On March 6th a surprising and shocking turn of events took place at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Berlin event. Four armed gunmen raided the event, attacking the registration area. The men stole over $300,000 of the prize pool money and got away via getaway car.
The event left tournament players and staff at the casino stunned. Police would start an investigation and use video surveillance footage to try and figure out who the robbers were. Another shocker was when just a few days ago one of the robbers turned himself in.
The man has remained anonymous and then told police exactly what happened and how they had planned the robbery. The man stated they he had checked out the casino to see how the money was stored and how many guards there were. He found that the guards were not armed so he felt the group should take a chance and they did.
The man turned in the names of his accomplices and not surprisingly the names were familiar to German police. The police then set out to go to the three other robbers homes and see if they could find them. They were unsuccessful.
Just a few days after the man turned himself in, two other suspects in the case surrendered as well. Both Jihad Khaled Chetwie and Mustafa Ucarkus were arrested at the Berlin Tegel Airport. Both had surrendered.
The last man in the case was Ahmad el-Awayti. He was believed to be the mastermind in the heist and according to an interview with Bluff Europe, Berlin police officials had this to say about the man: “According to the current state of our investigation, the suspect is thought to have been the organizer… He also drove the getaway car.”
According to police the men got away in a Mercedes which was found just after the robbery, however the cash has yet to be found. The men reportedly split up the cash they got away with. The first man who turned himself in stated that a third party held his portion and he planned on turning it in at a later date.
The winner of the EPT Berlin Main Event was Kevin MacPhee and he appeared on the Early Show on CBS just after his win and he talked about the experience. It was quite scary for those involved, including players and workers as well as those just watching the poker action. Game play was paused for several hours after the robbery took place so tournament officials could regroup following the attack.
The European Poker Tour is now in Austria and because of the Berlin event; security at the Snowfest has been heightened. PokerStars is hoping this never happens again but if it does they will be prepared. More news of the robbery is set to be released in the future as police finish up the investigation.