Poker is not only growing in popularity because of the huge prize money on offer, but also for its entertainment value, especially when players perform hilarious acts while playing, or when they take part in wild prop bets in exchange for significant sums of cash.
The Naked Bandit
During the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, one player stole the show after pulling his pants down and throwing his shoe on the table. While his intentions for committing such an act remains unclear, everyone in the poker community agreed it’s not funny at all, with some suggesting he should have been reported to the police immediately.
On Day1C of the Main Event, Kenneth Strauss went all in without looking at his cards. When the action fell on another player, the Pittsburgh native turned around and pulled his pants down, exposing his genitals to the people at the adjoining tables. Discontented, he took his socks and shoes off and then threw one of them on the table, hitting the dealer. He was escorted out of the venue and was disqualified, with his $10,000 buy-in forfeited. But his antics weren’t over yet.
After being banned from the Rio, Strauss went to the Luxor Casino and climbed on top of a craps table, and once again exposed his bits to the crowd.
Naked Bandit Takes His Antics To Twitter
The naked bandit continued with his bizarre behavior a couple of weeks later, this time posting a series of tweets in relation to the Mandalay Bay shootings in Las Vegas. He was originally arrested on July 27 at the Trump International Hotel for conveying false information in relation to acts of terrorism.
Earlier in the day, Strauss lured an 8-year-old boy to his room as he claimed he thought he knew the boy from his hometown of Pittsburgh. Fortunately, the parents took notice of what he was doing and immediately reported him to management. He was then evicted from the hotel.
Strauss took his antics to the Venetian, threatening to commit suicide and harming anyone who came near him. He was reported to the authorities but he was gone by the time the police arrived to arrest him. After that, the Pittsburgh player took to Twitter on July 28 and posted about destroying all the casinos that banned him.
Later in the day, Strauss seemed to indicate that those tweets weren’t his, saying they were just “false tweets.” However, subsequent tweets coming from his account were still fairly deranged, with one post on Twitter encouraging people to “keep killing the children”.
Strauss was indicted for making threats of an act of terrorism after appearing before a court hearing on August 29. Nevada Chief District Judge Linda Bell has set his bond at $150,000.
Terrorist Threats On Casinos Being Taken Seriously
Las Vegas is not taking any chances on terrorist type threats after suffering the deadliest mass shooting in US history. On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire at a huge crowd of country music fans during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Strip, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others attending the event.
The 64-year-old was a high-stakes gambler who committed the heinous crime from his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. He was found dead in his suite with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive for committing the act remained unknown up to this day, with the investigation into the crime now being closed by the FBI.
During the same year, a gunman also wreaked havoc at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex in Metro Manila, Philippines, setting casino tables and slot machines on fire around midnight on June 2. The incident caused stampede and suffocation, leading to the death of 38 people, including the perpetrator. At least 67 others were injured. The lone gunman was later identified as Jessie Carlos, a former employee of the Department of Finance who was believed to have suffered from serious problem gambling and debt.
After these deadly attacks, casino operators around the world have been on extra alert, taking no chances on instances of terror threats, implementing tighter security protocols and safety practices. Casinos are easy targets for terrorist attacks as they are frequented by a huge number of gamblers, tournament players and fans from all over the globe.
Strauss’ may be suffering from mental health issues and needs help, but his dangerous behavior is really something that should not be ignored. He will reappear before the court on September 5.

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