Just hours after the 2022 World Series of Poker main event champion was crowned, chaos rained down at the summer series as reports of an active shooter on the Last Vegas Strip sent tables and chips flying while players scrambled towards the exits.
As it turns out, there was no shooting at all.
Nearly a mile down Las Vegas Boulevard, a glass door at the MGM Grand Casino had shattered, causing patrons and valet staff to flee, assuming it had been shot out. Word quickly spread on social media, and it wasn’t long before it reached someone inside the Paris Ballroom at the WSOP.
Murmurs turned into panic, and then a stampede of players, dealers, and staff rushing towards the exits, no doubt remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting that occurred just outside the Mandalay Bay Casino in 2017. A total of 60 people were killed and hundreds more injured by a lone gunman at the country music concert.
Rumors of shots fired at Bally’s/Paris/WSOP are false.
We implore players using social media to be responsible and not spread rumors creating panic.
— WSOP (@WSOP) July 17, 2022
Some WSOP patrons reported injuries afterward. Poker pro Vanessa Kade said that she fell down and skinned her knee in the commotion. Circuit winner Michael Trivett said he was trampled on his way out of the casino and hurt his leg. Six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu suffered a severe cut on his hand.
Although there were initial attempts to restart some of the events, too many of the players were no longer in the building and there was still the matter of sorting out all of the spilled over chip stacks. As a result, the three bracelet events being played out in the Paris Ballroom were ended early for the evening, with staff being instructed to bag the chips for the players who were no longer there.
A fourth tournament, the final table of the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., continued play four-handed, and the daily deepstack tournaments also resumed.
The false shooting report also affected poker rooms at other Las Vegas Strip venues, including the MGM Grand, Aria, Caesars Palace, and Bellagio.
*Photo credits Allyn Shulman and Joey Ingram
@WSOP They have allowed us back into the room at the WSOP. Two people at our table left and went home. Our chips were all over the floor. They are trying to reconstruct but a man next to me says he had half a million. No way.
— Allyn Shulman (@ajaffrey) July 17, 2022
How my WSOP ended… pic.twitter.com/dabeNhIT09
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 17, 2022
Reports of shooting in Vegas from Bellagio, MGM and Paris. All false alarms so far. Very strange timing. Coordinated prank? pic.twitter.com/V66pnNL5to
— Sorel Mizzi (@sorelmizzi) July 17, 2022
This is what happened in the poker room for people trying to figure out how this happened pic.twitter.com/kkjoLba6J2
— Joey Ingram (@Joeingram1) July 17, 2022
This is a professional and calm way to say full stampede of people running full sprint towards exits away from possible active shooter so now the WSOP room is empty https://t.co/VzEv8cm5Fw
— Rampage (@rampagepoker) July 17, 2022
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) July 17, 2022
@wsop I took my friends off strip to safety. If someone would bag me I’d appreciate it. Black 25 seat 7 roughly 150k chips thanks so much!
— Brandon Shack-Harris (@Oscillator_WSOP) July 17, 2022
Got home and could barely put any pressure on my leg and knee skinned up pretty bad. A chance I tore something. Gonna ice it and see if swelling goes down. https://t.co/J8rqdZYhNE
— Michael Trivett (@mtrivettpoker) July 17, 2022
What the fuck? A glass door broke at MGM and within 5 minutes people were fleeing every casino on the strip?
— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) July 17, 2022
Poker players are a different kind of human pic.twitter.com/qcVc9pfOIo
— Joey Ingram (@Joeingram1) July 17, 2022
Thanks mate put me In a weird spot now when we come back and play the rest of the hand out
— Chris Moorman (@Moorman1) July 17, 2022
I am not sure what’s happening (I am in LV but safe in my hotel room) but this also in part a result of conditions on the Las Vegas Strip. Casinos are confusing, exits not marked clearly, lots of bottlenecks for pedestrian traffic, lots of drunk people. This must be improved. https://t.co/UeVuuMVRl7
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 17, 2022
Tried to get to Paris for cashout but the strip is pandemonium. Ambulances, helicopters, police and a line of cars not budging. Rumors are swirling that there’s an active shooter somewhere. Seek hiding if you’re playing right now
— Matt Berkey (@berkey11) July 17, 2022
This is really wild if people started running at mgm and domino affected half the strip. Seems possible but don’t think it ever happens?
— Jeremy Ausmus (@jeremyausmus) July 17, 2022
Never been so happy to have busted an event early.
— Todd Witteles (@ToddWitteles) July 17, 2022
Panic in the casinos over what may have been a shooter at MGM in Las Vegas, but may also have just been a glass door breaking. Depressing that there are so many shootings in our stupid fucking country that defaulting to fleeing seems pretty reasonable.
— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) July 17, 2022
Was just at cosmo and heard some loud bangs and everyone was running. We hid inside a restaurant while they tried to figure it out. After about 15min they let us go. Was walking across the bridge from cosmo to crystals and then everyone started sprinting back to cosmo.Once inside
— Andrew Moreno (@Amo4sho) July 17, 2022
scariest moment of my life tonight just grateful it wasn’t something worse. really really hope that none of the people i saw being trampled are too badly hurt @WSOP #WSOP #wsop2022
— kami (@kamidawn) July 17, 2022
Lo que faltaba para finiquitar…
Estoy bien, quitando una ostia en la costilla que me está jodiendo bastante… parece que todo controlado ya… pic.twitter.com/GJtEDhTK2G
— Ignacio Molina (@IgnaPoker83) July 17, 2022