A fast-acting security guard at Houston’s Legends Poker Room successfully foiled an armed robbery attempt at Houston’s Legends Poker Club during Sunday’s overnight hours. Trelynn “Tek” Robinson, a guard working at Legends, de-armed a solo robber during an incident at about 1:30 am on Monday at the club on Houston’s west side.
Robinson was able to surprise the robber during the attempted holdup and a brief struggle for control of the robber’s weapon ensued. During the struggle, between 10 and 15 shots were fired from the robber’s semi-automatic weapon, reported by Houston police as an AR-15 assault rifle. After wrestling the weapon away, Robinson and others subdued and handcuffed the foiled robber, who was arrested once police reached the scene.
As many as 50 players and assorted staff were present when the robbery attempt occurred. No one was seriously injured despite the numerous rounds fired. Robinson himself reported a shoulder injury as a result of the struggle, and he may have also suffered a graze wound from one of the fired rounds.
“He was asking me to give him the money,” Robinson told Houston’s ABC13. “But instead, I lunged towards him, fought him, wrestled him with the gun. It started to go off. A couple of things happened. I was able to tackle him down and put the handcuffs on him — arrest him.” The robber’s identity has not been confirmed by Houston or Harris County (TX) authorities, though a photo allegedly displaying the handcuffed robber, awaiting police arrival, has circulated on social media.
The ABC13 report also includes a brief video (including Robinson) filmed shortly after the incident occurred. Social chatter on Houston poker-related accounts includes assertions that the foiled robber gained access to the club via a rear kitchen door, rather than coming in through the club’s front entrance. These reports remain unverified but are likely to be detailed by authorities when the robber is arraigned in the coming days.
Robinson received numerous accolades from the Houston poker scene, many of whom described his actions as heroic. One of the Legends dealers present during the robbery attempt launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to benefit Robinson and help pay for any injuries needing medical treatment. The GoFundMe effort had raised $1,215 (of a stated $40,000 goal) during its first half of a day of being launched.
The popular Legends club is the same venue where well-known Houston pro and former WSOP bracelet winner Sammy Farha was involved last month in a brief altercation with another player. Legends is also one of several Houston-area clubs that was accused of skirting various Texas gambling laws in a controversial video published by a former Houston poker-room consultant last month. A couple of years ago, the consultant worked for at least one of the city’s clubs during earlier legal battles over the clubs’ right to operate.
While armed robberies can and do occur anywhere, the story adds to a spate of unsavory incidents that have plagued the fledgling Houston poker scene in recent months. As a few local players have commented, the run of incidents adds to increasing concerns that local or state authorities might seek further ways to derail the social poker clubs’ operations, at least until they can be more fully regulated.