Police say poker player Shannon Soroka robbed the New Jersey home of WPT champion Darren Elias on Thursday. No one was physically harmed during the incident and the alleged perpetrator was arrested.
Elias wasn’t home during the incident. Investigators claim Soroka illegally entered the front door where he found a 19-year-old female woman babysitting Elias’ 2-year-old child.
Soroka, who was armed, demanded the babysitter show him where the money is located, according to police. The babysitter was able to escape through a window and ran to a neighbor’s house for help. She also kept the young child safe.
Sarah Cram, Elias’ mother-in-law, praised the babysitter’s bravery.
“She’s our hero, we owe her everything and we are so thankful for her,” she told CBS 3 Philadelphia.
She also said her family is “just so happy no one got hurt, that everything is going to be OK and that’s what matters most.”
Soroka faces charges of robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault. He is currently being held in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, New Jersey.
Elias, who was out with his wife during the robbery, told reporters this incident was the second time his house was targeted in the past week.
“It’s incredibly scarry for me and my family,” Elias told NBC10. “It was an awful feeling.”
Soroka was captured on surveillance video leaving the residence, police say. Investigators haven’t said if he left the home with any cash or valuables. Police believe the alleged robber specifically targeted Elias’ home. A tip from a concerned citizen helped lead to the arrest of the poker player.
Poker Player Allegedly Robs Poker Player
Soroka, a poker player with minimal tournament success, likely knew of Elias’ success on the felt. Darren holds World Poker Tour records for wins (4) and also cashes (34). His recent third place finish in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic ($473,280) put him over the $7 million lifetime mark.
The alleged robber, on the other hand, has just $37,000 in career cashes. His most recent cash – $5,748 in a $300 buy-in tournament in Atlantic City – came in October 2018.
Every poker player wants the success of a Darren Elias but few achieve it. So, allegedly, some feel the solution is to rob the player they can’t be.