The idea that a gunfight could break out during a poker game isn't a new concept… if the year is 1879. The thought that a gunfight could break out during a poker game in 2006 is, for lack of a better way to put it, interesting.
That's exactly what happened in Hickory, NC, over Mother's Day weekend. A gentleman by the name of Carl Merritt is currently recovering from gunshot wounds he received when the home game that he was playing with friends was the target of a robbery attempt. The sixty six year old man was with his poker playing comrades around 3AM on Mother's Day when three or four masked men burst into the outbuilding where the poker game was taking place. Witnesses stated that at least one of the alleged assailants was armed.
So what does a poker player do in that situation? Merritt pulled his own handgun (was the game THAT tough?) and fired on the masked men, missing his target and earning two slugs from the armed men to the abdomen for his troubles. Merritt's stand, however, forced the robbers to leave the game without taking any of the player's money. Merritt currently is in stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery and the police have no leads on who attempted to take down the game.
This almost harkens back to the days that legendary players like Doyle Brunson talked about in the 1950's. Back then, according to Doyle, it wasn't uncommon for such games to be robbed, by thieves or by law enforcement themselves. Doyle has often talked about how not only he but his "road gambler" compatriots Sailor Roberts and Amarillo Slim (among many others) had to arm themselves to fight off the potential thieves to be able to walk away with their hard-earned wages from the play at the tables. It's more than a little shocking to see the same type of situation that these gentlemen talk about happening over fifty years ago still happening in today's world.
It also shows that, even today, security at a home game is important. Why the gentlemen in the Hickory game were playing in a shed outside of the house is odd. If the game was large enough to be targeted by thieves, shouldn't they have been playing in a more secure area…like the HOUSE? While the miscreants who were attempting to rob the innocent poker players could still have breached the door of a home, it would have provided some more security for the players than an outbuilding away from the house.
In another interesting thought, how did the robbers know that this game was going on? Could it be possible that someone, after having lost a large sum at the tables, decided to get back to even by thievery? Hopefully the police look at the attempted robbery closer than they analyze the poker game that was going on. For now, though, PokerNews wishes a speedy recovery for Mr. Merritt and hopes your next home game isn't quite as wild as his was on Mother's Day.
Ed Note: No guns allowed if you are playing at Pokerroom.com