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Poker pro says he was robbed at Las Vegas casino leaving WSOP

Updated July 1, 2019 - 3:25 pm

A professional poker player says he was robbed at gunpoint early Monday outside the Rio, which is hosting the World Series of Poker through mid-July.

Joe Salvaggi posted on Twitter just after 5:10 a.m. that a “guy jumped out of a car in camouflage” in the Rio parking lot, 3700 W. Flamingo Road, and “shoved a gun in my face.” Salvaggi said the man demanded his car keys and backpack, which he claims had thousands of dollars in it.

“Scariest moment of my life,” he wrote in the tweet.

In a series of follow-up tweets, Salvaggi wrote that police told him that video surveillance showed he had been targeted by the robber, who followed him to the parking lot.

He wrote that it was over “in an instant but I couldn’t move after.”

“I was completely frozen,” he said, adding that the robber was not wearing a mask.

Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Alejandra Zambrano confirmed Monday that robbery detectives were investigating.

She said the robbery was reported at 5:05 a.m., and that police were looking for a man in his 30s to 40s driving a red sedan.

As of 3 p.m., Zambrano said, detectives also were still “looking for better surveillance” video to be released to the public.

A request for comment from the World Series of Poker and Caesars Entertainment, which sponsors the annual event, was not returned Monday.

But on the official Twitter account of the World Series of Poker, the circuit posted a “reminder” on Monday afternoon: “WSOP offers security escorts to our parking areas to any guest who requests one. Please contact the nearest yellow-shirt security officer in WSOP areas. We also have safety deposit boxes for use in WSOP cage, as well as wire transfer and check as payment methods.”

Anyone with information may call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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