Saturday, November 17, 2007

Talk About Getting Away With Murder!

This could only happen in a poker room. They caught one of the robbers involved in the Manhattan poker room killing only to let him "slip out of the pot." Here's the article:

NYC Poker Room Murder Suspect Arrested, Released on Technicality
November 14, 2007
Garry Gates
Last Friday, New York City police made their first arrest to date in the death of 55-year-old Frank DeSena, who was shot and killed during the armed robbery of an underground NYC poker club on November 2. The suspect, 35-year-old William Delvalle, was arrested on East 21st Street, just seven blocks away from the building that housed the underground club where the crime took place.

Police charged Delvalle with second degree murder and robbery, though he was not believed to have been the gunman. Since his arrest, Delvalle was being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex. According to a report on the New York Post's website, Delvalle has since been released from jail because prosecutors
in the case failed to secure an indictment within the allotted time. However, the charges against Delvalle remain in force.

New York State law indicates that a defendant remanded for a felony charge must be released from custody unless a statement is filed by the prosecutor affirming that the grand jury has voted on an indictment. In this case, prosecutors had 144 hours to procure the indictment, but were unable to do so. Delvalle was scheduled to be arraigned yesterday in New York Supreme Court, but Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Evelyn LaPorte was forced to order Delvalle's release per the absence of an indictment.

Delvalle is no stranger to the criminal justice system, having previously served eight years in prison for a 1992 manslaughter conviction after he fired into a small crowd of people, fatally injuring one bystander. According to the Post's report, Delvalle's parole ended October 12, just a few weeks before the tragic incident at the newly opened club. In Delvalle's defense, Delvalle's lawyer, Brian Konoski, was quoted by the Post as saying, "There's nothing here – there's no meat on the bones."

As of yesterday, prosecutors would not offer an explanation as to why an indictment was not reached in time, though DA spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said, "He (Delvalle) remains charged, and the investigation is continuing." The other suspects in the case are all still at large.

Friday, November 16, 2007


About the biggest price a poker cheating victim can pay is his life! That's what happened in an underground but supposedly aboveboard New York City poker room. Although running organized poker rooms is illegal in New York City, many in-the-dark poker rooms have sprouted up in Manhattan in recent years since the poker craze began. They are frequented by mostly respectable players, including top-notch lawyers and doctors. One of these players really did hold the "dead man's" hand when he was shot dead during a robbery at one of these poker games.

Here's the article:

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November 3, 2007 -- Detectives hunted yesterday for a trio of brazen robbers who killed a New Jersey man in a Flatiron poker room during a $100,000-plus heist that went down like a scene from a Hollywood flick and left seasoned gamblers cowering for their lives, cops said.

Frank Desena, 55, of Wayne, was playing at Straddle, an underground club on the seventh floor of an office building at 251 Fifth Ave., around 11:15 p.m. Friday when three black-clad, ski-masked robbers invaded and killed him by accident, said witnesses.

The robbers - who displayed a flair for drama by calling each other "One," "Two" and "Three" - "walked in and screamed, 'Everyone get down on the f- - -ing floor!' " a player recounted.

The hoods ordered the players to put their cash on the tables and lie on the floor. They also beat the room's cashier to make sure he handed over all the house's money, said witnesses.

Suddenly, one of the robbers dropped his sawed-off shotgun. As he picked it up from the floor, the gun fired, mortally wounding Desena in the torso, two witnesses said.

"Everybody in the room is a bunch of hard-asses," said a player. "So everyone was pretty calm until the guy got shot."

After the shooting, the robbers gathered up their cash and fled. A police source estimated the haul at over $100,000.

Desena died just before midnight at St. Vincent's Hospital. A neighbor said he was an instructor at the Stevens Institute in Hoboken who took good care of his wife and daughter, and who often invited neighbors to his home to watch Yankee games or the Super Bowl.

The poker room, which one patron said had about a dozen tables, opened within the last 10 days. Its operators had at least one other club, also called Straddle, that was shut down by police several months ago after another robbery, said customers.

To get in, players either had to be known to its operators or offer references, patrons said. Straddle's clientele was "your local bank tellers, kids you go to college with, lawyers," said a female gambler who was disappointed to find the place shuttered yesterday.

One witness said that in the hours before the robbery, the players included comedian and actor Michael Ian Black, who has guest-hosted the "Late Late Show" on CBS and appeared in the "Reno 911" series on Comedy Central. Black is a well-known poker player. He could not be reached yesterday.

Poker was all that went on at the club - its owners didn't even allow alcohol, the woman said. "It's a totally friendly atmosphere," she said. "Everybody knows each other. It's like your freaking book clubs."

Additional reporting by Peter Holley, Larry Celona and Bill Sanderson

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Casino Party Night Cheating!

I received a hilarious e-mail and just have to pass it along to you. A fellow from Auckland, New Zealand, went to a casino-themed birthday party where blackjack, roulette and craps tables with dealers were installed in a large banquet room. Each of the 200 guests were given $10,000 in play money to buy in for chips. No real money was exchanged but at the end of the night there was a tally of everyone's chips. Three prizes were given out for the 3 lucky play-money gamblers who had the most New Zealand dollars in chips. First prize was a free night in a 5-star hotel suite with unlimited room service (within reason). Second prize was the suite with no room service, and third prize was a bottle of champagne.

Well, even at those low stakes, let the cheating begin! According to the writer from Auckland, he saw three different people cheating, one of whom won the grand prize. Can you guess what cheating move he saw the winner do??? You bet, my famed Savannah roulette move. He did it by hiding a $1,000 chip underneath a $5 chip!

I e-mailed him back and asked if he could get me invited to the next Auckland Casino night! He then e-mailed me again to say there would be one soon for his girlfriend's birthday, and I would be invited!

I hope that cheater who won first prize has a blast with a hot babe in that hotel suite!!!