Police make arrests in Texas poker room shooting

On April 30, at around 4:30 AM, Tom Steinbach was shot in an unprovoked attack as he was leaving Austin, TX’s Texas Card House.  The 22-year-old Steinbach was left with life-threatening injuries, but, fortunately, has recovered.  After a search that lasted a couple of weeks, and even saw a $10,000 reward offered by poker’s Bill Perkins, two suspects have been arrested over the shooting.

24-year-old Charles Clines-Martinez and Jermaine Patrick Spirlark, 41, were picked up by the Austin Police Department on suspicion of aggravated robbery.  One of the two, Martinez, is reportedly a security guard at the card room.  Spirlark has been identified by the police as the shooter.  Reports following the shooting indicated that the assailants didn’t make off with any cash.  I hope it was worth it for them.

Putting the pieces together, police determined that Martinez tipped off Spirlark that players were leaving the poker room with their winnings.  Spirlark then put his plan into action, failing in the attempt to collect any cash. 

The shooting resulted in a heightened level of security at the poker clubs in Texas.  Some lawmakers also used it as an example to support their anti-poker room agendas.  The state’s card rooms aren’t’ required to have a formal permit nor adhere to any regulatory guidelines. 

There was no indication if the reward offered by Perkins played a role in the apprehension of the suspects.

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