This poker player from Philadelphia broke in to a fellow poker pro’s home in Medford, New Jersey, where at that time a teen babysitter was looking after a toddler. Holding a gun, he demanded she show him where the homeowners ‘kept the money’.
On March 21, Thursday afternoon, four-time WPT champ Darren Elias was out with his wife when a man, a poker player as well, decided to rob their home in Medford, New Jersey.
Shannon Soroka, age 24 from North Philadelphia, held a 19-year-old female babysitter at gunpoint. He forced his way inside the house as the babysitter watched over Elias’ 2-year-old daughter.
Medford Township police said Soroka walked into Elias’ house, forced his way in, and demanded the babysitter to tell him where the poker pro kept his money. He held a gun to the babysitter’s back, walked her around the house, and then locked her inside a bathroom. She was able to slip out the window, seek a neighbor’s help and called 911.
Elias said, “I would say he was familiar with what I do for a living and thought that I might have things of value in the house.”
Soroka was seen leaving the premises in a car as shown via surveillance footage. The babysitter and Elias’ daughter were unharmed. Police did not say whether he was able to take any cash or valuable item with him.
According to police, the armed robbery appears to be targeted and not random.
Darren Elias had just recently won 3rd place at the $10,000 buy-in WPT Championship Main Event at the 2019 LAPC, bringing home $473,280. The WPT record holder currently has over $7.1 million in total live tournament earnings.
On the other hand, Shannon Soroka, is just a poker player who plays part-time and has had a few wins to his name, with his most recent win at the October Monster Stacks in Atlantic City , finishing runner-up for $ 5,748. Soroka’s total live earnings are at $37,745.
Elias said that it’s actually the second time in about a week that his house was targeted. He said, “It’s incredibly scary for me and my family. It was an awful feeling.”
A tip from a concerned citizen helped in the arrest of the poker player. Soroka is being held at this time at the Burlington County Jail and has been charged with a laundry list of offenses such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, and criminal mischief.
Poker players are not exempted from being targeted in their own homes. Take for example Doyle Brunson who got beaten in front of his wife during a home invasion back in 1998. That incident was just one of the several times the octogenarian got robbed or got almost robbed thanks to his reputation of being a successful poker player.
In 2008, Hoyt Corkins’ Las Vegas home was broken into and the group of thieves took two cars, a motorcycle and even two of his WSOP bracelets.
In January 2012, Jonathan Duhamel was brought to the hospital after he was attacked in his home, courtesy of his ex-girlfriend. Later that year, Theo Jorgenson was shot three times and the leg when his house was being robbed.