This story is about a month old, but it wasn’t something that got much publicity, so I missed it when it was fresh. It is worth telling, though, as it’s just so pathetic. As I write for a website called Poker News Daily and have done so for nearly a decade and a half, it goes without saying that I like poker and would encourage people to give the game shot. It’s fun! Find a new hobby. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Timothy Karpovich of Kansas City is a cautionary tale of how some people get out of control with their gambling, leading to unfortunate outcomes.

Well, You Can’t Say He Doesn’t Have Stones

According to the criminal complaint, Karpovich was a “chronic gambler” who frequented Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City. On Friday, January 19th, he cashed his paycheck and then promptly lost it all playing poker. Irresponsible, yes, but hey, what poker player hasn’t been stupid once and dropped a hefty chunk of change at the tables?

But then, instead of licking his wounds and moving on, Karpovich decided the best idea would be to rob a bank the following Monday in order to replenish his bankroll.

So, on January 22nd, Karpovich strolled into KCB Bank wearing “a black hat, a blue pull-over style coat, a gray scarf, and light-colored sneakers” and gave the teller a note written on an envelope that said he was robbing the place.

She handed over $1,052 in tens and twos (yes, twos) without trouble, particularly because Karpovich had one hand in his pocket and the teller was afraid he might have a gun. Little did Karpovich know, though, that the serial numbers of the tens were recorded.

Hope He At Least Hit Some Good Hands

Karpovich didn’t have much time to enjoy his score. Kansas City Police Captain Chris Nicholson quickly received a tip that the robbery suspect was Karpovich, according to the criminal complaint, so he, in turn, relayed that information to FBI Special Agent Trisha DeWet.

DeWet went to the casino and interviewed a casino employee, who saw a news report on Facebook about the robbery. The news report contained Karpovich’s picture – of course he didn’t disguise himself – and the employee recognized him as “Tim,” a regular poker player at Harrah’s who had, in fact, been there at a little before 3:00pm, about four and a half hours after the robbery.

And, of course, Karpovich bought into a poker game the same ten dollar bills he got from the bank. DeWet met with Gaming Division investigators and they retrieved the cash from the poker room, verifying that the serial numbers matched what was on record. While they were there, Karpovich returned to the casino wearing the same damn scarf he wore when he robbed the bank. He was arrested and willingly admitted to the crime, detailing it all to the authorities, and even telling them where to find the two dollar bills in his car. Perhaps the one smart thing he did was not use the two dollar bills at the casino, as that would have raised eyebrows.

Tim Karpovich was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison.

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