz, a Houston homicide detective, made no arrests following the incident and the identities of the men involved have remained anonymous for now. The legality of the poker game itself is unclear as police have not been able to find out who rents the office unit yet. However, in Texas providing a rake or cut of the action is not taken by anyone then poker and other games involving money are deemed permissible.
Unfortunately, poker related robberies are not uncommon outside of casinos and one look at the news archives reveal their extent and potential to turn violent. Even poker legend Doyle Brunson himself confessed to having had guns drawn on him several times, and having being beaten and robbed in his early career.