The 50th World Series of Poker event is currently taking place inside Las Vegas, Nevada. This week, news has come out of a WSOP player robbed in the parking lot of the Rio Casino. It’s a scary development for many of the major poker players competing inside this city.
Joe Salvaggi, the player robbed, is calling for vigilance. Let’s take a quick look at Salvaggi’s robbery, and talk about some of the favorites heading into the Main Event starting tomorrow.
How and Where Was the WSOP Player Robbed?
It’s not uncommon for players at the World Series of Poker to leave the Rio Casino with thousands of dollars in their possession. Unfortunately, criminals seem privy to this fact. Joe Salvaggi, who competed throughout the tournament, ended up walking out with nearly $8,000 in cash.
According to Salvaggi, he was robbed at gunpoint inside the Rio Parking Lot. A man in camouflage demanded that “Sal” give up his bag of money and the keys to his rental car. It’s the first high-profile robbery of a WSOP player so far this tournament.
“I kind of froze for a second and he, again says, give me your bag and I handed it to him,” said Salvaggi.
Some were quick to criticize the WSOP player robbed for keeping such a large amount of money on him. In reality, it’s common for these players to simply cash out, as opposed to requesting a check or wire transfer. Perhaps after this situation, this will change.
How is the Rio Hotel & Casino Responding?
Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Rio Hotel & Casino, commented on how players can better protect themselves. In an official statement, the company stated:
“Caesars is working with Metro to investigate the theft claim this morning related to the WSOP tournament. Caesars does have extra security patrolling the parking garages during the tournament, and the following are additional steps many WSOP participants take to protect their money:
Ask for security escorts to parked car which will be provided without question;
Utilize safe deposit boxes provided upon request to all participants;
Utilize wire transfer and check options for payment;
Choose tournament buy in accounts, where funds can be left for summer.”
This is great advice for all poker pros. According to Las Vegas Police, Salvaggi was followed from the casino floor into the parking lot. Unfortunately, police say they cannot identify the suspect or their vehicle’s license plate.
Joe Salvaggi appears to be the only WSOP player robbed this year. Hopefully, the Rio increases security and no more of these players will be put in a similar situation.
WSOP 50 Main Event Begins on July 3rd
This year’s World Series of Poker event is the biggest ever recorded. More than 28,000 individuals are competing. Some of the biggest names in professional poker, including Phil Helmuth, are waiting for their chance to take part in the Main Event.
The $10,000 buy-in Main Event this year is expected to be more competitive than ever. Some popular US casino sites, including Bovada, are allowing their members to place wagers on the potential outcomes.
Right now, Bovada is allowing you to bet on which former champions last the longest in the Main Event. As of now, Joe Cada is the betting favorite with odds of +550. Jonathan Duhamel isn’t far behind with current odds of +600. Want to go with an underdog? John Cynn might be worth throwing money at with odds of +700.
There is a wide range of other betting odds available for the tournament. You can wager on the age of the Main Event winner and what the winning hand will be. Check out a full list of the odds today!
Let’s hope that Joe Salvaggi is the last WSOP player robbed. Caesars seems determined to avoid these issues, and players are recognizing the dangers of carrying around so much cash. Stay tuned for updates on the Main Event results this week!