On Monday December 23rd Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa found the enormous amount of $300,000, in cash, on the backseat of his cab. Now, just a few days later, speculations are starting to run wild as to who the poker player was that forgot to bring home this large amount?
Our theory: That the poker player in question was a World Series of Poker Main Event finalist.
In the CNN story published on Thursday morning Gamboa said, “I picked him up from the Cosmopolitan and he wanted to go to Palms Place carrying a brown bag.”
After dropping the poker player off at the Palms Place Gamboa received a $5 tip for this short ride, but little did he know at that point that there was a fortune still sitting on his backseat.
The devastated 28-year old passenger came looking for his cash and he was so desperate that “he wanted to shoot himself in the head," according to a cab company official.
The poker player showed up at the Yellow Check Star cab office looking for his money, wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt, but he forgot something very important, a piece of ID. The Las Vegas Metropolitan police launched a full investigation and eventually the money was returned to the player.
The cab driver was rewarded for his good deed by his company, Yellow Check Star, with a $1,000 check, a steak dinner for two at a Las Vegas steakhouse and the title “Driver of the Year”. The player in question claimed that he’s considering giving Gamboa a reward.
This is where the story ends and where the speculations begin.
In the story published by CNN affiliate KLAS, there was made mention of a 28-year old poker player, something which eliminates a lot of options right away.
In the video a Yellow Check Cab CEO Bill Schranko says, “He’s on the poker circuit and he’s a very, very famous worldwide poker player.”
Of course we do not know how well Schranko follows the international poker scene, but it’s unlikely that he knows all players that come and go to Las Vegas. There are however nine players each year that get worldwide TV coverage by ESPN after making the World Series of Poker Main Event final table.
Two players at this year’s final table were 28 years old, but one of those two, Jay Farber, managed to take home more than five million dollars, and even though $300,000 is a lot of money, we don’t think losing that will devastate him to the point of wanting to “shoot himself in the head.” Later on Twitter Farber also posted that it was definitely not him.
The second suspect in this case is Mark Newhouse. Newhouse made the $10,000 WSOP Main Event final table and ultimately finished in ninth place for $733,224. Newhouse is a recognizable face in the poker industry, he’s 28 years old and in the majority of his poker photos, he’s wearing athletic gear.
The player in question was staying at the Palms Place, a tower on the Palms complex where you're able to stay for an extended period of time. Newhouse is known to live in Los Angeles where he's a regular in the big cash games at the Commerce Casino.
Newhouse has had ups and downs throughout his poker career and barely any big results in tournaments since winning a WPT in Niagara Falls back in 2006 for $1.5 million. Newhouse’s big result this year came at the right time and in interviews he expressed that he’s only playing poker for the money. Since the fame does not mean anything to Newhouse we can certainly understand he wants to remain under the radar.
On the biggest poker community, TwoPlusTwo, there have been many speculations about who this player could be and we believe Newhouse is one of the favorites to have made this mistake that could've turned out very costly. For professional NBA bettor Haralabos Voulgaris a similar mistake did turn out to be very expensive as his money was not returned.
LV taxi driver returns $300,000 left in cab http://t.co/udsQzDbLYe in 2007 I left 50k on a Cinnabon counter @ SFO, never got it back.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) December 26, 2013
If you have any other guesses as to who almost lost $300,000 without playing a single hand of poker, let us know on Twitter.
Frontpage image courtesy of PokerNews.com