Masked gunmen hit poker tourney at VFW

Four armed robbers in ski masks hit the jackpot when they pushed their way into a Franklin Square poker tournament and made off with cash, wallets and cell phones, Nassau police said.

The men entered the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall at 68 Lincoln Rd. in Franklin Square about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. About 80 guests were inside, participating in a Texas Hold ‚em poker tournament.

Pointing guns at the crowd, the robbers demanded money from the tournament pot and took wallets and purses from the guests, police said. None of the attendees was injured.

The robbers fled with between USD 20,000 and USD 40,000 in cash, according to police estimates. Witnesses described them as between 20 to 25 years old, about 5 feet, 7 inches, tall and wearing dark clothing.

The poker event – which police described as a „fundraiser“ – is held regularly at the VFW hall by a group called All American Poker, according to online posts advertising the tournaments. Participants in the tournament paid a USD 100 entry fee plus a USD 30 donation to the VFW branch for a chance at the USD 3,000-plus top cash prize, according to the posts.

A contact for All American Poker who identified himself only as Elliot declined to comment on the robbery when reached by phone yesterday.