A mass panic that caused injuries to several poker players rolled through Las Vegas Strip casinos Saturday night after the sound of a window breaking was mistaken for the gunshots of an active shooter.

Poker room post panic

The poker room at Paris Casino in Las Vegas after a false active shooter warning. (Image: Joey Ingram/Twitter)

Las Vegas Police say a window was shattered by rocks in the valet area of the MGM Grand caused the panic to ripple through casinos all over the Strip, including Bally’s and Paris, where poker tables were overturned and people were trampled trying to escape what was a false alarm. 

Poker players who were in World Series of Poker events and cash games at Bally’s and Paris casinos were told to evacuate around 10:45 p.m. PT, and apparently few did it orderly as word spread of a possible active shooter. The WSOP Main Event had finished only a couple of hours before.

Daniel Negreanu was one of the players hurt during the stampede, getting a nasty cut on the palm of his hand he said was caused by being “trampled preflop.” Warning: gore.

WSOP Circuit ring winner Michael Rivett was also one of the people injured at Paris. 

Announcer and poker player Vanessa Kade said she fell down and was being stepped on by people who thought they were running away from a murderer with a gun. She later thanked poker player Eddy Sabat for helping her back to her feet and away from the crowd. 

Pro player and announcer Mario Ho witnessed the melee, reporting she saw people running over each other in terrified panic. From a now-deleted Tweet.

The shouts of “shooter” made it all the way to the poker room at the Bellagio, almost a mile from the broken window. Players either took off or dove under the tables, leaving their chips, cards, and hands in stasis. Sorel Mizzi was there.

In 2017, Las Vegas was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in US history when 58 people were killed and 850 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival by a man with a high-powered assault rifle who used a room on the 32nd floor in the Mandalay Bay as a snipers crow’s nest.

People are also surely on edge because of two mass shootings that recently took place in the United States.

On July 4, eight people were killed at a parade in Highland Park, Ill., after a man opened fire from a rooftop. And on May 24, 19 elementary students and two teachers were murdered by a teenager with an assault rifle at a school in Ulvade, Tex.

WSOP events delayed

The mass panic caused three WSOP bracelet events to be paused until today: $5k No-Limit 8-handed, the $1,500 Closer, and $10K 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship.

The final table of the $3K HORSE continued to play four-handed, but was paused with three players after a 10-hour day. It will conclude today. 

The 9 p.m. $400 Daily Deepstack tourney also continued, but players who were sitting at one of the tables that was turned over, table 161, were eligible for a refund.

The last open bracelet event of the Series, the $1,000 Super Turbo, also began today, with the Tournament of Champions scheduled to start tomorrow.

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Written by

Bob Pajich

Bob Pajich is a poker news reporter, creative writer, and poker player who never met suited connectors he didn’t like. If you liked what he is writing about, give him a follow on Twitter: @PondHockey2.

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