Another Case of Theft Comes to Light during EPT Event

Theft During EPT EventOver the past few years, the game of poker has become subject to a series of thefts during tournament game play. Players have been subject to theft in a number of ways from stolen winnings to sophisticated information theft. Criminals are using the format of poker tournaments to steal from players, taking advantage of information on laptops or other methods while players are busy at the felt. The trend of such instances has become so disturbing that many feel as though poker operators need to become stricter with security clearances or methods used to protect players.

The most recent instance comes from the European Poker Tour Malta stop with a player who goes by OurSurveySays at the TwoPlusTwo poker forums. The player had a hotel room at the Hilton and is claiming he was subject to a theft during this time at the hotel. Halfway through the visit, the player used his Do Not Disturb sign to leave his room for a massage. When he arrived back to his guest room, the room had been cleaned despite the sign he had put in place.

After searching for cash to tip a room service order later on in the evening, he found that €1,000 in cash was missing. He immediately spoke with security on the matter and was told he would be contacted by a manager. He never received a phone call and found out the very next day that two people had cleaned his room and was told they were not working the next day nor was the manager.

OurSurveySays then took to Twitter to tweet EPT Travel who then visited the hotel and set up a meeting to speak with security. To try and investigate, the key card lock codes were to be looked at but the player was told only the manager can see the codes. OurSurveySays he had already been told that two cleaning people had entered his room while he was away so he felt like he was getting the run around.

Security then suggested that he had spent the money on a massage or meal and just didn’t realize it. Four days after the fact, OurSurveySays was contacted by the security manager who said the cleaning staff did not take the money and he would not be following up on the incident. He did suggest the poker player contact local police, despite being told that security would solve the problem.

OurSurveySays was very unhappy with the treatment by the security staff but was very pleased by the hotel stay. In his posts at TwoPlusTwo, he stated that he took part in several tournaments, spending tens of thousands to compete. He had ‘zero reason’ to lie about the incident and stands behind his statement that 100% of the money was taken from his hotel room.

This is not the first time the EPT has been subject to a security issue. In 2013, Jens Kyllonen was taking part in an EPT event when he found his laptop was missing from his hotel room. After leaving the room to alert security, he returned to find the laptop in his guest room, just ten minutes later. After security was no help with the issue, the poker player had his laptop inspected and found a Trojan had been placed on the system which would have allowed the assailant full access to the player’s computer.

Anyone attending a poker event out of town is recommended to take care with all money and valuables. A safe should be used to keep any cash or laptop, any item of value, safe from anyone who has the ability to enter the guest space, including the hotel staff.