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Poker Champ. Plays A Bluff For His Life. 2005-06-14
Greg Raymer, 2004 World Series Poker Champ, will testify in case against assailants who tried to rob him back in December of 2004 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Key Joy, 36, and Deen Cassim, 32, according to a ruling last Friday will be officially tried. The arraignment will take place on June 27th, with District Judge Joseph Bonaventure. The men are pleading not guilty, on all charges.
The charges are burglary with a firearm, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, and attempt in first degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to kidnap as well a robbery with a deadly weapon. Despite the plea, if the men are convicted they will face up to 60 years in prison. As it stands, Raymer will testify against these men in trial, a witness testimony, which could overrule a not guilty plea. Raymer is aware of the circumstances, since he is a former attorney.
He turned patent attorney into a professional poker player. In December of 2004, he was participating in the Five Diamonds World Poker Classic at the Bellagio, where he was staying. After 6 hours into the tournament, he cashed out, and returned to his room to retire for the night, around 2 am on December 20th. On his way he emptied out his safety deposit box, as he was leaving the hotel early that morning to participate in another tournament.
He emptied out $150,000 equivalent of poker chips, so that in the morning he would have it readily available to move on to the Plaza Hotel to play in the “Battle of the Sexes.” He stashed it all in a duffle bag, and returned to his room on the 20th floor, when he noticed he was being followed. The first assailant, Cassim was about 30-40 feet in front of him, and stopped next to the door to Raymer's room.
Cassim started to fish around into his pocket, as if for a key, and then began banging on the door, yelling someone’s name, and to be let in, because he locked himself out.
The action wasn’t so strange to Raymer until Joy; the other assailant grabbed him, as he tried to open his own door. Afterwards, both men pushed Raymer into the room. Raymer yelled, and held onto the doorway.
Raymer, 330 lbs, pushed the men out of the room. Joy alone weighed 240 lbs, but fear for his life made this man fight back. Cassim at this point pulled out a gun from a paper bag, and exclaimed his purpose, just to take the money, the champ had. Raymer, without fear pushed Joy to the ground. With the bigger of the two down, Cassim left to the elevator to make his get away. It was a close call; Raymer felt it was his only option for survival. If he was pushed in the room, he could identify the men, and be killed to prevent that. Both managed to leave the casino smoothly, without the money they came for.
Security later said that they didn’t capture the men, as they were unarmed. Main security was called in order to help the situation. Raymer’s cries were not ignored, but not helped, as well as he though they would. Only three weeks ago, the men were found.
Cassim and Joy were found in California’s Del Mar Fairgrounds selling toys to children. After five months the men were released to the Las Vegas authorities. Joy’s identity was discovered through a credit card he had in his pocket, and Cassim was identified by the National Crime Information Center. As of Friday, the men are being held on bond of $250,000.
(By Sammy)