Poker has a history of shootouts. There are the legendary gunslingers who took down opponents at the felt, as witnessed by old-school poker legends like Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson. There are the one-table ‘shootout’ events at the World Series of Poker, of course.

Every now and then, however, there is a genuine shoot-out with real guns. This happened in Texas as the Legends Poker Room witnessed a major incident as an armed robbery was interrupted by a security guard.

Houston Hosts Robbery Drama

Houston, Texas is a popular location in recent poker news. The destination has already been invaded by poker legends after Doug Polk, Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme purchased a stake in the Lodge Poker Club in Austin. That, of course, is 166 miles from Legend Poker Room, but interestingly, Johnny Chann’s 88 Social — which was sold on — is just one block from where the potential shooting took place.

A gun went off, but thankfully for all concerned, no one was seriously hurt after the heroic security guard Trelynn ‘Tek’ Robinson, intervened. Taking his security detail literally, Robinson was one of several people who determined to stop the armed intruder making their way from the poker room with any illicit winnings. When the armed man entered the building at 1.30 am, holding an AR-15, he told the 40 patrons inside the Legends Poker Room that he was robbing them.

Working his shift as a security guard at Legends, however, was the heroic Robinson. Lunging at the man, Robinson pinned him to the ground. As others piled in to help him, there was only one problem. The gun started going off.

Taking Down Trouble

Robinson wrestled with the robber on the floor of Legends, but he wasn’t alone. No=-one was calling the clock on going all-in to assist him as others in the vicinity helped subdue the man. During the struggle, the weapon went off around ‘a dozen times’ but thankfully no one was hit by any of the bullets.

Interviewed after the event, Robison told KTRK, an ABC affiliate news station in Houston that he was asked by the robber ‘to give him the money’. Instead, Robinson refused.

“I lunged towards him, fought him, wrestled him with the gun, [then] it started to go off. I was able to tackle him down and put the handcuffs on him [and] arrest him.”

The attacker subdued, thoughts have turned to the area in general for many. Houston is the location for the 101 Poker Club, which was formerly Johnny Chan’s 88 Social. Just a few weeks ago, Sammy Farha was involved in a row with staff, leading to the police being called.

Legends may be one of the newer poker rooms in Houston, but have good numbers, as evidenced by the number of patrons still inside the property in the small hours of the morning.

An Injury to the Hero

After the robber was arrested, Robinson discovered that the scuffle had cost him a dislocated shoulder, his friend Sean Benefiel went onto GoFundMe and set up a fundraiser in tribute. In a statement on that page – where to date $2,323 has been raised from the $40,000 target for the possible costs of shoulder surgery, Benefiel said:

“I am a dealer at Legends Poker in Houston, Texas. Tonight, there was an attempted robbery in our room. The person responsible for the shooting was miraculously stopped by the actions of an incredibly brave man. Our security guard Trelynn “Tek” Robinson ran TOWARDS the guy firing an automatic weapon and wrestled with him, stopping him from opening fire on a room with more than 120 people in it. I was probably ten feet from where the bullets hit the wall.

What Tek did was the bravest thing I have ever seen in my life. Without a doubt; this man saved my life, and the lives of every person who was in the room at the time. We all play poker. We all have the money to gamble – which means you have some money to put towards this cause. If it weren’t for him, you might not be reading this right now. I know I wouldn’t be writing it.”

Continuing, Benefield said: “This man is a hero, he is going to have some medical bills from injuries sustained during this incident, as well as living with the aftermath of what happened tonight. So please, send some money, share this link. It’s the least we can to show some gratitude and appreciation. And yes, I plan on donating more myself – but as many of us in the poker community know, a lot of our cash isn’t always in the bank. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and again, please – let’s come together on this one.”

After yet more drama in Texas, the Lone Star State could do with a quiet few weeks spent outside of the headlines. Whether that will happen is a coinflip no-one can call.

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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