1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Poker theft

March 8, 2010

German police expect to make arrests soon after a brazen robbery at Germany’s largest poker tournament at the luxury Grand Hyatt hotel in Berlin at the weekend.

Police and media stand in front of the Hyatt Hotel in Berlin
Saturday's brazen heist took just minutesImage: AP

The head of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, said on Monday that the four armed men who attempted to steal the million-euro Poker jackpot at the European Poker Tournament on Saturday had left behind "a mountain of evidence" and had "plunged to new depths of stupidity."

Wendt was referring to the fact the criminals carried out the raid in front of surveillance cameras.

"This was clearly not the work of professionals," he told the German news channel NTV.

A headshot of Rainer Wendt
Germany's police union chief expects arrests soonImage: picture alliance / dpa

'Organizers careless'

Wendt sharply criticized the organizers of the poker competition. He said they should have made sure that there were sufficient security guards at hand when large sums of cash were lying around.

A representative for the European Poker Tour told Deutsche Welle that the casino where the event was held was responsible for the security.

"EPT events are run by local organizers. In the case of the EPT Berlin event, it was the Spielbank Berlin. Hence, they are responsible for the security team," said Christian Pudzich.

The total prize pool in the competition was just under 3.7 million euros ($5 million). It is now believed the robbers got away with less than 200,000 euros, and not the 800,000 euros as first thought.

American poker star Keven "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee won the tournament after five days of play and walked off with the one million euro top prize.

The tournament had around 950 participants at the start, including German tennis star, Boris Becker, who lost in the early stages.

Editor: Rob Turner

Skip next section Explore more