Police investigating armed robbery outside Austin area’s The Lodge Card Club

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: September 30, 2022 2:45 am EDT

Police in the Austin, Texas suburb of Round Rock are asking the public for information related to an armed robbery in the parking lot of The Lodge Card Club, one of Texas’s largest poker rooms. According to a report from Austin’s Fox 7 News, the robbery occurred on Friday, September 23, when a man leaving the club was targeted by three suspects, who then robbed him of a backpack containing cash and personal items.

The Round Rock Police Department has released images showing the robbery suspects. One suspect (pictured at right, below) is described as “a Hispanic male in his 20s wearing a Calvin Klein Jeans hoodie, blue jeans, and red sneakers.” The image at left, below, shows the other two suspects, who are described as “males wearing all black, long-sleeved clothing.”

Images source: Round Rock Police Department

All three suspects fled the scene in a black BMW that had its rear license plate removed. The Round Rock PD has requested people with information to contact Detective Laura Baxter at lbaxter@roundrocktexas.gov or call (512) 671-2871.

Robbery discussed on Matt Berkey’s ‘Only Friends’ podcast

Details about the robbery itself remain sparse, though the matter was discussed at length on a recent episode of the “Only Friends” poker podcast hosted by Matt Berkey and others. The show’s commenters generally accused people with knowledge of the incident of keeping quiet about it for what amounted to the better part of a week in the interest of promoting tourism, as in players who might travel long distances to play in one of the Lodge’s tournaments or streamed cash games. “Nobody went public with this story,” said Berkey, “meaning the Lodge just lawyers up and stays quiet. There’s no way you’ll hear a peep from Doug [Polk] or from ownership, I imagine.” The Lodge’s ownership is split among several people, including well-known players Polk, Andrew Neeme, and Brad Owen.

Berkey and his co-hosts — Landon Tice, Conrad Simpson, and Brian Lamanna — then spent over half an hour focusing on the security issues involved with operating a poker club from a strip mall, which describes The Lodge Card Club and many other Texas poker clubs. “Operating high-stakes games in a mall storefront — it’s very problematic,” said Berkey, regarding the perceived lack of security around many of the state’s venues.

Whether the victim was a player in one of the Lodge’s high-stakes streamed games, as alluded to on the “Only Friends” podcast, remains unclear. Much of the conjecture aired on the podcast centered instead on the possibility that the outside assailants were tipped off by someone inside the club, and that players carrying cash to play at Texas clubs were burdened with excessive risk.

Berkey quickly fixated on an unspecified security guard as being the likeliest type of “inside” culprit. However, the Round Rock Police Department photos show that it was likely a player inside the club, the man in the grey hoodie, who then informed the waiting assailants that a player likely to be carrying a large amount of cash was in the process of exiting the club.

Poker.org will update this story as events warrant.

Featured image source: The Lodge Card Club